Sensitive interfaces

Sensitive interfaces

> Exploratory interfaces/ devices used for real-time audiovisual interactions


“The system is composed of 10 rhombic dodecahedrons, geometrical objects part of the family of «Space-filling polyhedra»: shapes that can be assembled to generate a tessellation of an infinite space. These forms act as the building blocks for a sculpture generator. “

By Felix Luque, 2014. More info here.


Augmented Hand series
“The “Augmented Hand Series” is a real-time interactive software system that presents playful, dreamlike, and uncanny transformations of its visitors’ hands. It consists of a box into which the visitor inserts their hand, and a screen which
displays their ‘reimagined’ hand—for example, with an extra finger, or with fingers that move autonomously.”

By Golan Levin, Chris Sugrue, and Kyle McDonald, 2014. More info here.


Body (input)
“It is a solo dance speculating on a parasitic relationship between the physical body and technology. The interactive light generated according to the dancer’s biological function is used as a metaphor of technology. The way light reacts on the dancer changes during the performance, and thus it also defines their relationship and autonomy.”

By Mária Júdová (Concept, Lighting), Markéta Kuttnerová (Choreography, Dance), Petr Zabrodský (sound),  Andrej Boleslavský (Hardware, Software), 2015. More info here.


“An interactive low-tech device creating smart spaces. Milla & Partner´s Innovation Lab has developed a cutting-edge new technology that transforms objects of daily use into interactive media surfaces – creating a palpable digital world.The interaction is not controlled by two-dimensional gestures, such as with smartphones, but by spatial movements, which are adjusted individually to each scenario and allow a maximum of intuitive control. This seemingly magical interaction is possible by using light: via infrared markers, the system detects the position and motion of the object in hand.”

By Milla & Partner, 2015. More info here.


Water Light Graffiti
“The Water Light Graffiti is a surface made of thousands of LED illuminated by the contact of water. You can use a paintbrush, a water atomizer, your fingers or anything damp to sketch a brightness message or just to draw. Water Light Graffiti is a wall for ephemeral messages in the urban space without deterioration. A wall to communicate and share magically in the city.”

By Antonin Fourneau, 2012. More info here


> Experimental interfaces/ instruments used for av live performances and installations

Sewing machine orchestra
“Messier doesn’t sew : he resuscitates old singers put asleep years ago in order to release, in some magical ways, the luminous and sonorous presence of the past. he carries his public in a dreamlike universe where each machine, as singular subject, is magnified. after years of silence, sewing machine orchestra is giving speech to these surviving objects of the industrial era.”

By Martin Messier (audio, light, performance), and Samuel St-Aubin (electronics), 2012. More info here.


Soft Revolvers
“Soft Revolvers is a music performance for 4 spinning tops built with clear acrylic by the artist. Each spinning top, 10’ in diameter, is associated with an ‘instrument’ or part in an electronic music composition. The tops are equipped with gyroscopes and accelerometers that communicate wirelessly with a computer where the motion data collected (speed, unsteadiness at the end of a spin, acceleration spikes in case of collisions) informs musical algorithms designed in Pure Data. “

“LEDs placed inside the tops illuminate the body of the objects in a precise counterpoint to the music.
The positioning of the lights creates visually stunning halos around the tops, enhanced by POV effects (persistence of vision). A camera placed above the performance table provides video feed that will be subtly manipulated and projected back on the screen behind the artist, making the projections an integral part of the performance. “

By Myriam Bleau, 2014. More info here.


“SoLu was designed to demonstrate André Rangel’s theory of correspondence between sound and light (read ‘Audible and Visible Spectrums – a proposal of correspondence‘ (Rangel, 2010).

“SoLu gives its users the control over a audiovisual algorithmic composition generated in real-time”

By André Rangel and Anne-Kathrin Siegel, 2010. More info here.


“Martin Messier’s Projectors is a surgical work of art in which he orchestrates the engineering, manipulation and distortion of 8mm projectors under the lights of a digital projector. Through a tight stage lighting and the resynthesis of the 8mm projectors’ quasi-mythical roar, the machines come alive outside of the projection room and turn into bizarre and explosive noise mechanisms. All at once offbeat, unfamiliar and marvelously incongruous, this performance leads the public to a timeless universe, somewhere between dialogue, confrontation and technological contrast. Here, the projectors do not project: Everything but discrete, they take action and become the performance itself – loud and luminous.”

By Martin Messier, 2014.


“TüISt is an emotionally driven interface taking on our inner desires and fantasies of instantaneously becoming superstars and on our instinctive imitation of the musical performers gestures as expressions of sounds.It is a multi-instrument minimal interface featuring multi-track gesture recording/ playback allowing for ‘one-man-band’ performances.
Its three different instrument modes can be automatically selected by positioning TüISt in a natural and similar position to its inspired instrument not requiring any any physical transformation or button activation.”

By Rux, 2008. More info here.


> Audiovisual live performances that explore a variety of human-computer interaction interfaces for live performance

(Glitch) Music for a computer classroom
“A classroom filled with a complete orchestra of 24 musicians (individual speakers/screens aka Apple computers). A performer use his hands as inputs in the system. It’s either the position (movement) of his hands, or the speed at which he takes his hands out of the way that will impact on sounds/visuals. His hands will direct the way the sound and visual is spread out in the computer network system.”

By Serge Maheu. More info here. 2013


“BIOMEDIATION is a sensor based audiovisual performance that digitizes the practice of meditation.
Through the use of a EEG headset, the cognitive and emotional experience of the performer is translated dynamically to sound and video compositions. It connects the body to brain activity, merging the physical world with the psychic dimension.”

Below some glimpses from the live performance:


By Joao Beira and Yago de Quay. More info here. 2014


“Experiment for visualization and sonification of voltage fluctuations along the scalp. faceParticle systems and noise generators modulated by oscillators were controlled by users scalp-electrical-activity digitized by Emotiv EPOC headset.”

Concept and Design by 3kta.More info and full credits here. 2012


OO ¨ ¨ Grimace
“Custom software using Ofxfacetracker, Faceshift, max/msp, and amazing syphon together. All the sounds are controlled by the face’s gestures.”

By Sgure/Freeka Tet. More info here. 2012


“The Clair Obscur is looking for new methods of communication between the computer and the dancer. By the interaction / synchronization of him with multimedia tools, the Clair Obscur questions the place of being human in its environment, especially a digital environment that surpasses it.
Here we have the staging of a nervous system increased, the show beat like a muscle, a synaesthetic machine, organic and digital … The aesthetic framework of performance : impulses, nerve, and still need to push the limits of cognitive fields. We implicitly questioning the perception of our own bodies, our ambiguous relationship with contemporary digital environment: Are we Exponential body? or slaves?”

Long version video here (12m). Concept by Fabrice Planquette and Frédéric Deslias. More info and full credits here.



“Concept that merges aesthetics, physical activity and entertainment. Syndyn= syn (syn – from Greek “together”) + dyn (dynamic from Greek dynamikos, “powerful”).


Long exposure photos capturing the trajectories and movements from the performance

While practicing a vigorous physical activity, the players control all audiovisual events that occur in the space/time of the game. They perform a live show and simultaneously produce a database of light drawn images.
The hits on the rackets are accompanied by synchronous real-time synthesized sounds, by an instant change in the ambience light color according to the previous players choices and by real time generated visuals.”

Bellow, one more exposure photos tracing the lights and movements from the performance:

Concept and Design by 3kta. More info and full credits here. 2011


> Interfaces that interact with sound and visuals

May the force be with you
“The direction of gravitational pull changes according to the hand movement of the audience. The signal that is sent from Kinect according to the hand movement, is received by the servo motor and link arm, which translates the signal to mechanical movements to control the angle of the tank and camera in real time. By syncing the position of the hand and the gravitational force, the audience will reminisce of the Jedi’s from Star Wars. But that experience is not direct or shocking, but completely emotional. Most of the people might just end with being slightly amused, but some might end up thinking deeply about “the force”. This is what I ultimately try to address with my work. I believe change can start with a simple experience like this.”

By Teo Park. More info here.


NonHumanDevice #02
Second part of a series of installations based on alien objects/devices found by Boris Chimp 504 during his missions through the deep space).
In every version it is presented a new interface and the audience is invited to explore and interact with sound and visuals in real time.

Article by “The Creators Project”, about the Non Human Device series and the Boris Chimp 504. By Rodrigo Carvalho/Visiophone – Visuals and interactive system, Miguel Neto – Sound.


“Tangible audio interface to manipulate and visualize sounds generated from interaction with a simple wooden surface.
Any physical contact with the table generates acoustic vibrations which are manipulated and visualized LIVE as they occur using several communicating pieces of software.”

By Felix Faire. Making Of here.


“Murmur is an architectural prosthesis that enables the communication between public and the wall upon which it is connected. The installation simulates the movement of sound waves, building a luminous bridge between the physical and the virtual worlds.”

By Chevalvert. More info at the project page.


Noisy jelly
“Noisy jelly is a game where the player has to cook and shape his own musical material, based on coloured jelly.
With this noisy chemistry lab, the gamer will create his own jelly with water and a few grams of agar agar powder. After added different color, the mix is then pour in the molds. 10 min later, the jelly shape can then be placed on the game board,and by touching the shape, the gamer will activate different sounds.”

By Raphaël pluvinage  and Marianne Cauvard.

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