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"Visual Streams" at the Exploratorium

"Visual Streams" installation during testing

"Visual Streams" installation during testing

For the past several months I’ve been volunteering at the Exploratorium, the famous science museum and playground in San Francisco. One of the projects I’ve been working on is called “Visual Streams”, an installation that represents the different aspects of the human visual system. I’ve built on previous work by Bill Meyer and Richard Brown of the Exploratorium, and some extremely useful JavaScript programming by Bill Nye.

The quadrants of the screen represent: color vision without brightness information (equiluminance), motion, face detection and edge detection. I’ve learned a lot of interesting things in the process, not just about the human visual system, but also how difficult it is to accurately represent color using digital media. The project relies on a lot of the reliability and ease-of-use techniques that I’ve developed for use in art projects.

The installation is all built in Max/MSP, and relies heavily on the OpenCV computer vision library, in its cv.jit incarnation. It’s currently in “soft launch” mode, check it out in the “Seeing” exhibit.

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