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Group Reflection

We realized that basic technical setup could be really significant to a project. Though we did not have much difficulty preparing our performance, we had trouble setting up two webcams and connected both of them to one laptop. If we could make two webcams, we could have provided a more straightforward experience for the participants by allowing them looking into each other's eyes directly. However, the outcome using only one webcam that comes with the laptop is still quite impressive.  There are potential drawbacks to forcing direct eye contact, as noted by one of the TA's reviewing our performance, the biggest being the psychological threat seen through direct eye contact.  Therefore, whichever implementation used depends greatly on who is participating in the performance and what the central message of the piece is.

Another aspect of the setup which provided difficulty was the program used for showing the eyes and the screen.  We decided to use the program Millumin for projection mapping; however, there was no explicit tool to project a portion of the desktop.  Therefore in the final performance we stacked two projectors, which ended up being fine presentation and techwise (the fans pointed outwards instead of upwards, and as such overheating was not much of an issue).  Optimally, the final performance would have been limited to one screen for simplicity and tech, but again, with the tools we had at the time we had to substitute.

Further, given more time to refine the program, the visualization would have used eyeblinks instead of mouseclicks to count as the mouseclick action to create a sphere.  However, for practicality as a demonstration, we used mouseclicks instead of eyeblinks.

Also, the visuals could be better connected to the project.  Initially we intended to have two sets of eyes straddling the game vertically, but due to technical issues we were unable to put them on opposite sides, and as a result the final product had them both on top.  This may have reduced the impact of the directionality of the game itself, and as such a future iteration may implement directionality in a stronger manner.  However, then issues of location may come up with regards to implementation and the meanings attributed to or felt by the piece.

The sounds could also evolve to have more meaning.  For our presentation, we used calming sounds to add a level of zen to the performance and to instill that sense to the performers.  More meaningful sounds, color palettes and setups could enhance this feeling, create other feelings or enhance such other meanings of the project.

Finally, there is potential for variation of this project.  More people and more inputs can be done so that more than two people are participating at one time.  With a higher quality camera (without software restrictions), we could be able to track actual eyeblinks effectively and accurately.  And there are plenty of other meanings to explore that tie in with the piece, such as intimacy in physical or virtual space, turning blinking into a conscious activity etc.

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