52 Card Psycho – Re-Imagining Cinema


Presentation Title:

  • 52 Card Psycho - Re-Imagining Cinema




  • Our team proposes an artists presentation of a current project that investigates cinematic structure in light of our changing relationship with the animated image in Augmented Reality. 52 Card Psycho is an installation-based investigation into cinematic structures and interactive cinema viewership; the concept is simple: a deck of 52 cards, each printed with a unique identifier, are replaced in the subject’s view by the 52 individual shots that make up Hitchcock’s famous shower scene in Psycho. The cards can be manipulated by the viewer: stacked, dealt, arranged in their original order or re-composed in different configurations, creating spreads of time, and allowing a material interaction with the ‘cinema screen’— an object which normally is removed and exalted, and unchangeable in its linearity. The technology used is based on marker-based augmented reality applications, where special printed markers are recognized in the video feed, and pass data to applications regarding their unique identifier, their position, and their orientation.

    A camera is mounted, either viewing the entire table-top scene of cards or is attached to a ‘heads-up display’ that the viewer wears. The video signal feeds in to a computer running an augmented reality application, which then feeds a display signal out to a projection or the heads-up display of the viewer, overlaying the video clips of each shot of Psycho onto the appropriate card and continually mapping their position and orientation.

    The 52 Card Psycho project is an exemplar of the unique architecture of cinematic pieces, mapped on to the real world, made possible by AR technology. The medium of the animated image, in its wedding with the real world, loses the privileged linearity of the screen, and gives the opportunity to re-perceive cinema as the juxtaposition of its parts.