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Machine for Taking Time: Documentary Collection

Technical details and hardware

Machine for Taking Time (Boul. Saint-Laurent), camera wiring diagram
Components used during the image capture phase (March 2006-March 2007):

The cameras were installed on the Ex-Centris roof in January 2006. Following a test phase, each camera captured 1,024 images per day for one year between March 23, 2006, and March 21, 2007, beginning 15 minutes after sunrise (to assure sufficient light). The images were captured at the rate of two per minute in JPEG format, 1280x1024 pixels. In all 745,000 images were captured and stored in a 226 GB database. The artist managed the work remotely from Toronto, using the computer allocated to image capture to download images and make any necessary adjustments.


- 2 surveillance camera: Kintronics IQeye 501
- 2 optical device: Computar M3Z1228C-MP varifocal lens
- 2 camera enclosure: Pelco EH3508-2
- 2 pan/tilt head: Directed Perception PTU-46-70W
- 2 pan/tilt controller: Directed Perception PTU-D46
- 2 camera heater: Riedon SP1310
- 2 camera support: custom made
- 1 serial server: Troy 500-0031
- 1 wireless ethernet bridge: LinkSys WET54GS5
- 1 Wireless broadband router: LinkSys WRT54G
- 2 power supply (transformer): IM-24V40VA-C
- 1 computer: Apple Mac G4 PowerPC (733 Mhz)
- 1 external backup disk drive: LaCie 320GB


- Operating system: Mac OS X 10.4.4
- Max/MSP 4.5.6
- Max/MSP 4.5.6 runtime
- SoftVNS 3.0
- Keep-it-up 3.4

Components used during exhibition of the work (September 2007-April 2009):

After pre-processing the images (distortion calculation) in his Toronto studio, the artist copied the final files onto two iMac computers. These computers were installed in September 2007 in the Ex-Centris projection booth and linked to plasma screens. On each computer, images were randomly selected in real time by the artist’s software (a version of softVNS) and converted to an HDMI 1280x720 video signal for broadcast on the plasma screens. Only the centre portion of the image was used, in order to simulate a continuous rotation of the cameras and better adapt to the 16.9 screen ratio. The computers were synchronized to ensure the date and time would be the same on both screens.

The screens were switched on each day just before noon and switched off again at around midnight based on the hours of the Ex-Centris cinemas. The iMac computers in the projection booth were never shut down except for maintenance. A few technical problems were encountered (overheating), and one of the iMacs had to be changed at the end of 2007.


- 2 computers: Apple iMac Intel Core 2 Duo (2 Ghz)
- 2 video connectors: Gefen DVi/Cat-5 extreme/S
- 2 video monitors: Pioneer PRO-1540HD 60" Elite PureVision Plasma HDTV (1365x768, 16:9)


- Operating system: Mac OS X 10.4.10
- Max/MSP 4.6.3
- SoftVNS 3.0
- Failsafe
- Vine Server 2.2
- Stored digital images

© 2009 FDL