DIST-ANCE

DIST-ANCE from Friendred on Vimeo.


From a microcosmic perspective, this installation can be regarded as a meta-narrative, simplified as a relationship between humans and nature. When you stand far away from this object, you can hear the sounds of nature and visualize the blue sea in front of you. These sounds are not often found in a big city. The audience is encouraged to behave in a respectful manner, so that there will be less noise and a more harmonious environment. If you are too close to the object, closer than the safe distance, nature will respond with thunderous sounds and flashes of light to drive you back.


Building on this theory, I believe that the installation can evoke a respectful conversation between humans and nature by triggering embodied actions that can transfer a feeling to the mind. Respect is very personal and subjective. Respect seems to be like a boomerang in the sense that you must send it out before it comes back to you.


The whole process is a homeostatic closed system, a feedback loop, equivalent to cybernetic control. So, when you stand a certain distance away, your position and the cybernetic effects reach an equilibrium. Even if you move across the boundary, homeostasis will still occur inside the system.


I used 24 wood strips to fabricate the structure, trying to make it more stable.


This is the original prototype of the pattern.


The pattern is inspired by the Chinese ancient mythology book called "Classic of Mountains and Seas", it is all about the chaos of mythic geography. It is largely a fabulous geographical and cultural account of the pre-Qin dynasty as well as a collection of Chinese mythology. The book is divided into 18 sections, it describes 550 mountains and 300 channels. I used the concepts in this book to help me symbolize nature in the pattern.


The Arduino + Ultrasonic Sensor

I used an ultrasonic sensor to detect distance. Ultrasonic waves will bounce back when detecting some objects. I used Arduino to receive the distance message and control the NeoPixels states and transfer the message to Processing through Serial Write. In Processing I read the data from the port. This data is not always stable, and so in addition I chose to control the background and sound in Processing. These two optimizations make the data smoother and fix the music rewind function enabling me to repeat from a chosen trim.