Body Cinema:
An Exploration in Interactive Cinema




The purpose of this document is to describe and discuss an interactive art installation that explores ideas around the body as a cinematic instrument of expression. The piece, called Body Cinema, involves the dynamic interaction of an audience member with a movie being projected underneath them as they are hanging suspended over the projection screen in a safety harness. The type of interaction that the participant can exert over the movie’s narrative comes about from their kinesthetic awareness and spatial mapping while watching the movie.

Body Cinema is designed around three theoretical frameworks: (1) Blom and Chaplin’s concepts of the experiential body of knowledge: kinesthetic awareness, phrasing, forming, relating, and abstracting (Blom and Chaplin, 1988, pg.17); (2) Stephen Levinson’s statement that “our thinking is fundamentally spatial” (Levinson, 2001, pg.69); and (3) Arnheim’s ideas around the division of the body into mental, spiritual-emotional, and physical zones as part of a symbolism of the body as a visual image (Arnheim, 1974, pg.405).

The interactive nature of the piece is implemented through the manipulation of sensor data captured from light sensors (connected to an I-Cube) around the audience member; the sensors directly influence the content and orientation of what gets shown on the projection surface underneath them. The interactivity and control of the different movie clips is implemented in Max, a graphical programming language, by capturing and interpreting MIDI data from the I-Cube system. Nato objects, which are cinema objects for Max, are used extensively...



Copyright © 2007 Adrian Jones