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Juan Jose Maria

Social Substrates (Systemic-Mechanistic): The Pages of Our History

Digital Art * Electronic Art * Interactive Art * Generative Art * Sculpture * Interactive Installation * Videomapping * Data Visualization
130cm x 112cm x 100cm

Interactive table with touch screen interface.
Acrylic screen-sculpture built in the shape of a book.
Wooden structure with ventilation system.
Infrared lamps, speakers, mirrors.
Software: Processing, reactiVision.
Hardware: PC, projector, infrared camera.


The project consists of a table with a tangible interface whose screen is an acrylic sculpture-object in the shape of a book, where the user can interact by touching the book-screen with their fingers and/or using 15cm diameter chips to manipulate the generated images. .

Using the information obtained from the database of ten population censuses in the history of Argentina, the typographic information of these data is projected on the screen-book together with a generative drawing visualization produced by the trajectory of the typographic characters. In turn, each page of the virtual book will show an aerial-satellite image of the Retiro area in each of the ten historical periods (neighborhood where the Hotel de Inmigrantes, the train and bus stations and Villa 31 are located). The character-particles will continually tend to go towards that image, which will repel them on contact with it, emitting a characteristic typing sound on a computer keyboard.

This information is shown as pages of a book, where each of the ten virtual sheets represents the information of each census. The interactor from the tactile screen-book can manipulate the display of this information, intervening the trajectory of the character-particles that form the data and therefore the drawings generated by the trace of each one of them, accessing different reading levels of the same.

On the other hand, you can also interact using three 15cm diameter acrylic tokens. One of these chips is black, another white and the other brown. By positioning these tiles on the screen-book, the particles of the same color will be attracted by those tiles as attractors. These tokens are made up of reactiVision patterns, so they can be recognized by the system’s computer vision algorithms through a web camera located inside the base.