Not to See a Thing
  Not to See a Thing

Not to See a Thing-Joel Slayton 1997-98 San Jose Museum of Art in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art

  A four sq. ft. acrylic cube, substituting as artifact, is placed in the outdoor sculpture court of the San Jose Museum of Art. Size, dimension, placement and orientation of the substitute was determined as a precise relationship to the architecture of the site. An 11x30 ft. ultra-red transparent wall separates the audience from the substitute. Transformations in light and shadow over the course of a day (12 months) result in a dramatic infusion of red ambient light into the exhibition environment. The effect modifies the audience view of the substitute, thus modifying its objective status.

The acrylic cube is surveilled using 3 accurately positioned outdoor BW video cameras to convey x,y,z viewing planes constituting a Cartesian perspective. Telematic views of the substitute are presented in the exhibition gallery on separate surveillance monitors. Atmospheric conditions in the outdoor sculpture court, directly affecting the substitute are continuously monitored.

Located in the installation space are two Silicon Graphic 02 workstations. The first workstation presents a 3D virtual rendition of the substitute sculpture. Texture mapped


  Image 2 Image 3   Three dimensional computer model of installation environment  
  Image 1  
surfaces including plastic, marble and metal are imperceptibly cycled on this virtual object. This workstation is connected to a 6 sq inch clear acrylic cube and high resolution motion tracking system. Audience members interact with the virtual object by handling the small acrylic cube which enables visual maneuvering of the simulation in three dimensions and presents a precise mirroring of actual motion behaviors. Motion data (x,y,z and orientation) is collected from this interaction. A second workstation is used to process the data into 3D motion traces depicting individually sampled user interactions. A sample is defined as one interaction beginning with the cube being picked up and ending with the cube being set down. The term session describes the resulting motion graph which includes a set of samples. Each session is a unique motion graph, therefore sessions are the result of an evolution of user interactions. Motion graphs slowly rotate to permit observation of the intricacies and peculiarities of the evolved data.

The vast amount of data collected and the many renditions of motion graphs is intended to provide a large data base as artwork from which further investigation proceeds.