Taction was conceptualized to be a versatile installation. The piece adapts itself to the environment, whether it is in the comfort of your bedroom (fig 1.0), or in an art gallery (fig 1.1).
Fig 1.0. Solo performance in bedroom
Fig 1.1 Duet on a stage
For the purpose of this project, we will be using the Holodeck to display our installation. Taction is an interactive performative installation, which comprises a guitarist, a singer, and 5 cushioned orbs. Both the musician’s guitar and the microphone will be plugged to a Teensy 3.5 microcontroller, which will analyze the rhythm and the frequencies of the input. Through serial communication, the transformed data is transmitted as output to the cushioned orbs.
The orbs will vibrate and light Neopixel RGB LEDs according to the music played, transforming an audible performance to a performance incorporating the sense of touch and sight (fig 1.2). Each orb has a personality which influences the way it reacts to the music. Through communication between orbs, they will mutually influence each other and synchronize their reactions to become one harmonious piece (fig 1.3).
Fig 1.2. Musical data transmitted to orbs through serial communication
Fig 1.3. Cushioned orbs communicating/influencing and synchronizing to one another
The fundamental part of Taction is the interaction between the audience and the performance. Through tilt sensors and pressure sensors, we seek to extract the reaction of the audience, and influence the orbs, thus blurring the line between real life and artificial life to create a whole. If a person is swinging to the rhythm of the song, it will be detected through the tilt sensors and create a response through the orb’s outputs (vibration and light). Therefore, the orbs not only have their own personalities, but will also integrate the audience within the installation (fig 1.4).
Fig 1.4. Cushioned orbs receiving data from tilt sensors and pressure sensors to integrate audience into performance