First of all I must say, that I had an overwhelmingly amazing time at ITP Camp!
In my attending for one week, and after experiencing the environment for the first day or two, I was inspired to attempt to construct something using Arduino, Processing, and a PIR motion sensor. Win, lose, or draw, I knew that I would have a valuable experience in simply attempting to put something tangible together. My goal wasn’t necessarily to have a functional installation to show in the ITP Camp Art Show, but the prospect of showing something was definitely motivation for me to push myself to complete a piece.
I began by hacking an audio/visual library for Processing:
Then, after attending his “Projector Jam!!” session, I took my hacked Processing application to camp counselor Matt Tennie, who provided me with invaluable encouragement, and challenged me to add an interactive element. Matt saw potential in my piece, but pushed me to develop it further, and introduced me to Arduino functionality and libraries that would enable some level of interactivity. Matt suggested motion detection, which meant I had to find a motion sensor…. somewhere.
Enter camp counselor Jen Shannon who gave me the basics on “The Shack”. She described for me the nuances of finding and selecting the correct sensor for my project, and also gave me much needed reassurance and encouragement.
After an impromptu self guided walking tour of the area surrounding NYU,
I stumbled upon a PIR sensor for sale in Chelsea… (after visiting FOUR of “The Shacks”)
With sensor in hand, and after a few more conversations and advice from Matt and Jen, I added a bit of code from this library to my Processing application to enable serial communication from my Arduino. The code example also added an additional reactive visual element.
Next I uploaded code to my Arduino from a PIR motion sensor tutorial that I found on Instructables.com , and followed the wiring diagram.
Part of Matt’s original advice was to project the Processing application using several different projectors, with the aim of creating an immersive audio/visual generative environment. I went with that idea first, and attempted to hook up multiple projectors to my Netbook. Try as I may and mightily, I could not get the piece to project the way I wanted. After asking Kate Hartman if I could use a full room to house my piece, and with her kind approval, an equally effective alternative presented itself. With the piece set up in its own room, and utilizing the rooms existing audio/visual infrastructure, my piece became an installation.
The result for the ITP Camp art show was this:
Essentially, the PIR sensor connected to the Arduino detects motion in the room, which then triggers the audio/visual response generated by the Processing application.
All said, I had a great time at camp!
Thanks again to Matt Tennie, Jen Shannon and all the ITP Camp Counselors, Kate Hartman, fellow campers, ITP Faculty and Staff! It was a great environment for which to experiment and grow creatively… I feel I have taken away so much from this experience. Until next year… CHEERS!