Through hand-coded, custom software, Illuminate captures and transforms every nuance of a person's movements in space over time into intentionally crafted, visually vibrant, luminescent computer graphics. Illuminate "works at the edge of what is recently possible" by employing the latest in machine learning-based body tracking software and computer vision techniques to detect and track the position of a person in space directly from a live video feed. The project does not use Kinects, and no controllers are attached to the participants' bodies– the software relies on their free, unrestricted movement. A translucent scrim mounted in the installation space is lit with these projected graphics, bringing a dark room to life and creating an immersive environment in which the visualizations of our visible movement engulf us—allowing us to meditate with a newly abstracted form of our body and play with the extruded forms of our body's path over time.
The visualizations augment the participant's movements and serve as a playable interactive interface in which the participant can use their own speed, acceleration, position, and body orientation to manipulate the visuals directly. While each visualization is subtly different from the next, they are all designed to be connected deeply to the participant's body's movement and give a smooth, ultra-responsive feel and real-time connection to the person moving in space. This ability to control elements of the visualizations directly creates a playable interface that encourages participants to explore different aspects of their body movement and perform with the interactive system, inherently exploring their own bodily expression, meditation, and play. The artist, Chelsi Alise Cocking, created this work through a personal practice of using computing as a medium for craft in art, design, and interactive performance.