Studying the nature of eye-based communication through games focusing on the line of sight
This workshop introducing the media-like property of the human eye was held in conjunction with the exhibition "LabACT: We connect to the world through our eyes- Eye-Tracking study".
In everyday life, we are usually not much aware of our own line of sight. We tend to look away as soon as our eyes meet those of others, and to look up into the air when reflecting on something, so in addition to functioning as an input device, the eye has also aspects of an output device that indirectly reflects its owner's state of mind. Inspired by such phenomena as heightened awareness towards usability in society at large, and the miniaturization of computers, analyzing eye movements and applying the results for marketing or product development purposes have become increasingly common practices, making the supposedly well familiar eye a tool that is receiving more and more attention in recent years.
The program of this workshop contained a number of games visualizing the line of sight, and highlighting such aspects as the eye's correlation with human psychology, together with the difficulty to control it. Through these games, participants learned about possibilities of eye-based communication.
Eye2Eye (YCAM original workshop)
Visualizing and sharing invisible lines of sight
Duration: 2 hours
Number of participants: 10
Age group: Fourth grade elementary students up to adults
(1) About the workshop
(2) Sight and psychology
(3) Experiencing eye-tracking technology
(4) Sight Sharing
(5) Vision and communication
(5) Eye Beam Game
"The EyeWriter" is a project started by artists and hackers with the aim to help their friend TEMPT1, an artist diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), to be able to draw again. Together they developed a low-cost eye-tracking system, and made production methods and source codes freely available to the public. In this workshop, "The EyeWriter" software was modified in order to be usable by multiple persons at the same time.
In "Sight Sharing", eye movement data of all participants were fed into a computer. A variety of photographs and other images were projected one after another onto a large screen, where the participants could observe together how their own and the other participants' lines of sight were moving across the screen.
For example, one could see clearly how the participants' eyes focused automatically on the flag of their respective native country when looking at a picture in which a number of different national flags were arranged in a grid pattern, or how they concentrated on the flag of a specific country named by the facilitator. Next to aspects of the human eye such as what kinds of colors and shapes work best to attract the eye, and how we move our eyes in order to grasp an object visually, the experience revealed the relationship between sight and the unconscious, unthinking mind, and at once highlighted such qualities as individual characteristics hidden in the line of sight of each participant.
Eye Beam Game
In the "Eye Beam Game", smoke was generated inside the venue in order to visualize two participants' lines of sight three-dimensionally, like "beams" in literal terms, after which the participants played tag trying to escape those beams. Through this game they understood how our line of sight moves within a space, and got an idea of how broad the human field of vision is.
- Tour Information
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City
- Yamaguchi City Board of Education
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]