Demo Hour

XXI.4 July + August 2014
Page: 8
Digital Citation


back to top  1. Back to Light

My current body of work, Back to Light, expands upon a classic grade-school science project, the potato battery. By inserting a galvanized nail into one side of a potato and a copper wire into the other side a small electrical current is generated. The utter simplicity of this electrical phenomenon is endlessly fascinating for me. Many people have had the experience of drawing power from fruit in the classroom, and it never ceases to bring a smile to the face or a thought to the mind. This work speaks to a common curiosity we all have for how the world works as well as a global concern for the future of earth's energy sources.

Caleb Charland, [email protected]

ins01.gif Back to Light—an artistic take on the classic potato-battery science project.

back to top  2. Weird Faces Vending Machine

The Weird Faces Vending Machine is an installation that generates an infinite number of weird faces that look like my hand-drawn faces. It thereby questions the dominating ways in which value is generated from art in the gallery context. Instead of placing an artificially limited number of prints in the gallery space for the sole purpose of generating value and fake exclusivity, a vending machine is installed that sells a potentially infinite number of unique computer-generated prints. The name from the credit card is used by the machine to talk to the buyer and walk him/her through the purchasing process. In addition, the name is used to write a personalized dedication message on the back of the print in my own handwriting. A unique art print and a personal dedication from the artist for only three dollars? Sounds like a good deal!

Matthias Dörfelt, UCLA, [email protected]

ins02.gif Three dollars gets you one weird-face drawing from this art vending machine.

back to top  3. Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks

Studio Echelman installed its largest, most interactive sculpture installation to date at the TED Conference's 30th anniversary. The monumental aerial sculpture spanned 745 feet between a 24-story skyscraper and the Vancouver Convention Center.

The sculpture was presented with an original interactive work created in collaboration with artist Aaron Koblin, creative director of the Data Arts team in Google's Creative Lab. At night the sculpture came to life as visitors were able to choreograph the lighting in real time using physical gestures on their mobile devices. Vivid beams of light were projected across a massive scale as the result of small movements on spectators' phones.

Janet Echelman and Aaron Koblin, [email protected]

ins03.gif A massive aerial sculpture let visitors paint the sky with their mobile devices.

back to top  4. Illimitable Space System

The Illimitable Space System (ISS) is a multimodal interaction CG system for artistic performance (e.g., dance), music visualization, and interactive documentary that is controlled with gestures and voice, depending on the configuration. The participants are central to interacting with the installation, providing motion, voice, and other captured data as input to the computer system that processes that input and produces real-time graphical and audio feedback to the interacting audience. There is animation, physically based modeling, image and video processing, and motion capture, all in real time.

Song, M. Computer-Assisted Interactive Documentary and Performance Arts in Illimitable Space. Ph.D. thesis, Special Individualized Program/Computer Science and Software Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, Dec. 2012;

Miao Song, Concordia University, [email protected]

Serguei A. Mokhov, Concordia University, [email protected]

Peter Grogono, Concordia University, [email protected]

ins04.gif Human motion is transformed in myriad ways by the Illimitable Space System.

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