AI & Culture: Bodies & Cyborgs [Final Creative Project]

3 min readOct 17, 2018


ARTISTS: Emily deGrandpré is a 4th year undergraduate student in the School of Architecture exploring the intersections of environmental design, identity and cities, and creative production methodologies. Michael Neuman is a MFA Candidate at Carnegie Mellon School of Art where he is currently making art about presence, immersion, and phenomenology in VR.

photo curtesy of Michael Neuman

We both had interest in experimentation with projectors and quickly seized upon the idea of creating and recording some experimentation in Gravity Sketch, a virtual reality design program and projecting them onto an inexpensive laundry bag. You can read Michael’s documentation here!

This is a physical and digital exploration that uses VR to map solo and duo human interaction in a defined space. With the body and embodiment in mind, we sought to refer to the idea that you can’t see the form of the body but you can see an artistic output in the form of brush strokes, of intentional movements. These ‘movements’ are then projected onto a white laundry basket. This everyday object serves to create a more spatial and complex projection while also playing with the fact that it’s a common and familiar object. The videos being projected are recordings from two different vantage points; One perspective is through the eyes of a solo artist drawing in space and a second perspective is what would appear to a third party who is observing two artists sharing the same tool to draw together in the same space.

projection into the classroom onto 3D object! a laundry hamper!

MATERIALS: projector, white mesh laundry basket, tape, VIVE headset and hand controllers, Gravity Sketch, OBS Studio, iPhone, After Effects

using the iphone measure app (AR) to take another at the dimensions of the space
clip from the first person perspective. listening to Rond de Jambe en l’air by Ayumi HIRUSAKI & Pas de Deux from San Francisco Ballet Orchastra while drawing

Rond de Jambe en l’air // Pas de Deux

Initially, Michael had this idea to project video (related to the body) onto planes of scrim as a way of exploring spatial perceptions of the human body. In understanding that recording and projecting video is a time based media, some attention was put on playing the brush strokes forwards and backwards. I suggested using a laundry basket because of my past experience with experimenting with projection mapping and testing how light hits mesh surfaces. It became a much faster way to generate the type of exploration that we were going for. As for measurement and exploring the dimensions of the human body, we worked in a 7.25’ ’x 9’ space and limited to the way we could extend, swing, and manipulate the vive controllers and more specifically our command of the buttons.

In the second video below we each played a different role in manipulating what shape or line is generated with the various tools available in the control menu.

Elements of investigation:
stationary vs. moving VIVE headset/Camera view
brush strokes, color, two vs. one hand, symmetry/mirroring
timing the coordination of hitting the controller button at the same time
background and bounds of a 3 walled space, we chose black

first person perspective where you can fly through the drawing

In addition to this project, I also had fun recording and editing my first podcast.

Miya Sylvester, a PhD student in the computational design program was able to chat with me about dance, embodied interactions, and social robotics. I would love to continue improving my podcast hosting and audio editing skills so stay tuned!