me & u

Interactive, screen-based installation

University Galleries, Illinois State University, 2005

The project involves concept research, digital image capture & manipulation, physical interaction design, software design, motion sensors & microcontrollers.


Project Description
"me & u"
is a screen-based installation of an individual's animated gaze that reacts to the viewer's proximity.

A catalogue of portraits is dialogically defined by the visitor's position in space. Occupying different zones will influence how the character gazes back, perhaps discouraging the visitor from getting closer.

The piece involves choreography in space using motion sensors, and software. Content is embodied in data and reconstituted at the interface level where meaning is a product of interaction and shapes thought. New media, in addition to theories of proxemics and intersubjective non-verbal communication, are used to reference how observer and observed interact with each other, and are inextricably linked in the process of making reality.

Proxemics, a term coined by anthropologist Edward Hall in the 1960's, is the study of how spatial relationships and territorial boundaries directly influence our daily encounters. This spatial, non-verbal communication between bodies, handles distance in order to send messages during the course of our daily social interactions. Thus, individuals define their attitudes according to the spatial positions they adopt before others. Changing the distance between two people can convey a desire for intimacy, declare lack of interest or fear, and increase or decrease domination.

In addition, we also use our 'gaze' in order to maintain a measure of control over such space. This intersubjective spatial situation helps us see ourselves through the eyes of the other.

Pat Badani

Production Assistant : Chris Tice (software design, sensors, microcontrollers)

click on image for video


all images © Pat Badani 1990-2006