Monday, December 21, 2009

A Lonely Tree

I finished the first stage of my interactive installation, The Lonely Tree. The Lonely Tree invites people to kick off their shoes and step off the concrete to enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of an apple tree. Once one enters into this world, there are many surprises in store. Please watch this video for complete documentation.

This piece was made using three Arduinos- two WaveShields and one Motor Shield. To make the flowers and clovers talk, I set up a system of circuits to be connected. When the bottom of each stem (which has a grounded piece of metal on it) makes contact with the underside of it's bush or dirt cluster (connected to separate analog pins), it connects the circuit, thus triggering the sound. The following is the coding I used to make the flowers and clovers talk.
And here is the code I used to make the tree talk when one steps onto the blanket.
The blanket works in the same manner as the flowers and clovers-the underside of the blanket is connected to an analog input pin. Then there is a layer of foam squares separating the positive from grounded metal underneath. When one steps on the foam, it connects the positive and negative, thus connecting the circuit and making the tree talk.
Lastly, the following is the coding I used to activate the Motorshield. I wired a Ping ultrasonic sensor up to the motorshield so that the eyes would blink at different rates according to a range of motions based off of sound.

I consider the piece in its current state a working prototype for a bigger, better, more durable version to come in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

Poste by schwa966 at 2:24 AM

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1419 Christmas Show

The 1419 space, an art/theater/music collective on Washington Ave. in Minneapolis, hosted a "Season of Temptation" holiday bash last night. On the second floor was a round robin of bands including Farms, Bad Tanya, Tips for Twat and Early Dreams. On the third floor was a large 4 room installation by members of the University of Minnesota's Bohemian Press. The cake made it's Christmas re-debut, having it's own room and lots more people to enjoy it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Introducing Macy

I've been taking a puppetry class here at the U of M with the amazing Michael Sommers. Check out his theater, Open Eye Figure Theatre. We've made a variety of puppets, my favorite being the hand puppet. Mine is a playful little girl who is usually giggly but cries obnoxiously when made upset. Her name is Macy.

I got really into her inquisitive and naive character, so decided to make a small rod puppet version of her as well to perform in my apple tree installation.

Hopefully I'll play with these in the FantaShanty and get some video of the performances.