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TRANS-ELEMENTAL / Mixed Reality Installation

Aluminum stand, metal box, micro-controller with DC motors and servo, wind chime, video projector, computer
Artwork by collisi1

Can natural elements from a virtual reality take solid form and exist in our physical reality? Can virtual particles affect real world molecules?

This project is a mixed reality installation in which the wind of Second Life is used to move a windchime in real physical space. The virtual wind’s direction and speed are the variables that determine the device’s functionality in real time. This work creates a parallel between these two realities (virtual and physical), showing how they relate and interact with each other, creating a portal from one world to the other.

See video

Human Nature

Projector, computer, speakers, X-Box 360 controller
Human Nature

'Human Nature' is a 3D virtual art installation, created with video game technology.  It can be presented with either a screen or projector. Viewers can navigate through the installation using a standard game controller. Dimensions are variable.

See video

The Big Dripper

eight oscillating pumps, tubing, sink, wood, steel, UV LEDs, Arduino Pro microcontrollers, electronics, water, fluorescein dye
Artwork by [user-name]

The Big Dripper is a concept based on Harold Edgerton's Piddler. Edgerton's Piddler, also known as a "Time Fountain", uses a stroboscopic light source to highlight individual drops of water in a constant stream of liquid. With the strobe off, the stream looks like a solid cylinder of falling water. With the strobe on, and correctly synchronized with the actuation of the pump, the individual drips of water that compose the stream are exposed. The drips appear to hang in space as if frozen in time. By modulating the phase relationship between the frequency of the pump and the frequency of the strobe, the device can generate optical illusions of motion. For example, the individual drops can appear to fall slowly, or even crawl upwards.

The Big Dripper was featured on Hack A Day!

One Small Step

Moon globe, child’s moon-boots, plastic, metal foils, light blue paint, Qwerk robot controller, motors, sensors, misc. additional mechatronic components.
Artwork by [user-name]

A moon globe sits in a stand on the floor of the gallery near the wall. A mechanical structure attached to the gallery wall supports a child’s moon-boot above the globe by two thin cables each of which is controlled by a winch motor. Movements of the winch motors puppet the boot to perform a walking motion with a bounce like that of the Apollo astronauts as they explored the moon’s surface. A small toy satellite dish is gimbal-mounted above the boot mechanism so that two additional motors can make it peer in different directions around the gallery. It sweeps the gallery looking for “life” which in this case equates to anything that interrupts the beam of its low-end IR range-finder, including occasionally itself. A third motor on the boot turns the winch assembly so
that the boot can “walk” in different compass direction depending on where the satellite dish indicates it should search. “One Small Step” is a simple robot that quixotically “believes” it is living every robot’s dream: to go to other celestial bodies and look for life.

The Zoeusel

Mixed media controlled by an Arduino microcontroller
Artwork by [user-name]

In recent years my major area of scholarly study has been the origins of film in the “age of wonder” and specifically the motion studies of the 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge. One of the extraordinary things about the technological revolution that
occurred at that time is that so much of the technology that was created was both wondrous and understandable. In Zoeusel I have used modern technology to recreate that sense of wonder wall basing the project on the easily understandable principal of persistence of vision. My intention is to first amaze and delight my audience and second to allow them the rare, in contemporary times, pleasure of coming to understand for themselves the underlying principal employed.
The magic of the carousel horses coming to life is achieved by breaking the motion of a galloping horse down into twelve recurring steps and then recreating those steps as twelve sculptors on the carousel. When a patron spins the carousel it cases a small strobe light to flash in precise coordination with the passage of the horses. Thus the faster you spin the carousel the faster the strobe light flashes. The affect is to present the twelve steps of the gallop individually to our brains and in raped succession. Because each step of the gallop persists in our vision in till the strobe flashes again and presents us with the next step of the gallop we see one horse galloping instead of 12 horses spinning.
The horses on the Zoeusel are modeled directly on the successive still photographs of a horse in motion taken by Edweard Muybridge in the 1880s as part of his motion studies. The original photographs are reproduced as a film on a monitor which is built into The Zoeusel. Each time the strobe light flashes a new frame in the film is presented on the monitor. This elegantly demonstrates the role of persistence of vision in film.
As an artist what I enjoy is that all of this is much more easily and enjoyably understood by playing with the Zoeusel then by describing it in words. Furthermore even without understanding of the underlying principle there is still persistence of magic.


Acrylic modeling resin, foam board, wood, steel, servo motor, micro-controller, custom software, webcam, video projectors
Artwork by [user-name]

FaceLifter is an interactive video installation that allows the viewer to see his/her face projected on a 3d mask. The mask is mechanically raised and lowered to allow the viewer to see him/herself eye-to-eye.
An outline of shoes marks the spot on the floor where the viewer can get a closer look at FaceLifter (and FaceLifter can get a closer look at the viewer). The viewer's faces is illuminated by lights mounted on the column. A web camera mounted above the mask captures the viewer's image, which is algorithmically identified and processed with a hidden computer.
The mask, rendered in white acrylic resin, is mounted on the surface of a column attached to vertical rails. A computer controlled motor inside the column lifts the mask to the height of the viewer.
A video stream of the face is projected via two ceiling-mounted projectors. The projectors are mounted diagonally to allow the viewer to get close to the mask without casting a shadow. The images are adjusted vertically by the computer to track with the mask.
The overall effect of the installation is to allow the viewers to see themselves as they appear to others.
The face finding algorithm is by Philip Abbet, from the IDIAP Research Institute, in Valais, Switzerland.
Thanks to Jennifer Lim, Vivien Leone, and William Tremblay.

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