media artist

CHARACTERS - interactive media installation

An individual can form a character
A character can form a word
A word can form a symbol/message
Everything is changing by something unknown
Is this cycle a reflection of something unkown?

Masayuki Akamatsu

The installation is housed in a room or in two adjacent rooms and consists of two parts. Part 1 is a photography station in which photographs are made of entering visitors, and Part 2 is an interactive projection in which the visitors who have been photographed are part of the action in several respects.

Part 1
Wolf Helzle first takes photographs from above of visitors to the exhibition in five predefined positions. The images are transmitted directly onto a computer running software developed specifically for this work; the background is extracted automatically so that what remains are only the portraits as such.

Part 2
In the second part of the work, which takes place simultaneous to Part 1, a video beamer projects all of the portraits taken during the exhibition onto the floor. It can be nice to have a sight from above like a gallery. With a dot-font (see image on the right side) words will be formed and projected. The words are coming out from a
datafile with many items about what we are doing like be, eat, walk, break, exit... The audience is able to interact with the projection, a visitor can delete a word, dig characters to write a new word and zoom into a word and the characters. Also he is able to type in a word he wants to be written.

The collaboration
In February 2004 Wolf Nkole Helzle was invited to show his work KAO HAIKU in Japan at the Ogaki Biennale. In this time he met Masayuki Akamatsu the first time, also as a Professor at IAMAS (Institut for Media Art and Sciences) and with some of his media art works. As well as personaly and by the contents they where themselves sympathetically. Up to now Akamatsu - he is knowned as Mr. Max of Japan and wrote two books about MAX/MSP-Jitter - visited Helzle three times and CHARACTERS is after OCEAN the second joint project. The development of CHARACTERS needed the time of one year, after a first draw all would be discussed by email. In the year 2007 they met again, to define and implement the last subtleties. Helzle is doing all the installation stuff, also the photoshootings by himself, Akamatsu-san is responsible for all the programming work. The whole concept is the result of a corporate development.