(Online demo available here (Shockwave plugin required))

Parallel is a visual system that captures as well as displays images. The images are displayed in a two dimensional projection of a three dimensional space. Differing arrangements and states of the captured images are displayed to the user.

Parallel aims to give users a playful experience of capturing and displaying images that draws attention to the similarities and differences between collections of images.

Parallel grew out of a previous piece of work, Distort. Distort was concerned with work creating the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional screen while the observer perceives the two-dimensional screen in three dimensions. In other words, making computer monitors look like they are windows or portals into other worlds.
I persevered with the Distort project for an extended period before realizing it wasn’t telling the stories I wanted to tell, or at least not in the right way. While developing some of the three-dimensional code for Distort, I made a mistake and found the effect in the screenshot below:

Initial mistake from Distort

Seizing upon this intriguing effect, I continued experimenting and eventually came up with the arrangement below:

"Kinescope" arrangement in the Parallel visual system

I continued to experiment with various aspects of the system including issues with:

  • Arrangement of the captured video stills
  • Live or recorded scenes
  • Control, including using the users body to control the three dimensional world

"Carousel" arrangement in the Parallel visual system

"Spiral" arrangement

"Spiral" arrangement

"Kinescope" arrangement with recorded light footage

"Kinescope" arrangement with live exterior tree footage

After working through the various arrangements of the system described above I have returned to what proved to be the most visually arresting of those, the “Carousel”.

For the RCA Show 2003, I presented the Parallel project using a joystick and camera arrangement to best allow interaction with the system.

A demo is viewable here.