Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Tetrahedron-shaped devices that communicate with themselves by using light is the simple and intuitive platform upon panGenerator’s latest interactive installation CONSTELLACTION.

Complete in-depth info about the project can be read as follows:

“Background.

panGenerator has been invited by Copernicus Science Center (pl: Centrum Nauki Kopernik) to create an unique experience for the new media and technology – oriented Transformations Festival( pl: Przemiany Festiwal ). Given the central idea of this years edition – empowering people via new tools such as 3d printing and new collaboration frameworks, we decided to implement idea that we came up few years ago. We’ve been tired of interactive installations driven by the complexed, centralised software and hardware and strived for something that generates intricate emergent behaviours based on very simple and autonomous building blocks. And that’s how CONSTELLACTION was born.

 

Technical implementation.

The main, and only component of this interactive installation/experience is small, vacuum formed tetrahedron. Inside there is a custom made electronics driven by ATtiny24A microcontroller which had all of the things we were looking for – it was working with voltages as low as 1.8V, consumed small amounts of current and had enough i/o pins. For light detection we’ve used three standard photoresistors, each pointed to corresponding face and the same amount of SMD LED’s were used for producing light. On top of that we’ve added a tiny buzzer making some noise along with the blink. As for power supply two CRC2032 batteries were used, and thanks to heavy power consumption optimisations (such as utilising watchdog timer) the tetrahedrons are working even today – a month after the event.

 

Results.

The rules of behaviour are dead simple – if the tetrahedron detects sudden change of light intensity ( caused for example by casting shadow or pointing a flashlight ) it blinks for a short period of time with fixed delay, additionally making a sound. When there are other tetrahedrons nearby they might catch this light and pass it further, giving an effect of a “light wave”. The high-level patterns are built upon this simple rule and are shaped by the participants playing with the installation consisted of 400 blinking tetrahedrons. In result the CONSTELLACTION “shape” evolved and branched during the evening, depending on the creativity and decentralised, collaborative effort of the whole audience, effectively showing what’s emergence is all about.”

Check out how it all works in the video down below.

Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Art Blog - panGenerator - Empty Kingdom

Short video demonstration of CONSTELLACTION.

CONSTELLACTION, 2013

panGenerator


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