johntrain – interactive crime on 1440 squarefeet
“Shall you create something for the world’s largest high resolution video wall!” (120 x 12 feet, to be precise)
and we added:
“Shall there be storytelling! Shall there be live performance! Shall there be physical computing!”
IAC building in Manhattan consists worlds widest high-resolution screen, of which Robert Moon and I were lucky enough to get an opportunity to create ‘something’ for this massive screen, as part of Big Screens class at ITP, NYU. Although there were no limitations as of concept, we took this as our challenge to make sure we have storytelling, live performance and physical computing in the project! Then we produced
JohnTrain: an interactive cinematic performance
Mehmet Sinan Ascioglu
Mehmet Sinan Ascioglu
A housebreaker’s story as an assassin is reflected on this 120 x 12 feet square video wall, accompanied with the live performance of the housebreaker interacting with the screen simultaneously.
In the performance, a housebraker breaking into a house notices the train toy which makes him remember his last day working as an assassin. His playing with the train toy set interacts with the screen, on which the story of his last day is reflected on the screen. The housebraker tells his story to the audience in sync with the unfolding story being visualized on the screen.
In the design process, Robert Moon and I questioned how such a wide screen would be used at its best. The screen’s wideness make it impossible to see the all big picture at once, and made the audience to look either to the left or to the right, hence allowing them to focus only one side of the screen. We wanted to use this constraint as a complication of our project; we wanted users to follow multiple things happening on different sides of the screen.
Our solution was to display a train car with 7 windows, covering the screen from side to side. Audience could follow a hide’n'seek action inside the train through the windows. We wrote a story wrapping this feature: In the setting of 2050s, an assasin hired by the communist government trying to find and kill an activist girl in the train compartments, while the girl changes compartments for various reasons.
We shot the scenes for 7 compartments separately in front of blue screen, then edited them to create this 120 x 12 feet video. Using Processing, we developed the interaction between the toy train set used in performance and the train on the screen.
IAC Gallery, December 7th, 2007.
NYU Tisch Interactive Telecommunications Program Winter Show, December 16-17th, 2007, New York, NY.