"Mirror Me" Interactive Art Installation at Wellesley College

Project at-a-glance

Mirror Me is an interactive art installation based on the childhood game, Telephone. A single photo of a person is taken, and then successive participants try to match themselves up with the previous semi-opaque photo. As each photo is taken, a projector displays all of the photos in order. The installation was set up in the Lulu Wang student center at Wellesley College for two weeks.

Social Impact

During the 2 week public installation, Mirror Me had more than fifty participants and was seen by thousands of people, including Wellesley students, professors, administrators and prospective students.

DELIVERABLES

The best interactive installation Wellesley College has ever had
— Sophia Zachares
  • 2 week installation at Lulu Wang center, April 2014

TOOLS

  • Max MSP

  • Java


Developing the interactive software

The tool we used to create the interactive software wasMax MSP, a visual coding language known for video and photo. I created the Max MSP patch, which enabled the UI (displaying previous photo, semi-transparent camera layer, button to take a new photo, and saving the new photo into a folder) to work. Two other team members, Vivienne and Julia, worked on a Java file that grabbed and projected all of the images, and when each new photo was taken it was included at the end of the loop.

 

Setting up the display

We set up a curtain to give the participant privacy while using the software.

One team member, Sophia, was in charge of selecting this location and working with Wellesley College to approve it for display.

 

"Mirror Me" video: how it works

Here is a mid-project video of how the Max MSP user interface works. Notice the opacity, and when the user takes a new photo how the old one is immediately replaced.

 

Final installation results

This installation, which we called “Mirror Me” at the time, captured pictures of over 50 Wellesley community members. Here is a brief video showing the space, the UI of the installation, and the projector displaying the photos on a blank wall.

 

The team

This project would not have been possible without the help of my wonderful team.

From left to right: Julia Makivic, Vivienne Wang, Sophia Zachares, Kathryn Brookshier