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Wind Orchestra: interactive graphic-sonic installation | Balsas: aktualios ir medijų kultūros žurnalas
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    Wind Orchestra: interactive graphic-sonic installation

    | 2008-04-04 | 22:25
    temos: ENGLISH,interaktyvumas,menas,MIGRUOJANTI REALYBĖ

    Julijonas Urbonas is a media and design researcher as well as an artist living and working in Vilnius and London. We present his project which was recently showed at Migrating Reality event in Berlin. Julijonas Urbonas is studying Design Interactions at Royal College of Art in London.

    Keywords: blow-led HCI, funology, sonic tele-presence, computer augmented pinwheels.

    Concept: The project designs a multisensory interpretation of a wind orchestra as a collective sonic interaction. Here everybody may join the electronic orchestra and manipulate his/her own vocal records by blowing onto the pinwheel. The collective coordination of the musical loops is visualized within the dynamic and responsive graphics. The aim of the installation is to find new interfaces between music, graphics, social coordination and lungs.
    Working: The participant should blow onto the pinwheel and/or talk to the microphone in order to control the installation. The stronger he/she blows, the more distorted his/her sound record is, a speed of the pinwheel is associated as a pitch of the playback of the recent audio record. The interaction process is visualized within responsive graphics.
    Software: Cycling’74 MAX/MSP, Proce55ing with MAXLINK;
    Hardware: LCD projector, PC, multichannel audio system, microphones, and pinwheels with embeded rotational sensors.


    Wind Orchestra is an interactive art/design project exploring interplay between music, physical and social interaction. The installation also constructs easy-to-learn HCI and projects upon emotional values within interaction design. The extraordinary juxtaposition of a wind orchestra and a computer is taken to encourage reassessment of conventional human-computer interfaces.

    Musical instruments or more precisely winds in a wind orchestra mediate an interaction between a musician and a listener, but considering musical context they remain to be visually passive or inexpressive. The same happens with a computer keyboard or mouse, which are unresponsive to a context of human-computer interaction. Whenever one is drawing or typing, playing or browsing, a user is restricted to the few finger movements. An inflexibility of the interface prevents utilization of human possibilities to manipulate hundreds of muscles, to perform complex movements and to use other senses. Bringing in all this potential it would be possible to design more compelling, personal, productive and user-friendly interface.

    Wind Orchestra installation does not demonstrate suchlike interface, but shows the one, which aims to provoke above-mentioned debates and to stimulate new look to conventions of techno-ergonomics. Although interaction designers might reprehend the blow-led interface as an impractical solution, Wind Orchestra shows that playfulness and fun may be crucial factors to easy-to-learn usage. The comical combination of a pinwheel and a microphone evokes a smile and curiosity, a participant is encouraged to play with these “non-serious” elements. Hereby during the play a participant learns intuitively the usage. Fun as though swaps a perception of learning for an awareness of playing. The play of the interactive installation immerses him/her into a process of sonic tele-presence, and the pinwheel starts to become out of sight, i.e. the action of blowing fades perceptually into music and dynamic graphics. Sonic and graphic feedback sustains awareness of personal interaction between lungs, computer and social coordination. Here it is possible to grope invisible interface, thus bits become tangible. Algorithm, particles system, bit structures and sound deconstruction materializes into human language, understandable for everybody.

     [youtube x7x2f-NgX6s]

    The pinwheels are connected with the optical interrupters: the speed is counted using the COUNT function of a microcontroller. The variable of the speed is sent to PC via serial communication. The audio system is checking the external sound level in real-time and if the sound level reaches the appropriate threshold, the audio system starts record a sound. If after 50ms the level is below the threshold, it stops recording. Every microphone has the separate audio channel and audio processing. The record is played in variable pitch, which is interfaced with a speed of the pinwheel. The speed and the recording state is visualized with Proce55ing software.


    temos: ENGLISH, interaktyvumas, menas, MIGRUOJANTI REALYBĖ |

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    1 komentaras “Wind Orchestra: interactive graphic-sonic installation”

    1. Textual-Visual Impressions from Migrating Reality in Berlin (1st part) | Balsas: aktualios ir medijų kultūros žurnalas rašo:
      9 balandžio, 2008 at 11:45 pm

      […] Wind Orchestra: interactive graphic-sonic installation […]


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