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Work Samples

Who's Watching - a security aparatus

The ways in which Baltimore' has been a test-bed of 'security' technologies is explored by participants in two locations who take part as both voyeur and observed while submitted to multiple forms of personal data collection.

Spectral Lines

This one hour immersive piece presented in the Davis Planetarium featuring abstract animations influenced by and using data sets from exoplanetary research. Live musical performance by Wume.

Intersections

An exploration of how structures and people in different locations can intersect in surprising ways. Six videos of scenes from Baltimore and Mexico City dart around overlapping and diverging in turn.

Digital Cascade [demo]

An exploration of privacy when awash in the digital information flow which serves to deliver information at a moments notice, while selectively collecting the lives of those who interact with it.

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About Kevin

Baltimore City

Kevin Blackistone is a Baltimore new media artist exploring interactive immersive forms of the video media. Using backgrounds in computer animation and data analysis he currently explores hierarchy, correlation, complexity and  control in the context of social, scientific and political dynamics. His works have shown locally as well as installations & viewings in Miami, Zürich, Daegu and Sydney. He is a fellow of the John Hopkins Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund award for his project Who’s Watching... more

Whos Watching

An exploration of the apparatus of surveillance and the ways in which Baltimore's disenfranchised communities have been a testing ground of these new technologies with intentional obfuscation and minimal public oversight or critique. Who's Watching exists to introduce a conversation about these methods and their use.

Details
Participants at two sites are encompassed by video and audio of those in the other while submitting themselves to monitoring including audio, data and face cataloguing.
A video feed between the two sites is captured by a panoramic infrared security camera and sent to projectors, providing a full dome coverage video. This feed is periodically interrupted with local video and a panoptic view of FBI drone footage secretly collected during the Baltimore Uprising.

Materials: wood, metal, fabric, cameras, mirrors, microphones, speakers, networking devices, processing computers, projection
2018

  • Touch Camera Control

    Control center
    This touchscreen allows participants to pan and zoom the camera feed, giving a sense of being in control of the monitoring aparatus, meanwhile the above camera is set to recognize and catalogue the participants face.
  • Gallery Install in Profile

    gallery sample
    a participant in the one room is projected across the walls of another with overlaid data feed of current network traffic
  • Drone Footage

    FBI Feed
    panopticon of FBI drone surveillance of the Baltimore Uprising provides a momentary mosaic
  • Interaction

    two location interaction
    participants at one site interact with those at a distance
  • Face Catalogue Screen

    Face Catalogue Screen
    View of the screen displaying a rotating and updating catalogue of the faces of individuals who used the control screen with an additional audio analysis display.
  • Exterior View

    rear projection
    When set-up in an interior space, the weather-proof covering can be removed allowing those without the installation a further opportunity to participate as voyeur.
  • Who's Watching - a security aparatus

    The ways in which Baltimore' has been a test-bed of 'security' technologies is explored by participants in two locations who take part as both voyeur and observed while submitted to multiple forms of personal data collection.

Intersections

Overlapping lives and scenes from different times and places.
Six videos show scenes from Baltimore and Mexico City darting at random intervals - separating and layering in turn.

Details:
A projection of six video tiles is broken into sections by an array of programmatically controlled servo motors. These are set to move each image to a new position at randomized intervals. On certain occasions all six videos are set move to the same location creating a wash of all six videos.

Materials: Controller boards, acrylic, mirrors, motors, projection
2018

  • Build & Tech

    wiring
    Rear view showing the motors, controller, wiring, and acrylic support elements.
  • Development

    development
    Development image of mounting and control motor build
  • Intersections

    An exploration of how structures and people in different locations can intersect in surprising ways. Six videos of scenes from Baltimore and Mexico City dart around overlapping and diverging in turn.

Urban Fragments

Shifting views of urban decay in which prismatic crystalline shards glow through a discarded storefront window.

Details
Urban fragments takes a piece of dirty and cigar-burned window from downtown Baltimore and uses it's grime as a rear projection surface. Upon this, generative animation of pseudo-glass fragments are projected as they oscillate between irridescent color and monochromatic palettes. Configurable as both a floor or hanging piece .

Materials: Reclaimed plexi, wood, wire, projection
2018

Digital Cascade

Translucent projections upon a shower door provide a parable of what physical privacy and mental freedom mean when awash in a constant information flow - providing data to us, while collecting data from our every interaction.

Details
Through a glass shower door is projected translucent imagery of showering individuals and trickling water. These images are distorted and discolored in a manner reminiscent of analog late-night pay-per-view scrambling. A speaker within a showerhead provides an ambient soundtrack of showerwater to provide the experiences both existing within the shower while acting as voyeur.

Materials: Door, projection film, ceramic tile, showerhead, speaker, projection
2018

  • Distorted Form

    Distorted nude
    A still of a naked showing body, distorted with clear water drops
  • Showerhead on Tile

    Showerhead speaker
    The showerhead acts as a speaker. It's inclusion and the tile floor anchor the installation and further establish an environment rather than pure imagery
  • Still Detail

    body still
    Female nude showing with analog distortions.
  • Digital Cascade [demo]

    An exploration of privacy when awash in the digital information flow which serves to deliver information at a moments notice, while selectively collecting the lives of those who interact with it.

Spectral Lines

Planetarium format abstract exploration of the ideas that surround the search for exoplanets featuring live music by Wume and video produced using generative, data driven, & 3d animation.

Details
Spectral Line is a four part, one hour performance and video piece designed in full-dome format first presented in April 2017 at Baltimore's Davis Planetarium. The complete piece explores and abstracts ideas related to the search for and data collected from extrasolar planets. In each section an individual confirmed planet was selected and animations developed and assembled based on it's means of discovery and known characteristics.

2017

Topologies

Curved lines morph and deform providing three dimensional cross-sections of hidden structure with implications of the interiors of organic bodies.

Details:
Procedurally generated lines move vertically and horizontally through a thin mesh highlighting the it's bundled manifold geometry and providing a window into the unseen cross-sections of organic systems and structures.

Materials: Tulle, projection
2018

Persistence of Vision

An audience is surrounded by their own mirror image as it reacts to the sounds produced by themselves and performers.

Details
A companion piece to Who's Watching, Persistence of Vision follows in it's critique of unregulated surveillance through analogues with the wide-field arial program flown over Baltimore by Persistant Surveillance Systems.
Four screens form a canopy of projection beamed from a central podium. These show a feed of video from a flown central security camera which is manipulated to form a reflected image of those below while being algorithmically mangled by the sounds of the audience and performers in the room. Room haze boosts the effect, giving additional body to the projections' light.

Materials: Custom screens, security camera, processing computer, haze, projection
2018

Hojarasca

Footage ordinarily used as the establishment of environment in the form of stock and b-roll here constitutes the whole of this film layering an album of photography in motion over a musical score.

Details
Hojarasca is an assemblage of video clips of daily events, ambient environments, textures and forms merged with a musical score produced through synthesis and field recording. Over a decade of imagery recorded as archive and stock here are collected to produce a cross-section of one's life.
The imagery is presented as a meditation. These pieces do not reinforce each other through any thematic, temporal or linear narrative, but instead are assembled through happenstantial arrangement - refined to complement the score. The name references the collection of moments from one's life gathered as one may rake scattered leaves. Total Run Time: 76m

hojarasca (oxa'ɾaska) : 1. conjunto de hojas que han caído de los árboles y plantas cubriendo el suelo. 2. figurativo cosa improductiva y superficial que carece de contenido
English:
1. a gathering of fallen leaves. 2. something figurative, unproductive & superficial lacking content.

2018

Centrifuge

Scientific progress is considered through rapidly shifting prismatic lines on curved white acrylic highlight glowing scientific hardware beneath.

Details:
A flexed piece of white acrylic shows rapidly shifting and oscillating lines using movements to suggest the spinning form of a centrifuge. Beneath a piece of hardware from a genomic sequencer is highlighted by the glowing form above to higlight the current pace of scientific inquiry and discovery.

Materials: acrylic, display table, metal, projection
2018

  • Centrifuge

    Fast moving prismatic lines jump to the stochastic rhythm of scientific research

Flatland [video & projection design and animation]

Based on the novela by Edwin A. Abbot, this performance explores concepts of hierarchy, colonialism and control through ever-higher dimensional space. Here I've design immersive live and reactive projections which cover both the audience and performers who's stage is likewise a projection surface.

Details:
Visuals were created based on scientific and mathematical models of two to six dimensional forms, quantum mechanics and string theory. These concepts were further modified to explore ideas of life and movement of higher dimensional beings and their levels of control in these abstract spaces. Here, the original novela is expanded from the lives of a two dimensional being discovering three dimensional space to an expansive ten dimensional abstract universe.

Directors: Isa Leal & Evan Moritz • Music: Nudie Suits • Lighting: Mason Ross • Costumes: Susan MacCorkle
Full Performance [1h 44m]: https://youtu.be/ZtMeVySNnW8

2016

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