A team project proposing creating a new media installation in public space.


+ c o n c e p t


The Memory Wall is a new media installation that synthesizes real-time video from its immediate environment with stored video from previously recorded moments of that same space.   Using a combination of LCD screens and recording devices positioned within a long hallway, the Memory Wall layers video from specific moments in time with real-time video to create a haunting harmony of interactive imagery.   As the video clips age (where age equals the amount of time played on screen), they slowly loose their opacity, falling behind newer clips.   Video in real-time plays continually above the dated clips, simultaneously playing and being recorded for future layered playback.   The overall display becomes, almost in effect, a time-lapsed mise-en-abyme where time, both screen-based and otherwise, determines the layering order created within this giant reflection within a reflection.

Structurally, the Memory Wall is simple, stream lined and modern. Mounted on one side of the large lighted hallway are a series of smooth, seamlessly joined LCD screens containing a number of skillfully embedded, almost imperceptible cameras. Various miniature surround sound speakers are scattered throughout the space to pipe sound into the continually shifting visual environment complimenting the special ambiance of the installation.  

The opposite wall, located approximately twenty feet away, is starkly blank.   Specialized video software developed from the popular open-source program EyesWeb blocks out this wall so that all video recorded displays a transparent background surrounding the moving clips of passing viewers.   This rotoscoping program is key to the evocative layering effect of the video.   A viewer never knows when looking at the screen, whether they will be looking back at themselves standing next to an image from the past five days, or an from the past five years.   Accordingly, the longer the Memory Wall is installed, the more intriguing the layered imagery becomes as video from fashion trends or cultural events from years past overlap real-time and place.

The space occupied by the Memory Wall is surprisingly unobtrusive until acknowledged by passersby.   In the same way a large mirror transforms a small space and catches the corners of the eye, the Memory Wall sits flush against the wall of an otherwise transitive, unacknowledged space not always engaging everyone who rushes by.   For those who do tarry awhile, however, there is a lingering, almost poignant impression as they watch their images becoming enmeshed in a transcending rhythm of sound and visuals.

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(References: Lighting)

LCD Mirror

(References: LCD screens and other)

Lighted Wall Specifications

(References: Backlighting and plexiglas)

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Video Stream

Software Examples

EyesWeb for image processing
iDive - tagging a searching video
Image Log-VK - auto capture, remote logging into database

HD Camera

Sony HVRZ1U 3CCD HDV Camcorder

+ f o o t a g e

Footage filmstrip sample

(Sample clips from fotosearch.com / photodisc)