Lights Camera (Inter)Action Studio 2019

interacting to the Max

Sustained Interaction_Reflection_Xin Su


The creative process

There’s something about the sound that has captured humanity’s attention for thousands of years since it is one of the five kinds of input we receive to be able to interact with one another and the world around us. It is definitely our central mode of communication. Thus, it is no surprise that some of the most creative minds are enthralled with being able to visually representing the audible. From music videos to fancy sculptures, what we hear is more and more often shown to us optically. I believe either create or develop something relates to music/sounds is the most appropriate use in Max/Msp/Jitter. Thus, in both of the project, the creativity aspect is the element of music/sound was involved in to achieve a better result for the final presentation.

Both inspirations for the projects were explained clearly in the artists’ statement. What I want to further explore are what I actually learned during the creative process.

The use of sound comes from kslider~ to automatically operate when the balls hit the paddle or the frame is a much better idea than simply installed sound effects or background music into the project. Moreover, we have programmed another sound effect combined by syllable from kslider~ to occur when the players lose the game (the paddle miss the balls). It was challenged but present in direct proportion to the final result, which increases the enjoyment and creativity of the game and players.

Without abandoning the classic wave graph to visually representing audible, I loaded another new form of presentation to achieve a similar result – imported the duck model by using Moreover, I offered multi-entrance for viewers to send the music/sounds into the patch in order to operate – audio file, microphone input and also external input.



Techniques of interactive art-making

Art becomes interactive when audience participation is an integral part of the artwork. Audience behavior can cause the artwork itself to change. In making interactive art, the artist has to go beyond considerations of how the work will look or sound to an observer. The way that it interacts with the audience is also a crucial part of its essence. Audience engagement cannot be seen just in terms of how long they look at the work. It needs to be in terms of what they do, how they develop interactions with the piece and such questions as to whether they experience pain or pleasure. Thus, how the audiences play our bounce ball game without discomfort was a problem that is considered at the start of creating. From the experience of last four projects and the presentation of the final effect, I found out that non-tactile interactive arts will cause uncomfortable sense than tactile interactive arts to players since they will feel embarrassed and silly facing the laptop to use face, body or voice to control the movement of an object.

In the Bounce Ball Game, the techniques of the game start with using jit.lcd to create the board and the players can simply control the paddle in the board by using “left” and “right” arrow keys of keyboards. How the ball move randomly when it touches the paddle is the tough aspects that we were being challenged. The countdown timer and the score program was another technical we developed, but not the hardest aspect to achieve. When the paddle catches the balls, players’ scores will automatically add on and the “high score” section will refresh with it.


In music visualization, the techniques were mainly focused on how to use and The object of radiogroup and gswitch were frequently used in the patch so that the audiences can change to different modes due to their own preference. For example, transparency, appearance, and movement of the duck model; poly mode, shape, and size of the wave graph in the classic 3D wave graph visualizer. During the process of construction, I was trying to achieve multi-sensation through multiple selectivities and sufficient space for audiences to play with and experience.

The successful part so far

The most successful part for both sustained interaction art was I learned to transpositional consideration which form of representation can deliver to audiences or players a message of they are valued to the interactive arts. A sense of pleasure also is considered to deliver to audiences or players. On the technical aspect, I provided multi-entrance and multiple modes for audiences to figure out and play with. Visually or aurally, furthermore, maybe the multi-sensation all receives a certain level of satisfaction. The Bounce Ball Game filled with attractiveness and the music visualization is powerful and it is not entirely universal in some points.

More to be improved or built upon

Next stage, maybe we should consider how to develop into multi-players or set some blocks in jit.lcd which players can achieve higher scores when they knock the blocks. As the current result, we succeeded and achieved the desired finished project by using tactile interaction instead of non-tactile. In another piece, visually representing audible can add some other filters in or perform in another form of visualization. Another idea of build upon is not satisfied whether it can be achieved or not. Inspired by audio mixer, which DJs used and the audience can record what they create after remix.

XIN SU • June 9, 2019

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