Response: Computer Vision for Artists and Designers

My one mini regret for today was not having read this article before doing my IM assignment for this week, as it would have been useful for brainstorming purposes. Levin’s “Computer Vision for Artists and Designers” deals with the basics of computer vision techniques through methods like background subtraction, motion and presence detection, brightness thresholding, and simple object tracking. Through the use of these algorithms, aided by the use of open-source programs such as Processing, it has become incredibly easy for anyone, including novice or experienced programmers to create projects with computer vision.

An aspect I still find fascinating about this area is its accessibility and ease. Through correct lighting and background correction, it becomes extremely easy to track a color by its color or simulate the green screen in one’s computer webcam. Regardless, with enough creativity and input, even the simplest of tracking devices can be transformed into larger, more complex projects with greater implications. Like in the case of the Bureau of Inverse Technology’s “Suicide Box”, object tracking can turn into a means of bringing to light certain ethical issues that might be overlooked under normal circumstances.

A final note I would like to make regarding the appeal of computer vision is the way it is like “magic”. Through the direct representation of a user’s input into a computer, there are no limits to what someone can do. Whether it is to create an invisible limbo line between two people, or to make visual representations of one’s words, the possibilities are endless. I believe this “augmented reality” feature is what makes computer vision truly appealing, as it serves as a means of escape into a world with no restrictions.