R+R streaming walks

As part of the exhibition Place@Space in art center Z33 I have made a ‘Routes + Routines’ installation and organise some walks that are streamed and can be viewed in the exhibition room. Clips from the stream are added to a random ‘film’ that is subtitled by a choice from quotes and citations from legal texts concerning internet access control from different sources; law texts, terms of use documents, eu directives etc. These texts are wallpapered in the expo space. Info on the exhibition as a whole can be found on the weblog of Z33.
Description of the work from that same blog:

These walks take a playful approach to exploring serious questions such as: can you loan out bandwidth and how freely can you walk around on the Internet? ‘Routes + Routines’ makes the relationship between private and public spaces perceptible.

Special ‘technological data’ shoes have been made for the walks. These shoes are fitted with microphones, mini cameras, transmitters and antennae. The walkers wearing these shoes are transformed into active producers. Walking is depicting. The walks are streamed directly via internet connections that they come across on the way.

The camera’s and micro’s in the shoes are connected to a laptop on the caddy that we take with us. The laptop connects to a private access point in the neighbourhood: The owners are broadcasting the sounds and images by typing in their passwords or plugging in ethernet cables.

As command to send the streams we use:
dvgrab --format raw - | ffmpeg2theora -a 0 -v 5 -f dv -x 320 -y 240 -o /dev/stdout - | oggfwd constantvzw.be 8000 passwd /libre.ogg

In the exhibition room the stream is received on a computer with a simple Mplayer loop:

mplayer -loop 0 -fs http://constantvzw.be:8000/libre.ogg

During the walk we are not connected the whole time. On top of that the connection of the firewire port to the motherboard is really shaky which sometimes breaks the stream. Because of the loop, the command tries to play the url, if there is no stream it wil just try again (and again ..). On those moments, in the exhibition, you see a rapidly refreshing textscroll in a projected terminal window.

When we finally manage to produce a stream, mplayer will pick it up …
and after some caching and buffering, it plays the stream fullscreen.

On the other side of the room, the ‘random film’ is displayed. Clips stored in a folder and subtitles stored in another folder are randomly picked and combined by a bash script. Same principle goes here: if the clip ends, you see the terminal come up and choose a next clip and .srt file, which will then be played.
Femke made a nice bash script, that again uses Mplayer to play the clips and subtitles. For the moment te script is without end. At the time of writing, the computer, built in a frigo box by Wendy is playing the script for one month without interruption.

more images can be found in the Constant image Gallery

Posted on: Thursday, April 10, 2008 by: in category: Collaborative filming, Streaming