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Pantoum Room - HASTAC 2013 Installation Demo

Pantoum Room - HASTAC 2013 Installation Demo

I just returned from Toronto after an amazing weekend at HASTAC2013. What an inspirational conference! Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful and motivational presentations.

My colleague, Chris Kampe (@ChristopherK), and I presented a installation piece in the Demo Room. I'll be documenting this "Pantoum Room" here.

It's hard to tell from the picture and video, but the Pantoum Room was a space containing five objects that you could wander through and interact with. As you moved through the space and approached/interacted with the objects there, a pantoum was generated that reflected upon your time in the space and the objects you approached. Lines of poetry, images, and sounds were associated with each object,  and these were projected on the wall above the space when you approached each object. The lines of poetry were then transferred into a pantoum that was generated on the right side of the screen. 

We used a kinect to read a person's location in the space and proximity to the objects. As you can see in the video, we placed an arduino with a light-sensor inside the small white box in the space. When the box was opened, the projection changed: the poem disappeared and the kinect's view of the person was revealed. We conceptualized and designed the installation together. Chris did all of the programming using Processing; I was responsible for the poetry, images, sound, and physical objects present in the piece.

The video to the left documents me walking through the space. The text was difficult to read on the video, so I've added some annotations. Sorry for the poor quality of the representation, but hopefully you can get the idea of the demo.

We owe a great deal of gratitude to Andrew Roth, who secured us an appropriate space, a projector and speakers, and who also provided generous technical support throughout the process. We also really appreciate the feedback and encouragement we recieved from everyone who stopped by. This is still very much a work-in-progress, and we are excited to improve it and continue making new spaces where digital poetry and physical computing can meet in interesting ways.









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