Rapid prototyping for music, art and design work

Feather Report

illustrationMy new project plan goes as follows. I have a fan blowing air into a transparent container with feather of different color (say, red, green and blue). The movement of these feathers is then shot with a video camera or a webcam and color-tracked with Jitter. The data of the X-Y movement of each feather is then mapped to drive sound (2 control parameters per feather = 6 in total). To make it more interesting, the fan should be controlled by Arduino as well. I could drive the fan with a semi-random algorithmic data to make the whole thing a self-containing alive entity or, say, control it with a midi controller for a sound performance. Or the fan could be indirectly controlled by the feathers movement to introduce some feedback to the system. Furthermore, I could make the system more interesting by having several fans to create different turbulent fields.So, how easy is it to control a fan with Arduino? Would the small motors we have be powerful enough to operate as a fan (if I build a fan blade for example from cardboard) or should I buy ready fans?The color tracking works already, I’ve tested it. I should just 1.) obtain a fan 2.) obtain feathers 3.) obtain materials to build a container for the feathers and build it, 3.) figure out how to control the fan with Arduino and 4.) build a sound-making instrument and map the paramaeters in a musical way.Comments, suggestions?

Soup sounds

Preliminary plan:

In short the idea is to use chemical reactions as control data. Here the key question is: what kind of parameters can one measure in a liquid? A few that have come to my mind: salt level (conductivity?), temperature etc. I’m sure there are others…

This control data would be mapped to generate and/or modify sound. The idea is to create a performative composition with little direct user intervention, although it might be necessary to work as a cook and mix in different ingredients during the performance and change the temperature of the substance.

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