Contemplating, An Interactive Installation by Xuan Chen, Dimensions Variable, 2009
Contemplating is an interactive installation (dimension varies), in which MAX MSP/Jitter is used in coding the software. The hardware includes a MAC mini computer, a rear projection screen, and a SONY PS2 webcam. In Contemplating, the real time recording from the webcam is divided into 1024 mini videos (each video is 40 x 30 pixels). Each mini video is a version of the live recording with an assigned gray-scale value. The gray-scale values give the overall video a pixelized mosaic look. Contemplating conceptually defines narcissism as having repeated self-video 1024 times. While interacting with this piece, the viewers established a feeling of entitlement through exhibitionistic behaviors resulting from regulating self-images in front of the camera.