Memory Glitches is an audio-visual program using the Kinect sensor as its source of interaction. While there is some limit to how much the visuals can be affected, the user can play around by creating trails of colourful points which later fade away.
produced by: Thalia Agroti
The idea for the visual aesthetic began from what I find the most captivating scene in the animated film Ghost in the Shell (1995). Motoko who is the main character, happens to be a cyborg and is wearing a thermoptic suit which gives her the ability to blend into the environment. For a very brief moment, the suit goes through a state of pixelated colours just before she gains transparency.
I was also very much inspired by topics spoken of in the film. Since Motoko's human brain was embedded into an artificial body, I was interested in the relationship of human and machine and how that can be depicted virtually.
In addition, Memory Glitches directly refers to what Motoko experiences in what seems to be an existential crisis due to the fusion of her human-machine parts, however, in our purely human state, I find myself fascinated by what we can similarly experience on a daily basis.
For example, occurrences of Déjà vu, random memory episodes or vivid flashbacks, forgetting traumatic experiences or forever being haunted by them as well as purely nostalgic memories are a few things that even with neuroscience or psychology can still seem somewhat enigmatic. Ultimately, while memories don’t necessarily define us, our experiences undeniable contribute in shaping our existing character.
Moreover, what I find most intriguing about these themes is the lack of conscious control we can possess over them and the fact that we can’t purposely select what will consistently remain in our memory or what will fade away.
For this reason, I wanted to include the persistent background sound in order to represent memories that if not completely unpleasant, can become so by the inability of wishing them away, as well as the gestural effect which even though it is a deliberate action with some control, it doesn’t actually stay in place forever.
Furthermore, the pulsation between colours and the shapes the points are making, in my experience look a lot like what happens when you close your eyes and try to focus on looking within your eyelids. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have found that instead of seeing a black void, there is some sort of pixelated fuzziness going on that seems to fluctuate between a few more prominent hues yet seems like an indistinguishable colour to pinpoint at.
To achieve this effect, I created two colour modes to choose from before running the program, one with offset colours and one that seems more random and chaotic.
Lastly, while the use of sound was made to work purely as a background noise, I decided to pair its effect by triggering different parameters in order to get more varied perspectives and textures out of the visuals.
I used the ofxMaxim addon to create the frequency, and then modified the necessary line where I wanted to either get movement between the size of the points, the scale, the x/y direction in which it pulsated as well as the depth.
While I am happy with how my end result came out visually, I would like to utilise it better in the future by pairing it with additional inputs such as EEG data for further interaction or another kind of sound source which would move it more into the direction of VJing.
Ghost in the Shell (1995) skip to 3:09 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqWwHI604n4
Color calculations - http://krazydad.com/tutorials/makecolors.php
ofxKinect - https://github.com/openframeworks/openFrameworks/tree/master/addons/ofxKinect ofxOpenCv - https://github.com/openframeworks/openFrameworks/tree/master/addons/ofxOpenCv ofxUI - https://github.com/openframeworks/openFrameworks/tree/master/addons/ofxKinect