interactive art piece

I have been thinking for a long time, about a year or so, about creating an interactive art piece that includes some form of computing element. For this year’s Southbank Bristol Arts Trail I almost managed it, with the final stumbling block only being the lack of wireless connections and availability of laptops for the piece. That particular piece was planned to have a group of dedicated photographers who would wander around the Arts Trail with digital cameras taking pictures, which would then be uploaded to The SBA Flickr Group at certain access points and then shown on screens at two locations. The general public would also be able to upload to a similar (moderated) Flickr group, and this, along with the semi-pro group, would be visible either on the web at Flickr, on the SBA website, or on the large screens.

This year I might attempt that again, although it is unclear if we kept the good will of the Bristol Flickr Group, a group from which a team of active members took most of the photos. Some didnt get back into contact with me which is a shame. Although the logistics got in the way this time, with a bit of forward planning it could be made to happen next May just fine.

But what I’m talking about now is a step on from that, from a purely feed based consumption of photo’s on a loop, to an interactive piece where the user gets to sit down and interact with the piece using a mouse or keyboard. And maybe that interaction doesnt just affect what happens on the screen, but changes the environment that the user is sat in too, maybe by affecting the lighting or the temperature as well as what they are seeing. I am probably biting off more than I can chew, but it is possible. Maybe the Web/IT Group of the SBA (that I head – heh we’re only three people) could take it on as project, and make it known at the AGM next week that we want to do this. We certainly have the experience and the expertise between us to do it. And it would act as a an aid to recruitment, we always need more people.

So what would control the logic, and act as the interaction interface? How are you going to do it Pete I hear you cry? Squeak.

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