FACT Sky Museum Pappenheimer

FACT Sky Museum  Will Pappenheimer
Updated: 9/28/12

Skywrite drawings visualized above FACT, Liverpool

AR Sky drawings discarded at plaza behind FACT over a physical dumpster

bio-hand-motion draw in the sky

FACT has expanded its exhibition space to encompass a large portion of the sky above the museum’s building and the surrounding Liverpool area for a new FACT Sky Museum. Participants are invited to come to the museum to make and contribute works in augmented reality sky writing or drawing. The process for creating a work can be understood as Bio-Expressionism. It engages contemporary versions of two important principles of Expressionism; gesture and emotion. Participants use hand movements to track a monitor drawing projected on a ceiling space above them. As they do this, a galvant skin response (GSR) sensor (or heart rate sensor) will record changes in their level of excitement which will result in changes to the thickness of their drawing trail. On screen above, the line drawing will appear as a trail of airplane exhaust against a background of a live feed of the sky above FACT.(see visualization below)

After the participant is finished and satisfied with the drawing it will be uploaded as an augmented reality airplane trail drawing to the virtual sky above the FACT building. Sky drawings will appear all over the sky above FACT. When the sky fills up with participant drawings, periodically, the FACT director and curators will look at the drawings and decide which ones can be “discarded.” It becomes a question of the limitations of the voluminous economy of open source production and participation. Works to be removed are retired to a “trash area” on the open plaza in back of FACT. Here they are stacked above a real marked and QR coded dumpster placed in the center of the plaza. The VR stack of these large sky drawings becomes as aesthetically interesting as this Sky Museum above. Participants will be of informed of this process and invited to come back and submit more drawings.

Skywrite AR, a prototype APP for the FACT Sky Museum :

Collaboration and Engagement

As an expansion of the FACT Sky museum and in addition to drawings/texts over the FACT Museum area, this project can be seen as extending into the greater Liverpool area as a kind of sky drawing/text commentary or message board for the larger community. Discussions with Collaboration and Engagement have suggested using this project in a mobile form to revisit some of the schools and institutions that have collaborated with FACT in the past. This might be linked to the occasion of FACT’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Activities to facilitate this might include:

– visits to the FACT Museum with a workshop guiding various parties in the process of drawing and situating the works.
– Off-site workshops with mobile technology and/or the simple capability of drawing on paper or into computer such that these drawings/texts could be converted to sky writer augments or sent to artist for conversion and placement.
– Input for words or drawings can be on paper, drawn into computers with Photoshop, or through a custom developed mobile APP.
– Siting can be done by assistance or directly through a custom developed mobile APP which would allow users to click a site on the Google map.
– Multiple works over a single location can be sequenced randomly such that all of them are visible eventually by refreshing the mobile APP.

Budget: Forthcoming

NO PERMIT drawing over FACT, 4/18/12, Will Pappenheimer


SENSOR METHOD?: The new proposal engages hand tracking developed by Fraunhofer that will record a drawing in a specific area of the FACT exhibition space.  Another bio sensing system MAY be also used, such as GSR,  to convey emotional  the user’s emotional condition. In some way this may be transferred into color coding.
RECORD WHAT?: Hand movements as drawing implement, (If GSR- changes in skin conductance)
RESULT OF RECORDING TO AUGMENTS THROUGH PHP?: gestures recorded will be translated via the tract screen cursor to an airplane trail line. This will be saved as a transparent .png file and uploaded to a sky augment when the user is done.
SIMPLE EXAMPLE?: see above


EXHIBITION INFO?: Considerations of how to exhibit this project should be explored with the artists visit to FACT  in June.

– I would envision a section of  the exhibition space,  medium darkened, basically empty,  with a 4-5 m square area where participants can wave their hand(s) and see their drawing projected onto the wall in front of them. Behind the trail as it is drawn, a repeating video of clouds will run in the background such that the viewer gets a feeling of drawing in the sky.

–  Another scenario might be to have the participant lie down and face upwards towards a video on the ceiling with the same capability. This might allow the tracking to be fixed  and not needed to be recalibrated.

–  If an emotional  color input is considered this could either affect the color of the airplane trail smoke or perhaps the color of the room, effected by changing RGB LED lights.


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