Transforming a restaurant with an artwork that turns TV into a never-ending conversation.

Overscan is a video artwork that perpetually watches, deconstructs, and transforms a live television broadcast. Installed above the bar at Firebrand Saints in Kendall Square, Cambridge, the artwork is composed of five television screens. The leftmost screen displays live television - whatever channel the bar chooses - and the four screens on the right cycle through a series of transformations of the broadcast.

Custom software looks for patterns in the video, such as faces, and maintains a memory of what it has seen. The text of the closed caption feed is extracted and analyzed with language processing software. Certain words, such as emotional language and selected topics, are highlighted and recorded.

The piece was commissioned by Gary Strack, the chef and owner of Firebrand Saints. The entire application was programmed in OpenFrameworks.

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Data Visualization

Software Development

The artwork has a series of visual scenes. Each explore a different aspect of the television broadcast.

Firebrand Saints is located in Kendall Square, a hotbed of biotech innovation and MIT startups.

“...the result is a constant live feed that reads various modes of the television stream — so you can watch the game on the actual TV or you can read the play-by-play float across other screens in a never-ending digital poem.”

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