Body Paint (2009)
Le Cube, Paris, France, 2010
During the exhibition at Le Cube in Paris, two complete strangers, members of the public broke into an impromptu, improvised dance performance with the installation. There was no music playing in the space. Luckily I had my camera on me, I sat in a corner and managed to capture these photos. Mind blowing and truly humbling. Thank you. My work here is done.
Live performance, Newcastle, UK, 2009
Body Paint also exists as a live performance
MSAV Open studio day, London, UK, 2009
Experimenting with ‘holographic’ musion screens
1ch HD projection, infrared camera, custom software
Dimensions (variable): [3m x 2m] – [10m x 4m]
Body paint by Mehmet Akten is an interactive installation – a visual instrument – allowing users to paint on a virtual canvas with their body, interpreting movement, gestures and dance into evolving compositions. It’s purpose is not to create a new interface for creating static paintings, but more a natural way of creating, directing and performing moving images in realtime, with focus on the interaction experience. What matters is not the painting created at the end, but the sensation one experiences while using it and reacting in realtime to their own creation as it evolves – analogous to a musical instrument – while one often plays a piano to compose and record, it is quite common to just play and improvise without any concern for recording. Every note is just for the moment, a realtime reaction coming from within, in response to your journey so far. Hence when you stop moving, the painting fades away to white, leaving only the memory, like the song you just played on the piano.
Our body is a vessel for emotional expression. When we talk, we move with our whole body. As we get excited, and more involved and passionate about what we are saying, we get more animated. Body Paint taps into this, our natural instinct to express ourselves with full body movement and dance, and combines it with our subconscious desire to create – even more so, our desire to create something beautiful.
The installation has been shown in various events, galleries and festivals across the world including the Decode exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London UK; Holon Museum in Tel Aviv, and Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, Russia.
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