Open (at the) Source: Nano Pod Project

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 to Sunday, May 18, 2014
Location & Time: 

Moss Arts Center - The Cube (12:00 noon)

Open at the Source will enable visitors to explore and experience the research and innovation that's happening with affiliates of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology. Visitors will become more than just viewers, but partners in exploration with students, faculty, and staff of ICAT and it's creative community network.


May 3 - 18, Ruth C. Horton Gallery

Sam Blanchard, Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Virginia Tech
Kirk Cameron, Professor of Computer Science and a Research Fellow in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech

SeeMore (2014) is intended to demonstrate the importance of parallel computational thinking. The project was inspired by and features the wildly successful Raspberry Pi (RPi), a small, fully functional computer that is inexpensive enough for anyone to reasonably obtain ($35), and more importantly, to tinker with. This exhibition showcases the elegance and significance of parallel computation while simultaneously educating about and inspiring parallel computational thinking. The world runs on parallel computing. Without it, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon could not provide their services; weather forecasting would be less accurate; and air travel would be less reliable. The 256-RPi’s cylindrical structure is inspired both by early parallel Cray computer designs, as well as the fluid dynamic simulations these powerful computers are regularly tasked with calculating. While an expert may appreciate the subtle beauty of parallel computation, the act of dividing tasks, and distributing and communicating data is hidden from the naked eye. This project translates data movement through a living sculpture that physically represents computation as it propagates and evolves across the surface of the form.

Nano Pod Project: Interactive projection mapping show
May 7-18, The Cube

Thomas Tucker, Associate Professor in the School for Visual Arts (SOVA)
Tohm Judson (Winston-Salem State University)

The Nano Pod installation will consist of projection mapping complex animations onto three-dimensional forms in the ICAT Cube. Thomas Tucker has been exhibiting and experimenting with projection mapping for over a decade. Using several software packages, Tohm Judson and Thomas Tucker pull rendered out animations and video onto three-dimensional surfaces creating a sense of realism. With Max/Jitter/MSP, they will create artificial intelligence sound and various levels of interaction.

Part of the construction will be taking 3D forms created in Maya (3D software) and flattening out the data using PePaKuRa Designer. This software creates complex templates from 3D data so one can cut out and glue together pieces like a cardboard box. After getting the vector-based data from the software, they will use a laser cutter to cut the hard stock paper with the schematics developed by the software. Then they will glue the multiple forms together to form the top portion of the unit. The main pod form will be fabricated by a CNC machine out of thin plywood and assembled into rough forms much like a model airplane fuselage. The forms will be covered with a tight skin of rip stock nylon. The forms will be made of white paper and rip stock nylon to absorb the light from the projectors.

The Cube space will be filled with over 50 laser-cut and CNC cut units in varying sizes and shapes. The arrangement of the units will be hung from the Cube ceiling. An array of four HD Christie video projectors will be placed in the room to project onto the surfaces of the forms. Using the software packages Max/Jitter/MSP and Madmapper, we will project complex animations onto each individual form. The animations are scaled to fit the form exactly. These animations will have been rendered in Maya and composed with interactive sound and videos in Max. The room will be filled with a plethora of animated light and sound emanating from the forms. Viewing participants will be able to walk and interact using markers and the Qualisys Motion Capture system underneath the forms.

"Open (at the) Source" in the news.