Bleep Space is an iOS app and arcade machine in which players explore a sequencer with unfamiliar buttons to create noise-pop music. Each button is tied to a unique sound and visual, and players can assign the button to a sequencer slot to create their own rhythms and melodies.

In the article on Creative Applications Network, Andy Wallace explains that the inspiration for the work came from his experience playing with a Korg synthesizer, a device that he didn’t fully understand. This theme of exploration an unfamiliar space also appears in one of Andy’s other works, Terminal Town, in which players explore the unfamiliar interface of a command-line tool to solve a puzzle.

Perhaps the most compelling part of this work is that the buttons are highly tactile and that hitting them always produces some kind of sound; a common frustration with exploring synthesizers is that some knobs don’t seem to have an immediate effect on the sound, because of different synthesizer “modes” that turn off certain features. However, the interaction of simply triggering the audio samples seems simplistic; and there are other aspects of audio synthesis that could be explored using tactile inputs and explorative play. Works in this area include Rotor by Reactable Systems, which use physical objects on a reactive screen to explore synthesizer systems.


Music Box Village

The village holds many musical structures, like the house that produces a choir-like sound when you pull on ropes attached to spinning electrical fans. These many structures offer visitors the opportunity to explore the village’s sounds collaboratively, to see what rhythm or cacophony they can produce together. For professional performers, the village poses the question of how to adapt to any concert venue, how their skills apply to the space, what sounds can they make there, and how they are visible to the public.

While the music box village offers the aesthetic of ruggedness, and offers the opportunity for a communal, spontaneous gathering of amateur musicians, I think it’s clear by the creator’s decision to host live events in it that it is ideally a site for professional performances. One of the aspects of this that I like is that, after seeing professional performers and watching them leave, audience members can revisit the site and try to recreate the same sounds on their own.


The Sandbox of Life by Sensebellum is an installation that uses sand, computer vision, and projection mappings to illuminate a sandbox with different imagery depending on the height of the sand. Users can sculpt the sand using their hands or brushes. The sandbox projects in different modes, including earth terrain, lasers, and even Game of Life cells that emerge from sand boundaries. I am interested in this project because it requires a touch input and produces a visual output, but playing with sand is much more sensory than, for example, touching a screen. There is a fluidity to the sand that creates very interesting projections. I also like how the project includes several different modes, since it’s repurposing the technology to create a variety of experiences. In general, I think projects involving projection mapping are pretty cool! I enjoy the combination of digital and physical that makes art feel more involved.


Silk is an interactive work of generative art.

It is a website that allows users to create organic shapes with minimal mouse control.

What I appreciate about this generative drawing tool is how ACCESSIBLE(easy to use, easy to access) and how well BALANCED it is: it turns simple strokes into mesmerizing, complex, colorful visuals, yet it gives me much freedom such that I do not feel restrained by its power. I like how this tool represents the immense power of simple ideas. It matches with my personal goal of delivering powerful messages with simple concepts. It is a simple concept WELL DONE.

However, what I do not like about this tool, (though I do not yet have a solution to) is how little personal connection I feel towards “my creation”: all products look pretty much the same(same style, same feel, same mechanics). Although there’s much more to explore, I quickly get bored by it.

It is a tool created 8 years ago by Yuri Vishnevsky with a sound designer Mat Jarvis.

lchi – LookingOutwards-2

Ganbreeder is a machine learning image generator done by Joel Simon. It let users decide which image as the root and how different the new image should be. It also let users to crossbreed two different images to generate new images.
First of all, the “Make Children” button is very addictive and satisfying. With just one button and one slider, it gives me a sense that I have some kind of control or influence on the images that to be generated. I then tried to crossbreed two existing images to create the image that is in my head. I don’t think the GAN got it close, but it seems it doesn’t matter. By the time I saw the newly generated images, I already forgot the image that was in my head and intrigued by the new ones.
I think the project taps into the desire of constantly seeing new, unexpected, stimulating imagery. Combining that with the pseudo sense of power, that you can somehow steer where the images go, it is a facade that getting harder to see past.


Light Kinetics – Espadaysantacruz Studio

Light Kinetics is an installation of tungsten light bulbs that give light weight– the force of a tap on the first lightbulb will send a light down the wooden rail of light bulbs. An piezo electric sensor on the first bulb captures the force, and the physics is simulating in Unity.

Giving light weight and force is an unusual and beautiful sight. While light’s movement is too fast to see, here its movement has been slowed down across the many bulbs. That being said, while the floating wood is a lovely form, it feels a bit like a smaller prototype to a larger piece. This might be due partially to the mess of cables on the side and the hints of some sort of fishing wire to suspend the structure. On one hand, making the piece too long might cause people to punch the first bulb to try to get their light ball as far as possible, somewhat breaking the subtlety of the piece. But I do think there could be some polishing bits to making the piece feel more complete.


jaqaur – Looking Outwards 2

When looking into participatory works of art, one that really stood out to me was “Polyphonic Playground” by Studio PSK.

This piece is a “playground” for adults–complete with swings, slides, and bars to climb on. It’s covered in conductive thread, paint, and tape that generates sound when people touch it. By playing on the piece, a unique “song” of sorts is produced, comprised partially of sounds recorded by beatboxer Reeps One.

The artists behind this piece say that the idea of play was central to the design of the playground. They said that they hoped a playful approach would allow them to better connect with the audience.

One thing I really appreciate about Polyphonic Playground is the intentionality with with the sounds were designed. It feels like an actual instrument, rather than a random collection of noise. This is demonstrated by the fact that it can actually be “performed”on (shown in the video below). It works as well for a trained musician as for a casual participant–a satisfying, fun experience.

Related links:





We by artist trio Let’s is a colorful sculpture installation in which music and colorful light are created by people touching different parts of the installation. What I like about this project is that it’s very fun, and it’s the type of artwork that I’d enjoy seeing and playing around with at a museum. It’s accessible to anyone who sees it and encourages interaction with other people. From what I can tell, it seems like each part of the installation is associated with a set recorded sound/light effect? And I wonder if maybe that restricts the different kinds of experiences viewers can have a bit too much. We is very similar to previous pieces made by the group, although the visuals seem a bit more complex and involved than previously.


dadamachines by Johannes Lohbihler

The dadamachines automat toolkit by Johannes Lohbihler is an open source toolkit for creating instruments from arbitrary objects. A central controller connects a MIDI or other music controlling device to solenoids/motors that can interact with objects.

I like this project because it enables people to hack the physical world. I enjoy programming, but I would like to escape my 12 hours of daily screen time (My parents only let me have an hour a day as a child, so why is this suddenly OK?). Tools like this partially realize my dream for the future that goes something like this:  

I am doing things in the tangible world. I encounter a difficult situation. I flip open my computer, type up some code to help deal with it. Then, I go about my merry way.

This toolkit provides a way for the expressive power of programming to be accessible and useful in a lightweight manner in our day-to-day lives.

This project shows the influence of Dadaism through its encouragement of readymade objects in music. It updates this in the context of electronic music and maker culture by connecting readymades to MIDIs through Arduino.

If you buy the large package for $750, you have to wonder, “Is this just an Arduino with fancy packaging? All it does is control solenoids and motors.” However, I think this project is exactly what the creators of Arduino had in mind with their platform: prototype with Arduino, then create a robust, specialized version. The creator partnered with manufacturers, engineers, and software developers from Germany and China to realize a product funded by €150,548 from 488 backers on Kickstarter.

This project inspires me to make things that interact with nature through programming. Nature is complex and it is hard to imagine how solenoids and motors will deal with messy natural substances. Maybe a device closely connected to the person operating it could combine the accuracy and repeatability of machines with the situated knowledge of humans to overcome this hurdle.

Project: https://dadamachines.com/