Interactive 'Sniff' display while in New York (Courtesy The Green Building)
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If you’re wandering along East Market Street this fall, don’t be surprised if you are approached by an especially watchful dog. Now through October 30, a public art display by Brooklyn-based artist Karolina Sobecka called Sniff will interact with your every move at 804 East Market Street (that’s on the old Wayside block). The installation is visible beginning after dark.

Sniff is a computer generated 3D-image of a dog that dynamically changes his behavior as viewers move in front of his window. The installation uses a video tracking system combined with a game engine to discern the position of the viewer and is capable of simple gesture recognition. Sniff interprets small movements, like extending your hand slowly in its direction, as a friendly move and big gestures, perhaps jumping up and down, as aggressive or threatening. Amazingly, the dog keeps track of the viewers’ attitudes to form a relationship based on their interaction history.

“It’s always interesting how every community engages in their own way with interactive public works”, said Sobecka. “Louisville is so open to new ways of engaging with art, as well as being famously hospitable and friendly, that I’m really looking forward to Sniff finding its place in it. I hope he will make some friends, provoke some interesting conversations, and perhaps inspire some reflections on the nature of engagement and on the process of intuiting someone else’s desires and intentions from their behavior.”

The project debuted at the Nulu Festival last weekend when Karolina Sobecka was in town for the IdeaFestival and the Nulu Festival. The installation had previously been on display in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn as part of a festival celebrating interactive street art. There’s a video after the click that you’ll surely not want to miss, or better yet, head down to East Market Street this evening.

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Branden Klayko

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden founded Broken Sidewalk in 2008 while practicing architecture in Louisville. He continued the site for seven years while living in New York City, returning to Louisville in 2016. Branden is a graduate of the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, and has covered architecture, design, and urbanism for The Architect's Newspaper, Designers & Books, Inhabitat, and the American Institute of Architects.
Branden Klayko

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