Body Guided Laser consists of two monolithic sculptures, servo motors, lasers, Kinect camera, Arduino board, and Daniel Shiffman's openkinect software for Processing. The servo motors are embedded in the sculptures, and connected to the motors are encasings which contain the lasers. The servo motors are programed to follow the closest point to the camera, so when the viewer is within range of the camera, they are tracked by the lasers. As they are being tracked a laser point is projected onto their body.
This name of this piece is a play on the idea of the laser guided missile, but the viewers body is guiding the lasers and effecting were they are pointed. As they are being tracked, the viewer is initially unaware that there is a surveillance system at work, until they see the laser following them. The ominous laser point creates a tension, as it is generally associated with a gun sight and possibly motivates the viewer dodge it or to intentionally guide its position once they figure out they have control.
As another, more complete, reiteration of this piece I would like to embed this technology into an architectural space. This situation would further reflect on the reality of people constantly being monitored from an invisible, authoritative source. With this piece though, there is a sense of play involved, as there are no real consequences from being tracked.
|[ movie clip, 640 x 480 px, 18.91 MB ]