Digital Graffiti

With the increasingly interesting work of the Eyebeam OpenLab Graffiti Research Lab, I wanted to post some other graffiti related projects.

The first two projects are about using the graffiti metaphor to create an interactive creative installation, whilst the rest are about using digital technology for graffiti.

Shown above is Motoglyph by Digit. This was created for Motorola's sponsorship of the Miami's M3 Festival. The installation allowed users to create an image or signature using a physical spraycan, whilst at the same time creating audio feedback to their actions.

The three panels each have a unique sound effect. The first changes the pitch along the Y axis (from your initial registration point) and adds layers of sound loops dependent on acceleration. The second layers a number of sounds loops together depending on acceleration. The third constructs at random a beat pattern from a number of libraries. It then plays this forwards and backwards depending on direction along the X axis. The speed of playback is connected to the acceleration so for example is the user 'scribbles' back and forth you will hear a 'DJ scratching' effect.

The creations were then uploaded and allowed you to download a ringtone and wallpaper for your phone. The user could select a colour by turning the base of the can, whilst electronics inside relayed data such as distance from screen using infrared, and position tracking using Mimio whiteboard technology. View the website for more technical information and videos.

Digiti, created by Kenji Ko, a BA Fine Arts student at Thames Valley University, is like Motoglyph above but as a student project obviously has less funding for the technology. I got to use this at the Takeaway Festival last week. Each can contains a coloured LED, so when you press down on the valve, the light comes on. A camera tracks the colours through the transparent projected screen. Photos of the installation here.

Hektor is a Graphics Output Device, created by Jürg Lehni and Uli Franke. I really like this piece.

Hektor consists of a suitcase which contains two electric motors, a spray-can holder, toothed belts, cables, a strong battery and a circuit board which is connected to a laptop and controls the machine. The motors that are mounted onto the wall suspend the can holder through the toothed belts and define its position by changing the length of these belts. Through the use of Scriptographer, Hektor is controlled directly from within Adobe Illustrator, the spray-can follows vector graphic paths and sprays them onto the wall.

Check out the videos, website and PDF for more information.

Graffiti Research Lab
If you are interested in developments in graffiti with digital technologies, check out the Graffiti Research Lab for lots of interesting concepts and open source projects.