Close up of green tube

Passive interaction

Aggressive interaction

These photos are of an installation I recently completed at the University of MN as part of a larger installation titled “Sensorama”. Although the gallery was only open for a couple of days, I have been invited to re-install the piece this spring during the Time and Interactivity Departments open house. More details on that when I’ve got them.

Although the photos don’t really do the work as a whole a great deal of justice, I still like the way some of them turned out. This piece is an interactive work, which employs a series of custom made spring loaded switches, a single Cricket microprocessor, and the galleries eight channel audio mixer and lighting.

8 vinyl tubes are stretched from floor to ceiling and filled with progressively lighter colored green water.

Viewers can interact with the work in a variety of ways, including pulling the tubes, “plucking” them, or simply leaning against them as support.

Some people got a little more excited than others, and at one point people were even running up to it and bouncing off of the tubes as if it where sort of a horizontal trampoline.

Each of the tube/switch combinations is designed such that once a certain level of force has occurred and displaced the tube enough the switch triggers a sound. There are eight tubes in total, creating a full C cord on a synthesized string bass.

All things considered I’m quite happy with the outcome of this piece. Although it ended up straying pretty far from the original idea I was quite excited with what came out of it. The most challenging part was the engineering and construction of the spring loaded switches. (Which I’ll get pictures of later.) The funnest part, was the looks on people’s faces when they walked by my studio windows and saw me standing on the tables trying to funnel water into 9 foot long vinyl tubes.

I do have video of this piece in action, which is considerably more representative of the work, and the experience. I haven’t yet edited or compressed it, so you’ll just have to wait until I get around to that.