Swapping bodies at the Barbican

Chris O’Shea unveiled a new interactive installation at the Barbican in London at the weekend that enabled visitors to swap their bodies with their friends and then control their movements

Chris O’Shea unveiled a new interactive installation at the Barbican in London at the weekend that enabled visitors to swap their bodies with their friends and then control their movements…

Body Swap was shown as part of the Barbican’s Weekender Festival (March 5-6). In O’Shea’s installation, two visitors stand in front of a screen, their image is captured by camera and turned into a pair of paper cut-out versions of themselves. The images are then swapped, so that each participant can take control of the other’s movements.

“The aesthetic is of a low polygon 90s video game,” says O’Shea. “Music plays and prompts you to act out to the audience and each other. Dance around, jump in the air, do anything you like to make them look silly. However don’t forget, they are doing it to you at the same time.”

Two players of differering heights, a father and son for example, see a reversal of scale, O’Shea explains on his website. “The youngest magically becomes big, and the adult shrinks to the proportions of the child.”

To create the work O’Shea used an XBox Kinect camera, custom written software in C++, openFrameworks, OpenNI for the full body skeletal tracking, plus openCV. The project was commissioned by Barbican Creative Learning for the Barbican Weekender Festival 2011.

In another recent project, O’Shea has also made a fantastic interactive educational game for children, Little Magic Stories, which enables drawings to be brought to life on stage, via a holographix projection film.

More of O’Shea’s work is at chrisoshea.org.

More from CR

Design Indaba: Day 3

Highlights from Design Indaba’s third and final day of conference include talks by Israeli type designer Oded Ezer, American data-visualiser extrordinaire Ben Fry, Robert Wong of Google Labs, and an unexpected choice of final speaker…

Flatpack Festival 2011

The Flatpack Festival, Birmingham’s quirky annual film event, opens today in venues across the city…

Speciality-Drinks_logo

Middleweight Designer

Speciality Drinks
Europackaging_logo

Creative Designer

Euro Packaging
Silver-Lining_logo

Project Managers

Silverlining Furniture Limited