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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 viewer and subject, while submitted to multiple forms of personal data collection.

Spectral Lines

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

Universal Content

Constellations are formed when screens are shattered

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About Kevin

Baltimore City

Kevin Blackistone's picture
  Kevin Blackistone is a Baltimore inter-media artist exploring interactive immersive environments. Using backgrounds in video, music, animation, coding and data analysis he currently explores hierarchy, correlation, complexity and  control in the context of social, scientific and political dynamics. He works as a reaction to the adversarial uses of technology on the corporate, governmental and personal levels including effects on privacy, policing and advertising; further exploring the ways... more

Radiant Flux

Exploring the interplays of light and surface, Radiant Flux greets participants with undulating and faceting reflections of their own forms while casting brilliant shards of colored light upon them, choreographed by their own movements.

Details
Inspired by focusable mirror arrays used in astronomy and solar-thermal energy, the piece operates as 128 independently controled triangular mirrors - shifting in accordance with participant motion, with certain actions triggering pre-programed patterns. Colored lights shards are cast upon the viewers and their environment to be again seen in the reflected image.
Technical:
Depth-based video is sent to Processing where individual motion is extrapolated. This is used as (or selects) a pattern, then sent as addressed serial values to a controller board, which in turn converts and distributes to a series of addressed signal boards - each handling sixteen servos.
Soundtrack:
The audio is comprised of sound recordings using exclusively metal, glass and water with additional sounds derived from recordings of solar wind, the Voyager probe and Apollo 10. The live sound is a combination of a pre-produced 46 minute loop and sounds / ambiance triggered by patterns and motion.

Materials: mirror, wood, metal, fabric, motors, controller boards, lights
2019

In the Stacks

Celestial themed abstract elements mapped to the architecture of the Peabody Library for In The Stacks 8 to accompany music performed by Mind on Fire.

Performances:
Sonnerie de Ste. Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris - Marin Marais
Point.Totality - Catherine Lamb
When I am Laid - Henry Purcell
Paralaxis Forma - Catherine Lamb

Phases in Architecture

Four speakers on motorized platters make apparent the architectural effects of their environments through reflections on surrounding walls and the phasing and interference artifacts produced upon the projected frequencies.

Details
Four custom constructed speakers individually produce pure frequency tones. Each of these is cradled in a lazy susan style platter, moved by a motor directed by microcontroller through custom programmed arrays of motion.

Materials: Speakers, wood, motors, ball transfers,
2019

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 through intentional obfuscation and minimal public oversight. ‘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. This feed is periodically interrupted with local imagery 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 exterior to 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 viewer and subject, while submitted to multiple forms of personal data collection.

Serve Yourself

Projected discs slide across a dinner table with geometric forms and manipulated video of the diners themselves.

Details
A group dinner becomes an interactive work as visuals represent the collective dynamics inherent in food-based ritual. Abstract invoke the concepts of shared food as plates move between settings, while the dinner/diner relationship by food served upon the images of those consuming it.

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 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 simulate exposure from 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 shower head contains a speaker and, with the tile floor, aids in establishing the environment
  • Still Detail

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

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

(Motion || Dissolution)

Only constant interaction gives form and connection. Momentary rest only dissolves the digital self..

Details:
A reaction to the idea that one's existence must constantly be produced and visible online. This identity is portrayed as a new way in which individual connections - business & personal - are formed. In this piece a live video feed is translated by custom code to the motion of flowing particles. Inactivity causes these points to erratically dissolve away leaving only faint traces of form behind. When multiple moving elements are detected, vibrating curves are drawn between them in a form drawing magnetic field diagrams.
Designed for public interaction and dance accompaniment.

Materials: Camera, processing computer, projection

2018

Spectral Lines

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

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 tulle mesh highlighting it's bundled manifold geometry and providing a window into the unseen cross-sections of organic systems and structures.

Materials: Tulle, projection
2018

Urban Fragments

Shifting views of urban decay. 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 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

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