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Cube Culture: The portal

by Dickinson Prentiss

The Portal was exhibited at the Millenium Motel exhibition during SIGGraph 99 in Los Angeles, USA. The Portal is an interactive multimedia installation employing state of the art technology and freewheeling imagination, the combination resulting in canvas literally being sculpted on pigment.

The artwork is composed of large, 30 foot diameter, tension fabric structure, interface mechanisms and supporting peripheral audio visual elements. Interaction with dangling cordage (vocal cords) sculpts the elastic lycra spandex surface into multidirectional laser light pigment paths and simultaneously activates the Tilt integrated analog inclinometer sensors. The signals are then processed by the I-CubeX control voltage to MIDI translator device and output concurrently to laser and intelligent lighting systems (initiating dynamic visual content changes) and a digital sound sampler amplified via an audio system (providing a singing voice). Each of the 24 interface mechanisms is assigned one digitally sampled note, over a three octave range, of a human voice and, by working together, people can actually make the installation sing polyphonically like a chorus.

july 1999

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