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supermarketsim supermarketsim supermarketsim

The Supermarket Simulator was a project built for a workshop in flemish culture house "De Brakke Grond" in Amsterdam.

The goal of the workshop was getting to know Isadora and build a project with it in about three days.

Lessons in Isadora were given by Belgian artist Ief Spincemaille. I was instantly familiar with the program, as I had experience with several similar modular visual programming tools like Max/Jitter and Quartz composer.

Together with two Dutch stagecraft students I made an installation where someone would come in, not seeing the room, put video-glasses on and see and hear himself walking in a supermarket. Jim was so kind to call it a "ghetto-CREW" installation.

Every participant also wore a backpack that was lent to us by Ief Spincemaille. On the backpack there was a camera installed, which sent the image of the back of the participant to the macbook inside the shopping cart. The entire room was made white, so Isadora could perform a Luminance Key on the image. The image of the participant was then superimposed on the video of walking through a supermarket, so they could see themselves walking there.

The shopping cart had a few headlights to aid the keying process. The shopping cart was connected to the middle of the room with some rope, that guided the participants in their walking path. They could keep on walking in circles, which ultimately led to a pretty convincing illusion.

My Dutch colleagues guided the participants in and out of the installation, while I calibrated the luminance key with a wireless mouse in the middle of the circle (where I would be never seen by the camera).

Every walk ended with me slowly scrolling the Luminance key threshold to completely opaque, the actual image that the camera registered at that time. The participants would not know that the illusion had ended and were always pretty amazed to suddenly be in "the real world" again.

Software & Technologies used:

TroikaTronix Isadora

Ableton Live

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