The Tahrir Experience Ė Media Installation Project



Mahitab Ayoub & Farah AlAshy

ABSTRACT:

The concept is all about reliving some important incidents that happened during the revolution and the users choose a specific incident according to their personality and perspective.

This experience is achievement through an interactive media installation that consists of a room, when the user enters this room he finds a map on the floor, a top views of the Tahrir Square with pin marks all over the map but not by location, itís by event. Itís an emotional map which doesnít only present the square physically but it also represents it by events and incidents happening in the place. The user also finds a wall in front of him on which he finds a message telling him to navigate through the map according to the events he wants to experience. Sensors would be installed under this map by that when the user steps on this certain event or physical place on the map a video of the event plays on the wall in front of him. The user would watch the event he chose on the map, also when he is finished with this event he can navigate into another event and this event would play also o the screen or wall in front of the user. Speakers are installed all over the room to give a 3D effect to the installation so that the user would feel as if he is the place. Also projections and light plays and important role in interactive experience for the user.

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Research for events:

In depth interviews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=CGfb3XX6Mtw

Time plan:

PHASE 1

May 10-24:

1. Draw the Tahrir map

2. Figure out the patch used in the interactive part of the installation

3. In-depth interviews with some Protesters

PHASE 2

May 24-31:

1. Print the map

2. Create the Max patch

3. Finish the documentation of the interviews

4. Test the Camera tracking

PHASE 3

June 1-7:

1. create the 3D models (events indication)

2. purchase the speakers and projectors

3. FInd a suitable room for the installation

PHASE 4

June 7-14:

 Install the room 

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Tools used:

1. The Tahrir emotional map: On the floor so the user could specify the event he/she wants to relive

2. Camera: For live tracking the user as he navigates through the events

3. Sound Speakers : Creating a 3-D sound effect for the user so the incident becomes more realistic

4. Projector: For projecting the videos of the certain incident on the wall ....


Progress:

Emotional map

Since we have decided to pin-mark our map by events and not location, by that we have created an emotional map, further more, we manipulated the map by changing the sizes and the colors of the street according to the importance of this place during the revolution, we even deleted some locations in the square that were useless during the revolution

This is an example of our progress in the map

Map - first draft

Google Map - Second draft

Final map

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Procedure:

Media Installation

1. Printing the map

2. Tahrir Character design

3. Printing Tahrir Character and strengthening them with foam board

4. Design the Labels (indicating the events on the map)

Media Interaction

1. Choosing to track the player with a Kinect Xbox camera

2. Developing the patch

3. Testing the camera with the map

4. Choose the videos to show on the beamer

The MAX MSP patch development :

progress 1

progress 2

Installing the room

1. Installing the map

2. Installing the Tahrir characters

3. Installing the Indications on the map

4. Installing directions on the floor

5. Covering all the windows and light suppliers with a garbage bag

6. Creating a separating curtain out of Garbage bags

7. Creating a footsteps indications for the player on the map

8. Installing the Kinect Camera

9. Finalize the videos chosen to be shown on the beamer

Implementation

Documentation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ef7uI5lBbM <<<<<<< =======

Realization and Observation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaNXcb4iY3Y

People first were hesitant to try the installation out because it wasn't explained previously to them, but they were excited to try it out.

Since the first event on the map was the "Camel Fight", the users were shocked by the footage they have seen on the screen, and moving from one event to another one can observe how the users were interacting with the footage they have seen. For instance if they saw protestors getting shot on the 28th of January you see them get unhappy, and when they stepped on the Friday of Victory, they were actually singing and dancing with the protestors in Tahrir square. One can observe the users getting emotionally attached to the game as if they were in an emotional roller coaster.

One can also observe that the users somehow got a sample of the whole Revolution, you see them first not expecting what is going to happen, and then getting hopeless and depressed from the footage of the policemen shooting the protesters then they get angry and want to fight back as the first millionaire footage is played and at last they feel joy when they watch the footage of the friday of victory.

Results

The users found the game interesting to play and some of them commented how they were so excited to move from one event to the other. Also, most of them were eager to watch the footage till the very end even if the movie was more than 5 minutes long. Also we had some comments about the interactive part, the users were very curious to know how they were being tracked and they never figured out that it was camera tracking, they usually thought they were sensors. Also there were comments about the Tahrir figures and how they looked alive and they were actually shocked when they first entered the room.

Limitations

From our observation, we found some deficiencies in our Installation and Interactive game. First, we realized that the directions on the floor were in a different style than the footsteps on the map and that was totally different than the style of the map, which made the installation confusing.

Second, we found that the Installation was not sufficient in comparison ti the size of the room, because the room was very large, it needed more items and objects to be added to the installation.

Third, we observed that the room was not dark enough which still gave the user the feeling that he was still in a classroom and not totally in Tahrir square.

Concerning the Interactive part of the game there were two limitations that we observed form the users experience. First, we developed the patch to track the movement in the Y-axis only which made the tracking deficient when the camera tracked more than one user or when the person moves in a direction other than the path we put for them. Second, on the beamer itself, it was obvious for the viewer that it was a program since the Max MSP toolbar was visible on top of the window, which made the user kind of disconnected form the experience.

Summary

the Concept was to be able to live the revolution once more and we implemented the idea by having a large map for thrir square and we had a research asking people what are the events they wanted to relive them and according to the research we marked signs on the map when the user stands on one of them, they play the video which happened on the same place.we used a Kinect Xbox camera to track the users and to trigger the max msp to play the videos. During the installation we had some problems but we tried to overcome them in the best way we thought of as we faced time constrains and the lack of man-power (two students in the project).