Swing Thing: playful interaction

Matti Niinimäki and I created this installation from Michihito Mizutani’s “poetic interaction” prompt at Winter 2010 Demo Day.

swing thing poster

Two people enter a darkened room with two swings. Classical music plays softly, and a cryptic symbol is projected between the curtains. They sit on the swings, and the music get louder. They begin to swing together, and the symbols start to move. When their swinging gets out of sync, the music’s pitch bends uncomfortably. If they shift their weight correctly while swinging, the symbol assembles itself and the mystery is solved!

Source (Arduino, Pure Data, and Quartz Composer). One technical discovery that was especially useful was figuring out how to route all system audio through Pure Data.

(Crossposted to the Media Lab Helsinki Students Blog)