Habeas Corpus

Interactive digital video projection environment in two parts
projections 6 x 12 x 20 metres and 18 x 6 x 15 metres
2 large scale video projections, colour
A Little Pig Production, UK, 2006.
Commissioned by Allen and Overy LLB, London

Habeas Corpus is a permanent large scale publicly sited immersive interactive installation composed of two parts. The first part is encountered on entering the subterranean area of the Allen and Overy building in the City of London. As the viewer steps onto the escalator their moving image is captured by a video camera. The background and environment within which they are captured is deleted from the imagery and they then see themselves life size in the vertically oriented videeo projection on the limestone wall opposite the escalators. Their moving image layer is composited with a degree of transparency, minus the background, along with the imagery of the previous fifty people who descended or ascended the escalator. Each person in the composition is seen as rising up or falling down the wall, depending on which side of the escalator they are on (up or down). The older an acquired layer of imagery the smaller and darker it appears and the slower its movement. This creates a parallax effect and the impression of three dimensional space.

The second part of the installation is encountered as the public leave the escalator area and enter a large high entrance area at the centre of the building. On a wall 20 metres wide there is a double projection. This uses a very similar system to the escalator component of the work. However, whereas the escalator component captures and displays people as rising or falling, in this component people are captured as they walk through the space. Again, the last fifty layers of captured imagery are remembered, the older layers darker and further away from the plane of the projected imagery - the wall. Figures further away from the plane are rendered smaller and higher than older layers, creating a sense of depth and being in a slightly elevated position, as if looking over a large crowd of people walking through an infinite dark space.

Software development by Simon Biggs and Josh Nimoy. Project assistants, Michael Hohl and Sue Hawksley.

Installation managed by ADi, London. Lighting: Visual Energy, London. Cameras and optics: Alrad, UK. Network systems: Cisco.

Project architects: Foster and Partners. Project engineers: Arup. project designers: Pringle Brandon.

video of escalator piece

video of entrance piece

site images

lobby images

escalator images