The Ostrale 2008 in Dresden/Germany presents over 150 artists from Germany and the world. I’ll be there with the gaze-driven camera for a research about art reception and eye movement. The recordings will be on the first three days of the exhibition. The artwork with the most visible effect on eye movements will receive the “focus prize” at the finissage on September 14, 2008.
Some years ago I covered the Tele-Actor project from the UC Berkeley. The group around Ken Goldberg proposed a system, where the audience of a live video broadcast can decide what the current actors shall do. Even if they claimed in their scientific paper to use a “DHTML” frontend interface .. 2002 was a lot to early for such a Web2.0 application. So startup Mod My Life jumped in and picked up the idea in 2007.
ModMyLife has the same basic idea to let users control what actors shall do. In both system this is done by voting for one or many proposed actions. Most videos are frist person shots created with a head mounted camera.
While the TeleActor system was limited to analog video transmission to a local basestation within a 300ft line of sight, the ModMyLife system utilizes advanced mobile technology to transmit the video content. This enables the actors to go virtually anywhere, “modstar” Jason Wilder Evans explains on his page.
To find out, what the actors shall do, both system have a proposal and voting system. While the TeleActor approach consists of a “local director”, who proposes new actions, ModMyLife aggregates the proposals from the viewers. The man-in-the-middle has the advantage to keep the whole action “on track”, while the open approach produces a lot more spontaneity, but needs an algorithmic filter to block out prurient commands, as reported on newteevee.com.
The actual voting is done visually on TeleActor, by clicking on parts of the presented image (”Where should we go now?”). As it’s typically a moving picture, they have to freeze the movie to make the poll and cluster all clicks afterwards. The final interpretation is up to the local director. At ModMyLife you simply vote for one of the submitted actions in a list, while the actor is finishing the previous one. The actor can always reject the proposed action.
By weakly comparing ModMyLife to Justin.tv challenges one comment on TechCrunch points out that it’s not the video life casting, but the proposal and voting feature that matters: “If Mod My Life would make a widget to embed on the profiles of the already popular life cast sites such as ustream and justin Mod My Life would grow in traffic, reach, and usability.” Justin.tv challanges is more a marketplace for broadcasters to offer actions to the viewers, and for viewers to request actions from the broadcasters. So there is still some place for a live proposal and voting system for such life casting sites.
A movie by Dave Lojek using the EyeSeeCam, produced at the first KinoKabaret by KinoM in October 2007. Thx to Xenija Dirr and the smart robotor guys at TU Munich, especially the Institute of Applied Mechanics.
“Set in the far future, this sci-fi flick presents the calibration of the two infiltration cyborgs J2 & X4. While they are tested by robots and reprogrammed, a computer voice praises these SYNTEC CYBERCOM products to possible customers. Suddenly, a glitch and a software bug start to affect this commercial. Read the screen text!” (apeiron-films.de)