This week I have been continuing to work on my project and observing the way different people are walking. I did some research and found out that psychologists have been studying these assumptions for well over three quarters of a century, and their findings suggest that most of us do tend to make very similar interpretations of other people’s personalities based on their walking style.
One of the earliest investigations was published in 1935 by German-born psychologist Werner Wolff. He filmed five men and three women without them knowing, as they took part in a ring-throwing task while wearing overalls. When the participants watched back the films, which had been edited to hide their heads, they readily formed impressions of each other based on their walking style and there was often a lot of agreement in their judgments. Some of the descriptions given independently by the participants for one subject were:
“Pretentious, with no foundation for it.”
“Somebody who wants to gain attention at any price.”
“Conscious and intentional vanity, eager to be admired.”
“Inwardly insecure, tries to appear secure to others.”
“Dull, somewhat subaltern, insecure.”
It seems amazing that the participants formed such similar impressions for this subject and others.
In the late 1980s found that there are broadly two kinds of walks: the more youthful one and the older style movement. The former involving a more bouncy rhythm, more swaying of the hips, larger arm swings and more frequent steps, while the latter was stiffer and slower with more leaning forward. Crucially, the gait did not necessarily correspond to the walker’s actual age – you could be young with an old gait and vice versa. Furthermore, the observers assumed that people who walked with a younger style were happier and more powerful. This remained the case even when their actual age was made apparent by revealing their faces and bodies.
I recorded people walking back and forth in the microstudio. One thing I noticed is how people’s walk changes when they know they are being filmed and I think that’s really interesting and says something about them depending how much they change and in what way.
I had started a project for my ICM class last semester where I wanted to track people’s walks and I am re-introducing this idea again for this class. Exploring how people walk can tell a lot about someone’s personality and it’s been a social experiment I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now.
Setting up the Kinect took a long time but I finally made it. I used several examples from Mimy’s class “Sense me move me” and started experimenting in p5. What I initially wanted to do is track how fast people are walking so I set up the head joints and wanted to track the speed from the minute the head enters the screen until it exits the screen. I was getting the speed in the console but I couldn’t get it on the canvas because I was getting an error and I couldn’t fix it.
Interacting using the Kinectron
After taking hours of trying to figure out this error I decided to just play around with the kinectron a little bit more and just see how I can “get” other joints and set different colors for different bodies that enter the screen. I also played a little bit with the Z axis and the sizes of the cyrcles according to the distance from the camera.
Bodies in Kinectron
I really enjoyed 3D scanning myself for this week’s assignment. The process was a bit tedious because I had to be completely still for 10 minutes for my classmate to scan every single part of my body using the skanect. We tried a couple of times to get a good result and then I just played with Mixamo and animated myself dancing.
For this assignment, I decided to take 360 images of a microworld using legos. I went through a really bad break-up this past week so I wanted to portray how women tend to idealize relationships by growing up with disney films. They have been told their whole life that one day they will find the perfect guy, “their prince”, and they will live happily ever after…But life is different; It’s much tougher than what we tend to believe when we are children and it hurts when we grow up and slowly realize this. Therefore, I set up the legos in the streets of New York in order to create a contrast between the fairytale world and the concrete jungle of New York City. I really feel that New York is really a symbol of how life is. It can be magical, mind-blowing, fun, tough, heart-breaking and lonely at the same time.
The quality of the images is kind of blurry but because the weather has been really bad, I wasn’t able to go back and reshoot. However, I was so impressed how passersby loved the legos. Therefore, I decided to create a series of these images around streets of New York.
I was inspired by artist Franziska von Guten who growing up in Italy at the end of the 90s, spent hours online in chat rooms that were a lot like archaic versions of the social networks we use today. You’d have people meeting online and talking about all kinds of stuff; but mostly the whole thing was about sexting.
It was through the internet that von Guten discovered her sexuality. She dated a virtual boyfriend for about three years but never actually met. It was online forums like Cupido or C6 (spelled “Ci sei”, “Are you there”) where von Guten was first introduced to sex and romantic relationships, an experience she explores in her new digital compositions for the latest 22nd issue of FELT Zine.
After looking at her collages, I was inspired to create a texting collage for this week’s assignment. Since the way I communicate with friends and family is 90% through text because of the time difference in Greece, I have basically my whole life stored in my texts. Texts have also a huge meaning for me because they help me reconstruct a memory. Sometimes I look at my texts and remember things I had completely forgotten. In this environment, users can drag and drop their own texting images, download them, rotate them. They can also add text and create their own texting conversations by dragging different images together. I also connected this collage with an API address in MLab so all the images that are dropped are saved.
Normal day is a women-centric virtual reality installation that explores the
interrelated dynamics of trauma, empathy and connection. Inside the VR interface, the user witnesses an autobiographical monologue performed by performance artist Tatiana Kot regarding experiences with breast cancer and double mastectomy, as well as an autobiographical monologue performed a second artist (tba)
exorcising an abusive childhood. After the user explores the body narratives, they move on to an interactive piece involving two VR users. The users stand in front of the other and each sees the same woman in front of them. She asks them to hold her hand or hug her for comfort. The VR users approach the woman, they unknowingly come into contact with each other, performing a
tactile connection with complete strangers.
We hope to allow people to re-experience the intensity of “the caring touch” in new
light. In the context of the bodily and mental devastation of sickness and violence, the caring
touch becomes not just a performative gesture or symbol of affection but a deliberate attempt
interpersonal healing. Such touch is pregnant with the human urge to transcend the self and
care for an Other.
Our artistic endeavor it to explore how the physical traumas of sickness and violence damage
the mind through the body, and how touching cares for the mind despite its inability to
explicitly heal the body. In times when everything virtual becomes more real (we are
enworlded by social media and gadgets that accompany us like caring parents on a day-today
basis as much as we are by material reality), we imagine the VR world as an opportunity
to make connections in the real world. Our shared fascination with the technology and its
abilities led us to the conception of an interactive VR journey where no profluency is possible
unless the user performs physical connection (touch, holding hands etc.) in real time.
Therefore, our main creative and technical challenge is to construct the cues
embedded in the stories that will be influence the viewer on an intuitive level without
offering explicit instructions (e.g.- to touch the body of a VR character). That is to say, the
users’ actions required for the propulsion of the story should occur intuitively. As a result this
project requires us to create both the specific technological apparatus as well as the particular
narrative constructs propped up by said apparatus.
Apart from putting a lot of hours of work in this project, working on creating my app was an amazing experience and I think it’s really one of the best ways to learn front-end programming because you don’t only learn how to make a website essentially responsive you also learn how you can add libraries and use different softwares such as PhoneGap to make your life easier. My most major difficulty was attempting to explore back-end programming by using Skygear. Even though I could store user information, my app didn’t seem to be working smoothly after I inserted the Skygear. After debugging it I figured out what the issue was but it required at least 1-2 days of work and I couldn’t finish it on time. However, I will be working on it in the next few days and will hopefully be able to finish it.
I really want to actually publish this app and finish the back-end. I’ve done a lot of research in terms of competition and there is not really a type of app where people can connect and support each other through personal struggles. There are a few apps where people can chat with psychologists and counselors but I couldn’t find any apps that had a more “friendly” approach to solving people’s problems. Another aspect of the app that I want to develop is being able to request to chat with someone privately if someone wants to and exit the public chat. Therefore, this could result in a new friendship or even a new love interest. In the dating aspect, this app stands out from other apps such as Tinder because it overthrows the risk of becoming a “hook-up” app by opening up opportunities for deeper emotional conversations that establish the ground for creating more meaningful relationships.
This week, we had to recreate a scene from Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” and we decided to recreate the “Star gate” sequence. We experimented with Skybox in after effects to create a 360 video from 2d footage and the depth kit to create a face morphing effect on our main actor. We also used a projector to project the lights from the actual movie scene on our actor and used 3D sound from the original sequence.
Experimenting with Depth Kit
The whole DepthKit workflow was really time-consuming especially camera calibration but it was really cool to experiment and start learning this depth sensing camera and explore new cinematic techniques.