• Let's chat like this

  • a screen-based interactive installation

  • Unity, Processing, Camtwist, Zoom, FaseOSC

  • May 2020

Description:

 

Let’s Chat Like This is an interactive installation that allows two people to observe each others’ moods through interacting with a shared interactively generated image, which changes according to their facial expressions.

Let’s Chat Like This​ shows a visualization of the complexity of human emotion and boosts people’s emotional communication. When experiencing this artwork, people’s emotions are bound together with the same moving image they see. They will be aware of their current mood as well as the other’s, the intimacy and empathy between them will be increased. This is not only a “social distancing” art installation that helps us connect emotionally during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also my hypothesis of what future emotional communication will be like.
  
I built my 3D visual elements in Maya and Zbrush, and then imported them to ​Unity​ to connect them to the face data captured from ​Zoom​ meetings. These data are analyzed by the facial expression recognition program in ​Processing​.

It's also a social distancing art installation:

 

Without any contexts, people would not be initiated to chat or communicate emotionally. Online chatting platforms like Zoom are perfect places that provide this kind of context. Additionally, after the outbreak of COVID-19, most people have already got used to the social life on Zoom. To some extent, showing artworks on Zoom is like showing them in a virtual gallery where anyone can get easy access. Connecting this interactive system to Zoom also allows lots of people seeing it and experiencing it. In such a special time, people even bond closer by interacting with Let’s Chat Like This. I have seen some of my friends become aware of their subtle moods like surprised more clearly by communicating with this interactive system connected to our Zoom meetings. I have seen people feeling moved by experiencing this project, saying she found her own emotion beautiful because she expected some scary and dark visualization when she got angry or sad, to her surprise, negative moods can be also beautiful. So she felt this work is saying “it is okay to have negative moods, talk to your friends”. I’ve also seen people being confused and surprised because of the unusualness of this kind of communication, especially the part that when two people show the same mood and some rewards are given.


In all, I hope this artwork can evoke deep thinking and maybe cheer people up in this challenging time. Let’s Chat Like This hasn’t been shown in a public space physically. I believe once I get the chance, it can be an inspiring piece and I’d love to see what it can become.

Emotion synchronized scenes

Screenshots from live interaction                                   

© 2020 Qinyuan Liu

Thesis advisor: Liubomir Borissov

@ Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute

 © 2019 by Noth Liu. Proudly created with Wix.com

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