UnderScan is a large-scale interactive video art installation for public space. It was created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in 2005. On the site of this art project, there are 14 robotic projectors set overhead that can cover the whole projection area. When guests comes in and walk on this area, their shadow will activate the tracking system and then video-portraits that previously recorded of many different volunteers will be automatically scaled and project within the shadow. Guests might be stared or even laughed by the volunteers recorded in video-portraits. As the guests walk away, the video-portrait will eventually disappears if no one activates it.
When talking about the primary concept of UnderScan, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer states that he investigates a lot of interpenetration and co-presence of being inside of someone else’s body or someone being inside of your body. Like in UnderScan, guest’s shadow is inhabited by somebody else, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates a virtual interactivity between video-portrait and guests.
UnderScan provides an opportunity to guest to have a communication with someone they might never meet. Also, for some new coming visitors, this project can be a welcome ceremony for them. From the different actions in different video-portraits, visitors can also feel the local culture as they keep walking around.
Horea Avram states about UnderScan in his essay Self-Reflexivity as Self-Documentation: Some Thoughts on Augmented Reality and Relational Architecture:
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Under Scan finds its place at the AR rubric precisely because of its capacity to overlap reality and augmentation, of dissolving and synchronizing in the same entity the real presence of the viewer and the video image controlled by computer. If one is to identify different levels of augmentation, Under Scan is an example of – what I would name – the “Paradigmatic level” of AR: the symbiosis between digital data and reality is not a “perfect” one, there is a certain distance, or rather rupture, between these two, even if real-time, instant action-reaction plays an essential role.
(Avram, Horea. Self-Reflexivity as Self-Documentation: Some Thoughts on Augmented Reality and Relational Architecture.http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.93.6325&rep=rep1&type=pdf)
Another interactive space created by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is called Body Movies, this art project is also created based on the idea of shadow. Same as UnderScan, Rafael also invites many different volunteers and have them doing different actions and record these as background images. Body Movies projects these images in a huge wall when guests walk nearby. The images will be automatically triggered and shown on screen. Besides, it also has live cameras record the live situations of different shadows created by passerby and bring them on the screen. Also, the shadows will be scaled in different size depends on how close or far away the guests are from the light source positioned on the ground. The different scales give this project more potentials that guests can generate interesting illusions like a huge person play with a small person. Compared with UnderScan, they both play with the idea of interactive shadow, but differently, UnderScan fills the guest’s shadow with the previously recorded video-portraits, it is kind of having someone else being inside of your shadow. But for Body Movies, it is an interactive installation that take guests’ shadows as components for the show that everyone can participate in.
In Zack Booth Simpson and Adam Frank’s art project Shadow, they creates an interactive installation that projects a disembodied, autonomous, human shadow on the ground, and this living shadow attempts to merge itself with the viewer’s real shadow. This art project basically uses real-time 3D graphics and video sensing to create a virtual shadow that can react to viewer’s behaviors. Different from UnderScan, the shadow in this art project is not based on video-portrait and exist along with viewer’s real shadow. Compared with UnderScan, Shadow provides an opportunity for viewers to have a live experience to play with their shadows.
List of exhibition:
Brayford University Campus, Lincoln, United Kingdom, 2005.
Humberstone Gate West,Leicester, United Kingdom, 2006
Market Square, Northampton, United Kingdom, 2006
Market Square, Derby, United Kingdom, 2006
Castle Wharf, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2006