Time Bomb – Interactive Graffiti

Graffiti and technology are all the rage these days. Holler’s Lukasz Karluk and Sydney sculptor/painter Maddi Boyd (KissKiss) have created a work for Creative Sydney called Time Bomb that will exhibited in Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art on May 27th.

Nine urban artists contributed to the TimeBomb piece over the course of four days. Their painting of different layers and styles was captured with time-lapse time-lapse photography, creating an animated film of the whole process. The exhibit will show the final work and a projection of it side by side. Using camera tracking and the fluid dynamics distortions, interactors can poke through into the history of the artwork, scraping back the layers via their distortions and movements. Like many interactives, the video above shows it much more clearly than is possible to explain in words.

The project uses OpenFrameworks together with memo’s extraordinary Fluid Dynamics library to create these distortions in the footage.

There will be a second film once the exhibition has opened to focus more on the interaction. Lukasz, the man with a surfeit of consonants, has more technical details on his blog post about Time Bomb.

Tickets for the event are free, but you have to register for them here.

(Thanks to Holler’s CD, Tim Buesing for the heads up on this).

Open Frameworks on the iPhone

OpenFrameworks, the “C++ library for creative coding”, is starting to get a lot more use in interactive installations.

I haven’t had the time to have a dig around and play with it yet, but those I know who are using it seem to be producing some great work. I also haven’t dipped my toe into the lake of C, though apparently you can learn it in 5 days (ahem).

The new release is quite a restructure and includes several new libraries, but the biggest news in the latest release is that it now officially has support for the iPhone. More details and guides from Jeff Crouse and Memo Atken (who made the Jackson Pollock iPhone app in the video above).

No more excuses. Time to get my hands dirty with XCode.

Flap to Freedom

Battery hens flap to help battery hens in the Flap to Freedom installation that Chris O’Shea and Icodesign created for the V&A Village Fete to support freedom for farmed chickens.

Contestants flap their arms and their chicken moves in sync. Quickest flapper wins the highest place on the pecking order. More over at the Icodesign site.


There are also Flickr sets showing the build process and the chickens in action.

Chris has also posted more details about the Flap to Freedom project as well as a bit of technical how-it-was-done.

For someone like me who is always interested in getting people to act playfully (dare I say stupidly) via interactivity, this is pretty hard to beat. They’re so into the activity, they take the technical ‘magic’ for granted, which is how it should be. I especially like the way the music eggs them on (sorry).

Bet you that music sticks in your head for the rest of the day too.

(NOTE/UPDATE: I thought I’d posted this whole thing before, but it was on draft for some reason, so I’ve combined the two posts).

New Tracker for OpenFrameworks on its way


Seth Sandler, one of the students that snagged a Google Summer of Code place at the Natural User Interface Group, is developing a port of NUI’s multi-touch tracker, touchlib, over to openframeworks (which will mean you won’t have to feed it all the data viaTUIO through OSC.

I haven’t had a chance to really play around with OF much yet, but I keep seeing a lot of nice work that does.

Perhaps you guys can let the rest of us know whether Seth’s port will be a time-saver?

Interactive Dangerous Australians

Let’s face it, all Australians are dangerous on the sports field, but the the Australian Museum has a new interactive installation called Dangerous Australians that allows you to interact (safely) with Australia’s deadliest top ten creatures. The saltwater crocodile, funnel web spider, box jelly fish, brown snake are among them. Via the six-metre long interactive table you can explore what happens if you encounter them and what should you do to survive.

The installation was created by Lightwell under the technical direction of ex-COFA and ex-Fabrican Dave Towey. The whole thing is running under OS X and coded in Cocoa/Objective-C++ with a bunch of open source libraries including Ogre3D, OpenFrameworks and OpenCV (computer vision for the tracking).

Thanks to the Objective C++ it looks like it runs extremely fluidly and fast. For me, it’s interesting to see how the interactors act and react. The children use really quick jabs at the ‘buttons’, as if they’re trying to test the interface and its affordances. But the bit I love most of all is how the person with their hand in the ‘water’ snaps it away in reflex to the Great White Shark that suddenly appears (around 0:50 in the video).

More images and details on Lightwell’s page – and take a look at their other work whilst your at it.