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Installation Specs for Omino Video Feeback


Statement. Growth is often unpredictable. A mathematical interpretation of our world reveals that simple rules lead to surprisingly complex behavior. We may know, and act upon this, intuitively. This installation provides the opportunity to see and understand this in an intellectual and aesthetic sense. Several well known mathematical & computational approaches are here interpreted for your enjoyment.

The Artist. Hi, I'm David Van Brink. I've been programming computers for over four decades, mostly for sounds and pixels. My current emphasis is on abstract-yet-intuitive interactive experiences, referencing the full history of the computer.

Interaction. The installation consists of a control surface and a display surface. A visitor "plays" with the controls, producing results somewhat under their control. The possible space of results is quite large, so an individual's own inclinations come into play. Two visitors may have different experiences. The installation is, too, like a musical instrument, in that practice with it may let you become "better" at it. However it is tuned so that everyone will have success.

What Is It. The "meat" of Omino Video Feedback is a hand-coded graphical computer program which emulates video feedback, when you point a video camera at a phosphor screen. It is run on a hidden laptop. A visitor uses the controller and playfully discovers its operation, producing engaging abstract imagery in the process.

And? This is an increasingly common form factor; the "quality" of such a work, if you will, is related to the ease of interaction, and how readily the visitor/participant interprets the experience. My background in user-interactivity, and knowledge of algorithms, and experience in presentation all come to bear in this endeavor.

Execution. I've deployed this in a handful of venues, ranging from a tabletop with a small screen up to a wall-filling projection inside of a museum lobby atrium. Also down-projected on a carpeted floor at a science museum event, that was fun.

I've only deployed this (so far) for single-night events; the table below covers that case. Setup is quite flexible, here's summaries for two situations.

FeatureLarge roomTabletop
Computer Laptop
Artist will provide
Display Video Projector
Within the San Francisco Bay Area, artist can provide one (personal) if needed. For other locations will need to acquire on site. Should be positioned to discourage accidents or tampering.
LCD Monitor
Locally, artist can provide one (personal) if needed. For other locations will need to acquire on site.
Projection Surface Wall or Screen
This is very site-specific. The participant should be able to easily see where the projector lands. It can be any wall, or almost any flat surface or improvised screen. Artist will work with venue to achieve this.
Furniture User Station
Can be any setup where the participant may discover and operate a handheld-sized controller (about tablet-sized or less). The computer must be hidden nearby, as far as 20 feet away connected by a flexible wire.

In one case, I fastened the controller to a stairway railing overlooking the room
With power strips and computer underneath
Power 600 Watts
To computer and to projector
200 Watts
To computer and to monitor
Space A Room
See Surface

Can be in a dedicated dark room ('chill space') or a large public space among many other stimulae. Video projector brightness must accomodate.
A Table
Participants 1
Contributing ambience to entire room

Some people will try it for a few moments and walk away. Others will tinker quite deeply with the controls, exploring the large space of possible images and movement possible. (I've as yet determined no demographic correlations.) Others will see the imagery projected and wonder where it comes from, and find its source to try it out.
Visible to those gathered close by
Guidance Optional
The user station should be obvious, so someone will discover it and play with it. The instructions are intentionally vague; there is minimal cryptic labeling of the controls such as 'color' and 'time'.

When dormant, the installation begins to cycle through interesting patterns.

I like to stay near to field the occasional technical inquiry.

It is battle-tested and robust, but artist will demonstrate to staff how to restart if needed
In the table-top setting, some additional signage is handy. Artist can provide.

Please feel free to contact me, david.van.brink@gmail.com / 831.332.6077.
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