At first I wanted to have this exist out in the world, preferably out over one of the rivers. But due to the scope of the project, the time we had and some technical issues, I scaled it down significantly. I decided on a light and silly output of a running animation. I wanted to get more familiar with Processing and figured this would be a good project to start doing that.

Technologies Used

I used a Particle Photon board to the initial signal processing from the piezo microphone that was on the instrument. Then I used Processing to control the animation with a Serial input.


Here are some photos of earlier prototypes for the propellers


I even tried to make my own propellers so I wouldn’t have to use spoons, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a good form from the vacuum former.


Here’s a sketch for the final animation. Hopefully I can redo the animation so that its more than a woman running.



The file name “Switching_animations.pde” is the first code I showed for critique that switched between 2 different animations. But the second “Slow_still_frames.pde” is the one in the video, where the animation moves depending on the input of the serial. So if the wind is hitting faster the images of the animation switch faster.

External Libraries

I used examples from the Processing reference libraries for this project.


I had a lot of difficulty with this project so the final product is far from what I envisioned. Since I was caught up with the conceptual roadblocks, I had less time to troubleshoot the technical difficulties that arose. But in the end I’m glad I got the microphone and animation working. Initially I thought of this as being just a kind of dumb, fun project to get to know some of software and hardware better but during the critique, the suggestion that something like this could be applied to children’s toys or books was really interesting to me. It makes me wonder what the possibilities of using interactive technologies could be to expand on children’s books (Goosebumps choose-your-own-adventures x100) ¬†or cartoons and short animations.