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1st Place, 2013


Joshua Albers, Art + Design

One of my primary interests is investigating the ways in which we construct realities in response to, and in order to align with, our perceptions of the world. My interest lies not only in the physical reality we inhabit bodily, but the virtual environments in which we increasingly immerse ourselves. The Microsoft Kinect, and other devices like it, use cameras to "see" an environment and build a 3D model of it in order to identify people and objects. Originally intended to be used by consumers as a video game controller, this means that it is also a widely available, relatively inexpensive device that affords us new ways to experience our physical surroundings through virtual space.

Much as Eadweard Muybridge used photography in his groundbreaking studies of motion over time, I am using the Kinect to study space over time; because it functions as a 3D scanner in addition to a camera, it allows me to overlay multiple moments--such as in my image Threshold, where I am superimposing 11 spatial "snapshots" of myself walking through a room. By examining both the figure and its surroundings, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how space affects, and is affected by, its inhabitants.