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Expanded Interface

See catergory ‘Expanded Interface’ for more current projects and interpretations.

Pulse Spiral by Rafael Lozano

Pulse City by Luminscence

Current Expanded Interfaces My Idea was to develop a new expanded interface that will not only change how dream activity is analyzed but also produce a visual experience for the participants. This will be executed through monitoring the participants pulse rhythm when asleep. The data from this will be transferred into a aesthetic light sequence installation to represent the rhythms and speed of the dreams we experience. The reason I have chosen to represent dream activity is because it is an area, which is has not been acknowledged by ordinary people. Dreams are an experience that we all share and our diversity is reflected within our individual dreams. By creating a visual outcome, it will expose the optimal moments within our subconscious adventures. I will extract necessary data and transform it into a series of sequences that will be presented through lights in order to present a diverse sequence of rhythm I need to monitor several participants. The Light aspect derived from a variety of influences, which demonstrate different commentaries on the pulse of particular aspects. My idea of combining the two mediums to convey a visual representation originated from my discovery of the face visualizer by Daito Manabe.

Facial Visualizer by Daito Manabe

See catergory ‘Expanded Interface’ for info on more Influences.

Light Installation For my final Light Installation I wanted to create an outcome that was only reflected the data but also was aesthetically pleasing to view. I decided to look into shadow Lights in particular as they date back to when people used them to entertain children during sleep. Within the ‘Media Magica’ documentary I learnt about the various methods of using Light to control the output of image or shadows. I also looked into Zoetrope’s and shadow Lights designed by Tord Boontje. I used this research to inspire me to create my own shapes that would represent my concept of dreams. Another aspect I wanted to incorporate into my concept was the feature of the lights reflecting a mood via different colours. When researching the meanings and associations to particular colours, I decided to use this to determine the different moods and activity of each dream sequence. Essentially the heart beat would represent the dream sequence, however for the purpose of my experiments I have used a combination of resting and active heart rates during being ‘awake’.

See catergory ‘Expanded Interface’ for videos on user testing and results.

User Testing Primarily my data collection consisted of undertaking my own test with the apps I downloaded on my iphone. I downloaded a selection of Heart rate monitors that provided me with my current heart rate at the time and a average. However after being advised to download the ‘my Baby’s Beat’ App, I was finally able hear my heart beat using the microphone embedded into the phone and also store and send it as an mp3. This was vital towards data collection, however due to the poor quality of the microphone it was hard to get clear recordings. I also asked a user to perform an activity that would cause them to have a quicker heart beat and then instantly recorded it. I converted this data in soundbooth and equalized it to make it clearer. Although it was not as clear as id hoped it was relevant data and progress for my concept. Another App that I found useful was the ‘Sleep Cycle’ which unlike the heart beat apps, was more relevant towards the concept idea of dreams. The app recorded a visual graph data of your movement during sleep to allow analysis of your sleep cycle. I personally used it for a week to view the visual outcome rather than the audio, and used the results to determine my 3d animation sequence.

See catergory ‘Processing’ for final video outcome and development process.

Codes During this project I attended the processing workshops were I learnt basic coding to control the movement of shapes as well as the shapes themselves. I personally found it quite a challenging process, as a minor error would essentially break the whole code. As I intended for one of my experiment to consist through showing visual dream representation using processing it was important that I grasped the skills to perform this. With the audio data gathered I inserted it into the ‘fft’ code to allow processing to read it and control the image. I then individually brought each of my shapes in and controlled when they overlap by adjusting to what frequency they appear. The shapes within the processing are a combination of codes learnt from the workshop and experimented shapes of my own. Combined and overlapped they appear as abstract shapes that play in accordance to the audio. This was my intention as it was the abstract feature that I felt represented ‘dreams’.

See catergory ‘Expanded Interface’ for more images on the 3d model outcome.

Materials For my concept idea I wanted to visualize how the concept would work and look if it was to be executed. I decided that along with my 3ds Max animation and my processing visualizer I would create a 3d model of the one of the shadow lights to show the outcome of the shapes that appears on the walls. I began by experimenting with black card and engraved abstract/ random shapes into the strips I had previous cut from it. My only problem was that the card material was not strong enough to hold the position of a sphere and kept morphing into a flat oval instead of a round ball. I then decided to use Fimo clay which I tried several attempts at making to finally acknowledge that in order for the material to ‘cook’ in the shape that I intended I would need to wrap the clay around a similar shaped glass. I put the clay around a bowl and then cut out shapes half way through the ‘cooking’ process. I found this difficult as not only was the material hot to touch during the time but as it became cooler it was harder to cut the shapes leaving me with the few I had done in the time. However both outcomes were successful in reflecting shadows onto the walls.

Expanded interface