There are exactly 52 playing cards in a standard deck. There are also exactly 52 shots in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho. From this amazing coincidence comes 52 Card Psycho, a new augmented-reality experimental film piece my brother recently designed in collaboration with the Future Cinema Lab at York University:
52 Card Psycho is an installation-based investigation into cinematic structures and interactive cinema viewership; the concept is simple: a deck of 52 cards, each printed with a unique identifier, are replaced in the subject’s view by the 52 individual shots that make up Hitchcock’s famous shower scene in Psycho. The cards can be manipulated by the viewer: stacked, dealt, arranged in their original order or re-composed in different configurations, creating spreads of time, and allowing a material interaction with the ‘cinema screen’— an object which normally is removed and exalted, and unchangeable in its linearity.