Pollock In Action

February 6, 2007

Art-Transforming
“Pollock In Action” is an interactive installation to create drip paintings with light. It is part of the project “Art-Transforming” which was shown in the Kunsthaus Zürich on January 27th 2007.

Pollock In Action
„When painting, I’m in the image“, so Jackson Pollock. „The image has a life of its own“. He dripped, splattered color onto the canvas in fluid, dance-like motions. Not having a final image in mind. On the images actions took place, nothing was illustrated.
„Pollock in action“ tries to re-interpret Pollocks style of painting with new technologies. Projected light replaces the fluid colors. The movements of the brush are captured with a camera and a computer. Combining this data with accelerometers in the brush gives an motion sequence, which gets translated into drippings.
Like he said, Jackson Pollocks images didn’t have a beginning nor an end. He was never afraid to change, transform or destroy his image.

Technology

Video Tracking:
An old Sony Handycam in Nightshot-mode, an infrared filter and a infrared LED in the brush made it easy to track the brightest pixel in the image.

Paint buckets:
To sense when the brush is in the paint bucket I used very sensitive pressue/touch sensors.
An Arduino microcontroller board () is connected to the USB-port of the computer (serial) and sends the bucket information.

The brush:
Made from wood, filled with: an Arduino Mini, an EasyRadio RF transceiver to communicate with the computer, an accelerometer to sense to movements of the brush, 2 RGB-LEDs to glow in many colors, an infrared LED to be seen by the camera, and a battery-pack (4x 1,5V AAA, lasted >6h).

Communication:
The computer is attached to another EasyRadio Transceiver keep in touch with the brush. The RF module was connected to USB via a serial/usb converter. The computer sends the chosen color to the brush, and the brush answers with the accelerometer data.

Softwre:
Made with Processing. Video Tracking, communications and visualization run all in the same Processing sketch. Actionpainting algorithm partly taken from Stamen, Splatter http://stamen.com/projects/splatter,
©2003 Michal Migurski, Stamen Design and translated from Actionscript to Java/Processing by me. I modified the splatter code so it could react on accelerometer data.

Download “Pollock In Action” Processing Sketch

Screenshot of the sketch in debug mode:
debug_mode.jpg

Links:
Interaction Design @hgkz
Art Transforming Project Website
Kunsthaus Zürich
Stamen Design

Copyrights:
This work is offered under a Creative Commmons license.

Anyone may redistribute this work under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. Details on this
license are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/.
See also: http://stamen.com/files/LICENSE.txt