Artist and photographer Audrey Penven recently used a camera with an infrared filter to shoot a series of pictures of some friends playing the video game Dance Central using Microsoft's Kinect motion controller. What she found in the resulting images was a cacophony of unexpected light--faces and bodies covered in surreal dots. Based on that, and with the help of artist and animator Aaron Muszalski, Penven conducted a new photo shoot, and the resulting images are the basis of her new gallery exhibition, "Dancing with Invisible Light," which opens Friday in Emeryville, Calif.
This is one of the original images that Penven discovered when she examined the photos taken with the camera outfitted with the infrared filter. It shows one of her friends bathed in the lovely light of the Kinect--something the naked eye can't see.
In the invitation to her gallery show, Penven wrote that, "As a photographer, I am most interested in the nature and quality of light: how light behaves in the physical world, and how it interacts with and affects the subjects that it illuminates. For this shoot my models and I were essentially working blind, with the results visible only after each image was captured. Together, we explored the unique physicality of structured light, finding our way in the darkness by touch and intuition. Dancing with invisible light."
Penven played with motion and the light from the Kinect during her photo shoot. "There are two types of blur that happen in these photos," she told CNET. "There is a depth of field effect, which is most clearly seen with dots in the background. The other type of blur--the places where the dots turn into lines--are from model movement."
Though Penven seems to have made a new discovery with her work, she is hardly the only one using the Kinect to make art. In just five months since the device's launch, all kinds of art has been created.