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The Naked Pixel

Corey Lane Menscher

The Naked Pixel challenges our notions of decency in public arenas by manifesting each pixel of a naked photograph sequentially, and further "undresses" each pixel when the lights go out.

http://www.menscher.com/nakedpixel/

Classes Art and the Brain

The Naked Pixel challenges our notion of decency in public arenas by using the entire visual display to represent individual pixels of a nude photograph sequentially over time. By viewing the piece, the audience is not only unaware of what they are viewing, but their primary visual cortex can not mentally construct the sequence of colors into a coherent image.

Using a light sensor, the piece detects nightfall and further "undresses" each pixel's color into its binary value by displaying a sequence of ones and zeroes. This further obfuscates the representation of the potentially "obscene" image.

My intention is to convert a still image into an animated sequence of pixels. This changes our perception of the image by limiting the stream of optical information from a parallel format (all pixels at once) to a serial format (each pixel individually). Our visual system is incapable of parsing this visual information, which fundamentally changes the character of the image. Our experience of the still image becomes entirely new, even though the content of the image remains.

Background
This project was originally created for Introduction to Computational Media, but has been slightly tweaked while thinking about content in Art & the Brain. Specifically, I'm interested in converting a still image into an animated sequence of pixels. This changes our perception of the image by limiting the stream of optical information from a parallel (all pixels at once) to a serial format (each pixel individually). Our visual system is incapable of parsing this visual information, which fundamentally changes the character of the image. Our experience of the still image becomes entirely new, even though the content of the image remains.

Audience
Anyone with a primary visual cortex.

User Scenario
A user will walk by the display and ponder what exactly the quickly cycling series of colors (or binary digits) they are viewing actually represent. However, since their visual cortex is not capable of piecing together a series of pixels into a coherent image, they will have no way of knowing that the image is actually something they may consider indecent to be shown in a public area.