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“… The installation relies heavily on technology, but what I’m really hoping for is that the purity of the interaction will render the technology invisible.”
Matthew Matthew, Author, in Medium
The comings and goings of human beings on city streets and in communities are often likened to music, symphonies of human experience. Creative technologist Matthew Matthew wondered, “What if we could actually turn a collection of human beings into a playable musical instrument?”
With On A Human Scale, Matthew filmed hundreds of people in New York City, from all different walks of life. He asked them each the same thing: he asked them to sing. From their performances of different musical notes, he selected one individual to represent a single note on the scale. These videos were then wired into a piano console, controlling a huge video panel. Keys on the piano correspond to one note sung by one person, and as the player taps out a melody, the videos become an interactive choir coming together in perfect harmony.
On A Human Scale is currently a single machine and traveling exhibit, but Matthew hopes to expand the project to include site-specific permanent exhibitions featuring local community members as the notes on their own interactive scale.