Alexandra Diracles
Mike Allison
Talya Stein Rochlin

It Comes In Waves

An interactive installation in which moving blocks on white panels react to the proximity of the people around them, slamming, fluttering, and oozing with movement and sound.


Project Development Studio (Marina Zurkow),The Nature of Code Studio

"It comes in waves" is an interactive installation that explores how our moods change and react to others. Three white panels lean directionally against two walls in a corner space. The audience is free to move around and explore the panels. The nearness of people to the panels as well as the proximity of people to each other ignites different behaviors in the movements of projected black boxes which move up and down the panels. A person might peer in and, as they begin to walk away, the box slams towards the floor in protest. A box may jiggle to draw in a viewer and then dissappear out of the bottom of it's frame. As people we put our actions and words out into the world with no guarentee of what we might get back; "it comes in waves" simulates that experience.

Research for the project has been observing other installation works at: the Armory show, DIA Beacon, Hunter MFA open studios, and columbia mfa thesis shows.

Our audience is adults and children who feel inclined to move towards and away from the panels.

User Scenario
A person walks up to the first panel. It quickly rises to the viewers eye level. They stand there for a few seconds. As they move away it slams down. Moving towards the other two panels the squares rise and flutter in the middle (with a buzzing sound). A second viewer walks in and the blocks begin to move quickly up and down the entire length of the panel making a pounding sound. The two viewers watch and then move on, as they leave the blocks make a sighing sound and slowly filter to the bottom of their respective panels to rest until the next person arrives.

The installation is made of 3 wooden panels painted white (80" x 36"). Each panel has a speaker for sound and a kinect rigged above tracks the user movement. Processing and Max are used to create the forces for the blocks and their corresponding sounds.

This has been a semester long project which was an incredible opportunity to spend a lot of time on the concept development.