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Blurred Mirror

An interactive installation that allows viewers to create blurred images with their own silhouette and movement

produced by: Eri Ichikawa

Concept and background research

Nowadays, people are frequently required to upload their photos online. That trend sometimes seems unnecessarily concrete and difficult for people who may be old-fashioned, including me. This work emerged while considering the extent to which blurring and abstraction of appearance could be recognizable. It also draws traces of movement, allowing people to interact with their shapes.

This is influenced by the memory of Olafur Eliasson’s Your Uncertain Shadow and Nam June Paik’s Three Camera Participation/Participation TV 1969. However, the artwork I remembered the most was another of Olafur’s works titled Your Blue Afterimage Exposed. In this work, the spotlight projects a square of orange light on the wall for about ten seconds. At the moment the light was turned off, my retina caught the after image and then drew a blue square in my brain, as blue is the complementary colour of orange. It had a strong impact, as the art was generated inside the participants’ mind. The blue square doesn’t exist in reality but does exist in their perception. The betweenness this work shows regarding existence and concreteness inspired my current project. 

Simply standing or moving in front of Kinect, computer vision draws lines of participants’ silhouettes. As lines are thin and light in colour, it will not be recognised if people are passing quickly. The longer they stay still, the brighter and clearer the lines are; however, it will never be a concrete image of them. Silhouettes are unique to the individual, thus, the image is unique to each viewer.


Technical and future development

This work is made with Kinect and Xcode, openFrameworks.

The most challenging part was deciding how to interact with contours. My initial idea was to draw particles inside the contour. It took a long time to find a way to convert a polyline to a path so that fill or draw something inside the body, but I couldn’t solve it. However, during my research, I was intrigued by the effect polylines and triangulation generate, as well as by polyline’s functions, such as getPointAtPercent and getTangentAtIndexInterpolated. 

Unfortunately, the program crashed and didn’t work with this project as it was computationally expensive. Thus, this has become one of the future topics to be explored. Also, as I wrote above, I’d like to try a new Kinect project that is able to interact with particles.



Nam June Paik, Three Camera Participation/Participation TV 1969, 2001.
Olafur Eliasson, Your Blue Afterimage Exposed, 2001
Olafur Eliasson,  Your uncertain shadow (colour), 2010

Workshops In Creative Coding
Flatlander, Delaunay video, Kinect fiery comet by Theo

Kinect Physics Tutorial for Processing by Amnon Owed


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