Jinxed Blinks

Zoe Wells

A painting that tells a looping story by changing every time the viewer blinks.



This project is telling the story of the girl Solveg from the Roald Dahl book “The Witches”. In the story, Solveg is cursed by a witch to be stuck inside a painting of a farmhouse that her family owns. No one ever sees the painting move, but whenever they look at it, she has changed position slightly, aging and eventually disappearing as the years go by. I was also inspired by “La Jetee”, a film taking the form of a slideshow of still images, and “In the Blink of an Eye”, a book by Walter Murch that compares cuts in editing to natural blinking patterns.

In my project, I am using a facial recognition library in python to watch for when the viewer’s eye aspect ratio (EAR) goes below a certain threshold for 2 frames. To improve on the blink detection accuracy, I added a feature that allows the user to calibrate the blink threshold to their own EAR by pressing the spacebar, which they would be prompted to do when they approach the project. Their blink will trigger a the image to change to the next still in the story. The story will have the girl aging and changing her position in the painting, with her environment aging with her. For the final version, I plan to have 15 images in an oil-painted style for the full loop of the girl growing old and disappearing, since the average person blinks around 15 times a minute.

My ideal setup for the project would be a monitor with a frame around it to complete the “painting” effect. My laptop, with the camera for facial recognition, would be placed below the monitor. I also plan to have a soundscape of nature noises coming from the painting, with a sound effect when a change happens.


Comm Lab: Hypercinema, Creative Computing

The Space Well

Haozhong Yao, Robert Ye

An experience of floating and diving into the deep space through a well.



– The universe is a mysterious well with unknown depth. Traveling in the space could feel like falling down to an abyss. We want to waive gravities from three different dimensions (one in the well, on from the ground the user stands, the one in outer space) into our project. Receiving the gravity from the earth while experiencing the gravity-less space environment, the user may find a spirit of exploration during the processing of falling into the well.

User Experience:
When you stand by the well and look into the water, the silhouette of you appear in the center of the well consist of stars.
If you put your arms up parallel to the ground, the projection of you will begin to fall into the deep space as the stars zoom in and scatter with acceleration, creating a sense of space traveling. And when you reach a certain falling speed, you will see the big bang.
If you swing your righthand very hard, your projection will spin and flash.
If you put your arms just a little away from the trunk – the projection is going to rotate a bit to create a sense of floating.

The project is a 34-inches-wide round inflatable pool, covered by a military waterproof black canvas and filled with 5 gallons of water.
A Kinect camera from 8 ft away captures the data of the user’s body.
– A projector hanging on the ceiling projects the animation of the stars in outer space into the water from up above, and the animation of the user’s figure.


Comm Lab: Hypercinema, Comm Lab: Hypercinema, Creative Computing, Creative Computing

Panic Attack

Andri Kumar

My project simulates what a panic attack is like by focusing on the physiological manifestations of a panic attack. Using PoseNet along with other materials, users enter an “augmented reality” in which they can see how their body changes during a panic attack. The purpose of the piece is to reveal to users that while anxiety is a normal human emotion, those that have an anxiety disorder experience anxiety at a much larger scale.



The piece would be presented on a computer screen. Users would sit across from the screen on a chair and put on a pair of headphones.

On the screen, users will first see text that provides a brief overview of the project. Users will be told that they will be entering a simulation that depicts how a body reacts when having a panic attack in a subway. The text will then fade away and footage of the inside of a crowded subway will appear on the screen. Users will see the people in the subway as well as hear the noises of a subway. The background of the subway will fade out into a vignette to reveal webcam footage of the user with lungs, heart, and veins mapped onto their body.

Next, users will the breathing, heart rate, thoughts, and emotions through headphones. The sounds are orchestrated in such a way to depict the changes that occur in these bodily elements during the panic attack. The changes in the physical body parts (heart, lungs, and blood) are depicted through the animation that will play on the associated areas of their body through PoseNet. After roughly 45 seconds of experiencing a “panic attack”, users will see text appear on the screen that explains to them what happened, provides closure, and offers links to mental health resources.

This simulation is almost complete and can be viewed at the project website.

The attached 30 seconds video is a screen recording of the panic attack simulation. During the video, you will be able to hear the audio that depicts the changes in breathing, heart rate, emotions, and thoughts. You will also be able to see the animation that will be applied to a user’s body through PoseNet. The animation depicts the changes in the user’s organs. The user shown is myself. I apologize for the poor video quality. I am currently working on fixing this issue.


Comm Lab: Hypercinema