Thursday, September 3, 2009

The EyeWriter

There will always be obstacles that stand between you and your goals. Some obstacles can deal a very serious blow, like the following. When Lou Gehrig's disease paralyzed graffiti artist Tony Quam, a.k.a Tempt One, he could no longer pursue his 20-year passion. But his new life of immobility will no longer stop him from what he loves.

Tempt One has some ingenious friends who designed and built a low-cost eye-tracking system so that he can create his artwork using only his eyes. Here’s how it works: movements of the eye are tracked to record, and confirm, what he draws which is then relayed to a mobile broadcasting unit – on a networked bicycle! – that projects the artwork with light real-time onto a building, train or other surface. And because it uses only light, not paint, the act can be seen less as vandalism and now more accessible and more about the creative process itself, all documented online for his fans around the world.

And while the initial goal is giving Tempt One the ability to write graffiti again, everything is open source and publicly available free for anyone to build. The project is a collaboration of many hands from art, technology, and film communities: the Graffiti Research Lab, Fat Lab, openFrameworks, and The Ebelling Group.

The Eyewriter is about creative solutions inspired by whatever stands in the way of a lifelong passion. This is not just about graffiti artists or technological breakthroughs. When you follow your dream, nothing can stop you.