Idea : crowd feedback

This is another idea relating to video feedback systems. Imagine an exhibition of a system like Perceptron on several monitors throughout a gallery space. A set of cameras watches the crowd from above, and uses simple frame differencing and motion detection algorithms to determine a map of activity level across the space. This then feeds into the video system; perhaps each region of the space is associated with some IFS function, seed point, or color, and the activity level in that region determines how prominently that feature affects the images.

Each monitor can display a different view of the same overall parameter space, so at any given time there will be some "interesting" and some "boring" monitors. Viewers are naturally drawn towards more "interesting" (by their own aesthetic senses) monitors, and in moving to get a better look they affect the whole system. In essence, the aesthetic preferences of the viewers (now participants) become another layer of feedback.

If Hofstadter is right, and "strange loops" give rise to conscious souls, then should the participants in such an exhibition be considered as having (slightly) interconnected souls? If so, how does the effect compare in magnitude to the interconnectedness we all share through the massive feedback loop of the everyday world? Does this effect extend to the artist who makes the system and then sits back and watches passively? What about the computer that's making it all happen? Is any of this actually "strange" enough to be considered a strange loop? All of these questions seem fantastically hard to answer, but it's a lot of fun to think about.

No comments:

Post a Comment