Week 8: Interactive Pathways

Overview of Interactive Possibilities

Although we’ll be focussing on ‘Lo-tech’ and lateral solutions for engaging audiences with our installations….  here’s an overview of interactive pathways available with technology.

Types of interactive input?

Regardless of which technology is used though, a basic interactive formula is:


A compelling interactive work will often feature an input method with some meaningful/interesting relationship to the installation content / theme / output. (ie choose appropriate technology )

eg Starfield : an installation where a swing is used to create a large interactive starry sky. (project background)

Rather than focussing on specific technologies, it is more important to think about the concepts and ideas within your interactive work…

What is interactivity? Why interactive?  How does the interactivity reinforce your key ideas? Which elements are interactive? (Read: Lev Manovich on The Myth of Interactivity )

Analysing Inputs with Interactive Software

– VJ software ( eg VDMX / Resolume / Modul8 / CoGE / Isadora / Millumin etc See: extensive list  )

Any of the above software can utilise inputs to control the playback of video and images ( and in some cases, to simultaneously control light too, via DMX ). Acceptable inputs include keyboard and mouse, joysticks and game controllers ( using Junxion to convert ), or MIDI + OSC ( using hardware devices or smart phones / tablets to send these messages ).

– More complex software and programming languages, for analysing + translating inputs:

    • Processing ”an open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions.”
    • Max / msp ”all the tools to create your own music, sound, video, and interactive media applications”
    • Pure Data ( free )
    • Quartz Composer ( free / mac only)
    • VVVV (PC only – free for non-commercial use)
    • Touch Designer (PC only – free for non-commercial use)
    • Open Frameworks
    • Cinder – “a community-developed, free and open source library for professional-quality creative coding in C++.”

Interactive Artworks and Installations:

Projects by ENESS 
A Tilt of Light (cleverly adapting a seesaw)
The Creation Cinema : A kinetic sculpture with mapped projection, as part of the First Peoples exhibition @ Melbourne Museum. (Project background)
(Other interactive Projects by ENESS. )

Online Curation of Interactive Works:

Creative Applications :  ” reports innovation and catalogues projects, tools and platforms at the intersection of art, media and technology.”
Creator’s Project : ” celebrates visionary artists across multiple disciplines who are using technology in innovative ways to push the boundaries of creative expression.”
We Make Money Not Art : “about the intersection between art, science and social issues.”
Neural.It : “new media art, electronic music and hacktivism”
Networked Performance : “a research blog that focuses on emerging network-enabled practice.”
Interactive Architecture : “covers emerging architectural and artistic practices where digital technologies & virtual spaces merge with tangible and physical spatial experiences. An active architecture, sensing, observing, feeling, listening, thinking, reacting, proposing, adapting, learning, even sometimes interacting. It is an architecture in constant flux best suited to prototyping and semi-perminant installations.”
Visual Music Archive (Installation section) : ” inspirational works from the ever expanding field of Visual Music.”

Lateral Inspirations:

Michel Gondry:  Playful, lateral use of everyday materials.. interesting relationships between imagery and physical devices / materials…
Music videos: eg  Gondry DVD + Radiohead – knives out and Bjork – Bachelorette ( fantastically imaginative and malleable set designs! )
Feature Film trailers: Mood Indigo + Science of Sleep + Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind + Be Kind Rewind + Be Kind Rewind – Sweded + Taxi Driver sweded.


Week 7: Feedback + Interaction
Week 6: Animating your Model With Projection Mapping
Week 5: Projection Mapping
Week 4: Exploring Motion Graphics
Week 3: Compositing with After Effects
Week 2: Editing With Premiere
Week 1: Visualising Sound

Right Here, Right Now

A Forest of Projects


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.