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Artist James George used Kinect and Bing as Microsoft Research's first artist-in-residence

James George "Grip"
James George "Grip"

New Aesthetic artist James George has been making art out of code for a few years now, and has often employed Microsoft tech in his process. Last year he paired a Kinect with a DSLR to capture people's movements for his piece Depth Editor Debug. He followed that up last winter by using a Kinect-DSLR hybrid to develop the experimental film Clouds. Microsoft must have noticed — George was invited to spend three months as the first-ever artist-in-residence at Microsoft Research's Studio 99, where he's had the company's digital toolkit at his disposal to create new works of art.

"I had a moment a week in where I felt like a kid in a candy store," George told FastCo.Design, "that feeling of overwhelming happiness of all the possibility, and also the knowledge that if I ate all of the candy, I’d feel sick." George thus spent three months creating three pieces during his time with Microsoft. The first, Grip, makes use an array of 2D cameras to create 3D silhouettes of people in various poses. Wall Queries is a color-coordinated mural of Bing searches that George described as "if the internet threw up on the wall." Finally, the untitled third work involves George searching for company logos fashioned into tattoos. Microsoft tells FastCo that it now intends on expanding its artist-in-residence program based on this project's success.