synk research

synk is an installation being developed by Setareh Fatehi and Frederick Rodrigues. This collaboration between IDlab, the ATD and the DAS Choreography master’s programme explores ways of swapping one’s own body with someone else’s: It generates the illusion in users that they are moving within a space in another person’s body.

SynK uses real-time point clouds generated by cameras incorporated in two VIVE Virtual Reality sets. The installation makes it possible to simultaneously operate as two bodies in the VR environment and to present a real-time volumetric image of the other body.

The users occupy two demarcated zones of 3 x 3 m in the same space. The two zones are each other’s mirror: if an object is standing in one zone, an identical one stands in a corresponding position in the other zone. The installation calibrates the two real zones, the two virtual spaces, and two bodies moving within them. This experience gives the user the illusion of occupying the body image and the space occupied by the other person. We use this illusion to create a choreography of two bodies that is developed by continually tuning into and listening to the impulses of the other body, while initiating one’s own physical movements.

SynK is still under development at IDlab, where we are working on the technology and code for the installation. It was developed as part of Cinedans VR-labs 2018, so much of the technology is already functional.

Once the technological development phase is complete, we will test the installation and create the conditions for the audience: the physical choreography, text, soundtrack and communication between users. A preview of the second development phase of SynK took place on Friday 30 November 2018.

Our goal is to open the installation up to the public and to our colleagues and students at the AHK in 2019. The second presentation is planned for March 2019.