EXP.INT | midterm project

For our midterm project, we had to get into group of 2-4, and create anything we want, using Arduino/Processing/Adafruit.

I grouped up with Claire, Dinis & Dominique & we came up with the idea – Fruit Piano. 

We researched on all different platforms and bounced off each other ideas. And we finally decided to use Adafruit’s capacitive touch as the main geist of our work, and linking it to Processing.

On our first stage of experimenting, we split ourselves up to do different tasks:

Claire – In charge of processing, and code a system that allows different effects when a different keynote is pressed.

Dominique – In charge of Adafruit, using capacitive touch, so that when we touch on different objects, different key sounds are produced.

Dinis & I – Experiment with different materials such as agar-agar, jello & actual fruit/veg objects.

This is what Dinis & I made over the weekend!

However, things didn’t go as planned. Adafruit’s capacitive touch wasn’t very receptive to the jello and agar-agar, and could only work on the objects itself. We poked the crocodile clips into the fruit objects itself, and it was responsive! Although some might take a longer time to react due to a bigger surface area, we were glad it worked!

But thankfully, the Adafruit capacitive touch proved to work!

While we were trying out, Claire was focusing on Processing’s side, while she attempted to create visuals for our piano.

During our consult, we had a problem linking Adafruit to Processing and we tried searching for ways online. However, we couldn’t find tutorials/article related to it.

Our idea was that when one key on the fruit piano is pressed, it creates a reaction in Processing, and forming on-screen visuals.

However the adafruit code couldn’t work directly on Processing, and we had to link it to Arduino first! Dinis & Dominique managed to troubleshoot some issues faced while linking, and they eventually successfully transferred the code over.

Meanwhile, Claire was struggling on how to code the visuals, to make them really random and pretty. Thankfully, she discovered boids and did it up for our fruit piano! It looked amazing! Other than the piano keys, there are also other keys that allows a different option to happen to the boids! How cool is that?!

I also suggested to use audio files and linking it to Processing, instead of using the sound generated from Adafruit. I went to find audio files, and coded it into Processing, so that when a key is pressed, a larger audio sound file is played.

However, on presentation day itself, things didn’t go as planned. We tried to place everything together, but it didn’t work. When we tried placing the crocodile clips into the objects, Processing records that as a touch and played the note. Due to that, we weren’t able to clip the crocodile clips with the actual objects, and had to present it in 2 different manners – one with processing and boids, and the other, Arduino and the fruit piano.

Dinis made the fruit piano with agar-agar, and added more ingredients for a thicker consistency, so that it wouldn’t be able to break, and it looks really pretty!

This is how the final fruit piano looks like & I’m glad it all turned out pretty well eventually!

Till then,

4D | distance makes the heart grow fonder… or disappear?


4D | sound art reading assignment

What is sound?

Sound is vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person’s or animal’s air. It is produced by continuous and regular vibrations, as opposed to noise. Sound is an aural component in almost every activity in the world. It is anything that makes sound, or noise. They include: music, kinetic sculpture, instruments activated by wind or played by the public, conceptual art, sound effects, recorded readings of prose or poetry, visual artworks that makes sounds, and basically anything that can produce sound. Each sound, as it is created, propagates amongst the hard Newtonian billiard balls of matter, adding to an eternal din from which the cosmic maker, at the end of his creation, can discern every act, word and deed.

How has it been use in culture and society?

Ever since the early 1980s, there have been an increasing number of exhibitions at visual art institutions that focused on sound. From the article, sound has been captured with the use of phonograph, which has been used in the culture and society. The invention of the phonograph presented a different set of observations – from the multiplying of sounds.

What makes it an art?

Sound art is not art in the sense of crafts, but fine art. According to Neuhaus, a number of things has little do with art. It’s as if perfectly capable curators in the visual arts suddenly lose their equilibrium at the mention of the word sound. A new art form will be created, say ‘Steel Art’, which was compromised of steel sculpture combined with steel guitar music with anything that has steel in it, somehow have no trouble at all swallowing ‘Sound Art’. In art, the medium is not often the message. However, anything can be art.

How does advancement in audio technology affect our sense?

With the advancement in audio technology, there are interactive computer programs which can produce sound. Popular music continued compressing, normalizing and filling every moment and crevice of the groove with sound, perhaps in order to suppress a feared existential confrontation with the surface noise. Musicians are also able to explore more options to sound, making use of silence, surface noise, channel noise and etc, to create an audio visual.

4D | sound art interesting finds

Example 1:

Game of Skill 2.0
Concept by Christine Sun Kim
Built by Levy Lorenzo
URL: http://christinesunkim.com/performance/game-of-skill/

http://christinesunkim.com/files/gimgs/74_74_p1050474.jpg Image taken by Christine Sun Kim

Deaf since birth, Christine Sun Kim explores her unique subjective experiences with sound in her work. Game of Skill 2.0 was exhibited in “Greater New York”, an interactive piece where viewers were invited to touch a staff-like device attached to a velcro strip hung above their heads. As they walked, dragging the device along the strip, a radio played sound at levels and speeds depending on the direction and speed of the participant.

I think that her work is really interesting and interactive. Instead of having an exhibition that just displays the sound, it requires audience interaction, in order for them to hear. Each sound made is different too, uniquely to its own. Furthermore, being deaf since birth, sound is an element than Sun Kim is unable to receive and hear. However, that doesn’t affect her attitude towards life and she remains positive, creating sound art for audience to enjoy.



Laughing Escalator by Jim Green, Located at Colorado Convention Center
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuS_qdITVOA

Image taken from YouTube

Visitors descending an escalator encounter an unexpected serenade of laughter mysteriously rising from beneath their feet. Recorded laughs come up through small cracks between steps, with a different voice heard every eight feet of the ride. Inside the escalator, a sound system broadcasts a call and response volley of laughter between the speakers. The resulting open-air mix of sound creates a continually changing pattern of rhythms constructed from laughter. A variety of clear, wholesome voices are used. The permanent installation of the “Laughing Escalator” provides a unique asset for the facility and an attraction for the conventioneer.

Based on an escalator, it is a really interesting work of art as it is unexpected to hear laughter while stepping onto an escalator. It adds on with a quirky vibe to the convention center too. I feel that if one steps onto the escalator and hears the laughter, it might brighten up one’s day.