Project Overview

This is where it all begins, a project briefing

This project, Pedal California is an immersive interactive installation. The participant will experience a real time journey through California on a bicycle. The bicycle & the rider will be visually surrounded by a digital environment— a large projection of first person view video of my ride through California. The projection will be curved and the curvature of the projection surface will cover the entire field of view of the rider on the stationary bike to create a situation that is as real as possible. The goal is to fully immerse the rider in the projected environment.

This is the second piece in my Physical Presence in Digital Nature body of work. While the original intensions for this project were more exercise and dessert focused(I wanted to eat doughnuts), It has since evolved to a more meaningful virtual simulation focusing on immersing oneself in nature.

Experience what I experience, one-to-one. Pedal California is the stepping stone to creating a completely interactive virtual cycling experience.

Somewhat inspired by Marina Abromović and other endurance art pieces, I want participants to truly feel, “one to one” the same experience I will. I’m motivated to create a piece of art that involves my audience to endure a portion of the same journey. Participants will pedal the bicycle through the projection, moving the on screen environment to the cadence of their own pedaling. Those who get a chance to ride the finished installation will collectively progress through the trip down the Californian Coast; traveling miles over time from point A to point B with no resetting of the trip.

A nice view down the Californian Coast

Logistics

I will be capturing the video for the interactive ride as I ride a bicycle down California. The projection will be connected and controlled by the bicycle on a stationary stand. As participants pedal on the bike, the video footage will progress forward at a rate relative to the participants pedaling speed. This will give the participants control and an immersive experience I am after.

Because my journey will be one of endurance, personal struggle and determination, along with beautiful sights along the way, it would be a disservice to the not include photographs. It is my expectation to capture California from the path I take in beautiful photographs; these photos will accompany the interactive portion of the project in the installation space. The short photo essay will be a summary of the journey and will give viewers a taste of the experience while they are not actively interacting with the cycling portion.

There are a large number of technical considerations to. The pre-production and preparation for this project involve physical training & the building of a number of parts. A large portion of build time will be devoted to creating a reliable gyro stabilized camera which is capable of shooting for extended amounts of time at a high frame rate.

The success of the video will be dependent on my ability to create a near seamless video and project it onto a custom built curved surface.

While not the main focus of the art piece, a huge technical endeavor will be the Gyro Camera Stabilizer that will need to be adapted for the recording of all of the footage. The smooth and believable projection depends on stable footage.

The interactive element of the installation will be completed using either an Arduino or Intel Galileo. I have completed my proof of concept using the Intel Galileo and MAX, which I will now build off of to perfect the desired aesthetic of the installation

As of January this year, I have begun my cycling training to be sure that I can complete the course that I choose (the exact course is still being decided) The rough schedule has been outlined and following the successful building and testing of the necessary components, the ride will take place between August and September.