I was lucky enough to be able to help set up a tech installation at DigiFest Toronto this year. Here’s a video taken of Luc Courchesne of Société des Arts Technologiques and I demoing The Drawing Space at DigiFest Toronto.

The Drawing Space was set up using three Kinects, all pointed at a central location to break down and build up points of light in a data cloud. An image of you can then be built up, on screen, transmitted into the virtual landscape. It uses six screens to project a blank canvas environment all around the central user, who uses gesture-recognition to draw & spraypaint patterns, and scatter blocks around the blank canvas. Two set-ups were arranged: one in Toronto, and one in Montréal, allowing two participants to leave traces of their presence (orange is Toronto, Montréal is blue) in real-time within a shifting virtual landscape, thereby interacting, miles away.

It’s just a basic proof of concept right now, but eventually entire 3D maps can be built, and loaded into the interface, potentially allowing for cross-city and even cross-national virtual meet ups, business or creative studio meetings, or simply for hanging out, blurring the lines between what it is to stay in one place and to travel. It would allow shared presences between fixed, remote locations, enabling two people to look out at, and interact with, the same virtual horizon, despite great distances.

Toronto:

Montréal:

Shared virtual canvas: