Final Progress

Introduction to Physical Computing

10 Dec 2018

Update of Final Project concept–

After working for some time on the programming aspect of my project, (ie. writing a drawing app that syncs with a database and returns the concatenated line in a spiral and synthesizing sound from the line data) I began to work on the physical components of the project.

I hope to use as little screens as possible, so a physical interface to control the projection was made. I am using p5.serial to communicate to the web browser.

I opted for 3 controls for now. One pot controls the radius of the spiral, which for all intents and purposes serves as the zoom. One pot controls what I call the rag of the line, because when the linear line is transformed to the spiral a lot of fidelity is lost, so the rag changes how extreme the transformation is. Lastly I included a switch that toggles color. I made it with cardboard now and I plan to add some more controls to toggle things like translate to pan across the spiral.

Next I used PVC to create the structure and used a plastic drop cloth as a shroud. After checking out a projector and lighting it, I was pretty pleased with the first look and to see it in physical form. There is still a lot of work to get to the finish line.

lifeline_doc from emceelamb on Vimeo.

To do:

Below is the finalized pitch.

Elevator Pitch/One Liner

Exploring how a simple line can be individually expressive while also acting as a segment of a communal artifact.


Sparked by the surrealist art game exquisite corpse and the rule based drawings by Sol Lewitt, this project to explore how individuals can make something as minimal as a line while allowing for individual expression. This project uses digital tools to create a primal experience for those inside the installation and the audience outside.

This project explores how individuals are able to draw a line with tight constraints. When a line is completed it is joined with the previously drawn lines into a gestalt communal artifact that represents a history of all those who have drawn before. The shrouded environment creates a hyper-personal ritual for drawing a line but creates a collective experience. The mathematical concept behind the project considers properties of a continuous line that grows with user input.

Constant Lineation asks how a person can contribute to history given tight constraints.

// Technical aspects

Sofware: This project uses P5.JS drawing tools to save vertices to Google Firebase. Drawers are able to draw a line to connect two points on a canvas using their fingers or a vocal input. Their individual line is appended to the community line which spirals around the installation environment and ambient music notes are generated from the line data. The output resembles a constellation which is further pushed by the physical components.

Physical: The physical installation creates a cave like environment consisting of a 2.5 ft x 2.5 ft x 5 ft shrouded structure which has a spiral line projected on the top and sides of the enclosure. The material is translucent allowing for double sided projections so both the drawer and passerbys to view the drawing. Inside the structure is a tablet for people to draw a line via touch interface or audio recording and speakers to play back sounds generated from line data.