Looking Outwards 6

Underwater by David Bowen

underwater from david bowen on Vimeo.

Basically, this piece is a real-time water simulator and visualization interface that records the topology of a field of water via Kinect and relays that information into a matrix of servomotors controlling a purely mechanical representation of the same water surface. What inspires me about the project is that the recording is being done in a far away lake, possibly on the other side of the globe, and that it controls the servos in an installation where there is no water nearby. David Bowen has done a few other Kinect-based mechanical water recorders, but this is his most advaned one. I do wonder what happens if the real waves get very turbulent though. I think the piece would be even more interesting if he make made the installation interactive in a way, though I am not sure how. Perhaps he could even reverse the recorder and the manipulator, such that instead of the waveform controlling the mechanical interface, the mechanical interface controls the waveform.

Moviestar@Todays Art by Marieke Verbiesen & Neeltje Sprengers

Moviestar@Todays Art from marieke v on Vimeo.

I found this piece really cool – basically, it is real-time movie making interface, where you are the hero and you are exploring around in an unknown alien planet with dinosaurs, UFOs, and jet fighters. The thing is in real time – you are greenscreened into a generative film being recorded live with little animatronics and other real-time screen effects. While you act, you see youself in a little TV embedded with other random goodies just like a scifi flick from the 1960s. The concept of this is very similar to the notion of a videogame; you are immersed in another world and you are the hero, where the environment acts and reacts in real time according to your actions. I think this piece vividly demonstrates the potential of real-time generative film making, and could be well improved upon by simply adding more environments the user can interact with.

Sound Fountain by Todd Vanderlin

Sound Fountain from Todd vanderlin on Vimeo.

I can summarize this piece in two words: laser harp. This piece is more a less a musical intrument where you play notes by blocking the laser at various points of the device. Interaction is very similar to a harp; in a harp, you strum and pluck the strings from left to right to create music, whereas in this piece, you strum and pluck the lasers from left to right to create harmonies. There is another touch I find particularly clever – because lasers are more or less invisible in the open, Todd uses water as a refractive substance in the lasers’ trajectories so one can see where the lasers are. To improve this piece, I would make it resemble even more of a harp than what it already is – add more notes (at least a full octave), and make it so that it plays a sound once when the finger hits the laser, and another sound when the finger is released, rather than continuous sound.

Comments are closed.