Time|Motion is an exhibition that explores the concept of time and movement in the work of three photographers, Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton and Jonathan Shaw. It’s running at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until the 28th of September 2003.

[…] Shaw observed and documented the movement of visitors within a range of gallery spaces at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to produce a computer interactive and a spectacular large print which runs the length of the gallery in which it was shot: - the largest single photograph ever displayed in the Museum.

I programmed Shaw’s interactive installation, a projected video piece. Shaw shot the content for the interactive installation by mounting a video camera on a mechanised rotating platform in the centre of the gallery and filming footage of visitors as they moved around the room.

A few freeze-frames of the Time|Motion interactive exhibit.

The footage was encoded into QuickTime format which was played-back and controlled through Director MX. The exhibit ran on a G4 PowerMac. The computer was hidden from view, and the image is projected onto a screen. Visitors interact with the installation video using a Griffin PowerMate mounted on a plinth.

The interactivity was kept as simple as possible — turn the dial anticlockwise or clockwise and the video moves backwards or forwards, when you stop turning the dial the image freezes. The control had to be intuitive so the viewer’s attention was drawn to the projected image, rather than worrying about the mode of interaction. The PowerMate was ideal because there is a natural mapping between the turning of the dial and the visual feedback from the projected image.