Saturday, December 01, 2012

Sound Catcher, interactive installation with Arduino

For the goodbye event of the old Amsterdam Film Museum, I was invited to create an interactive installation. To add some diversity and complement three nights of film, video and slide projections I decided to do something with sound. I got fascinated by its intangible character, being transmitted as waves and eventually dying out.

This resulted in Geluidenvanger (Sound Catcher), an installation that depicts the physical volume of sound. Every 0.1 second the installation registers sound - visitors talking and other environmental noise - and every time when a predefined number of decibels has been caught, air is being pumped into a balloon for half a second. The balloon grows and grows, visualizing the decibels that were caught. If the balloon explodes before the end of the event, the sound escapes, finding its way out, showing how hard it is to 'grab' sound.

The installation consists of a sound sensor, an Arduino board and a balloon pump with a balloon attached to it with a maximum diameter of 90 cm. I also added some leds and a small speaker broadcasting the status of the installation.

Below are some pictures that were taken during the process of building and during the exhibition.

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