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Emerging trajectories in art, science, and technology.

226 pages of conversation, research, opinion, analysis. Step into artists' studios and workshops to discover the faces, personalities, and processes behind important work. Learn more!

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Firewall – Stretched sheet of spandex as a visual instrument

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Firewall is an interactive installation created by Aaron Sherwood and Mike Allison. A stretched sheet of spandex acts as a membrane interface sensitive to depth that people can push into and manipulate expressive visuals.

The piece was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect. Like the Cloud Pink by Everyware, the Kinect measures the average depth of the spandex from the frame it is mounted on. If the spandex is not being pressed into nothing happens. When someone presses into it the visuals react around where the person presses, and the music is triggered.

An algorithm created with Max allows the music to speed up and slow down and get louder and softer, based on the depth. This provides a very expressive musical playing experience, even for people who have never played music before. A switch is built into the frame which toggles between two modes. The second mode is a little more aggressive than the first.

See project page for more | Aaron Sherwood | Mike Allison

See also Thicket.

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