An attempt to rectify the various meandering attempts of contemporary psychedelic/rave culture to unite us spiritually
• Rave and Psychedelic culture is chronically obsessed with the idea that it will unite us despite its failure to create utopia.
• These subcultures have some strong conceptual undercurrents but overall have not managed to graduate past the party mentality as an effective methodology.
• From an aesthetics aspect it has a variety of practices that are worth exploring in an organized framework.
• These cultures have generated some useful technology and design based solutions to generating a complete mini-culture - replete with indigenous music, ritual practices, a unified social consciousness and an orientation on group experience.
• There is a need for next-generation, interaction based visualization tools that unite “eye-candy” with interesting ways of exploring form in space.
• There are complex of existing, unexplored, aesthetic traditions that have successfully created volumes of material that visually articulates cosmic, non-verbal and spiritual phenomenon.
• These design traditions pull from math, physics, geometry, metaphysics and integrate complex symbolic syntaxes.
• The need to create a interactive object that exists in public space that bridges these gaps and creates a compelling coherent link to mainstream, visually dense culture.
Having spent some years as a VJ I am more than familiar with all the varieties of underground, electronic music culture at creative semi-interactive displays of spatial phenomena in a performance setting.
As we can all see this type of performance and real-time visualization has it’s pros and cons.
It all began with this product
I acquired a 12” clear plastic hemisphere from Canal Plastics. After doing some research into visual and sonic sensors I decided on Sharp GP2D120X IR proximity sensors. I got all of my materials together and began construction.
I coated the hemisphere in privacy spray. I then made a basic setup to attach the hemisphere on a rigid frame in preparation for wiring and presentation. This setup allowed me to situate the object initially so I could begin posing and working with volume at my desk.
This is my first wired rigging. I used 3 sensors at first. I was interested in using triangulation formulas to mathematically predict the presence of one interaction point.
Other side of unit displaying sensor mounts and wiring
After a series of design decisions, an elaborate shopping trip to Calumet Photo, Pearl, Plastic land I implemented a series of design decisions that allowed me to mount and prototype the design including the projector.
Tripod mounting setup
Video and Description of the project:
Multiple people using the Hand Dance Machine at ITP Winter Show 2008:
Future design and construction strategies:
• Delve into the varieties of graphics generation from real-time, procedural, OpenGL based 3D animation to driving animation that is produced specifically for the object.
• Develop a stronger grasp off the mathematics necessary to generate predictive orientation algorithims so I can more fully make use of the volumetric interaction space within the object.
• A more integrated and realistic strategy for pursuing venues that would be interested in such a performative device, galleries, dance parties etc.
• Larger scale design that involves sound and full-body or multiple person interface.5 years ago • 1 note