The goal for HeadSwap was to allow participants to choose an individual point of view within footage shot in Japan and New York City, while “swapping their heads”: simultaneously seeing what another person chooses to see. During a three-week research residency, Joris and a multi-disciplinary team of designers, programmers, and dramaturges worked to composite different video and graphic sources and find a way to view the end result in an “omnidirectional” way. They tested spherical layers upon which different media could be textured, and developed hardware to render and composite live images from a 360-degree camera without visible loss in quality or delay. This research enabled CREW to explore the conflict between live and prerecorded images and to see where both can enhance each other. At the end of the residency the work-in-progress was presented to the public followed by a discussion with the artists.
CREW, a Belgium-based multidisciplinary team of artists and researchers founded by Eric Joris integrate technology into theatrical events to create new forms of experience. They create immersive environments for audiences, using video goggles and interactive technology, that put each spectator at the heart of the experience and that challenge notions of presence, spectatorship, and narration.