10 November 2010

Sweet Delight and Endless Night 111110

I haven't been playing with MaxMSP a lot lately, but Palle Lindqvist gave me a good excuse, enter S.T.M.D

Initially I played a bit with the audio input from an electronic stethoscope, trying to trigger actions on heart beats. I had no clue what Palle, had in mind until recently.
So what is S.T.M.D. ? He describes it as: "Experiential live audio-visual room installation. ". Conceptually I see it as a link between your inner and outer self, both literally and metaphorically, but it all makes sense instantly when you experience it...

Speaking of which, you are invited to the Sweet Delight and Endless Night group exhibition.

Plainly put exhibition = prohibition of inhibition, so do expect a surreal experience.
We'll be at 82 Great Eastern Street, from 7PM to 10PM.

Oh, I haven't talked about the technology yet...Would a magician give away his tricks ? Maybe after the show, so check back later for the nerdy bits.
All I can say for now is: lights, cameras, electronic stethoscope.


Well, not to bad for something pulled of quickly, but certainly not ideal. The complete system was quite complex: Heart beats detected through an electronic stethoscope and a webcam are the inputs. The outputs are lights controlled using
the DMX protocol and the heart beats and a projector displays the webcam feed on a plane drawn with OpenGL that gets 'exploded', again, on heart beats.
There was little time and many things to do, so in short: lots of dirty little hacks.

Here is a stethoscope signal processing test patcher:

Heart Beat Patcher Test from George Profenza on Vimeo.

One of the trickiest part was getting accurate readings, which were almost impossible in the installation's environment: a small room next to a massive room which resonated with the audience of multiple other pieces, but that's what a group exhibition is about. On the other hand, given it was an independent effort by a few students, it turned out ok.

Here is a fragment of the recordings Palle did. You will notice toward the end of the video that the beats (distorted webcam feed) isn't all that accurate: