"Threads://HTML" was just added to the Rhizome.org ArtBase (judged by Rhizome to have "potential historical significance") and is currently exhibiting in the "Fresh Art" section at Rhizome.org. Click here to see the entry.
A common paradigm in the new media genre are pieces that reflect some aspect of the viewer's visual appearance - virtual "mirrors" that take in live video input (usually via webcam) and then feed back that visual data in intriguing ways. My interest in using this technology is not to simply present a two dimensional "mirror," but to combine that effect with 3D graphics, creating an onscreen virtual space that is sculptural and architectural, as well as, graphical. I call the approach "3D Video Sculpture."
"Threads://HTML" is a interactive work using a webcam, the World Wide Web, and specialized software to generate an interactive 3D Video Sculpture on a computer screen.
When one thinks about the World Wide Web, there are many things to genuinely marvel at: the incredible amount of interconnected information, the potential of instant publishing, the success of e-commerce, or the delivery of myriad forms of media content. The web browser itself is so ubiquitious nowadays that we take its ability to access remotely and transform a stream of formatting instructions into published documents on the screen for granted.
With "Threads://HTML" I aimed to take that stream of information, the content behind the content that we see in the browser window, and reconnect that with the most essential element that makes the World Wide Web and, indeed, the global Internet work - humanity. For all the technology involved at every step of delivering and rendering a web page, it is still our eyes and our minds that create meaning out of all what the browser displays.
As the software is initalizing, it connects to the Internet and downloads the underlying code of a web page and separates the HTML tags (which dictate properties of the text, images, and layout of the page), and everything else (the actual textual content of the page).
The live video input from the webcam is used to provide the interface for the viewer to reveal the structure and the content of the web page, their presence abstracted and translated into thin lines forming pulsing platforms and frames for the floating 3D text. The more present the user is in a particular position of the screen (by presenting colors to the camera that differ from the black background behind the viewer), the more likely that the content of the page will emerge from the landscape of darkness and now abstract HTML tags. Viewed from the many perspectives that 3D Video Sculpture offers, futuristic structures of text and line gently form around the unseen presence of the user.
are using Dan Shiffman's website at http://www.shiffman.net/
The software was created in Windows C++ using Visual C++ .NET, using Quicktime for live video capture, OpenGL for graphics, and the MFC WinInet classes for accessing the Internet.
Click here to view "Threads://HTML" in motion!. (9.6 MB Quicktime Movie)
e-mail me at edtang at antiexperience.com
All Materials Copyright © 2004 Edward Tang. All materials on this site including interactive programs, images, videos, and text are the property of Edward Tang and is protected by copyright and are not to be reproduced without permission. All Rights Reserved.