don't take my picture

Alex Keeling

Photo Booth Surprise!

The photo booth


For only 10¢, you could get your photo taken at the Photo Booth Surprise! Unlike a traditional photo booth which makes a print of your photo for you, this photo booth sent your photo to be displayed on screens scattered around town.

This work was part of the 2013 Mondo Monde New Media festival. You can still view all the photos taken.


For the photobooth itself, I built a wooden enclosure which revealed a coin accepter, a webcam, and a big red button. Everything was connected to a Rasperberry Pi hidden inside. Upon entering two nickels or a dime, the coin acceptor would alert the Raspberry Pi via the GPIO pins, and the Pi would light up the red button, start watching the webcam, and listen for a button press. Pressing the button would tell the Pi to capture a frame from the webcam, and upload it to a website.

Screen in a window showing the photos
Slide show of all the photos taken

The website was setup to receive connections from the Raspberry Pi, and accept images from it. The images would be added to a folder full of photo booth images, which were cycled through upon viewing the website. This webpage, cycling through all of the images, was opened and put into fullscreen mode on a few computers around the town, in shop windows.

agit POV


agit POV is a project run by some folks based in Montreal. They travel all over the world putting on workshops where the participants create an arduino-based led "Petit objet de vélo". It gets hooked to a bike wheel, and when it spins, the leds flash on and off very quickly to spell out a short message.

When the agit POV team came to Sackville in July 2013, I took their workshop and created my own POV. It was great. They've been doing it for a while, and they've made a few generations of POVs, adding improvements like more leds. One thing that they didn't have yet was the ability to write lowercase letters.


I took a look at the arduino sketch code (C code) being used to program the POVs, to see exactly how the current letters were implemented. I then set about creating an alternative character set which would include lowercase letters, as well as common symbols, punctuation, and accents.

A single letter when displayed is 12 leds tall, and 7 units wide. (your speed on the bike determines the actual width of a letter) So, POV stores letters as an array of 7 integers. Each integer indicates which leds should be on, and is declared as something between 0x000 (all leds off) and 0xfff (all leds on). Each hex digit represents four leds, and the least significant bit corresponds to the top of a letter.

To create an expanded set of characters, I wrote out all the letters in a plain text editor using a monospaced font, 7 characters wide, 12 characters tall, and used '#'s to represent 'ON' leds, and '_'s to represent 'OFF' leds. Once I had all my letters written out, I wrote a small shell script to parse the patterns and spit out appropriate hex values between 0x000 and 0xfff. From there I just pasted the new characters into the arduino sketch code, and reprogrammed my POV! It was pretty fun. Feel free to check out the code.

Notice in the images the difference between the all-caps, "CEREBRO", and the mixed-case, "Share the Road" & "Paradise".

anamnesis the ability to hold in the mind


A collaboration with Rebecca Blankert. This installation combined a series of videos of abandoned/shut-down industries from around Sackville run through a variety of video filter effects and carefully calibrated projections onto a three dimensional canvas.


After filming a series of slow panning shots documenting a bunch of businesses & industries of yesteryear, we created a variety of video filter effects in Max/MSP/Jitter. Our video ran through these filters live, and the resulting video streams were sent to MadMapper. Here we were able to define the edges of the boxes, and control which video streams were projected onto which surfaces.

10 - 15 cm


This is supposed to look like gently falling snow. When it was installed at the gallery, I had a wooden frame around the monitor displaying this to give a sense of looking through a window.


Created with Processing after taking a workshop at Struts. You're welcome to take a look through the source code, and adapt it for your own uses.