52 Card PSYCHO

An art installation that maps each of the 52 shots in PSYCHO’s shower scene to a playing card.

York University has created an installation called 52 Card Psycho, where each of the 52 shots in the Psycho shower scene are assigned to playing cards. The cards themselves are marked with ‘augmented reality’ codes, so that when they’re viewed through a difference engine of some sort the corresponding shot from Psycho appears on the card.

The 52 Card Cinema project is an exemplar of the unique architecture of cinematic pieces mapped on to the real world, made possible by AR technology. The medium of the animated image, in its wedding with the real world, loses the privileged linearity of the screen, and gives the opportunity to re-perceive cinema as the juxtaposition of its parts.


To me it looks like a whole bunch of gifs in a row. Like I said, I don’t get it. Yeah, cinema is made up of pieces - that’s why editing is the wonderful and unique thing that makes cinema a specific, solitary artform. This looks a lot like the kind of installation I would have really enjoyed back when I was getting stoned on a daily basis, but I remain unclear what it says about anything at all.

Click here to visit the page for the project and to watch the video presentation, which makes the mechanics of the whole thing clearer.

Thanks to Scott McCloud for the link.