Art

I use electronics and programming to create art. Here’s some of my work.

Ships to Sail the Void

“When ships to sail the void between the stars have been built, there will step forth men to sail these ships.” ― Johannes Kepler

Satellites are funny things. It’s easy to forget how rapidly they circle the earth: it takes us a day to make a full rotation, but some satellites can complete an orbit in an hour and a half. At those speeds, reality is warped, and time bends.

What’s even stranger is that one of these satellites, the International Space Station, has people in it.

Ships to Sail the Void plots the trajectory of the Space Station with a laser that it shines onto nearby surfaces. When it is activated, it takes a minute to show the path that the Space station will take over the next one hundred minutes.

Whenever it starts, it pulls tracking data from n2yo. It sends instructions over Firmata (I used PyMata on the Python side) to a microcontroller, which moves the laser dot.

Look Inside!

What happens if I look inside?

Curiosity is a powerful force. Look Inside! investigates how people react when presented with a non-descript box and an offer to look inside.

If people choose to peer inside the box, they find a mechanical drum set, which begins to play a simple but incessant beat. The beat grows in speed and intensity, and the box begins to shake!

At this point, people interacting with the piece have a choice: back away and attempt to dissociate themselves from the commotion they’ve caused, or keep watching. When Look Inside! was displayed, some people ran, and some stayed. Some even came back to play again.

The piece is powered by a Raspberry Pi running a Python script. It uses rotary solenoids to play its instruments.

Look Inside! explores curiosity, responsibility, and control. Would you look inside?

Cyclic

Cyclic is a bike-mounted instrument that plays as a rider pedals. It’s structured like a harp, and strung like a guitar.

The rider has little control over the pitches that it plays. Rather, it amplifies their normal riding motions into music.

Cyclic was created a part of a course called Hybrid Instruments. More information and pictures are here.

Light Chimes

Light Chimes is a instrument which keeps the form of a wind chime while changing the function.

Each string dangling below the body of the chime is attached to a capsule, which opens or closes based on the string’s position. A microcontroller in the chime’s weight regularly reads the light intensity in the capsules, and places a pitch based on these readings. The result is a persistent, hollow, electronic melody.

Light Chimes was created as part of a course at CMU. There’s more info on the course page here.