Ioana Staicut
Si Cho

Dra”Wii”ng Jackson Pollock

Our application allows you to create an art piece using Jackson Pollock's painting style by utilizing a Wii remote controller on a projected canvas image on the floor.


Introduction to Computational Media (Thu),Introduction to Physical Computing (Wed PM)

Our project was inspired by Jackson Pollock's painting style. In action painting, the process of creating an art work often emphasizes the physical act of painting itself as an essential component of an art work and promotes an artist's presence by following Jackson Pollack's original painting procedures. Thus, we wanted to highlight physical actions present in order to create an art piece by allowing anyone using our application to enjoy herself in the painter's position and create unique and personal compositions.

There are two main components which work together to operate the Dra"Wii"ng Jackson Pollack project. The first part of the project is a small booth where the user can select the color one wants to use on his or her painting. Similarly to what Jackson Pollock would have done in his painting procedure, the user can create a single digital color that could be put onto an art work by combining red, green and blue. There are three painting cans placed on the top of the booth and three potentiometers which can be used to determine the quantity of each of the three colors to create one unique digital color. We illuminated tubes which are attached to the bottom of the cans through LEDs in order to demonstrate imaginary paints in each can which are flowing down from the paint cans to create the resulting color. This is to show the amalgamation of Jackson Pollock's old age methods with our digital application. The LEDs also get brighter or dimmer depending on the color quantity value determined by the three potentiometers. The resulting digital color is displayed on the computer screen. The second part of the project is a canvas that is displayed by using a projector. The user can start drawing his or her unique art piece by using a Wii remote controller as if it is a brush on the projected canvas. Jackson Pollack's painting style is imitated by following closely the interaction with the Wii Remote in Processing.

We watched a few videos about Jackson Pollock and read about his painting style, his habits and his motivation. We also used paint and tried to simulate his painting style on our own. We wanted to keep his movements in our application and for this reason a lot of thought went into analyzing the brushwork and the relationship between patterns and the movement of the brush. When the brush moves very quickly it paints a thin line, but when the brush moves slowly around the same place then it draws big spots.

Anyone who is interested in putting himself or herself in Jackson Pollock’s place is welcome to try our application. It would be preferable that our audience had an understanding of the “rgb” color system in order for the color selection and the difference between the digital colors and the pigments of the paint to make sense.

User Scenario
The user would first choose a color by turning the three potentiometers until the desired color is found. Next, he or she will pick up the Wii Remote and use it in order to throw paint on the projected canvas. The process will flow naturally and the Wii Remote throw paint in the way in which the user expects it to do.

The sides of the booth are made of painted cardboard. Inside the booth, we hide the laptop, arduino, breadboard and wires and only show the screen and the potentiometers. On the side, the projector is mounted and pointed towards the canvas on the floor, projecting our program.

We learned that things that seem easy are not always so. It was hard to transfer a classical piece of art (painting) into the digital world because the randomness of the real world doesn’t translate well in the rigid digital world. However we’re happy to have tried to create a prototype that can serve as an inspiration to other projects. We think that our work is part of a transformation from a classical art style into a new digital style.