motion capture machine

in october 2008, roel wouters came as a visiting artist to run a workshop in the graphic design department at yale university. students were asked to design a machine that could create a series of posters. the only parameter was that every poster would be different but produced with the same principles. in other words, students would determine the input, and the machine would create the output. this process allowed students to focus on process rather than product. how can objects – even a poster – adapt to its environment? what do these changes emphasize and reveal?

the goal of our project was to create a poster machine that could 1) visually record movement within a specific environment and 2) create an obstacle that would reflect how individuals respond to obstructions in space.

we created a structure that suspends 96 markers in a grid. the tips of the markers touched a sheet of paper on the floor, allowing movement to be captured as people pushed through the wall of string and makers. we chose markers as our drawing apparatus as they bleed, thus, reflecting moments of activity as well as stillness over time.

a machine needs three elements: 1) input: our marker and string machine 2) energy source: the people who moved through our machine 3)output: posters

we installed this structure in two locations: in front of the main doorway of the graphic design atrium at the yale school of art and at the top of the back entrance stairway leading to the yale painting building. we chose these locations due to their high volumes of traffic.

in the end, the posters became artifacts of specific places and moments in time. motion – fleeting and often imperceptible - was preserved and documented. no two posters are identical. they are as diverse as the individuals who passed through our motion capture machine.

collaboration with nazima ahmad, yujune park

motion capture machine (video: 1m 20sec)
(video: 1m 20sec)