The Projector as Instrument

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Journal Article
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 2012, 16 (1), pp. 65 - 75
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The projects presented in this paper address two issues. The first issue is about the act of interactivism of liberating the projector, and the subsequent design considerations of taking a certain technology out of its intended context, and the issue of breaking out of the 'frame'. The second issue is about how video material through personal projection becomes a human output modality, potentially enabling a new and exciting form of audiovisual expression. This restores the balance of the enormous amount of images (still and moving) we take from out environment, but rarely give back. To address this asymmetry, the Videowalker project has been developed, as an instrument and an idea. It aims to address the urban space and the natural environment with audiovisual mate- rial, responding and reflecting on the context. Through the project the trend of portable projectors is anticipated, with the explicit aim to investigate how this technology can be used as an expressive human output modality. This means that a strong emphasis in the development and design processes is put on the interface as well as the audience experience. The paper describes the background of the project and its approaches, and experiences and reflections on a range of instantiations/performances with the instru- ment in Spain, The Netherlands and Australia since 2003. The technology of the set-up is described in enough detail to enable others to replicate the system. Related projects are described and compared, and the notion of Videowalk is placed in an artistic historic context. From the experiments and events a number of issues have come up, and identified as the most important design parameters to research were the shape of the projection and the nature of the audiovisual content
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