‘Behave Yourself’ – a project summary

Well, it’s over now, at least this part of the project ‘Behave Yourself’. I have owed myself this summary for a while now.

The installation was a success technically. The USB trigger/toggle I made worked with a silly Max/MSP to Avenue 3 MIDI bridge I had to make (Avenue doesn’t support toggling on MIDI press – only one event per MIDI trigger or keypress, silly indeed).

Max/MSP was a bit anoying too, cause it only captures keystrokes when its window is active. Driving two displays is my laptops limit, so having the screens set up and masked out meant I had to ‘feel’ where the Max window is. But I overcame these issues. My laptop did get really hot though, I guess driving 18 videos at a time with filters on them is quite a GPU consuming process. Mapping the screen surfaces was not so hard (easier than I thought) and only took about 20 minutes for each projector. Hanging the screens in the first place was much more time consuming, but again the screen designs worked perfectly. Nylon line, because it was transparent – was unnoticeable with the lights off.

The visual effect and outcome was stunning. It was as good as I expected it to be. It was as if the images and videos were floating in space. :)

Now to the things I am not so pleased about. The concept behind the installation wasn’t fully understood. I blame this on the fact that I had only implemented two social behaviours into the installation – food consumption and greetings. The other major thing missing were the soundscapes for each set of behaviours that I had planned. Not enough time. I did put a track to go behind it (one of my Winterreise remixes), but it was constant throughout the installation (i.e. the toggle only influenced the visuals).

Because of the limited time I also had to cut down on the idea and cut the performance aspect out of it – I did not manage to integrate actors with the setup.

There wasn’t enough light for the camera. I didn’t have the camera before running the installation in the proper light conditions and I havent anticipated that this would happen.

But considering all, I am pleased. It was a work-in-progress. I had a lot of audience, which was great! I have learned quite a bit in the process, and I’m thinking about running the installation again, next time completed and refined, possibly some time this year.

Extra: The Facebook event for the installation.