Manson Family Photographs

About these Projects:

Manson Family Photographs
Manson Family Photographs

All these projects revolve around a series of photographs taken while I was in university. I photographed everyone in my class (as well as the Dean and a number of professors) wearing the same red plaid hunting cap. Why I did this I can not say, except to mention that I have always made a habit of seeing my stupidest ideas through to conclusion.

Once the photographs were posted together on a wall they seemed to have a mesmerising effect on my classmates. The fact that everyone was wearing the same hat seemed to have an equalizing effect on all of the subjects; everyone looked equally silly. Everyone looked as if they were (or were related to) a murderous hillbilly of questionable parentage, as such the photos were dubbed the ‘Manson Family Photographs’.

Equality through haberdashery aside, there were still striking differences between the photographs. Some subjects seemed innocuous, while others became downright menacing. At first I assumed this was due to the personality of the subject reacting to the hat; as time goes on I am more and more convinced that the hat itself has a complex personality which is perceived differently depending on the subject who wears it.

It was in an effort to understand the hat persona that I undertook these small interactive projects. These explorations also gave me an opportunity to try out some programming moves I had been thinking about.


Photo Gallery

Where better to start than with the photographs themselves. Unfortunately no longer own a complete set, the photos that do remain are represented in this gallery.

This gallery is an example of a simple downloading trick I had been thinking about. The user starts with a selection of low-resolution thumbnails, when a thumbnail is clicked the appropriate high-resolution image is loaded. In order to occupy the user’s attention, the high-res image is visibly ‘built’ as the image downloads.

This is done by sampling the color values of the pixels in the low-res image and re-positioning them frame by frame to appear as if the image is being built. The faux-pixels could easily be positioned off the stage to reinforce the appearance of the image being built, but in this example the process is made visible.

Click the image to view the gallery:

Manson Family Photos

Memory Game

Well of course I had to do a memory game, but then I ususally do a couple of the before breakfast.

I did discover that just because everyone is wearing the same hat, it doesn’t mean it’s harder to tell them apart. Well at least I learned something.

Click the image to view the game:

Manson Family Memory Game

Face Flipper

The idea for the face flipper comes from a children’s book. The top and bottom halves of the photograph can be swapped out to create new facial configurations.

I’m not sure what it taught me about hat psychology, but it certainly brought the hillbilly out in my classmates.

This little gizmo is probably only amusing to the fifty people who actually appeared in the photos; and I’m glad I never dated anyone in my class because now I know what our kids would look like.

Click the image to view the gizmo:

Manson Family Face Builer

Face Builder

With so many facial features to choose from I developped this little tool to help categorize and identify the Manson Family members. The user becomes a police sketch artist and attempts to help the police identify some of the murderous Mansons.

This project was also a great excuse to try my hand at some of the image manipulation features that were recently added to Shockwave. The facial composites are created by actually cutting and pasting pieces of images, rather than just moving sprites around.

Click the image to view the game:

Manson Family Face Flipper

How to use:

Cick on the links above, keep in mind the presentation may take a moment to load.

If the presentation doesn’t start, you may be experiencing plugin difficulties. For help check our Tech Support Page.>>