Human Interference is an interactive video sculpture in progress. The piece looks to explore the experience of making contact with another intelligence.

The inspiration for this piece struck me when browsing artist and educator Gregory Shakar’s website.

My immediate reaction to this image was that the computers were looking in my direction - curious about me. Despite the colours, and the playful interface I sense something sinister lurking under the surface.

The project will attempt to draw participants into this sinister space.

What does it mean to make ‘contact’ with a machine? Consumer electronics and AI assistants present us with a friendly, anthropomorphized face who help optimize and enhance our lives.

This project speculates on a future where contact is made with another intelligence, however the communication has been abstracted. Human language is futile in traversing this void between man and machine. However, our presence and proximity to the network disrupts it’s usual operation. It is through our ability to disrupt the machine that we are able to learn something of its true nature. This form of ‘communication’ produces a fissure in our sense of a stable, human-definable reality.

The content will be displayed on old computer monitors and driven by Touch Designer and Max MSP. Depth sensors determine whether the participant is inside or outside the machine space.

The interaction, in more literal terms, will involve the participant catching a glimpse from afar. It will appear simple, and alluring. As the participant approaches the space, they will get a sense of their proximity causing disruptions. Feedback loops will be triggered to enhance the sense of disorientation.

As they enter the space, we see a destruction of familiar forms, and a bombardment of industrial, cold, electrical sounds.

IN CONSIDERATION

  • Other lazer switches may be set up to trigger lighting, sound and video effects.
  • Kinect data to increase interactivity with screen display.

POSSIBILITIES FOR LURE

  • Ambient music
  • Simple, bold colours

I did some white boarding to try and clarify some ideas.

The first idea was deep-diving into the science-fiction context to this installation. Nick Land’s Meltdown short piece of speculative, science fiction was an inspiration. Each monitor contains a different fragment of the context of imagined world. We have human slaves, a human vision config, automated trading platforms, ‘neural interfaces’ and empty e-sports arenas.

An imagined science-fiction universe remains important for my idea generation process, however I found this literal representation to be lacking in subtlety.

Some more minimal options including computer communication through voice chat and LED’s to signify machine to machine communication .

I started experimenting with Touch Designer and GLSL shaders to explore feedback effects. The feedback expresses a recursive void which I felt fit in naturally with my concept.

I am pleased with these results, however it needs to be taken further. To make this scarier, audio is very important.

I built some projection mapping surfaces to allow for some more high fidelity prototyping of the aesthetic.

Prototyping illustrated the need for more varied content, effects and interactive development.