"Bitmirror" (2004) is a work by Tobias Grewenig. It was part of the DEAF04 exhibition.
Bitmirror shows the observer in a digitized form, in abstract particles projected on a screen and combined with acoustic fragments. The system shows the contrast between a real, analogue image of a human and the sterile, abstract digital form of the computer. This contrast is played upon and brought to an extreme.
ASCII is one of the oldest and most elegant stylistic device in computer graphics. The letters stand for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Computers can only understand numbers, so an ASCII code is the numerical representation of a character such as "v," "V" or "?" or an action of some sort. Seven bits are used for each ASCII character. Bitmirror uses ASCII to graphically represent facial expressions and physical interactions between people. The installation animates visitors' movements in abstract form and reproduces them in a sound synthesis.
When the visitor enters the Bitmirror space, she sees herself reflected on a big projection screen. A webcam and microphones register movement and sound in the space. A special ImageToASCII generator subsequently renders these data in ASCII form. According to algorithms derived from the laws of nature (gravity, wave motions), the graphic representation on the projection screen is animated into flowing images constructed from letters, digits and punctuation marks. The installation forms a graphic and acoustic shadow world in which abstract particles and signs swarm over the screen.