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.
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.