Interactive Installation with Two Cameras

a collaborative outdoor installation by Tamás WALICZKY, Márton FERNEZELYI and Zoltán SZEGEDY-MASZÁK
for the Hungarian Pavilion @ Venice Biennale 2019
curator: Zsuzsanna SZEGEDY-MASZÁK

The interactive installation serves as an addition to the lightboxes and animations part of the Imaginary Cameras series by artist Tamás Waliczky, located centrally in the pavilion. The creators who are frequent collaborators aimed to present a setting that responds to the static and two-dimensional works and encourages visitors to engage with the presented ideas with the help of a physical, functioning system.

We selected the structure of the Beam Splitter Camera for the installation. This imaginary camera has two lenses. One is a portrait lens which looks forward and the other is a wide-angle lens which is directed upwards. The images captured by the two lenses are combined with a beam splitter prism. With this camera, one can make a portrait which combines the image of the model.s face with an image of the sky above.

The installation consists of a 15-meter-high column with two video cameras and two monitors. One of the cameras is located at the top of the column and captures the sky and the scenery around the Hungarian pavilion. This camera can be rotated horizontally, and the angle at which it looks upwards can also be changed vertically.

The other camera is attached to the column at eye level. It captures the likeness of visitors who stand in front of it. The installation merges the images from the two cameras into one composition.

Below the second camera is a touchscreen on which the composition can be set. The touchscreen displays the merged image, and here it is possible to change the rotation of the top camera and to decide on the moment of exposure.

When the visitor stands in front of the second camera, he/she adjusts the composition and chooses the moment at which to capture the images on the touchscreen. The installation then records the finished picture. A QR code appears on the screen, which the visitor can read with his/her mobile phone and use it to download the finished image. Simultaneously, the finished image is shown on the second, larger screen, and there is also a continuous slideshow displaying the images made earlier.