So on top of opening Polar Identity with the lovely and talented Danielle Siembieda at Works-SJ we set up streaming from four of the local galleries. Video cams were set up and ustream.tv accounts created for Anno Domini, KALEID, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and Works San Jose.
This is what it looked like on the South First Friday page:
Visually it was quite pleasant, and the streaming technology has proved to be the most stable that I have used in the many years that I have been streaming video to the network.
The setup was pretty easy, I used logitech quickcam pro 9000’s which work great with Mac OSX 10.5 and XP in that the drivers are built in. In the case of Works and the ICA I was able to use old XP PCs which were placed in the right area (the admin machines actually). Brian at AD ran his own cam and I ended up taking a desktop down to KALEID. I ended up stress testing all the machines for at least 24 hours on ustream and none of them crashed. This was amazing.
On my end for the South of First Friday (SoFF) stream I used an SJSU machine to catch the fat pipe and created a 4-up stream with CamTwist which is my new best friend. I was noodling with the ustream facility to co-host and embed other streams but it was a little buggy when the sharing stream failed or I would have added a 5th “on the ground” cam.
Looking to the future there are several possible directions. The obvious one is more streams. To do this I would like to commission a viewer that would let the client swap between streams. This one may or may not be the easiest, but will have the greatest impact moving towards a many stream model I am looking at for another project. The other option (and probably the most compelling right now) is to fully embrace the chat rooms. There was a beautiful sense of community and interest that was developing in the chats. Pjota was able to chat with his family and friends in Brazil, at Works 3 of the artists who had never met ended up in a terrific conversation of “how to” and funding. The only thing I worry about is that this will take manpower to accomplish.
Looking forward this was a fun experience that just took a couple of hours to set-up. We will see if the individual galleries got enough to want to lay out for the equipment though.