Samson

Ben Snell BaldStreamed the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Using custom software in OpenFrameworks, he removed Trump’s hair in real time as a nod to the story of Samson—a biblical figure who, if his hair were ever cut, would lose all his strength.

This technique of “insertion-rebroadcast” represents a new kind of media—one which has the potential to reshape our collective realities. One can now extract, alter, and re-present live video in a form convincingly and explicitly aligned with or counter to one’s own beliefs. As our political and intellectual obstinance grows and technology becomes more capable of filtering out things we don’t want to see or don’t want to hear, will we ever share the same reality again?

Developed in OpenFrameworks using Kyle McDonald’s ofxCv. All code can be found here. Many thanks to Golan Levin, Thomas Hughes, Robert Zacharias, and the Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.