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    In September 2008, I spent an amazing week working on interactive art projects in Huia, New Zealand. The project was called Purple Spheres, and f… Read More
    In September 2008, I spent an amazing week working on interactive art projects in Huia, New Zealand. The project was called Purple Spheres, and funded by New Zealand Internet Service Provider - Orcon. Six artist/animator/programmer/geek types from around the world were invited to live and breath 'digital' for 7 days & nights (very late nights). The brief was simple, 'just create shit'. The event was the brain child of the wonderful Maya McNicoll. It was my first trip to New Zealand, and one that changed my entire focus and direction in design and digital. At the time I was obsessed with generative art and was very inspired by Joshua Davis. I also really wanted to learn about motion detection, so combining these became my focus. During the week I was creating artwork by taking photos around scenic Huia, illustrating up some of the details, and then writing flash programs to create patterns from the artwork based on motion detection. This artwork was the basis for almost all the projects I worked on during the week. It was an intense week, everyone was working on different projects from early morning till late at night collaborating on ideas and executions. Here are a few that I worked on... Read Less
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About

In September 2008, I spent an amazing week working on interactive art projects in Huia, New Zealand. The project was called Purple Spheres, and funded by - Orcon. Six artist/animator/programmer/geek types from around the world were invited to live and breath 'digital' for 7 days & nights (very late nights). The brief was simple, 'just create shit'. The event was the brain child of the wonderful Maya McNicoll. It was my first trip to New Zealand, and one that changed my entire focus and direction in design and digital. 

At the time I was obsessed with generative art and was very inspired by Joshua Davis. I also really wanted to learn about motion detection, so combining these became my focus. During the week I was creating artwork by taking photos around scenic Huia, illustrating up some of the details, and then writing flash programs to create patterns from the artwork based on motion detection. This artwork was the basis for almost all the projects I worked on during the week. 
 
It was an intense week, everyone was working on different projects from early morning till late at night collaborating on ideas and executions. Here are a few that I worked on... 
Videos
We hooked up a Wiimote + projector + infrared LED light to create an interactive white board (thanks to Wiimote hack expert, Johnny Lee for the open source software). The Wiimote works similar to a webcam which picks up motion, the difference being the input- the LED light. The flash program I wrote responded to the LED light like a virtual mouse/pen, outputting the artwork like a paintbrush. In the video above, Vyrne Gulley - the talented resident graphic designer, was a good sport as he went shirtless to provide the canvas so I could 'paint'. 
Maya - the Purple Spheres event creator, demos two of the flash programs. There is the one used for the virtual tattoo, and another which simulated writing in the sand. I created the sand program after a trip down to a local Huia beach, which was covered in black sand- something I hadn't seen before. 
These dance projects were the highlight of the week for me. No Wiimote's this time, just a webcam, the flash art generating programs, and Georgia- the dancer that was hired for the day. The above program shows organic patterns which grow outwards from a certain position. The program tracked Georgia's motion and sprouted the patterns from her last tracked position. Once the pattern is complete, it would stay on screen for 5 seconds then start again. Georgia, used the 5 second intervals to dance then hold her pose, or slow it down - so the patterns would generate from her silhouette. 
Video above is of the second program, which worked more like a virtual dancer. The patterns that generate are a lot quicker, and respond to motion sort of like a paintbrush. They would form opposite the silhouette of the dancer, and react to any movement. If she stopped, so would the patterns, if she moved erratically so would the patterns. 
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