Dirtbox

#1 Soil Touch Sensitive/Earth as Interface.

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The experiment was sparked by a musical effects unit I saw a while back, but it ties in with my current exploration of what exactly constitutes an interface? and of taking various inanimate objects or physical elements across the threshold into the digital realm and onto the screen.

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This started out as a proximity sensor to generate code from the soil, but as It emerged I thought it would be nicer to make people ‘get their hands dirty’ and actually touch the soil to generate a series of numbers (single and double digit), which can be seen in the serial port. These fluctuate depending on how hard the soil is pressed.

The soil is always visible through the perspex, there is a sensor hidden just below the top layer of soil. I have added an alchemist Earth symbol atop a piece of wood, to give it a ritual aspect and maybe remind myself that it is ‘Earth as interface’. The Arduino jumper wire is also green, the wiring earth colour. The numbers can now be manipulated to turn into sound, or colour, images, infographics etc…which is the next step.

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The underlying concept and process is important, but also the whole set up must look aesthetically pleasing to me, like in a Japanese fruit market where the price is not based on weight or size but on how beautiful the object is.

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Note to Self:

  • Question: Do I want to bring the virtual object on the screen to the physical world?…or the object from the physical world into the virtual, or both?
  • Question: Is the information generated and how it is displayed the ‘final outcome’ or is it just part of the process, and the finished piece then still to be arrived at?
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