Monday, September 22, 2008


we never want to suffer, this way we will never be happy


the camera pov must be as similar as possible to human pov -> 50mm lens, but a deeper research on this is needed.


using Canon 40d as camera:
hdmi out to dvi male
adapter dvi male to dvi female oppure direttemente hdmi female to dvi female
dvi female to rca
rca to video capture interface ... sounds too convoluted

Experiment 1: Role

Experiment 1: CORE Role
Claudio L. Midolo
Marko Tandefelt Loretta J. Wolozin
September 22nd 2008

Current thesis concept
Lossy Light Memories is about bringing back those emotional elements characteristic of analog photography such as surprise, value, magic and intimacy which have been lost during the transition to the digital photographic medium. The chosen form is a digital device split in two halves intimately linked together though displaced in both time and space. The first half will just capture and remotely store a visual memory, while the second half will be able to make it emerge from the oblivion lighting it up to be enjoyed.

Until the two halves are physically separated, some constrains will limit both the capture and playback processes, while when the two halves will be finally reunited all the constrains will cease for a limited amount of time in order to let the two users freely evoke their shared memories.

The visual memory itself will be an artifact similar to a photograph, it will live as light on a physical medium but won’t be a print, it will seem to be still while instead will move over time. In reality it will be a high speed high resolution short video, played back in a specific way exploiting both its spatial and temporal qualities. Two immediate effects will be those of adding a sense of motion and the enhancement of the curiosity a single shot will be able to excite, as each visual memory will have much more moving details than a still photograph.

Constrains will be present both in the process of capturing a visual memory and in that of showing it back. For example the capturer won’t be able to record memories sequentially, one immediately after another, but some time will pass in between each capture in order to limit the their potential over flood and their consequent devaluation; each capture will be very precious. From the receiver side, the visual memories won’t be always accessible as programs on televisions, but they will require certain environmental conditions (silence, darkness) to be met and an active commitment from the person who wishes to enjoy them (holding the interface with the hands, keeping it close), thus adding value to each single memory evoked.

The look and feel of the interface will be almost “magical” to encourage a suspension of disbelief to let the users focus on the experience itself and not on the actual technology that make it happen. The final goal will be the restoration and enhancement of digital visual memories emotional value, ultimately suggesting a different perspective over the relationship towards digital consumer tools, not in the direction production, guided by the elements of speed, quality and conveniency but in that of humanity grounded on surprise, emotion and meaningfulness.

Experiment/research objective
The core experiment I’ve chosen will focus on two aspects of the prototyping process specifically those of ideal role and look and feel in the form of a video user scenario. The goal I’m trying to achieve through this experiment is that of the exploration and visualization of what for now in my mind is the ideal form that synthesizes both from a conceptual and interaction perspective all the core elements of the project, completely discarding the implementation side of it as it would be just a burden and useless limit at this stage.
Design questions
What is your current macro design question? A macro design question expresses your overarching design goal, what it is that you want to discover with your thesis.
As I’ve already specified at the end of the first part of this paper my overall ideal goal would be designing a digital tool able to restore and enhance the emotional value of digital visual memories, ultimately suggesting a different perspective over the relationship towards digital consumer tools, not in the direction production, guided by the elements of speed, quality and conveniency but in that of humanity grounded on surprise, emotion and meaningfulness.
What are specific working design questions you are attempting to answer by conducting this experiment?
The concept I’ve in my mind is clear, motivated, strong, beautiful and useful, but I want to see it ideally implemented in a complete user scenario to have a glimpse of its true potential, possible flaws or new working perspectives.
There are many other strict design question I pose periodically to myself regarding this project such as:
How the capture/reception flow of interactions will work? Which kind of metaphores and imaginaria I’m going to reference in order to create them. How the constrain system will work on them. Do I want a conscious capture mechanism or not? If not how to select relevant memories? What would I lose what would I gain from this?

How visual memories will physically present themselves to the receiver?
What are the most common scenarios of usage of the tool? Two persons emotionally linked which live far away from each other? How the memory sent to the other person will be precious if the other person is far away and not present in the memories? How to define preciousness in this scenario.
Another scenario may be two emotionally linked persons living close to each other, this scenario is less problematic on one side as probably the other person will be part of many memories, but the value of them may be diminished as they will be fully accessed from both the users more frequently.
A third scenario may even be a single person who wants to use this as a personal visual diary. This scenario seems to be the most satisfactory one as the two parts overlaps in one.
What if a person wants to direct a memory to more than one receivers? Do I want this?
The ideal form for the encoder, receiver would be a symmetrical object which evokes its unity when the two halves of it are apart from each other and suggest a way to physically reunite them once the two users meet again. Right now I’m fascinated by the idea of using a stone or wood block as receiver and a sheet of paper as receiver. Their union symbolizes the writing, the oldest and most fundamental way to fixate in time memories and visual memories thus it is resonating with my concept, but I wonder if it will be technically feasible to achieve.
Are the people I’m going to direct this project to aware of the loss has taken place from analog to digital photography? Are they feeling it? I have some past experiences about it confirming my vision, but probably a survey might help me to find new perspectives on this.
Who are the giants I can refer to regarding this project?

Experiment/research description
The nature of this first core experiment is a video user scenario which can be found at
I created a simple cardboard physical prototype to simulate the actual form factor of the device and I digitally enhanced it using a laptop computer programmed with a custom made java application. These are the steps I took in order to complete this first prototyping phase:

Instruments used to build the receiver and the encoder
The encoder

The receiver

The encoder and the receiver

For the encoder I chose a box shape as it had almost the ideal right form factor I’m envisioning and it incorporates a type of interaction which fits my current idea which is that of opening and closing a box in order to record a visual memory, without any way to rationally compose the shot, living the moment instead of building it.
The receiver was a simple piece of paper, with a blue stroke running around to visually match its half, the encoder. The paper immediately suggest a pattern of interactions that I consider important to the function the receiver should fulfill. The user will be able to touch it, feel it in its hands, move it, rotate it, watch the visual memories emerging from it.
This physical prototype was used to simulate an ideal user interaction, documented in a video form. The video illustrates an ideal setting for the experiment, that of two persons in love, who don’t live together, and meet one afternoon to spend some time together in a park. The boy has the encoder with him and is capturing some moments of their romantic meeting with it. When the afternoon is over the couple split. Later at night the girl is almost falling asleep when she notice the receiver glowing in the dark. She approaches it and touches it and as soon as her finger touch its surface, a visual memory emerges from the darkness and she enjoys it, and after that another one and another one. The girl is very touched by them as they represent very precious moments that she can see breathing again in front of her eyes. They are not staged or rationally composed, but they are genuine and natural, carrying a strong emotional value. After some time the visual memories fade away leaving the receiver glowing less and less brightly. The girl goes to bed happy to have witnessed again in such a special way the moments passed with her beloved one.
Results & Conclusion
This experiment was extremely valuable as it offered me the possibility to see a glimpse of the possibilities of the device I have in my mind, and I loved them. It is really a powerful hybrid of photography and moving pictures, taking from both of them some very powerful elements, without exploiting them so much to fall in their realm, becoming either a photograph or a video; the visual memory is not a photo neither a video, but is the two of them recombined together in a new form.
The results were of qualitative nature as they were mostly emotions and they confirmed my core perspective over digital photography. Mimicking the traditional analog cameras faster, better and more conveniently hasn’t enriched and fully exploited the possibilities of the digital medium; other more interesting and human compelling ways exist get the best out of it.
The visual memories captured and later retrieved generated immediate surprise and attention in the user who tried this first prototype. The interface itself was perceived as strange, original and almost magical. The moving quality of the visual memories was appreciated as it enabled the user to explore each capture spatially and temporally, giving her more time to appreciate tiny details that boosted the emotions those visual memories were carrying.
The interaction pattern were a bit confusing, more work must be done in the look and feel, refining the way the usage metaphors I’ve chosen are implemented.
A need for a name has emerged, how to call the interface? how to call the experience? how to call the two halves of the device, why? Which kind of imaginarium I’m extracting this concepts from? (Ancient Greece mythology can be a powerful source).
VII. Next steps
The next experiment I’m planning to take is that of trying to explore the technical possibilities available to actually create the Lossy Light Memories device. Once found these information build the simplest and cheapest setup to prototype all the parameters and interactions that were taken for granted during the first core experiment.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Experiment 1: User scenario proposal

I first chose to experiment implementing the most basic setup for a prototype of the project in order to be sure about the technical possibilities available to work with, but after the Monday class I changed my mind and right now I would like to create a user scenario able to illustrate one of the possible form of look and feel and role the object I'm designing might have. The implementation side of it will be ignored this time as I want to be completely free to imagine usage and interactions without technological boundaries.

Monday, September 15, 2008

(Experiment 1: implementation) no more changed to User scenario

test is processing (java) is a working environment for the project:

test movie capture capabilities
test movie making capabilities
test movie send/load over network capabilities
test movie playing capabilities

and report results in the paper for Loretta.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Marko's precedents connections

Seppo Renvall


"Many of Renvall's works are about very ordinary events. In fact, the artist says that he only makes art from the reality he knows and is familiar with personally. The works also attest to Renvall's genuine interest in people. In many of them, the depiction of private experience succeeds in revealing something genuine about humanity in general..."

"... Renvall's works are also informed by a social and political consciousness that stems from private experience... Renvall also takes a critical attitude towards commercial cinema and television, and the idea of man propagated by them."


Jari Haanpera


"Haanperä is interested in analog technology but does allso use digital technique. He is interested early 20th century technology romanticism/mysticism as well as phenomenons of our time. He uses whole scale of moving image from precinematic methods to videos and 35 mm fiction films. He fades the line between dream and reality and observes surrounding world in that light."


Chris O'Shea's "Out of Bounds" installation


the idea of an image emerging from the darkness and spatially explorable is very insightful and pertinent to my thesis investigation.

Michael Naimark


the chosen aesthetic of the SEE BANFF! is very close to my concept for the physical design of the interfaces I envision as I want them to be warm, ancient and magical.

Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 + wifi data plan as prototype tools

It seems the Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 would be a very good tool to have in order to prototype my thesis concepts.

It offers goof both spatial and temporal resolution to play with:

1920 x 1080 spatial resolution
60 fps temporal resolution

shooting a 5 sec video at 60fps and playing it back at 10fps gives as a result a duration of 30sec at full hd resolution.

the only problem is that probably it wont interface to be used as a live camera to a pc... cannot be remotely controlled.

other possible solutions are industrial vision cameras via firewire

or finding a way to capture the hdmi output of the camera.

As for the internet wifi connection the Verizon data plan seems to be the fastest one.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Temporal and spatial resolutions

Think about the Ken Burns effect

+ very slow motion video (recorded with hi speed camera 60+ fps) -> high temporal resolution
+ very hi resolution sampling of recording (5mp+) -> high spatial resolution

exploring these dimension in the Ken Burns perspective to retrieve the visual memory, make it emerge, live and fade away back in time.

from a quick research there are some available camera that shoot 500fps at .25 - 1mp but I would need something like 100fps - 5mp.

The Red Scarlet would be the perfect one

3MP at 60 fps ->3000$ :'(

otherwise the cheaper Casio EX-F1
capable of 1920 × 1080 (FHD, 60 fields per second) -> 2K res at 60fps for 999$
or 512 × 384 (300 fps, 30-300 fps) -> with such low spatial resolution the ability to explore the picture spatially is partly lost.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Marko additional ideas


- Digging deeper to the idea of Film Grain Texture

- Digging deeper to the idea of "Zooming"

- The larger idea of "sharing" a photo, wanting to share an experience/personal matter

- Time/temporal elements/present moment, things ABOUT to happen

- Memory (human vs. machine), "selective" memory etc

I did see, indeed, a beautiful warm quality with the images from custom made visualizer, almost Rembrandt/candlelight/religious/spiritual..


- Whether temporal displacement of images will be beneficial/working/understood/felt, as more as a concept...

- physicality of "Visor", yet, might be ok though if carefully planned, or some other physical experience, representations

- (wheel of Lomotype/shot left/right stereoscopic images which rolls in front of your eyes, as a fleeting moment, visor, 3D/Warm/organic).


- Check out Seppo Renvall's pinhole camera VAN in Helsinki.. hard to find materials though

- Also Jari Haanpera's light/media archeological installations..

- Rozin/Tom Igoe infrared flashlight reveal project with Maglite (REVEALING)

- Michael Naimark's Banff stereoscopic tour/device

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Algorithmic Animation : Linear + Non linear by Doris Yee

check the video my colleague Doris Yee has created to illustrate the linear vs non linear motion topic, it is wonderful!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Algorithmic Animation : Linear + Non linear motion

Here are some videos that document linear motion and non linear motion, where :

Linear motion is defined as a motion during which at any given time it is possible to predict the position of the moving object along the path from the starting point A to the destination point B.

Non linear motion is defined as a motion during which it is impossible to exactly predict the position of an object along the path between the starting point and the destination point.

Video documentation

Linear motion 1

Non Linear motion 1

Non Linear motion 2 - Super MiMi

Linear motion 2

Non Linear motion 3

Linear motion 3

Non Linear motion 4

Non Linear motion 5


Algorithmic Animation: Intro

"Making things breathe"

This Fall I've the pleasure to be among those lucky students who made it into the Algorithmic animation course at Parsons, taught by Ayah Bdeir and Zach Lieberman.

During the course we're going to explore the intersections of code, animation and physical computing in order to create beautiful moving things, both on screen and in the physical world.

I love it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lossy Light Memories

Lossy Light Memories
Claudio L. Midolo
Marko Tandefelt Loretta J. Wolozin
August 25th 2008

I. Concept
This paper is meant to be a preliminary document about the process I will go through in order to realize my thesis project at Parsons, The New School, during the academic year 2008-2009. The title for this paper has been chosen as it successfully incorporates the two main elements that currently drive my investigation. The first core definition of “Light Memories” is strongly linked to the concept of Photography, not only from a physical and technical point of view, as Photography is a medium who lives through Light, but also from an emotional standpoint, as the images produced thanks to the photographic medium fixate moments in time as well as contexts, dynamics which can, ultimately, be considered precious visual memories. The “Lossy” attribute is directly borrowed from the digital technology software jargon usually referred to a specific way to compress digital data having as a result a lower quality, but still useful, copy of the original. From the combination of these two concepts emerges the main topic of my research embodied by the lost of values which gradually took place during the transition from Analog to Digital Photography. A solution to this issue is what I set to be the final result of this thesis process, in the form of an actual interface to be used by the wide public audience.

II. Introduction
The art of capturing images, and with them emotions and memories, has always fascinated me since my early childhood. I remember I had my first contact with this strange world made of black boxes, strong lights and long lenses when I was five years old. At that time I was living in a flat and I used to spend a lot of time in our neighbours’, Carmela and Caco, house as my mother and father were both very busy working hard to make a living for my sister and I. As a result I became very close to both Carmela, who eventually got to be as a real grandmother, and to her son Caco, who is like an uncle to me. It was in that very apartment that I entered the magic world of photography as Caco was a professional working in the field and I couldn’t resist the innate impulse to enter his private laboratory in order to explore it and play with his tools ultimately messing them up!
The years passed but I always kept alive in me this fascination for that peculiar craft that among many other was the only one capable of capturing an instant from the continuous stream of time in the same way human eyes do with visual memories.
“There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the present moment. A man’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there will be nothing else to do, and nothing else to pursue. Live being true to the single purpose of the moment.” 1
Growing up I had no other contacts with Photography. High school years passed in a glance followed then by my first real negative education experience, that in the Computer Science degree program at Milan Politecnico, ended with my conscious withdrawal. At that time I naturally started exploring the intersections between visual arts and computational media and one year later I officially started to learn Design at the IED academy in Milan, enrolling in the Digital Design program. It was during that period of time that I started exploring Photography as a mean to create and manipulate those visual elements that were the essential building blocks of many of my visual communication projects. First on my own and then with the precious help of Caco the doors of photographic knowledge were opened to me revealing a marvellous and wide panorama. My first personal camera was a cheap digital one and the photos I was taking with that tool were pleasing but the more I was using it, the more I was feeling that I needed something more “manual” in order to really learn the basics of Photography as almost everything in that camera was automatic. It was with the purchase of a digital reflex camera that I discovered the meaning and the power of those words that just some time before were arcane to me such as aperture, shutter time, white balance ... Thanks to that interface I really started playing more directly with light and it is the tool that I’m still currently using after four years. At that point in time my personal photographic experience was almost exclusively based on digital cameras, I was just loving the ease of use, speed and quality even a beginner like me was able to achieve with little effort thanks to the superb design and technology of those digital interfaces. Given my little experience I was superficially considering analog cameras just as things of the past; they were slow, convoluted and, more importantly, they were not able to immediately visualize the result of a given shot, thus my interest in them was fairly limited. This situation began to change during a trip to Berlin, during which I randomly encountered a very special analog camera, a Lomo-camera, which started to erode my superficial assumptions about Photography and digital technology in general. That strange, little device was funny looking, made completely in blue rubber with plastic lens and it didn’t even have a viewfinder! In order to take a shot you just had to point at the subject, press the shutter button and hope it was caught on film... at first I was considering it more a joke than a real tool, but then what a surprise when looking at its results! The images captured by that device were so genuine, spontaneous, maybe with lower quality than those of my fancy digital camera, but absolutely imbued with life.
“The medium is the message.”2

III. Motivation
From that moment on I started exploring the analog medium and now I own several analog cameras as well as a digital one. What I’ve learnt so far has helped me building a more critical perspective over digital technology and its relationship with the analog counterpart. One of the assumptions related to this subject that I feel most is that in the transition from analog to digital medium, specifically in Photography, has not only changed the way images are captured, processed and memorized, but, more importantly, has, gradually but constantly, modified the way we approach to the photographic practice: how we interact with the camera in order to take photos, how we look at them, how we share them, what value we attribute them. One example of this deep shift is the explicit, obvious, but not broadly perceived sacrifice of surprise in favor of immediacy. The first and foremost feature designed and marketed when the first consumer digital cameras came on the market in the mid nineties was the ability to take a photo and immediately show it back in order to evaluate its quality. The feature encountered a great success and was included in all the following evolutions as it successfully satisfied the great demand coming from the users to eliminate the long, time and money consuming process of develop and print the images captured on film at the local photographic laboratory, similarly as Polaroid did with the introduction of the instant developing film cameras during the fifties. All this convenience came with a price, that of the sacrifice of the element of surprise. As the pictures can be immediately accessed and evaluated in the same place, same moment they have been taken with no effort and additional costs, it is easy to imagine that the practice of taking a shot over and over until the “perfect” one is finally captured has become very popular and widespread. The emotions of surprise and suspense emerging from the discovery of the results of a film shot time ago were lost for good.
Other two key features brands like Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony are always pushing to the limit of are those of quality and speed, the first in terms of resolution and the second seen as the overall capturing, processing and memorizing time the device consumes at each shot. Not surprisingly the users react positively to these technological advancement, even if they are not truly genuine as, for example, the quality of a picture is more related to that of the lens which captures it more than the resolution of the camera sensor. The pictures are larger and larger, can be scaled up without losing too much detail spending less and less time capturing them, but how do they look? There is really little or no difference between an image taken with two digital cameras in the same price range. Taking two DSLR as example a Canon 40D or Nikon D300 and looking at the images they produce it is clear that the difference between them is little more than just the brand they carry on their body.
“Even more fetishized is "film look" itself -- the soft, grainy, and somewhat blurry appearance of a photographic image which is so different from the harsh and flat image of a video camera or the too clean, too perfect image of computer graphics.”3
The images produced digitally have stunning quality, but they all look and feel the same, while film used to give each shot a distinctive quality, thanks to the different chemicals used to produce or process it. Post production digital image manipulation suites like Adobe® Photoshop® are powerful tools that can enhance and transform each digital photo boosting its characteristics, empowering its qualities and fixing its weak points, but they are incomparable to the implicit character a specific combination of film, camera, lens and develop and print techniques can give to a given shot. One last argument about the shift the digital transition has brought in the photographic world is related to the way pictures are viewed and shared. Thanks to their immaterial, electronic, numerical nature, and to the wide spread computational information network known as the Internet, the images captured with a digital camera can easily reach a world wide audience. So called “Web 2.0” services such as the popular Flickr enable anyone with a digital camera, or tools to digitize its shots, a computer and Internet connection and no proficiency in database/web technologies, to share its images with the rest of the world in a glance. The popularity of these services is growing together with the astonishing success of digital consumer cameras; in any given minute, on the Flickr website, thousands of images are uploaded and shared with anyone present on the net. While this is great on one side, as it democratically enable any image maker to show its creation to the same audience a world known professional can reach, the trade off is that of loss of intimacy and social value the sharing of a picture used to generate. When all these contemporary technologies were yet to be implemented and distributed to the wide public audience, the sharing and viewing of pictures was a very intimate and social event. Usually one picture was given as a gift to a particular person and the act of giving and receiving the gift involved just those two individuals. Another occasion would have been the leafing through the photo album together with friends or family, another hint of the social yet intimate nature of the photo sharing and viewing activities in the past. Surprise, magic, unique character and intimacy, all of these features that once characterized the photographic experience are slowly but constantly fading away, leaving an immediate, high speed, high quality, world accessible Photography behind them. Probably desirable and ideal for business or worker professionals, but surely not fully true to the very nature of the images that every day millions of people try to condense their precious and intimate memories in.

IV. Methodology
The result of this thesis research will be the creation of an interface able to capture images, while keeping alive those qualities faded away in the transition between analog to digital Photography. The form that can synthesize this concept is that of a split object, a camera both divided in time and space. The one of the fundamentals that has always represented the technical and conceptual core of the photographic practice is the unity of the lenses and of the film, of the element which captures the image and that which stores it in time. Once the photographer clicks the shutter button it opens in a given time at a given aperture letting some light pass through and reach the sensitive film in the back which retains a visual impression of the scene which was taking place in front of the camera lenses.
The mechanism: stamped black tin,
Leatherette over cardboard, bits of boxwood,
A lens
The shutter falls
Dividing that from this.4
I plan to subvert this logic, exploiting the implicit qualities of the digital medium not to simply mimick the traditional analog camera behaviour but using them to translate the digital image into the form of a visual memory. The device I envision is composed by two distinct parts: the first able to capture and transmit the image and the second able to receive and visualize the images taken by the other half of the device, in a very specific fashion. The taken images will be displaced in time, as the receiver will get them at a later, not specified, moment than they were captured, as well as in space, as the receiver can be anywhere an Internet connection is present. While the time passes the images will slowly emerge on the surface of the receiver and live there for some moments to then fade away to, maybe, reappear at a later moment, in a continuous cycle.

The two halves of the device are implicitly linked and one receiver can visualize just those images coming from the capture device it has originally linked to. I’m here using the term “image” to refer to a medium able to hold a visual memory and not specifically to a static, photographic-like image. The capture device will be able to record a limited amount of visual memories; once it has used all the available space two options will be possible: wait some time so the “buffer” frees some space for new visual memories or meet in person with the holder of the receiver and reunite the two halves together. In that very moment all the space will be freed on the capture device and all the visual memories will be freely accessible on the receiver for a certain amount of time.
In order to implement this concept I’m going through an iterative process both experimenting with value fiction designs to test to the limits the fundamentals of the idea and, once arrived to a solid conceptual stage, start the real implementation which probably is going comprehend elements of physical computing, network, user interface and visual programming.

V. Research
These projects represents precedents that can be linked to the Lossy Light Memories project from both a conceptual and technical perspective:
The Moment Camera
“Sometimes, a very short subsequence, or cliplet, can capture the moment, while still allowing the imagination to fill in what happened just before or after the bit of action. Just as a still image forces the viewer’s imagination to fill in what is left out, such short cliplets serve a similar purpose..”5
The Moment Camera project is very insightful particularly because of the peculiar technique and approach to capture a “moment” and the attention reserved to the tension between the elements of still image and video. Using a continuously filled and updated short video buffer, a Cliplet, the Moment Camera should be able to record a moment from time, not in the form of a single image but in that of a very short video. This would still allow the viewer to interpret something very similar to a still shot but enhanced with a layer of motion and dynamics.
Exploring Design Concepts for Sharing Experiences through Digital Photography
“In this research, we aim to explore meaningful design directions for future photography applications with a focus on the experiences around sharing. We review a wide-rage of photo-related applications, extracting emerging patterns of different photo-related interactions to inform a framework for their discussion.”6
This project is particularly relevant as it presents a thorough and up to date research about the currently most popular ways to capture, share and edit photographs as well as related academic projects and emergent patterns of interaction.
Sharing Digital Photographs in the Home through Physical Mementos, Souvenirs, and Keepsakes
“People now easily share digital photos outside the home via web publishing and gift-giving. Yet within the home, digital photos are hard to access and lack the physical affordances that make sharing easy and opportunistic. To promote in-home photo sharing, we designed Souvenirs, a system that lets people link digital photo sets to physical memorabilia. These mementos trigger memories and serve as social instruments;”7
The core concept that links this project with the Lossy Light Memory one is the shared attention reserved to the way visual memories in the form of digital files are brought back from the virtual world to the physical one through some kind of visualizer that resides in the intimate space of a home. The Souvenirs system is an interesting attempt to restore the intimacy and social nature of visual memories sharing lost in the transition from film photography to digital photography.
Computational Photography
“Computational photography combines plentiful computing, digital sensors, modern optics, actuators, probes and smart lights to escape the limitations of traditional film cameras and enables novel imaging applications. Unbounded dynamic range, variable focus, resolution, and depth of field, hints about shape, reflectance, and lighting, and new interactive forms of photos that are partly snapshots and partly videos are just some of the new applications found in Computational Photography.”8
The Computational Photography paper is a precious repository about the latest research of the intersection of computing and digital photography. While the technical details and techniques can be distant from the focus of the Lossy Light Memories project, they are insightful as they clearly present various paths that can be possibly useful to translate a still photograph into a breathing visual memory.

VI. Map

--- put map image here ---

VII. Prototype
The following documentation is about the very first, early physical prototype realized during Summer 2008. While absolutely simple it successfully incorporates the major concepts that constitutes the core of my current research such as:
The user who captures images cannot directly see them but has to wait
The user who captures images have a certain amount of shots available
The images can be seen just on the visor device at a later time
The visor is an object that can only visualize the pictures taken by the capture device
The visor is an object who lives in the home
The visor and the capture device are displaced in time and space
The images are not print but they keep their light nature
They images are ephemeral, they cannot be seen forever or placed on a wall, they emerge from time in the visor

The capture device is a 60x60mm analog camera called HOLGA

The images are saved on 60x60mm VELVIA positive film

The visor device is a custom made positive film visualizer

The visual memory is lit from the past

When I first saw the images via the custom made visualizer I was deeply surprised. Just seeing them for the first time off the screen, not only printed on paper but temporarly lit up made me appreciate their ephemeral nature and the value that it carries with it and inspired me to refine the concept of Lossy Light Memories.

VIII. Conclusions
I’m deeply motivated to take this project to its full growth and expansion as I really feel that the current situation of, not only Photography, but more in general digital technology is critical. The consumer market is flooded by devices that offer the same functionalitis and share the same values: to get very high quality output, very quickly and very cheaply ... but I fell something is missing. With today’s digital camera it’s easier to capture “the perfect shot” in any given situation, but what is the perfect shot compared to the surprise and value of a long awaited, physical visual memory? I will go on exploring this topic refining it further in order to successfully bridge the technological and emotional gap that exists in between the analog and digital dimensions of the photographic practice.


1 Yamamoto, Tsunetomo and William S. Wilson. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai. Kodansha International, (2002): 68. 2 McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding media: The Extensions of Man. Routledge, (2001) : 7.3 Manovich, Lev. THE PARADOXES OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY. Photography After Photography.Exhibition catalog. Germany, (1995)..4 Gibson, William. Agrippa (A Book of The Dead). Cohen, Michael F. and Richard Szeliski. The Moment Camera. IEEE Computer, (2006). 6 Jung, Heekyoung and Kay Connelly. Exploring Design Concepts for Sharing Experiences through Digital Photography. Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Designing pleasurable products and interfaces. Finland, (2007). 7 Michael Nunes, Saul Greenberg and Carman Neustaedter. Sharing Digital Photographs in the Home through Physical Mementos, Souvenirs, and Keepsakes. Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Designing interactive systems. South Africa, (2008).8 Ramesh Raskar, Jack Tumblin, Ankit Mohan, Amit Agrawal, Yuanzen Li. Computational Photography. EUROGRAPHICS, (2006).



I feel the need to develop a vocabulary for the thesis project constitutive elements. For example, how to call the two halves of the split device? how to call the reunited device? how to call the visual memory? is this photography? is this video?

Try to look to the Greek Mythology imaginarium for insights.


The visual memories emerge from the past on the visor just in certain environmental/temporal conditions as for example just in the dark, in the silence, no movements, same day it was taken.

Reference to isophone -> less external stimuli, more attention to the visual memory

Maybe capture audio too? parts of it? only the frequencies that matter most for the emotion part of the memory and less for the understanding of it.

Use hi speed digital cameras as primary input for the visual memory, give the possibility to the user to capture a given amount of memories each memory lasting a given amount of time.

The user can pause the "recording" of the memory keeping a button pressed (rough editing capability).

How the visual memory is going to be visualized? it has to live in a physical object, better if not a flat screen, better if a projection.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I want

Memories that breathe.