Navigating the Darkness
The Ohio State University ACCAD
Devising Experiential Media Systems Final Project
Navigating the Darkness is an artistic experiential environment in which participants are encouraged to utilize their senses to traverse a controlled environment via visual and aural stimulus. The participant selects which environment he would like to explore, activates it using a tactile interface, then proceeds to interact with the space using audio and visual cues.
Basic components of the system include a Kinect sensor, a projector, a touchOSC interface, and the software program Isadora.
The system utilizes a small 3x3 grid of floor space approximately 5’x6’ in area, in this particular installation, a portion of the ACCAD EMMA Lab dance floor. A Kinect is placed above the floor space, and the discernable area of movement the Kinect is able to register provides the data necessary to determine the floor grid. A projector mounted above the floor grid is used to create the light (videp) navigation while the space’s built-in sound system provides audio navigation. The lighting navigation manifests in the form of 9 light boxes in a 3x3 grid format on the floor that illuminates a maze pattern as a participant travels about the space. Aural stimulus lies in the form of created chimes, notes, chords and buzzes that indicate an activation of the space, deactivation, a correct step, incorrect step, and completion of the maze. Both video and audio stimuli are triggered via Isadora.
As a participant approaches the space, he is able to select “Activate” on the touchOSC interface. After doing so, a chime sounds and the 9 light boxes illuminate. The participant then selects a maze that activates the maze portion of the Isadora patch and triggers the boxes to fade out, indicating the participant can now attempt to navigate the space. Walking through the space triggers a buzzing sound until the first square of the maze is reached, triggering a note of a musical scale and illuminating the correct square. This proceeds until the participant has completed the maze, at which point a chord progression sounds and all of the squares illuminate. To complete the experience, the participant presses the deactivate button.
Below are some examples of the system flow, programming in Isadora, and a photo from the realized project.