Connie-Looking Outwards-02

The project that I found inspirational and interesting was the “Laser Forest (2013)” by Memo Akten.

Video of the “Laser Forest shown on Akten’s website.

What I admire most about the project is that it combines music, light, and interactivity to create a unique experience. The “forest” consists of rods and lasers which can be pulled, waved, twirled, etc. to create sound. Each tree is tuned to a specific note and the material used to create the forest has a “natural springiness” to it. I think the artist’s sensibilities were manifested in the algorithm through the emphasis on interacting with the musical rods to create something more than what is presently there (that is, the music; otherwise the forest is silent).

The forest’s algorithm was created using openFrameworks and Akten and his studio, Marshmallow Laser Feast, have posted their code and process on Github. There are files that map out the order of the 150 trees within the 450 sq.meters along with the specific note/frequency to which each “tree” is tuned to. I don’t know specifically how the algorithm works but in their source code, they have functions that I would imagine work similarly to the mousePresssed/mouseDragged functions which involve a conditional trigger in order to start an event (in this case, the trigger would be movement of the rods to trigger the tune from each tree).

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