Silhouettes is an interactive display that aims to build a bridge between technical and creative thought. The relationship between the sciences and the arts, though often not seen as cohesive, is an important aspect of our culture and must not be lost. The ever-growing gap between these two fields is only encouraged by the separation of STEM and humanities courses within schools and the prevalent idea that children should take a single, focused path. The reality of the matter is that these two focuses are more connected than one might think. There is a strange, overlooked similarity in the way artists and engineers alike are able to innovate, create, and better our world. Silhouettes is a display that not only demonstrates the connection between the arts and sciences, it is a display designed to interact with all types of people on a common ground. Any person who interacts with the display will have an identical silhouette to anyone else. Silhouettes is meant to stand as a reminder that two seemingly unlike things will always be connected.
How I Did It:
It took a lot of research to find both the hardware and software parts that could be combined to make Silhouettes a cohesive project. The first thing I had to do was find a large enough light display that was cost effective and would work with a computer input. I ended up having to get something manufactured in China and ordered it through Alibaba Express. Similarly, I had to find a DJ lighting truss to mount the curtain and the motion tracking camera to. Finally, I had to develop software that would do motion tracking and convert live video into a white silhouette on a black background. I ended up using a program called EyesWeb and passing the raw video image through a number of filters and conversion routines to ultimately serve as the input to the controller for the LED curtain.
Read about Silhouettes in the News!
Silhouettes on Display
KID Museum on August 13th, 2017 from 1 – 4 PM
This weekend, Silhouettes made it’s very first public debut at the KID Museum! It was an honor to have my work displayed in such an amazing environment. To see the children interacting with my exhibit was incredible and I can’t wait to share my creation with even more people at KID Fest this September. I hope that my work was powerful enough to inspire young makers to follow their own curiosity, creativity, and passion.
KID Fest on September 24th, 2017
Silhouettes was recently displayed at KID Fest (formerly called Silver Spring Maker Faire). KID Fest is a dynamic celebration of creativity and innovation. This event attracts 15,000 attendees and over 90 exhibitors each yesr, making it the largest maker festival in the DC Region. KID Fest aims to expose children and adults alike to the power of hands-on maker experiences and inspire them to find their own spark.
It was an honor to display my work at this event. I especially enjoyed watching children and adults interact with the exhibit and ask about the mechanics and software behind it. Our booth also included a light making stand where children learned about circuits and made their own LED lights with switches.