Office of Undergraduate Research

Elemental Bodies: A Immersive Installation with Sensor Control

This ongoing art and technology project entails creating a suite of four rooms that are conceptually integrated by metaphors of the skin. The works both represent the skin as a sensory boundary and cause the activation of the audience's skin. The first room, called Shiver, was completed and exhibited in early 2011. The studio is now working on a list of about 40 improvements to the piece, as well as preparing it for shipment. In addition, preliminary work on the next room, Blushing, has begun. Shiver utilizes circuitry, programming, a sensor matrix and a recirculating water system. In Blushing, the water system will be replaced by heating, lighting and video. My studio is an integrated environment where all staff participate in research, design, fabrication, problem-solving and maintenance. Staff must be flexible and willing to learn continuously. We approach the project with a combination of methods that span from trial and error to computer modelling.

Tasks and responsibilities:

Students work closely with me and work ranges widely. Tasks include: sculptural fabrication in wood, metal, fabric plastic and other commonly used construction hardware, electronics fabrication including soldering, wire management, circuit building, power management and labeling,plumbing construction, including installation of pipes, waterproofing, water pressure management, water filtration and water collection. They may also begin working with programmable LEDs, video and HVAC systems. Students also engage in computer programming, specifying and ordering materials, studio organization and management, cleaning, record keeping, and creating visual materials for promotion and presentations