Interactive digital video 4 x 3 x 6 metres
projection, computer, camera, colour
A Little Pig Production, UK, 2007.

Continuum is a mirror that "captures" anything that moves before it. Anything that does not move is not reflected but is lost in the inky blackness of the background of the screen image. Continuum is a "mirror" that "reflects" things as both a function of space and time. The "mirror" remembers recent past events and records them as layers in a three dimensional space. The location of a layer is a function of time. Recent events are to the fore whilst older events are rendered further away, smaller and fainter. The position of the viewer then determines not only where they are "reflected" but also how they are spatially rendered. Moving from left to right causes the three dimensional "reflection" to move in space, employing the phenomena of parallax (where things close up appear to move further and faster than things further away).

Continuum employs custom software and conventional hardware. The software employs realtime video acquisition and processing algorithms that allow the viewer's image to be captured and matted so as to remove any visual background material and render it as black. The same software then renders the image to the screen as a semi transparent layer, its x and y location determined by the location of the viewer and its z location (depth) determined by when it was acquired relative to other layers. This time data is also used to determine the transparency of the layer, recent layers rendered as more opaque than older layers, creating an atmospheric sense of depth. The viewer's location is tracked by the software and this information is used to determine the "point of view" the viewer sees their reflection from. This results in the effect of parallax. The viewer's movement causes the "reflected" imagery to move in three dimensions, swaying from side to side, just as occurs when we sway our heads looking at actual three dimensional objects, revealing their various aspects.

The performers in the documentation here are Ross Cooper, Morgan Runacre-Temple, Lucy Boyes and Ira Siobhan.

Video documentation

Screen shots from Continuum