Moiré Pool

Short Description:

Moiré Pool is a digital media based reflection pool where people can gather, interact with and observe a continually evolving sound and visuals. As observers move up to the edge of the pool (a circular projection surface), their movement creates ripples and waves of disturbance in the projected image and soundscape. Similar to the act of waiting for a small pond to clear after one has skipped a stone, if viewers stay still, they will see the settling of the original imagery. The intention is to create a space that rewards stillness and meditative observation, along with action and play.

Proposal:

Moiré Pool will be an interactive installation featuring real-time generative sound and visuals that react to the movement of viewers in the space. The focal point of the installation is a circular projection surface, raised a few feet from the floor. The projections consist of interweaved patterns that create visual effects similar to moiré patterns. Moiré patterns are a form of visual interference that often result in mesmerizing visual “beat frequencies.” As observers move up to the edge of the projection surface, their movement creates ripples and waves of disturbance in the projected image. Thus, before they have had a chance to fully observe the pattern, they have already effected it.

The interaction is akin to waiting for a small pond to clear after one has skipped a stone. If viewers stay still, they will see the settling of the original imagery. If they move about, the visuals will ripple and distort based on their motions. The intention is to create a space that rewards stillness and meditative observation, along with action and play. We believe this will be an enjoyable landmark at the festival in both the context of social interaction and individual introspective moments.

We have included video that demonstrates the interactive, visual, and sonic elements of the piece (see below). The projections consist of generative black and white textures that evoke the nature of moiré patterns. The sound in the demo video is currently a piece composed by Isaac Levine. We intend to modify the piece into a generative sonic score of a similar tone and aesthetic that reacts to viewer’s movement.

To capture the motion in the room, a vision tracking system (webcam) will be mounted near the ceiling. Changes in the captured image will create resulting ripples of noise and displacement in the projected visuals (see video), and disrupt the sonic environment in a similar manner. This is demonstrated in the 4-up video in the web link.

We have also included a rough diagram of the space. The exact design of the circular projection surface, and placement of camera and projector will be determined by site based constraints. For instance, if there is not the possibility of top down projection, using a rear projection system will work and would inform design constraints and considerations.

Technical Needs:

The installation will use a projector, webcam, speakers and computer to run the system. We would need a dedicated projector*, and if possible a computer* to be provided. The webcam interface, pool shaped projection surface, and all other infrastructure for the project will be provided by us. Compensation or a stipend for these materials if you choose to cover the cost would not exceed $400.

*If this is not possible, we can make it work given enough time to secure an alternate projector and computer for the duration of the installation. 

Diagram:

   

 

 


Video:

password: moire2016

The video consists of three parts:

  1. Sonic and visual content

  2. Demonstration of interactive technology

  3. Nature of interaction

Bios:

Simon Alexander-Adams is a Detroit based multimedia artist, musician and designer, working within the intersection of art and technology. He has directed multimedia performances that enable connections between sonic, visual and kinetic forms, designed new interfaces for musical expression, and produced interactive installation art. Simon has composed music for a number of short films, animations, theatrical and dance performances, and his work has been performed at international festivals, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Cinetopia. He also performs frequently on keyboard and electronics with the glitch-electronic free-jazz punk band Saajtak. Simon received a MA in Media arts in 2015 from the University of Michigan, School of Music, Theatre, & Dance.

Isaac Levine is a multi-media artist based in Ann Arbor. He likes to explore sound and engagement through interactive installation, sound design and composition. He has installed works at Washtenaw Community College and The Ann Arbor Art Center. He has also worked on installations for venues such as the Detroit Symphony Hall and the D.I.A. with the Detroit art collective ApeTechnology. He has composed music for ensembles such as the Willo Collective and So Percussion. In addition to this, he has recorded/produced music for Joseph Keckler in addition to writing and recording with bands such as The Tusks Band, Dreambag and The Platonic Boyfriends. He also is involved at WCBN-FM 88.3 and does sound for the Local Music Show.