Tag Archives: artmakescbus

How I Built It: Spaceship Or Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture?

How I Built It: Spaceship Or Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture? New Piece To Glow At Columbus Museum of Art

by Daric Gill

{Time-Lapse Video of Process Above}

“The Circadian Machine”

The Circadian Machine” is a fully mirrored geometric pod that can sense motion, displays undulating lights and sound, tells time, and alters its actions based on each day’s sunlight cycle. In late 2019, I set off on the most ambitious challenge in my portfolio. To do this I spent the next 10 months sketching concepts, writing 50+ pages of codes, learning new CAD software, designing custom circuit boards, composing music, and blending together all the areas in my artist utility belt. As the late winter and early spring of 2020 unfolded I dug deep into my soul, hunkered down in my home, and worked from sun up to sun down on this single project. As the summer turns to autumn, I’m emerging with what I think is my finest sculpture yet. It is truly the single most challenging and accomplished work I’ve ever made–and all during a global shutdown. I’m so grateful that you’ve taken the time to land on this page. Please check out the video, browse the gallery, and share.

{ Click To Skip Article & Go To Image Gallery }

{Explore the creative Easter Eggs behind this sculpture here}

Continue reading How I Built It: Spaceship Or Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture?

New Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture Shifts Time

New Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture Shifts Time: “The Circadian Machine”

by Daric Gill

{Feature Video Above}

“The Circadian Machine”

After 10+ months of engineering, coding, and building, I’m ready to debut my latest interactive robotic sculpture! “The Circadian Machine” is a fully mirrored geometric pod that can sense motion, displays undulating lights and sound, tells time, and alter its actions based on each day’s sunlight cycle. The idea started when I saw a note left in a museum during my time at an artist residency in Dresden, Germany. It said, “I wish time slowed down when I was having fun.” Although the pandemic has veered the original concept into a totally different direction, I’m exceptionally proud of the regenerated ideas and execution that came to fruition in this piece.

Through an amazing partnership between the Columbus Museum of Art and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, it will be on display at the museum’s Greater Columbus exhibition soon. There are so many fun Easter eggs packed into this piece that they each deserve their own explanation. Let’s dive right in!

{ Click To Skip Article & Go To Image Gallery }

{Explore the entire build process here}

Continue reading New Interactive Light + Sound Sculpture Shifts Time

Awarded Grant For Interactive Light & Sound Sculpture At The Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum Of Art

Awarded Grant For Interactive Light & Sound Sculpture At The Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum Of Art

by Daric Gill

Today is a good day! I am very pleased to announce that I’ve received a Support for Professional Artists: Individuals grant by the Greater Columbus Arts Council in the amount of $1750! This grant will go towards building an interactive light and sound sculpture slated for exhibition later this year. The sculpture will proudly be on display in the annual Greater Columbus exhibition at the Pizzuti Collection of the  Columbus Museum of Art. The exhibition will feature works made by myself and other recent recipients of the prestigious Visual Arts Fellowship.

 

My inclusion in this exhibition comes as an invitation after receiving an artist in residency to Dresden, Germany in 2019. I’m so excited to start working on it using this very gracious funding. Keep an eye out for updates as the work on this interactive piece progresses!

 

I am grateful for your support. Thank you!

 

Special Thanks to Greater Columbus Arts Council, The City of Columbus,  The Pizzuti Collection, & The Columbus Museum Of Art!
Continue reading Awarded Grant For Interactive Light & Sound Sculpture At The Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum Of Art

How I Built It: Old Airplane To Contemporary Light Sculpture That Connects To NASA & Rest of The World

How I Built It: Old Airplane To Contemporary Light Sculpture That Connects To NASA & Rest of The World

by Daric Gill

{Time-Lapse Video of Process Above}

Installed at the Columbus Museum of Art

The Imagination Machine is an interactive sculpture that communicates with NASA, is motion sensitive, tells time, and has a feature that can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world. It’s made from one of the two wings of a Flying Flea aircraft, strips of individually programmable LEDs, and the brains of a Wi-Fi enabled robot. Part of The Living Machine series, this responsive sculpture takes a look at the emotional intelligence of imagination, as displayed by a robot.

A wooden truss supports the wings, lights, and electrical controls from above. There are two acrylic cases that are packed with brains, power supplies, and sensors to make this sculpture work. In this article, you can explore the build process from start-to-finish.

About The Wing
The plane without the wings attached.

At almost 19 ft long ( ~5.8 m), this wing is one of two pulled from a real bi-plane. The Flying Flea, or (Pou du Ciel literally “Louse of the Sky” in French) is a large family of light homebuilt aircraft. The plane was a generous donation by Mark Curtner in connection with the Historic Grimes Field Airport in Urbana, Ohio. Ohio’s only airport with 3 Museums on Field: The Champaign Aviation Museum, the Grimes Flying Laboratory, & Museum and the restoration wing of the Mid America Flight Museum of Texas.

As you can see from the photos in this article, the wing is segmented into 3 parts (two shorter wing ends + longer middle section). This allows the wings to fold up and inward for tighter storage.

In truth, this wing is actually the ends from one wing and the center from the other. The remaining middle section had some primer on it, rendering it no longer translucent enough that light would pass through. Any pilot will notice that the wing is also flipped upside down, showing the sexier rounded edge to the viewer below.

The Electronics

While the wing itself is split into three parts, the electronics are split down the middle in halves. Each half has a separate Wi-Fi enabled brain, corresponding lights, and electronic hardware. The brain holds around 27 pages of codes that loop over and over. These codes calibrate and get feedback from 4 separate motion sensors, activate Wi-Fi and make frequent requests of data from NASA and a server (called MQTT) that holds any communication until a valid Wi-Fi handshake is made, control various pins (that do anything from trigger a relay switch to direct electricity from a large power supply, to modulating the signals that change each LED on the light strips, to telling time, and more). The main brain is a 2-layered stack consisting of an Hazzah32 micro-controller and Adalogger + RTC board made by a successful female-owned company called Adafruit.

Huzzah32 Feather with ESP32 wi-fi board & Adalogger RTC

This paragraph is jargon-heavy (sorry): The Hazzah32 is an Arduino friendly ESP32-based Feather, made with the official WROOM32 module. At the moment, it is meant for intermediate and above developers, as the documentation can be a little daunting. To its benefit, each of the pins can be hard coded to do several different functions. Truthfully, much of the time working on this project was learning how this new board worked and growing into the shoes worn by such an ambitious project.

The light strips are RGB WS2812b 5050 LEDs (often rebranded as Neopixels ). While the strips look simple, each bright spot is a module comprised of a tiny red, green, and blue LED + a little driver. This means that each color and light bulb has 3 uniquely addressable lights that can be controlled independently. In total, The Imagination Machine has 2,700 individually addressable LED lights and can modulate many colors with ease. I used a reworked version of the adaptable open source FastLed codes.

You’ll notice that I go through several iterations of designs, homemade boards, LED configurations, and layouts. The great size and technical scope of this project was purposely outside my normal comfort range. What you’re seeing is the honest proof that I really came up with the final goal and had to truly learn what I was doing along the way. It was an exciting and deep journey through many unknowns. I’m appreciative of all the new knowledge that was born from so many trials along the way.

The Imagination Machine
June 2019
Medium: Reclaimed airplane wing, LED lights, Wi-Fi enabled Adafruit Hazzah32 micro-controllers, Adafruit Adalogger with Real Time Clock, PIR motion sensors, electronics, and poplar.
226” x 48” x Dimensions Variable

{To see the finished piece in action, click here}