Tag is Part of Unique Digital Installation

Jackie Micucci
Thursday, Dec 08, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Microsoft Tag was part of a unique installation that used Tag’s full mobile potential. “Tag: We’re It,” which took place at the Flatbed Press and Gallery in Austin, Texas, was designed as an aesthetic exploration of the relationship between memory and data.

The digital art installation used digital projectors to project a floating field of droplets along a white wall. As visitors entered the space, they were asked to share a memory, which was video recorded. They then were given a frame, which allowed them to reconstruct a Tag by placing their frame on any grouping of droplets on the wall. Visitors scanned the newly created Tag with their smartphones to access any one of a hundred pre-recorded video memories, maybe even encountering their own.

The exhibition, held in November, was attended by more than 400 people in two days, and was extended by the gallery for two weeks through the E.A.S.T. Austin studio tour, Austin’s single largest art event of the year.

The exhibit was the brainchild of Lisa Kaselak and Lee Billington. Kaselak is a filmmaker and digital artist whose work mixes experimental and traditional storytelling techniques to explore social and environmental issues. She is a Professor at Southern Methodist University where she teaches film production and convergent media. Billington is a Creative Director and designer specializing in interactive design. He is also the co-founder of Fireside Apps, an online venture with a focus on increasing civic engagement. They have recently founded Beak Labs, which aims to bring this mix of art and tech to companies and events.

We wanted a two-dimensional piece of art that you could dive into and get something more than what you see, and Tag gave us that possibility,” said Kaselak and Billington. “Memory is data, but memory is highly personal, and for most of our memories, there are no direct pathways to it. Memory is very temporal. Memory changes – every time that you recall, you’re inserting something new or leaving something out.”

This installation wouldn’t have been possible with another type of code, noted Kaselak and Billington. “One of the problems with other [augmented reality] AR codes is that once they’re out in the world, there’s no changing them. That was really appealing about the Microsoft Tag – we could change what video loaded.”

You can check out the installation by watching the video below.

Pretty neat stuff. What do you think about the “Tag: We’re It” exhibit? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Comments
  • Patrick Donnelly

    12/08/2011 , 9:27 AM
    I like the physical moving of the frame. I know its strategic placement but it makes more of an impression about the physical interactions and the mobile content. Awesome job guys. -Patrick Donnelly
  • Lee Billington

    12/08/2011 , 11:22 AM
    Thanks for your continued support, Microsoft! And thanks for your comment, Patrick. Some people really seemed to understand the importance of physically moving the frame, especially as it related to manipulating your environment and thus how you process data. Others much preferred the instant access nature we've become accustomed to — it was interesting to observe those differences. -- Lee Billington Beak Labs: art + technology + events http://www.beaklabs.com | lee@beaklabs.com
  • Hb

    12/08/2011 , 8:59 PM
    I like this concept,and it looks well-done. The statement : “One of the problems with other [augmented reality] AR codes is that once they’re out in the world, there’s no changing them. That was really appealing about the Microsoft Tag – we could change what video loaded.” is not true though, and it's a well-known fact that other types of code can handle it very well (ex: QR codes,etc..).



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