Let´s Play!

I have been teaching the second year students in Digital Design at IED Madrid. The workshop was called Alternative Interfaces and we were using MouseMan to interact with animations that the students would make in Flash.

The exhibition opened last Thursday and will run for one more month. From the 17th of May two new and improved versions of Mapping Madrid are also scheduled next door. Nice.

MouseMan Mapping Madrid

We finally got the documentation together, so here are the photos from the making off and the opening day. This was one crazy project, we did our set-up in May in between the workshop we held, then one month later when it was inauguration time we finished the installation remote desktopping from Norway. Maybe for the first time I had the feeling of telepresence as we instructed the people at IED to walk in the room, chatted in WordPad and tried to calibrate the machine.

The installation is still running for one more week, upload your holliday photos from Madrid here.

El Mundo had an article about it.

MouseMan – the prologue


This process was an Internet success story, later in the real life production we ran into a series of failure.

During a presentation of our shopping-trolley robot at Universita La Sapienza in Rome some years ago I met David Dalmazzo. He does a lot of interactive works and explained me briefly how he used infrared cameras in several dance productions. This was the wonderful world of background elimination.

So when we where approached by IED Madrid to build an installation for the PHotoEspaña festival, the time had come to put the theory into practice. A quick search in the big library revealed a way to hack webcams into infrared cameras. The technical department did it in 5 minutes, while the performance department used a staggering 5 hours. Once inside the infrared part of the spectrum we started experimenting, finding light sources and filters, calibrating the software and preparing for the on-site setup.

The actual construction included memorable moments like using one day to build lights that we couldn’t use, buying infrared diodes at this very special shop only to discover that they gave us cancerous ultraviolet ones and so forth…