Firewall is an interactive media installation created with Mike Allison. A stretched sheet of spandex acts as a membrane interface sensitive to depth that people can push into and create fire-like visuals as well as expressively play music.

The original concept stems from a performance piece I’m currently developing as Purring Tiger (with Kiori Kawai) titled Mizalu, which will premiere in June 2013. During one scene in the performance dancers will press into the spandex with the audience facing the opposite side. Mizalu is about death and experience of reality, so this membrane represents a plane that you can experience but never get through. As hard as you try to understand what’s in between life and death, you can never fully know.

The piece was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect. The Kinect measures the average depth of the spandex from the frame it is mounted on. If the spandex is not being pressed into nothing happens. When someone presses into it the visuals react around where the person presses, and the music is triggered. An algorithm created with Max allows the music to speed up and slow down and get louder and softer, based on the depth. This provides a very expressive musical playing experience, even for people who have never played music before. A switch is built into the frame which toggles between two modes. The second mode is a little more aggressive than the first.

User Testing:

On Again Off Again revisited – triggering projection mapping proof of concept

I used an Arduino to turn the strings of an acoustic guitar into switches (an update from this older post). Each time one of the strings is plucked a video is triggered in Max/Jitter and mapped to the frets of the guitar using Mad Mapper. Code for the Arduino sketch is below. To get the Max patch click here.

My Own Little Universe

3D drawing using the Kinect. I tracked the closest point to the Kinect plus two other relatively close points using openFrameworks. Each point has a different color and 5 particles each that draw in the 3D space with some physics. The code is here. Zooming in, through, and around the thing is fun.

my own little universe

my own little universe

my own little universe

my own little universe

Somehow I can’t figure out how to upload a good screen captured video of 3D stuff. The video below is ugly as sin, especially when zooming. If someone knows how to upload a decent screen capture of a 3D environment please let me in on the trick.