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CMU Electronic Media Studio II, Fall 2011, Section D » Looking Outward 06

Looking Outward 06

Looking Outwards — AeonX @ 4:08 am

Oh dear… A bit behind on my Looking Outward posts…

Decided to make this one INSTALLATION themed. Mmm… Yummy.


First up, Me Wonderland, a 2010 project from Super Nature Design in Shanghai. I love that they used old, found(?) objects for this. I love that they painted them all white. Freaks. I loooooooooove the pixelated light inside the jellyfish cloud thing. Heck, I love jellyfish clouds, so I am predetermined to adore this. Of course, what brings this piece to life is the Arduino-controlled light show. Apparently there is a sound sensor element, though I cannot grasp the sound part from the pix or video. And the video keeps cutting out!! Arrr!!! Click here to see a stop-motion video of the team assembling the structure.


I think this next project is best described as Warhol’s Silver Clouds on steroids. It is Captured by Nils and Sven Voelker from May 2011 in Berlin. What I find flipping out of control is that ONE – just ONE – Arduino board powers this whole thing. Here, they explain it better than I am able to paraphrase: “The setup consists of 252 modules, inflating cushions made from space blankets, that cover about 130 square meter on the floor. Inside each module there are eight cpu cooling fans inflating and deflating each bag in variable speeds. All together there are 2016 fans moving about 60 cubic meters of air. The whole set is controlled by a single Arduino board with shift registers attached to it to receive a total of 504 output pins. In this way every single bag could be controlled fully independently.” Damn. Be sure to make it (or fast forward) to the 5-minute mark in the video… This is when individual cushions are shown inflating one by one. In my opinion, when the piece shows the most personality. And they use an Underworld song as part of the soundtrack. Ah, the ’90’s… Sigh…


Last is Matthew Ganucheau’s My Cloud from 2010, using Lily Pad Arduinos and Xbees. Lie back, hug your cloud pillow, and see the corresponding squish of the cloud projected onto the ceiling above you. “By squeezing the pillow in different areas, forces are applied that allow participants to control the shape and motion of the clouds. There are four cloud pillows so multiple participants can interact with each other’s clouds and collaborate on shapes.” If this were comprised of just one pillow, it would not be as effective. I like that you can collaboratively build cloud shapes with friends or strangers lounging next to you. Nice. Matthew has other cool interactive projects on his site, including Color Swarm from 2008 for which he used Max/Msp to route incoming and outgoing data.



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