Is Interactive Art Actually Art?

 

I am writing this piece in response to a recent article on Glasstire.com. For those of you who are not aware of obscure websites that offer information and critique on the Texas art scene, Glasstire offers information and reviews of art openings, galleries, museums, and events within and adjacent to Texas.

The article, titled “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meow Wolf,” is a scathing critique on the world of interactive art, focusing on Meow Wolf in particular, but extending itself to include Burning Man, festivals, and art fairs. The argument, essentially, is that Meow Wolf in particular, and interactive art in general, is not Art with a capital A, and that such installations are merely entertainment: “It’s fine. It works. It’s not art.” Continue reading “Is Interactive Art Actually Art?”

The FireFlower: Some Technical Details

So last post I gave a bit of an overview of how the FireFlower worked. Today, we’ll go into a little more depth about how it was made. Newsflash – I am terrible about documenting the things I work on, and so I will endeavor to do that better on future projects! The code for the two Arduinos will be posted to GitHub presently, and I will link them in an update soon, I promise!
Continue reading “The FireFlower: Some Technical Details”

The FireFlower

The FireFlower represents my second fully self-designed interactive art project. It incorporates LEDs, color theory, propane flame effects, and an interactive puzzle game to trigger the effects. The project is made of steel and wood, uses a 30 gallon air compressor tank as a vapor accumulator, and is driven by two arduinos and a custom microprocessor. It debuted at Burning Flipside in 2016, and made an appearance at Burning Man the same year.
Continue reading “The FireFlower”

Altared Space: The Code

So it has been a hot minute since I have made a post – been dealing with the ongoing madness that is trying to find a job.

The code for this project was based on the FastLED library, and modified from the demoreel example. Demoreel is a cool little snippet of Arduino C that really showcases how versatile the FastLED library really is. The only problem is that it is meant for a string of LEDs. As you can see from the pictures, Altared Space is more appropriately described as a 2d array of LEDs: Continue reading “Altared Space: The Code”

Altared Space: Construction

Pictured above is the Sketchup drawing of the project. Obviously, a lot of identical repeating elements, which for a project like this translates to “easy to build.” I think all told, it took about 3 hours to make the model in Sketchup. From there, the file was sent to a friend who does vector work, and the pieces that needed to be cut and engraved were rebuilt there. Continue reading “Altared Space: Construction”