An afternoon of prototyping organized by Adami allowed a get-together of artists and techno-creators for them to imagine future stage accessories. Makery was amongst them.
Following the three days of the Culture Experience Days in March 2015 and a morning of discussion in October, Adami (civil society for the administration of the rights of artists and performing musicians) organized mid-December an afternoon of prototyping for twenty or so participants at Draft Ateliers in Paris.
The rules of the game are simple: each person brings an object, profiles are mixed and split into 6 teams of 3 people. With the DIY and digital fabrication equipment made available, each team must turn one of its objects into a stage accessory. Makery co-organized this workshop, the prototype photo review of which you can see below.
The synchronized speech puppet
The initial object: a furry toy with two bulging eyes and a mouth, a kind of puppet for a ventriloquist with a mischievous look. But as it goes, no one is a ventriloquist in the team. A flexion sensor in the mouth of the beast could detect the moments when “it speaks”. For lack of having a ventriloquist, the team knows how to code Puredata. A sound track is triggered when the mouth is open and stops when it is closed. That’s all there is to it!
The dance shoe that makes audience members shake
Under the shoe, a pressure sensor detects the intensity with which the dancer stamps, slides, presses or doesn’t touch the floor with her foot. This intensity is translated into a light show and the activation of a vibrating motor placed at the back of the helmet. Stamping her foot hard makes the audience member jump, and when her foot slides on the floor, the audience member feels a slight whirr. The team used two objects from waste, an Arduino, LED bars, lots of cables, a battery, and redirected a mini-drone propeller motor to create its vibrating motor.
The guitar that interprets its environment
Obviously, some teams had a teasing interpretation of the stage accessory theme. Like this guitar that doesn’t have a player. Equipped with several sensors (humidity, light, sound, distance from the audience…), it translates this different data by activating several motors that come and strum or hit the strings. The solo without a soloist, according to the current atmosphere.
The book that makes a bird move
The travel diary of a participant inspired the idea of a symbolic object that would liven up when reading a specific book. With this prototype made entirely with Littlebits, a movement sensor detects that the reader is turning the pages, and activates a motor that allows the bird to spread out and flap its wings. Small bonus: its eye lights up.
The connected whisk
The original idea was good: the metal rods of a whisk (on the right on the photo) only touch under acceleration when the whisk is being used. Since they are conductive, you only need to use this “contact” as a switch to activate a device. Unlucky, the multimeter reveals that the rods meet in the handle. The idea falls flat. The team builds a low-cost replica of a whisk and imagines a tale in which a fairy uses a whisk as a magic wand. For each spell that is cast, the audience members shake. Because yes, the plan is to equip the audience with scarves including a vibrating motor made from the motor of an electric toothbrush (on the shoulders of the young woman above).
The bottle that follows the story with a set of colors
Finding inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, the team imagines a story where the heroine discovers a magic potion and shrinks sufficiently to enter a very beautiful but tiny cave (built from laser cutting and illuminated with LEDs). With each mouthful, the heroine discovers a taste, represented by a color illuminating the bottle.