In collaboration with Jeremy Eichenbaum & Katie Miyake
Early in the project we started tinkering with an IP address camera that took a photo every 2 seconds. While learning how the camera worked, Jeremy was navigating the folder with the new images toggled between some and made a live animated gif. Right then we knew we had to keep going in the direction of live gifs. We set up the camera and a projector and started gif-ing. The set up was crucial because the projection on the wall enabled people passing by to see what was happening, and then they saw the persona sitting in front of the camera getting gif-ed.
Over the course of three weeks we were able to refine the intervention, interaction and concept. On week 2 and 3, while setting up, people walking by said that they remembered us and want to get gif-ed again. We were building a relationship with people in the space. That gave us the ability to ask them to do things that without their trust they probably wouldn't have done. Conceptually lacking we knew that we needed some reason for what we were doing. We came across a quote from Paul Arden that says, "Ideas are open knowledge. Don't claim ownership. They're not your ideas anyway, they are someone else's. They are out there floating by on the ether." We took this idea and used gifs to communicate it by asking people to pose like the person before them and then make their own new pose for the next person to copy. In the gif below, you can see how one person's idea flowed from them to the person after them. The next person was able to add in their own contribution for the next person to pick up. This is the same way Arden suggests ideas flow.
As our concept grew we had to adjust our physical set-up. I developed a Processing sketch that enabled us to display a live feed (bottom left), the last photo taken (bottom right), and a give of the last two photos taken (top). This made it easier for the user to see the result as well as match their pose to the person before them. We named this stage of the gif project the "Gestural Idea Facilitator."