Simulated Weather I is a mesmerizing interactive display where you can playfully interact with a storm.
Part of a small series, Simulated Weather I is a mesmerizing interactive display that represents hail. It is displayed on a touchscreen monitor with multi-touch functionality, so many people can approach the screen and experience it. The entire series revolves around representing the many personas that the force weather wears all around the globe.
Weather is a powerful natural force that comes in many forms. I find that it has a unique beauty: it can be harsh or gentle, cold or warm, and jarring and soothing. I have many memories that are strongly connected to weather, so I find that I have applied specific moods and thoughts to different types of weather events. I then considered how would I represent it in geometric shapes. At first glance, geometry may seem cold and inorganic, but there are multiple instances of many types of geometry and repetition in nature, so I found it to be a clean choice. For the first piece, I chose to represent a hailstorm.
Wanting to represent that, I started a series of different animations that represents the natural events. I initially used Processing, a visual arts coding developer, and TUIO, an API for multitouch surfaces. I created an experience that represents hail that many people can interact with at the same time.
The main difficulty that I ran into was the touchscreen monitor that I was going to use came very late: it arrived the day before the exhibition. Thus I didn’t have a lot of time to debug the inevitable problems that I would run into and implement multitouch functionality to my second program that represents wind. At the exhibition, it couldn’t handle a lot of stress and the Java VM stopped working with too many or too rapid inputs. I wish I had more time to work on it, but one is at the mercy of UPS and FedEx. That being said, I do plan on working on it more and this series this summer.
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For my final project, I would like to create one or two interactive wall projections. I’ve always imagined my Box2D project displayed on a large wall where people could approach it and interact with the shapes by touching it, so I think expanding on that idea wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. I also just have a large affinity for simple geometries.
The first step would be to get the first Box2D project working as an interactive projection. Next, I would use that as a stepping stone to create different ones. One thought that I had was a pulsing blob that people could pluck smaller blobs from to play with and merge with other blobs that are on the projection. Another that I thought of was a scene similar to the warp speed animations in Star Wars where particles would converge to a focus point (I can’t think of the correct term at the moment) and more focus points would be generated if more people approached it.
To achieve this I would use a standard projector for the animation and a kinect for body tracking since its implemented rather well in that hardware. I think that my main technical issue would be the calibration of the kinect to the projection on the wall.
I’m working on a website that’ll be hosted on github or aws that allows people to compose paragraphs for a gothic horror book. Through a LSTM trained on 19th century gothic horror novels, they’re first prompted with a few generated sentences, and then they can continue writing as they wish. I’m considering letting the LSTM try to predict their words and they can follow if they wish.
I’m having some issues with preloading the LSTM model such that people don’t have to wait a long time to use the website. Otherwise it seems to be okay. This is one of my first times building a website and it doesn’t seem to be too difficult.
This is an installation of a living room that is usually found in sitcoms. People were allowed to sit and talk while a machine learning algorithm that was trained against audio recordings of stand-up comedians listened into their conversations. This algorithm was trained to know what phrases were said by comedians before their audience laughed, so if the algorithm heard something that was considered to be “funny”, a laugh track would be played throughout the room in response.
The main concept of this project was a room that didn’t narrate a story to you, but a room that narrated your story as you interacted with it. As one entered the closed, dark space, they can use a flashlight to listen to a narrative that described their actions. Due to the eerie nature of the narrative and the small dark setting, one feels like they have a strong connection to the narrator and the events that it describes.
The inspiration for this project was my love for the rain and the snow. I find them to be rather calming and I just enjoy experiencing that weather. Thus, my goal for this project was to create a window to that experience.
Using Dan Shiffman’s The Nature of Code, I used the Box2D for Processing library to create this. I thought that this was a bit technically challenging since it’s been a while since I used Processing and the trigonometry with Box2D’s world was hard to get right. Nevertheless, I find that my goals for this project was met, but I think that it would be much stronger if I created or found some ambient music to pair with it.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted this project to be horizontal or vertical. I like both orientations, but if I were to display this on a wall I would use a very long horizontal orientation.