assim1This was a collaborative project with Peter Brown and Ben Lidgus. We created “The Assimilator” as an art car for Burning Man 2005.

assim3The concept was to capture several individuals’ visual perspective, merge them with each other, and transport them 300 feet up into the air. Thus, like the Borg, we were “assimilating” perspectives.

The system used a large 7 foot diameter helium balloon, LCD “VR” goggles, a matrix switcher (and other A/V components), and some X10 wireless video gear.

We had a very positive reaction when once they put the goggles on and were looking at themselves and the landscape around them through a live video feed from 100, 200, 300, even 400 feet in the air.

We got a grant from Ignition Northwest for this project. An article in C|Net mentions our maiden voyage at a local arts festival:

One project benefiting from the grants was Assimilator. The creation of 28-year-old Seattle software engineer Peter Brown and two partners, Shelly Farnham and “Juice Box,” the Assimilator is a weather balloon from which hangs a video camera that feeds live video of the nearby surroundings wirelessly to a screen inside a nearby art car, as well as onto a pair of virtual-reality goggles.“We wanted to be able to give the some perspective to three or four different people as we’re driving around,” Brown said, adding that his team was testing Assimilator at Critical Massive in advance of bringing it to Burning Man this year.assim2

And because the art car can drive around, Assimilator will be able to continually project a moving image.



The Assimilator | 2005 | ArtandTech, Burning Man, Playful | Comments (0)