Kaleidoscope Wallpaper

(Video documentation of the installation)

Kaleidoscope Wallpaper


A real-time, interactive video projection and sound installation

FAT ART: Music to My Eyes @ Today Art Museum 

FAT ART之“目耳计划” @ 今日美术馆

04,17 - 05, 03, 2009

Two kaleidoscopes and closed-circuit cameras are installed around the museum. Slow-moving electric motors cause the kaleidoscopes to spin and swing, while the cameras capture the images for projection onto the walls of a hexagonal room. The motion of the kaleidoscopes and the constantly-changing input ensure that the image is always new, continuously transforming everyday scenes from inside and out of the museum into surrealistically moving wallpaper. Device with kaleidoscope and close-circuit camera made from mirror, crystal ball, plastic tube, nylon gear, motor, cable, stainless steel box, and camera; hexagonal room includes 6 projectors and a projector synchronizer; dimensions variable.

The audio part is made by sound artist Ben Houge: Audio signals from two microphones are fed into a computer running custom software created in Max/MSP. Environmental sounds are delayed, pitch-shifted, and filtered, transforming them into hovering harmonies, swooping glissandi, and pulsing rhythms. Real-time, algorithmic audio manipulation allows the sound to continually change and evolve without looping, eschewing simple cause and effect relationships to create a more ambiguous environment in which viewers can ponder their ever-changing relationship to the world around them. Real-time computer-manipulated sound, 2 speakers, 2 microphones; dimensions variable.



Installation view at Today Art Museum (Music to My Eyes) 

This installation was shown again in a shopping mall called Times Square in Shanghai, I updated the device and installed the HD video camera inside the kaleidoscope, so the video quality was much better. One real-time video was shown on a big LED screen (4.8 x 2.7 meters) outside the shopping mall; another one was shown on a HD TV monitor. The sound was ambient sound from the mall, and included television commercials playing in a marketing kiosk next to the camera.

Installation made from mirror, crystal ball, plastic tube, nylon gear, motor, cable, wood box, HD camera, video synchronizer, LED screen and HD TV monitor; dimensions variable.

(Video recording from the installation)


Still from the recording at Every Human Being is An Artist - China-Germany Contemporary Art Exhibition, Time Square, Shanghai