A few years ago I was living in the West End, a neighborhood in Vancouver (Canada). My apartment looked out on a backally and four garbage bins. At dawn my wake-up call was the sound of the homeless pushing their shopping carts intersected by car-doors slamming and motors starting. The back-ally was a lively place and I wanted to create a portrait. A portrait, wherein the emphasis was on what happens and not on who is doing what in this backally, avoiding the identification of individuals.
In that same period I was doing research around surveillance methods that use a computer application other then vision to discriminate, so called sightless vision. I was curious as to what kind of the image this vision could possibly create thus developed a system, an application build in Cycling74s Max/Jitter connected to a camera, that was a simple implementation of computer vision. This application surveiled the incoming image from a camera acting as a linguistic eye.
Social Metronome is a series of video-clips in which the image as well as the editing structure are determent by movement. A camera control by a computer program uses the syntactical structure of a computer programming language, _ the logical proposition of 'if followed by then', to create a portrait of a backally. The program selects on the intensity of movement not on what or who is moving. For the seven days of the week this system was setup from dawn to dusk. At the end of the day I would have an average of 500 clips. These clips were then assembled, resulting in seven videos wherein the images as well as the narrative structure was constructed through a collaboration between the events in the backally and the computer's hardware and software.
interview with Schweitzer Radio DRS 2 (Reflexe, Last Call for Viper, 21.03.2006.)
The project exists as this website and as DVD. The work is the best watched while sitting in a rocking chair. Exhibitions: PlugIn ICA, Winnipeg, Canada, 2004: Rhizome Artbase, 2005: Viper, Kunsthall Basel, Zwitserland, 2006: VAD International Video and Digital Arts Festival, Spain, October, 2006: Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris, November, 2006: Madrid, April, 2007: Berlin, June, 2007: