|The Digital Marionette|
The interactive installation Digital Marionette impressively shows the audience the look and feel of a puppet in the multimedia era: The nicely dressed wooden marionette is replaced by a Lara Croft - like character; the traditional strings attached to puppet control handles emerge into a network of computer cables. The installation is currently exhibited at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz (see below).
The installation consists of a projection of a digital face, which can be controlled by the visitors. The puppet can be made talking via speech input, and the classical puppet controls serve as controllers for head direction and face emotions, such as joy, anger, or sadness. The whole artistic concept was designed and realised in an interdisciplinary manner, incorporating art historical facts about marionettes, the architectural space, interaction design, and state of the art research results from computer graphics and speech recognition.
The translation from old to new, from analogue to digital, takes place via the most popular computer input device: the mouse. The puppet control handles are attached to sliding strips of mousepads and eight computer mice track movements of the individual strings. This approach is at the same time efficient, low-cost and easily understandable by the non-expert visitor. Speech input is realised via speech recognition, where the recognised phonemes are mapped to a set of facial expressions and visemes.
Exhibition at Museum Bellerive in Zürich, Switzerland
June 11 - Sept 12 2004
The first exhibition of the Marionette was realised in 2004 by the Corebounce Art Collective in cooperation with Christian Iten (Interface Realisation), Swisscom Innovations (Swiss-German voice recognition), and ETH Zürich (face animation), and Eva Afuhs and Sergio Cavero (Curators, Museum Bellerive, Zürich).
Sept 2006 - Sept 2008
An augmented version of the installation is currently presented in the entrace hall of the world-famous Ars Electronica Center in Linz. It was realised by the Corebounce Art Collective with technical support from Gerhard Grafinger of the Ars Electronica Center. Furthermore we thank Ellen Fethke, Gerold Hofstadler and Nicoletta Blacher from Ars Electronica; and Jürg Gutknecht and Luc Van Gool from ETH Zürich.