Constructing an Arts & Technology Integration Platform in the Virtual Environment

Institution: Michigan Technological University
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Why This Project Is Important 

Some people were concerned that with technologies, the aura of arts might decay. However, in fact, technologies have provided arts with new presence, novel interaction between artists and audience, and new questions about the nature of art. Based on this notion, we want to construct an immersive arts-technology integration platform at Michigan Tech, which will help us extend our understanding of internal and external processes of embodied artworks and how a virtual environment with expanded visuals and audios can allow us to experience the artistic moment by enriching our sensory experiences. This platform will offer a novel opportunity to create future for students, faculty, community members, kids, and local artists.

Project Description 

The Mind Music Machine (tri-M) Lab is an interdisciplinary research group based in Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Computer Science at Michigan Tech. We have developed a novel immersive interactive visualization and sonification (i.e., making data dimensions into auditory dimensions) platform. In our lab, 12 cameras around the wall track people's location, movement, and gesture and then, the system can generate visuals (e.g., abstracted graphics or pictures, etc.) on the display wall (24 large screens) and audios (e.g., speech, music, and sounds) in real-time based on those tracking data. So far, we have used this platform as a demo purpose for visitors and alumni.

With this funding opportunity, we plan to conduct more arts-technology integration experiments:

  1. We will develop an easy mapping user interface and thus, non-programmers (researchers, artistis, or even kids) can make flexible mappings between their movement and visuals/audios on the fly. So far, the mappings should be configured in advance by a programmer's hard coding and could not be changed in real-time.
  2. We will implement a dance-based art work system. We will invite local dancers and ballerinas and work together to make an artistic platform for their dance performance. Their dance will improvise various visuals and audios in real-time. To generate more attractive and artistic expressions, we need to develop a more intelligent, expert system.
  3. We will also make story-telling applications for children. K-12 kids can play around with blocks, balls, animals, and robots in the lab. Based on their interaction with toys and arrangement of toys, the platform will allow them to make various stories with the help of expanded visuals and audios. In other words, they can draw something on the display wall and make a music piece with their toys. Given that art and technology have the same origin, this type of reintegrating opportunities will provide keen insights on future directions of art, as well as exploration of technological applications.

Meet the Researcher

Myounghoon Jeon

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What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Support Michigan Tech students to develop and test the platform
  • Support the travel expenses for students attending related conferences on Arts and Technology, Auditory Displays, Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, etc.
  • Invite artists and dancers to Michigan Tech for art-technology collaboration projects
  • Purchase more sensors (e.g., muscle sensors for fine-tuned mappings and controlling)

$1+ 0 Funders

Thank-you Email with tax deduction information

$50+ 0 Funders

All the above, plus acknowledgement in our lab website

$100 0 Funders

All the above, plus a signed copy of publications

$250 0 Funders

All the above, plus acknowledgement in the publications from the project

$500 0 Funders

All the above, plus the DVD of our arts & tech collaboration project

$1,000 0 Funders

All the above, plus experience the lab with researchers (travel cost not included)

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