For my final project, I created a metronome, a useful tool for musicians when keeping time in their recordings. For a metronome to be effective, there must be both a visual stimulation and a sound simulation. In this example, the flashing yellow circles dictate the beginning of each measure, which is a group of beats. The moving cyan circles dictate the subdivisions of each measure, which are equal divisions of time within each measure. The number in the middle of the canvas dictate the number of beats per measure.
Music varies in speed and tempo, and like all metronomes, there must be interaction to determine the speed and subdivisions to match the music. The arrow keys control the settings for the metronome. The up and down arrow keys increase or decrease the number of beats per minute, and the left and right arrow keys change the number of subdivisions within a measure.
Music is cyclical, and I showed that in how my metronome appears. The circles rotate about the middle circle, showing the repetition that occurs with a metronome.
Unfortunately, I was unable to load the sound properly into this embedded file, but I did upload a complete file via Autolab.
I chose these two videos for this blog post, because they represent a way to enhance some kind of live performance or live interaction. The first video is a project by Huawei Mobile Accessories, a Chinese phone company that combined physical movement and visualization technology. The second video is a pyro board, which takes the idea of a Ruben’s tube and applies it to a two-dimensional plane.
I’ve actually been waiting for opportunity to show these two videos in a blogpost, because they take live interaction and elevate them to a whole new level. In performance arts, the experience is sometimes just limited to one human sense. It may just be sound, or just visual. I believe the a viewer should be completely immersed in an experience in as many ways as possible. The first video mixes human movement with stunning visuals. The second video mixes sound, visuals, and, if interpreted in a certain way, touch.
For my final project, I want to create some kind of audio visualizing program. Growing up, I’ve always been a part of musical performance groups, whether they were part of my academic curriculum or extracurricular activities. However, I’ve noticed that the sound from a music performance is only half of the entire experience. There’s more to an orchestral performance than the sounds that the instruments make. It’s also how the conductor controls the dynamics of the performance through his movements. It’s how the violins all move in sync with one another. It’s the angle of the horns as they play the climax of the song.
I’ll create the program with existing audio files, but I plan adapting it to live music. The result would be a some colorful visualization that moves in tandem with the music. The shapes, lines, and colors created would all work together to add another element to the sounds. The embedded video is just an example of what it could possibly look like.
Once upon a time, there was a sad ghost. Everyday, he would watch his friends pass by in front of him. His friends were always so colorful, and he always wanted to be colorful just like them. He saw their colors in his eyes. However, no matter how hard he tried, he could never reach them. It was as if he was constrained to only get halfway to them. The closer he would get to them, he would change in color to match his friends. However, he could never change completely to be like them. Such is the life of the sad ghost.
For this week’s Looking Outward blog post, I chose to study Emily Gobeille’s “Carnival Cruise Interactive Aquarium”. Located across the United States in six major cities (Baltimore, MD; Dallas, TX; Washington D.C; Houston, TX; Manhattan, NY; Los Angeles, CA), this interactive piece allows a viewer to create and nurture a fish with simple phone commands. The viewer can choose a fish, feed the fish, and, using his or her voice, the viewer can even make the fish make sounds. My favorite part is that the interactive aquarium will save your phone number and allow you to continue taking care of your fish after you leave and come back.
What I like about this public installation is that not only does it provide a viewer with unique experience, but it also provides an incentive for a viewer to come back. Most art pieces I read about react to the viewer’s current actions, but once the viewer leaves, the art pieces reacts to the other viewers in the vicinity and “forgets” anything that happened in the past. However, with this interactive aquarium, there is development and growth, as the art piece evolves with every new fish that is added to the display.
The composition was inspired by the idea of moving and staying. Based on the mouse’s position, the created curve will either move in a direction or circle itself in the same location. In this composition, the color and curvature of the turtle are manipulated by the x-position of the mouse and whether or not the mouse has been clicked. I mapped the width of canvas to be between the values of -50 and 50. This ensures that when the mouse reaches the middle of the canvas, the curve will switch direction and turn the other way. As the frames of the drawing increase, the curve moves faster and faster. When the mouse is clicked, the curve switches to a random color. The overall colors have a low opacity, allowing the curves to mix colors and create interesting gradients and shades.
Pressing space bar will refresh the canvas in the event that the curve moves off-screen or the viewer wishes to start over.
For this project, I chose to draw the portrait in a similar manner to a printer. The dots are enlarged circles at random y-values for each x-value. Each new line that moves across the canvas adds more detail to the image and adds more definition to facial features. In terms of viewer interaction, holding down the left or right arrow key will color the image with a different overall shade. Pressing the left arrow key will create a new line of dots that move left across the canvas, while pressing the right arrow key will produce the opposite result. The line of dots that move left have a green shade to them, and if held long enough, the overall image will take on a green color. Similarly, the dots created by pressing the right arrow key have a red shade. Having the three rgb values allows for multiple possibilities in terms of overall color.
While this method of recording sound is not brand new, it does carry a lot of value and utility when discussing interactive and immersive media. Hannah describes that this sound system “allows the audience to hear sounds of an environment without actually being there”, and she plans on studying binaural sound further to implement it into her projects for the School of Drama. I share a similar sentiment, as I wish to use this in the future as I continue studying architecture.
Sound is no less important than the visual or kinesthetic components. If the sound is not immersive, regardless of the precision of the visual or kinesthetic components, the viewer will still feel removed from the desired experience. Binaural sound doesn’t mean that everything has to be louder; it just means that the viewer has to hear everything that’s going on in the environment. Hannah’s analysis, coupled with watching the video, gave me a good insight into how important sound is when it comes to constructing spaces.
There are so many ways to draw a landscape. You can change the shapes, the colors, and the theme of the landscape. In my case, I chose to alter opacity and size to create a perspective view. I created a function called “Raindrop”, which is simulated by the blue circles moving right to left. The closer objects are larger and have a higher opacity, while the farther objects are smaller and have a lower opacity.
To create the effect of objects moving through a space, I created another function called “Person” to simulate “people” moving through this space filled with “raindrops” that vary in size and location in 3D space. The “people” move at a slower pace and overall, have a higher opacity. With these factors combined with their red color scheme, these moving “people” become the focal point of the drawing. Viewers are more likely to focus their attention on objects that move slower and are more vibrant in color.
For this week’s Looking Outwards blog post, I chose to study the work of Meejin Yoon, the department head of architecture at MIT and one of principal architects of Höweler + Yoon Architecture / MY Studio. I actually had seen some of her work before in the lectures that my professors showed in my studio courses, but I never knew that she designed all of these various projects. Watching her talk gave me a really detailed insight into her thought process that fueled these unique design projects. As I studied her body of work, I saw a heavy focus on human interaction with the structure and the created space. How were people supposed to move through the space? What could they interact with, and what would be the response? What kind of atmosphere or mood was the piece supposed to create? In every project, Yoon described how each decision was in direct response to a particular need or a particular problem. With this mindset, the finished piece is directly relevant to the context and the situation.
Of all the projects, I really admire the MIT memorial for Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed on the MIT campus in 2013. I was especially impressed by the lengths she and her team went to in order to create the exactly what they wanted, even if it meant unconventional building materials and unconventional building techniques. The hard work paid off, as the final result really creates an appropriately somber atmosphere. Being positioned one of the main gateways onto the campus, the memorial piece establishes the importance of Officer Collier’s contributions to the campus.
Yoon’s presentation used many, many examples, which clearly shows her design process for her projects. From diagrams to pictures, from prototypes to final result, every step was documented for the purpose reinforcing her main point. There are many details that go into creating architecture that serves as public places for people to interact. There are many factors and aspects to consider, but attentively addressing the design issues with clever solutions will bring about amazing, creative results.