A backpack that alters space and time

Project overview
Hustle and Bustle (2023) is an interactive video installation where the audience runs through space to control the speed and curation of footage projected in the installation created using film, motion-tracking, and creative coding. The piece explores themes of uncertainty and the blurred line between physical and digital worlds through the portrayal of various characters running with a green backpack.

Museum of the Moving Image
Exhibition: Stories in Motion
February 2023
about the exhibition

Parsons School of Design
Art, Music, & Technology Moving Image Festival
April 2023

see film excerpt

The film
Hustle & Bustle was exhibited as an interactive installation where the backpack featured in the film is a prop in the installation which the audience wears to enable film interactivity. The film is projected onto the wall at the perimeter of the installation location and features characters running throughout various locations in New York City.

The experience
The audience has the opportunity to wear the backpack shown in the film. There is a display on the side of the installation which shows the backpack wearer’s speed and distance from the screen. These inputs then influence the playback speed and location of the projected film clips.

audience participant

motion-tracking sensor display


I enabled motion-tracking using Python scripting and computer vision. The video playback algorithm then uses the backpack wearer’s position and speed as inputs so that the film projection is altered by the audience interaction. 

  • As the participant moves faster, the playback speed of the footage increases or decreases.
  • As the participant moves farther from the camera, the location of the film clip shown moves farther from the map’s center. 

Slide the backpack for a demo

The relationship between the interaction and film playback is intentionally imperfect. I included noisy inputs in the tracking algorithm to increase unpredictability. The noisy algorithms mirror the chaos of life as these inputs imperfectly influence the full story that unfolds.

Hustle and Bustle
challenges the audience to embrace uncertainty, consider what it means to be a part of a complex system, and grapple with the role of physicality in a digitized world.


art & creative