Ecotopia of art

Ecotopia of art, an art interactive project of Walter Perdan. Presented during his sculpture thesis at Bologna's Accademy of Fine Arts.

Ecotopia of art

The work i present in this contest is a sculpture that virtually extends, expands in the virtual space. An abstract shape and an organic, irregular work (covered with Vaseline streamlined) are present in mutual dialogue. The name "Ecotopia of art" wants to mean a reflection about how conception of ecology as a science and as philosophy. And at the same time a utopian vision of ecology and art."Ecotopia" is the name of a novel by Ernest Callenbach of the seventies in which he imagines that in the middle of the United States is a nation separate by adopting the principles of ecology and just called Ecotopia (eco, by oikos = environment and topia,by topos = place). Even another novel has inspired me to the realization of this work, the novel by Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us," in which he imagines what would happen to our cities, the architecture and all the human artifacts if the whole humanity would disappear suddenly.

On the "abstract" parts of the sculpture are applied markers used in the augmented reality: some are applied to the moving parts, like the arms of an architecture unfinished. Some of these markers are applied instead on the surface moved from the small servo motors. A small video camera applied to one end of the sculpture captures the video stream and interprets it with a software developed with OpenFrameworks where the software detects the markers, it superimposes three-dimensional shapes as a virtual extension and expansion of itself, or is superimposed on some text (the hashtag inherent art and ecology), or particle images are generated with physical behavior, that reproduce the same marker from which they were "produced". The video stream can be seen in a small box, with a hole, similar to a bird's nest nad/or as a camera lucida. Almost as if we were forced to spy on another dimension of reality.

At the same time synthesized sounds are generated by software Supercollider : the sounds are produced by algorithms based on the Fibonacci series and the Henon attractor. The work is completed with a generative poetry device. Each 2 seconds is generated a text from a small database, stored in the sdcard of the microcomputer, that, if the user wants, he can send it by pressing the blue button on twitter. This text is displayed constantly in the bottom right of the screen. The text is primarily concerned with the sentences on various topics on ecology, the ecological emergency, the art, the dada, and pixel art. To view the tweets sent you can see the twitter page . This work will not only be a mere passive device but also and above all, an activator of social responsibility towards art and ecology, two forms of human activity fundamental to the freedom of the human being and the only ones that can guarantee a future for the entire humanity.

An explanation is also required for the hardware and the software that I used. The servo motors and the button are interfaced with a card raspberryPi while the webcam and the video terminal with a ODROID U3 hardkernel , micro devices based on the ARM architecture that allows less space and good performance. I focused on open source software, openFrameworks for the visual and Supercollider for the sound, because I believe in open source philosophy and these two projects show great versatility and reliability.

This was my thesis works (06/03/2014) for the truth internet connection doesn't works at the moment so it was impossible to perform this part of the works, but was tested succesfully by me many times in other place.