An Audience of Mirrors


Audience from Chris O'Shea on Vimeo.

Audience is a new installation from rAndom International, with software by Chris O’Shea, for the Deloitte Ignite Festival at the Royal Opera House. 64 mirrors are places in a ‘crowd’ and programmed to behave with different ‘human’ characteristics.

It’s a witty reversal of the normal roles of art and audience although obviously still in the vein of camera-based interactives (and following on from interactive mirror works by people like Danny Rozin. But for me the two most interesting things are how simple movements can make the mirrors seem quite alive and sentient as well as how people try to “work out” or “trick” the system.

Check out the guy in the pink t-shirt who ends up performing for the other onlookers in the video above. It’s always fascinating to see how physical interactives can make people do all sorts of things they would otherwise not consider doing in a public space.

Flap to Freedom


Flap to Freedom from Chris O'Shea on Vimeo.

Battery hens flap to help battery hens in the Flap to Freedom installation that Chris O’Shea and Icodesign created for the V&A Village Fete to support freedom for farmed chickens.

Contestants flap their arms and their chicken moves in sync. Quickest flapper wins the highest place on the pecking order. More over at the Icodesign site.

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There are also Flickr sets showing the build process and the chickens in action.

Chris has also posted more details about the Flap to Freedom project as well as a bit of technical how-it-was-done.

For someone like me who is always interested in getting people to act playfully (dare I say stupidly) via interactivity, this is pretty hard to beat. They’re so into the activity, they take the technical ‘magic’ for granted, which is how it should be. I especially like the way the music eggs them on (sorry).

Bet you that music sticks in your head for the rest of the day too.

(NOTE/UPDATE: I thought I’d posted this whole thing before, but it was on draft for some reason, so I’ve combined the two posts).

Out of Bounds interview with Chris O’ Shea

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Chris O’ Shea recently completed Out of Bounds during his residency at the Design Museum. Chris also writes the very good Pixelsumo from which I frequently steal links draw inspiration and I’ve been a little remiss about blogging this earlier, but Chris promised to also put some video documentation up online (which helps explain the project) and also agreed to do a short interview.

Out of Bounds makes real the childhood fantasy of having superhero X-Ray vision to explore parts of the Design Museum that are normally not accessible to the public. It’s also an extremely playful piece that, as Chris puts it, encourages adults to “relinquish the learnt behaviour of adulthood and reconnect with the wonderment of youth.”

Click the read link for the interview…. Continue reading “Out of Bounds interview with Chris O’ Shea”