Hold Time

Alternative titles: Freeze Frame; Forget Me; Before your eyes; or "Live Moves Pretty Fast...  "

  • The Idea
    • I have over 50,000 photos I've taken and collected since 2004. Every boring home photo, my daughter growing up, receipts for expense reports, my weird college days. The installation would use a high frame rate monitor to rapidly flash all 50,000 personal photos at 240 frames per second - a full loop of all of the photos would take approximately 4 minutes.
    • The user would approach the monitor and touch the screen. On their touch, the photo that was being flashed at that time will freeze in place long enough for them to see it. It will then slowly fade out to white. That specific photo is then completely removed from the loop forever. The person that touched the screen will be the only one who can share that moment with me.
    • Over time, and with enough viewers the loop will start to become mostly white flashes.
    • This is a long term permanent or semi-permanent installation.
  • Why do I like this idea? Is this a tech demo to explore a novel application, or something more significant?
    • There is some poetry in letting people be the only ones to share a potentially intimate but likely mundane moment of your life with you. It already happens every day. I also like the therapy of the idea of being that vulnerable with people about my life. The high frame rate display does get close to technical nonsense, but I think the rapid strobe has a visual quality to it that has a strong conceptual match with that "when you die, your life flashes before your eyes" phrase. The project loses emphasis if it is a random collection of photos as opposed to my personal photos. I also like the slow decay opf the project into just flashes of white, and the idea that more user interaction slowly causes it to be less interesting.
  • Technologies Involved
    • 240hz gaming monitor
    • High Performance PC and GPU that can drive the high FPS display at a stable rate
    • Touchscreen frame or touchfoil
    • Fabricated physical envlosure for the computer/monitor/screen
  • What do I have so far?
    • I made a similar video art piece in 2008 called 10,000 Items or Less that strobed 10,000 images I had taken of almost every product at a grocery store.
    • I have a basic openFrameworks application that demonstrates the user experience with flashing images, freeze frame and fade, and continuation
    • I have all the photos, obviously, but have not sorted them...
  • Next Steps/Where I'm stuck
    • Sort and format all of my photos into a format that could be appropriate for high speed display
      • They are currently in a ton of different date numbered directories by year. Might be easier to move them into one single directory.
      • Deal with portrait/landscape formatting and how I would prefer to treat those (crop/rotate), and filter out odd formats like wide panoramas.
      • Remove photos I'm not comfortable sharing
    • Make a quick UX diagram of the experience
    • Make a mock up image of what the installation looks like
    • Finish the software development
      • Determine if I turn all the photos into a single video file and just cover up frames based on their frame number - OR - read the frames from disk and actually delete the image file after someone views it.
      • Load this all up on a PC and Monitor and test it
  • Logistical thoughts
    • Need a physical location to host it.
    • Do I feel comfortable sharing all of these photos with an unknown public?
    • Cost of involved equipment
      • High FPS Display: ~$500
      • IR Touchframe or Touchfoil: ~$500-1000
      • High performance PC: ~$2500
      • Fabricated wood enclosure (appropriately ventilated): ~$1000-2000 depending on finish and size (and vendor)
      • Total: $6000
    • Estimated time for software development (with padding):
      • Time to finish the software for display: ~40-100hours
      • Photo sorting and organizing, including making simple scripts to help organize: ~40-80 hours
      • Overhead time to source equipment and fabrication: ~20 hours
      • Total for one person (low to high) not including installation and maintenance: 100-200hours
  • Are there other elements that could make this better?
    • Would it be useful to have a reference of friends and family in the photos? Something that gives people more context to what is going on in the images?
    • What if the photos that were viewed were permanently deleted from my own collection?
    • Although I say above that using my own images is important, I wonder if it's better to explore using other image sets from another experience or person?

Selected Works

Pen Plotter WorkPersonal Projects

Circle DrawingsPersonal Project

Polarizer ArtworkPhysical artwork with linear polarizers

TV TelescopeWatching TV from a mile away

Extruded ScreenFiber optic filament display

You're on TVLive TV face swap

i miss you, neighborConnecting local strangers and friends

Self Destructive BehaviorScreen that slowly breaks itself

Hold TimePersonal photo blitz

Movie Stickers100,000 stickers in a room

7up | Music Lifts You UpCommercial Work

Google | Project Re:BriefCommercial Work

Shen Wei Dance ArtsArts Collaboration

Lexus | Trace Your RoadCommercial Work

IBM | Outthink Hidden ARCommercial Work

Samsung | Liquid CanvasCommercial Work

Other Professional WorkVarious Projects

Color A SoundAnalog/digital Instrument

Fake LoveFormer Experience Design Company

Sonic SculpturesPersonal Projects

street_crtPersonal Projects

Music VideosCollaborative video art

Older WorkPersonal Projects

Older Live Visuals WorkAudiovisual explorations 2006-2016