UVJ Live Video Sampler


This project was created together with Patrycja Grimm, who came up with the idea, organised the private show and cut the teaser above. The main purpose was to enable people at the party to record their clips. Clip’s length was exactly 4 beats, which was always automatically synched with the music. Clip just recorded became a part of 2×4 matrix, creating a bigger moving image.

Below is a synopsis from original submission to Berlin’s Transmediale:

UVJ is an interactive visual installation, based entirely on the audience participation. It draws freely from web 2.0, instant celebrities of reality tv and the overwhelming presence of CCTV.

Participants record short video samples of themselves in a designated camera space. These then get displayed in a matrix of 8 or 12 previous samples on one big screen, creating a unique mosaic of personal mini performances. The resulting grid of samples resembles a hacked CCTV control room, transformed from an instrument of control to the colorful moving matrix of expression.

The latest recorded sample replaces the previous one in a grid, so each sample stays in the display only until the all the other samples get updated. The temporal nature of such arrangement creates a relaxed, encouraging atmosphere, as even if the sample doesn’t look as expected, it won’t last long.

Just as the social networking websites, the installation becomes a platform for the audience’s creative expression. As a fully live installation UVJ also creates a unique, behavioral feedback loop – participants can see each other on the screen and respond with their own new recordings, creating a multimedia version of ‘finish the sentence’ game.

The interaction goes well with most of the music genres. Participants’ movements get naturally affected by the sound, while the whole interaction is synchronised to the rhythm through automatic beat detection, controlling each sample’s length and its playback.

UVJ spatial setup


Technically it was done with special Quartz Composition, integrated into VDMX. Wiimote controller was used as a portable record button.

Unfortunatelly we didn’t make it to the final exhibition. Later on there was a similar installation, videogrid by Ross Phillips at V&A’s “Decode” Exhibition in December 2009. It was better executed (although not synced to music) but still – we were first, or at worst coincidential 🙂

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