Ignoratio Elenchi: Installed


This past week was spent installing my project in the front space of the ITP floor. Rob Ryan has been super generous and gave me all the resources i needed to set up this project, test it and revise it. After speaking to him last week and explaining the project, he didn’t hesitate to find approval and space on the floor. Very quickly, many problems arose that were unforeseen, such as transferring all my files to Intel based mac mini’s that required different serial drivers and runtime programs that were out of date. Then refining and tweaking the video tracking in a real open noisy space and delineating it to be big enough for the user to walk from one screen to another and have the intended experience while not to interfere with other projects and people that work in that area. So, after 4 days, climbing up and down a ladder countless times with monitors and keyboards to adjust screen resolutions and selected byte values, it’s up and working.

instwhole.jpg These are the amazing Intec screens that i have bundled into small packages and hung with aircraft cable from the rafters. They are hanging about five feet off the ground and are attached to a mac mini running max/masp/jitter with an Xbee radio attached. Coming out of the mini are s video out and 1/8″ mini headphone jack to stereo RCA.


Here you can see the Xbee on a breadboard with a Sparkfun FT232 serial to USB IC breakout board receiving the data coming from the video tracking processing app. The illuminated yellow LED indicates that its receiving incoming bytes.


the back of one of the LCD’s:


the re-revised tracking applet with each corner acting as a hot spot when the object tracked indicated by the green ellipse moves its center point into one of those quadrants – as seen in the debugging print line statement, moving in and out of the bottom right corner sends out the byte value of 3, otherwise a zero.


and here is my working statement from the project, the what, why and how: let me know what you think…

it will be up for one more week and then possibly the ITP spring show. I will try and have a quicktime movie up soon showing a person interacting with it.

Ignoratio Elenchi: A News Feed

Raphael Zollinger
(This is currently a work in progress – at the moment, due to the video tracking code, it works well with one person moving within the space at a time.)

This installation creates a space in which the viewer is faced with having meaningful information, via video footage of the war, hidden from them. Through a wireless network utilizing video tracking to find when a user is in front of any one of four 6″ LCD screens, the video displayed changes from actual first hand video footage and accounts of events in Iraq to different commercial news reports of the same events, when someone is detected. As the person moves within the demarcated space, the video keeps changing from actual to filtered information, thus creating a sense of frustration and effort for the viewer to navigate between the screens to gain access to the desired media. Ignoratio Elenchi is a subtle form of propaganda commonly used in popular media to change the subject or divert the argument. It is the logical fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but which proves or supports a different proposition. My installation attempts to illustrate that a message does not have to be untrue to qualify as propaganda. The message in modern propaganda is often not blatantly untrue, but will generally contain partisan bias and fail to present a complete and balanced consideration of the issue.

My work examines both personal and public representations of critical issues in the realm of contemporary social change. Through poetics, irony, and juxtaposition, I comment on familiar historical events from popular news media. The languages of sculpture, installation, and physical computing are utilized by recreating and documenting scenarios in which the body is presented as a sounding board for commentary. Furthermore, through both direct physical interaction and the psychological gestalt, my work seeks to incorporate the viewer as an essential participant through which the work is completed. The viewer is asked to question and further to re-evaluate himself in relation to the work.


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