Posts Tagged ‘installation’

Rupriikki Media Museum

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Rupriikki Media Museum opened their new exhibition Jokapäiväinen mediamme (Our Daily Media) on October 4, 2012. For the past year, I’ve been working on three interactive installations for the exhibition. The approach for designing the installations was Media Archaeological or Interface Archaeological. We used old technologies and interfaces – such as the telegraph, analog photography, rotary dial telephones – as the interfaces for providing digital content and user experiences for the visitors.

I would like to thank the staff of Rupriikki for inviting me to work on this project. The whole process was a collaboration with the museum. I would especially like to thank researchers Niklas Nylund and Outi Penninkangas, and exhibiton designer Elina Rantasaari. And of course the construction and technical crew who built the exhibition.

Pimiö [The Darkroom]

The first installation I would like to talk about is the Darkroom. Film photography and darkrooms are far from obsolete, but still the whole process of developing you photographs in a darkroom might be quite unfamiliar for the generation that has only used digital cameras. This installation uses the gestures and artefacts found in a real darkroom as the way to interact with the installation.

The visitor places an empty photograph paper into the developing tray and a picture appears on the paper. The picture then turns into a slideshow of other photographs of the same theme. There are currently five different papers and each paper is going to display different photographs from the Photo Archives of Tampere Museums.

The whole interaction experience is not very accurate compared to all the steps you need to do in a real darkroom, but is enough to trigger the memories of a real darkroom for anyone who has ever worked in one. Or it could inspire someone to get into analog photography. It also does what it is meant to do, which is to serve as an interface for browsing historical photographs.

Technical stuff: Each paper has an RFID tagembedded into it and the RFID reader under the developing tray recognizes each paper and displays the correct content. The reader is attached to an Arduino Uno board and Quartz Composer is used to display the projected images.

Sähkötyschat [Telegraph Chat]

There are two telegraph keys in different locations in the exhibition. The visitors can send messages from one location to the other with morse code. The display shows the message that you are writing and also the incoming telegram sent from someone from the other side of the room.

I started working on this in January 2012. A couple of weeks after that, I saw the Tworse Key project by Martin Kaltenbrunner. (Other Telegraph + Arduino projects exist too). Since he had done the work of converting morse code to text on the Arduino and released the source with a CC license, I decided to not reinvent the wheel and based my code on that. In accordance with the license (cc-by-sa), I will release the source as soon as I clean it up a bit.

Technical stuff: Arduino + Quartz Composer. One Mac Mini controlled both of the locations.

Haloo? [Hello?]

The third installation is a simple phone that allows the visitor to call various numbers from the past and present, such as Neiti Aika (Miss Time/Speaking Clock service) or Juho Holmstén-Heiniö, an inventor from Tampere.

Mixmaster 1200

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

The second installment of my Mixed Up series has now seen the light. Let me introduce you to the Mixmaster 1200.

mixed up

The Mixmaster 1200 is a wireless scratching device for the turntablist who prefers to deliver his/her scratches like a 5 star chef. As you can see, the Mixmaster does not have any beaters attached to it. This is because it has small laser powered plasma emitter beaters that actually heat up the airwaves around the device itself producing the unique sounding aural explosions.

More information: http://originalhamsters.com/motion/mixedup.php

Beat Blender Preview

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Have you ever wondered what a banana mixed with a strawberry sounds like? Or how about kiwi-watermelon puree? Watch this video and you will find out.

I found this old blender from a flea market and noticed that the names of the different blending modes are very similar to the terminology used in DJing. So I decided to turn this kitchen appliance into a DJ mixer.

The audio tracks are triggered by inserting different fruits into the blender. The buttons on the front panel control the mixing modes and you also have two different types of transformer switches for cutting the sound in and out.

The options are:

  • Stir
  • Puree
  • Whip
  • Grate
  • Mix
  • Chop
  • Grind
  • Blend
  • Liquefy
  • Frappé

How does it work?

  • Arduino for brains
  • RFID reader
  • Different kinds of fruits made out of felt
  • RFID tags inside the fruits
  • Max/MSP for converting the serial data to MIDI
  • Ableton Live for playback
  • Mad skills to pay the bills

Stay tuned for more information, pictures and and better quality videos. This is just a preview, I´m hoping to improve it in the following weeks.

I also need to come up with a better name for this thing. Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Beat Blender documentation page.

Vimeo link for the video.

Youtube link for the video.

Tooniversity

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Not many people know this, but Concordia University in Montréal also has a toon department deep inside the maze that is known as the EV building. The university officials would prefer to keep this knowledge as a secret, since the brutal self torture that goes on inside the faculty would shock many people. In the same way that the Average Joe or Jane does not want to know where the meat inside his/her burger comes from, no-one really wants to know the shocking truth about the stories behind your Saturday morning dose of laughter.


Tooniversity from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

When watching cartoons, people rarely think about the amount of time and dedication the cartoon characters spend on perfecting their sketches and routines. Unfortunately, consumers love to see toons getting hurt. There is just something special about dropping heavy anvils on the heads of unsuspecting cartoon characters that appeals to the majority of viewers.

Like in all fields of entertainment, the competition in the cartoon business is also very harsh. You are only as good as your last fall from a huge cliff. That´s why all the aspiring cartoon students at tooniversities across the world practice new and inventive ways of getting themselves hurt.

A group of activists from PETT (People for the Ethical Treatment of Toons) have been able to sneak a spy camera inside the Tooniversity facilities at Concordia University. Because of their brave action, all the dirty secrets inside the Tooniversity will be exposed. Please go to http://tooniversity.originalhamsters.com
to find more information and sign a petition to stop this madness.

This project was made at Concordia University for Vincent Leclerc´s Tangible Media and Physical Computing class. You can find technical details from my class website

Interactive Propaganda Generator

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Here’s some documentation of a project we finished this spring at the university. It’s a project for a course in interface design.

Our group (Aku Meriläinen, Danilo Mascarenhas, Marjukka Parkkinen and Matti Niinimäki) decided to create a multi-user interface that would allow a group of people to work together or compete in creating some sort of a moving collage. At some point in the planning process the idea of communism and propaganda came to surface, so we decided to go with that idea. We experimented with different input devices and visual styles, but eventually this is what came out of it.

I’d like you to meet The Interactive Propaganda Generator. It’s designed to have two different sides or “teams” – the communists and the capitalists – that you can control with different input devices to produce a collage of the two sides shooting different items and symbols at each other. The scene consists of three layers: a changeable background, two characters (one for each side) and the propaganda-tubes. Here are the controls explained:

Control 1 – ReacTIVision fiducial tracking

  • The characters are selected and moved around on the screen by using paper dolls on a glass table
  • You can change the bodies and heads of the characters.
  • Included are all your favourite capitalist and communist icons from Ronald McDonald to Che Guevara
  • The paper dolls have fiducial symbols attached to their backside and the camera under the table tracks the ID and the position of the symbol
  • Tracking is done with ReacTIVision software

Control 2 – PlayStation2 Dance Pad

  • You can move the capitalist propaganda-tube around the screen with the dance pad
  • One button turns the tube on/off
  • Two buttons for changing the ammunition of the tube (missiles, bibles, money)
  • Two buttons for changing the background image
  • One button for activating the speech option for the capitalist character

Control 3 – PlayStation2 Dual Shock Controller

  • Some controls as the dance pad, but for the communist side

Control 4 – Audio Input

  • A microphone picks up the voices of the users and when the speech option is activated (from the dance pad or dual shock controller) the characters on screen will open and close their mouths based on the sound input

Here’s the hardware setup. Click the image for details.
All programming done with Quartz Composer. I could release the .qtz file but it’s not really useful to anyone because it depends on a very specific setup. Email me if you’re interested in details.

And finally some video. Unfortunately, we don’t have any better footage of the system in action but hopefully you’ll get some idea.

Black Gold of the Arctic

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Arktikum, a museum and a science center in Rovaniemi ordered a small animation from me for their new permanent exhibition in the Arctic Center. My instructions were that I need to do an animation of a map that shows the transportation of oil from the Yamal peninsula to Europe and the animation should also contain four slideshows that show the different ways how the transportation affects the people and the enviroment. Especially how the oil industry affects the lives of the Nenets people living in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district.

Here it is. Done on a pretty tight schedule because Arktikum sent me half of the pictures I needed for this only few days before the opening of the exhibition. So, I’m not 100% happy with the result (I never am with the stuff I do) but I’ll improve this a little bit once I have time. Namely the movement of the ship and I also need to add some ambience sound. The sound is not really that essential part of this because of the space where this is displayed but I will add the sound later on.


Black Gold from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

I’ll post a picture later from the Arctic Center so that you’ll see how it’s being used in the exhibition.