From November 7-11th, the International School & Curatorial Program in New York City (http://www.iscp-nyc.org/) opened its doors for their fall open studios to showcase the work of artist and curators from around the world. One such artist, Jeff Desom (http://www.jeffdesom.com/), worked closely with post-doctoral researcher James Tompkin (http://www.jamestompkin.com/), of Prof. Hanspeter Pfister's lab in the Visual Computing Group at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of Harvard University (http://vcg.seas.harvard.edu).
Jeff Desom is a filmmaker of all kinds, producing short films, music videos, commercials, and remixes. His most famous work, 'Rear Window Timelapse' (http://vimeo.com/37120554), has gathered 1.2 million views and won both a Vimeo award and a Golden Nica for Computer Animation/Visual Effects from Ars Electronica, Linz. It merges cinema and contemporary art by collaging Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film 'Rear Window' into a single panorama, where all principal sequences and side events are visible in the view of the backyard, with the original plot remaining largely intact.
Jeff and James collaborated to turn 'Rear Window Timelapse', and its sister installation projection 'Rear Window Loop', into two interactive installations named 'Rear Window Augmented'.
The first piece places the panorama within an antique plate camera, which allows the user to pan, tilt, and zoom into the panorama by physically manipulating the camera on its tripod. This change turns the user directly into the voyeur portrayed in Hitchcock's film, purveying the scene through the camera. The camera is synchronized to a larger wall projection of the panorama, allowing other viewers in the room to see the exploration of the camera user reflected in the overall loop projection.
The second piece goes one step further, and asks users to immerse themselves in the scene by wearing a head-mounted virtual reality display, transporting them to the famous rear window to become the voyeur and experience the murder mystery. With a simple gamepad, users can zoom into detail up close, or move through the events chronologically forwards and backwards to experience the plot over the three days and nights of the original film.