INSTANT SCULPTURE GARDEN
An interactive urban screen in Antwerpen allows passers by to experience 8 artistic games, presented by the Dutch initiative Dropstuff. A similar screen is positioned in Utrecht, letting people play against each other. The games can be played instantly, by posing for a Kinect sensor. One of the games is "Instant Sculpture Garden". The interface to control this game is not simply a hands-free replacement of an existing controller, it truly integrates the unique features of the Kinect device into the gameplay. The game challenges participants to pose like famous sculptures, by assignment or in freestyle mode. The Kinect calculates the match between the skeleton and a database of well known and lesser known sculptures. The physical interaction brings the static world of sculpture art to life. Feel what it's like to stand frozen in Giacometti pose. And while pondering about the characteristic aspects of the Statue of Liberty, don't be surprised when Rodin's "The Thinker" might appear instead.
MuseumN8 Amsterdam - Arti
Sander Veenhof interviewed by Filippo Lorenzin:
"Conceptualising a Kinect-driven format is both easy and difficult. The device can be used for obvious reasons: to let people interact with it instantly, having them engaged in a physical way. But what excites me most, is when the device is used in such a way that itÕs more than just a hands-free replacement of an existing controller. ThatÕs what I tried with the Instant Sculpture Garden. To make use of the unique interface features of the Kinect, and have them be the essence of the game in the most optimal and maximized way. I also wanted the game to fit the context, a Biennale with a traditional focus on non-interactive artforms. IÕm not saying that any artwork should be interactive. And I do not wish artworks to see artworks being enriched with interactive features just for the sake of being interactive, because there should be another reason to do that. But I do find the Biennale a very one-way experience for an audience. The ÒInstant Sculpture GardenÓ helps people to immerse into a piece of sculpture. Experiencing with their whole body what itÕs like to be posing like The Thinker, for ages and ages already.
The Kinect provides a very natural interface to connect our physical reality to a digitally programmed environment. Working with augmented reality in most of my projects is appealing to me for the same reason. WeÕre rapidly moving towards a future in which the digital and analog merge. For now, accessing AR content (for the majority of us) requires looking through our smart device. As was the case two years ago in the same context, a Dropstuff project that that was existing half in augmented reality and half on the screen. Obviously, people were hesitant to use their data-roaming abroad. So for this year, I wanted to solve that. The ÔaugmentedÕ virtual sculpture garden is visualised on the screen and controlling it is through posing like sculptures in front of the Kinect in front of the screen. Which adds another angle to the project: for by-passers, itÕs like performance art meets sculpture art. Check out the video to see what I mean by that!"
Sander Veenhof - concept
Marijn Lems - flash multi-user system
David Spier - graphic design and animation
Hidde Braun - technical design
Tijmes Woudenberg - flash support