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Nikolai Cornell, art director/lead designer/creative director/information architect/programmer/technology director/curator/project design and development/client
Adriana Parcero, associate creative director
Tatiana Parcero, photographer

"A highly original, low-budget technical accomplishment mated with interesting subject matter." —juror Elena Blanco

"A completely immersive means for engaging with photographic work. The experience is a personal one that seems to redefine the traditional relationship between artist and audience." —juror Jonathan Hills

Overview: This interactive installation uses a human-sized display system to explore the photographic work of artist Tatiana Parcero. Thanks to a unique projection technique and a range of sensors, users move through the narrative not with a mouse or touch screen, but with gentle hand movements.

• Installation size is 7' x 3' x 8'
• 1-person team, 2 1/2-month development time
• Interface based on sensepads embedded in glass
• Human body serves as input device

Comments by Nikolai Cornell:
"I completed 'In Search of Identity' as part of my MFA (media design) thesis project, entitled 'Life-Size,' at Art Center College of Design.

"It's a series of interactive installations and exhibits that explore human-scale interaction, environmental interface and display systems. A fundamental aspect of the human-scale interfaces developed for 'Life-Size' is that they abandon the use of a mouse in favor of a dynamic range of sensors that allow the human body to be directly used as an interactive input device.

"'In Search of Identity' is an interactive installation that uses a human-scale display system to allow visitors to explore the photographic work of artist Tatiana Parcero on multiple levels of their own choosing. By developing a unique projection technique and by embedding a diverse range of sensors into the physical display, I created an innovative way for users to be incorporated into and interact with the artist's work.

"One of the notable design features of is the use and fusion of inexpensive, readily available, off-the-shelf components to create a complex system. I used various components in ways that they were not originally intended in order to build the display system on a low budget (I bought sensors from companies that make them for the do-it-yourself robotics market, the mirror from a local glass shop and collaborated with a fellow Art Center student to build the wooden enclosure).

"Among the many challenges I faced while creating this project: Working primarily on my own, in a fairly cramped studio, with a very limited budget; Getting finicky infrared sensors to read properly; Finding the right material to use in conjunction with the glass to best capture the projected image, while at the same time allowing users to see themselves in the mirror; Working via phone and e-mail with the artist, who lives in Argentina; and Deciding how to digest, filter and interpret varying comments and suggestions offered weekly by thesis advisors and deciding how to best move forward."


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