Arduino, Events, openFrameworks
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Particles [openFrameworks, Arduino, Events]


Particles is the latest installation by Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi currently on exhibit at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]. The installation centers around a spiral-shaped rail construction on which a number of balls with built-in LEDs and xbee transmitters are rolling while blinking in different time intervals, resulting in spatial drawings of light particles.

This is an art installation which is able to create a visionary beautiful dots pattern of blinking innumerable illuminations floating in all directions on the air. The number of balls with a built-in LED, pass through one after another on the rail “8-spiral shape.” We see this phenomenon like “the light particle float around” because the balls radiate in various timing.

The openFrameworks application controls both the release of “particles” as well as their glow based on the information read within the application. The image below shows perlin noise being translated into particles, giving each one glow and position properties.

The position of each ball is determined via total of 17 control points on the rail. Every time a ball passes through one of them, the respective ball’ s positional information is transmitted via a built-in infrared sensor. During the time the ball travels between one control points to the next, this position is calculated based on its average speed. The data for regulating the balls’ luminescence are divided by the control point segments and are switched every time a ball passes on a control point.

The audiences can select a shape from several patterns floating in aerial space using an interface of the display. The activation of the virtual balls on the screen are determined by the timing which a ball moving on the rail passes through a certain check point on the rail and the speed which is calculated by using average speed values. The sound is generated from the ball positions and the information of LED flash pattern and is played through 8ch speakers. The board inside the ball is an Arduino compatible board based on the original design from Arduino

Exhibition page:

Date & Time:March 5 (sat)−May 5 (thu) , 2011 10:00−19:00
Venue: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] Studio B
Admission free

Images courtesy of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] Photos: Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM)

  • how do you even comment on something like this…it’s too good.

  • I agree. Technically, aesthetically, intellectually, all while exposing process and mechanics. Would love to see this at the Eyeo festival this summer, in person.

  • One of the best installations of last time

  • Super cool installation!

  • Stereolux