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In bed

Drew Burrows

A interactive video installation based around the dynamics of the the half-full and half-empty bed.

Classes Computational Cameras,Live Image Processing and Performance

I was brought to this idea after spending the past academic year and extremely busy with grad school, having very little time for life outside of school. I spent most nights working late and coming home to an empty bed. I started to think about the comfort of coming home to someone waiting for you asleep in bed. I wanted to show the serenity of a person sleeping and the dynamics of climbing into bed with someone who is happy to have you join them. I also wanted to touch on the relationship between a couple in the privacy and comfort of their bed. The piece speaks on the concepts of loneliness, affection, and intimacy.

The piece involves previously recorded footage of a woman sleeping in various positions on a bed, filmed from above. An infrared camera is mounted next to the projector and reads the position of a real live person who climbs into the bed. As the person gets into and moves around the bed the woman sleeping is manipulated to accommodate the real life person.

The piece is a progression of previous experimentations I have worked on involving interactive video and capture devices. I am interested in working with projections on non-standard surfaces and playing with viewers perceptions of different spaces and objects.


Background
The project is a progression of previous experimentations I have worked on involving interactive video and capture devices. I am interested in working with projections on non-standard surfaces and playing with viewers perceptions of different spaces and objects.

Audience
My target audience is the general public. The installation works well in a gallery type environment where it can be "performed" by an associated performer. However it could also be implemented inviting the viewers to participate and interact with the piece themselves.

User Scenario
In the ideal scenario the video projection shows a sleeping female on the bed. A "performer" (possibly myself) will walk up to the bed and climb in next to the female and the woman will move over to accommodate him. As he moves onto his side the projected woman will roll onto her side and cozy up in a "spooning" position. Over time the performer may roll onto his back and the projected woman will do the same. He may also toss and turn and the woman, in frustration, will climb out of bed. Viewers will watch from a standing position.

Implementation
There are two upright extension columns with a pole across on which a infrared camera and, if possible, a projector are mounted on. Below them sit an mattress (for now an inflatable "Aero-Bed" on the ground) with a solid white sheet on it. The camera is hooked up to a computer running Max and Jitter which does the processing and video projection. The space required will be just slightly larger than the full-size mattress so that the performer can get in and out of the bed on either side.

Conclusion
A project of this scale is helping me realize the importance of thinking every aspect of the process through as well as experimenting at each stage of development to see what works and does not.

It has been interesting to further experiment with perception combining real life people and projection. The realm of sleep seems to lend itself well to this project. As we fall asleep our perception blurs from reality to dream, and this project plays off of that.