Melanie Hoff

DOPPELCAM is a portal to a strangely familiar parallel universe. A machine for creating category shifts.


DOPPELCAM is a digital camera that only displays images ‘visually similar’ to those taken with it. It sends the source photo through an image-drop search engine and displays the top result.

Every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 1800s. Doppelcam operates within the photographic redundancy generated by this mass of photographic media.

Doppelcam refers back to previous iterations of photographic technology while subverting the art form’s intentions. It puts the mystery back into picture taking. Since the advent of digital cameras with preview screens, we’ve been able to see our photographs immediately after we take them.
No longer do you aim your lens and generally know what image you’ll get in return – it will be similar but not exact.


Introduction to Computational Media, Introduction to Physical Computing


Melanie Hoff, Shir David

Physical snowglobe creates digital snow over a live webcam footage


This project consists of a screen displaying a live webcam of NYC. On a small platform in front of the screen will sit a snow globe with the same NYC scene shown in the webcam within it. When a user shakes the snow globe, it will appear to snow in the live webcam. The speed and direction of the snowfall onscreen will mimic that of the snowfall in the globe.

The snow is a p5 simulation that connects to an Arduino in the bottom of the snow globe via serial communication. The snow simulation code is controlled by reading and mapping values from an accelerometer. Currently, the NYC webcam footage is actually a recording but we plan on directly embedding the live NYC webcam footage for the winter show.

This project playfully leverages the prevailing belief that live webcams represent the truth.

Melanie Hoff and Shir David created this for Benedetta Piantella's PCOMP mid-term.


Introduction to Physical Computing