Hack a Hero

Interactive video-installation
Angewandte - Wien, 2011

'Hack a Hero' is inspired by Andy Warhol's '15 minutes of fame' theory, and the Avatar culture.

Avatars are derived from the hindu culture, where the hindu gods had to represent themselves among humans, so they took the form of their avatars as their manifestation into the physical world. Nowadays avatars are used in a similar, yet different sense: they represent a persons existence in the virtual world. Within the concept of 'Hack a Hero' this aspect of avatars, as a key between different existences is combined with the idea to concentrate on the role of heroes in our time. As Andy Warhol said: "In the future everybody will be famous for 15 minutes", the meaning of fame has changed a lot over the digital age. 'Hack a Hero' is an experiment to take everyday people and hack them among historical heroes. Practically to visualize them as statues on the facade of a building.

The technical solution is based on a Kinect sensor. It is a tool developed by Microsoft, that is able to track objects in 3 dimensional space. It projects an infrared matrix in front of the sensor and by tracking that matrix it can calculate the depth-value, basically the distance of objects from the sensor. In this case the Kinect sensor is used as a 3D scanner. The 3 dimensional data is grabbed by a custom built application, which then generates a 3D model of the data. This model is then pasted into the existent architecture. The realistic sense can be achieved by projecting light and shadow as well.