Further Research and Inspirations

I had a discussion with my advisor, Jinsil Hwaryoung Seo, today about my research direction and a potential project for the USA Science & Engineering Festival in April. After little success with my pulse sensor experimentation, I had been struggling with what kind of biosensor to utilize in my handheld device, as well as what kind of feedback I would be giving the user. Hwaryoung suggested to look into a GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) sensor, so that will be my next exploration on the hardware side.

As for feedback for the user, we talked about potentially having haptic and visual feedback. My device could potentially connected to a computer or mobile device to provide additional visual feedback.

So tonight, I have been reflecting on visualizations for relaxation.

I did a quick literature search (will definitely dive deeper when I have the time) for studies tying together visual imagery with relaxation.

However, most of what I found either did not directly address this connection. There appears to be many studies with an audio/visual feedback component. But the few papers that I grazed over did not explicitly go over what the visual component consisted of. There were a few that did, but these visuals fell into a more video narrative of nature and life.

I am curious about generative art and relaxation. I find mathematical systems to be beautifully intriguing.

I contemplated what I personally found visually relaxing. One of the first thing that came to mind was Casey Reas’ Process works. If you are unfamiliar this video gives an excellent overview of the system’s evolution:

Here is an sample of one piece in the series:

Here are some more pieces I came across:

John Whitney, “Arabesque”

Subliminal Phoenix, “Lucid Surrender”

Glenn Marshall, “The Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus”

Interactive Performance and Technology Introduction

This specific post serves as an introduction to my fellow peers in VIZA 689: Interactive Performance and Technology.

Hello everyone! This is Antoinette Bumatay. I am a 2nd year MS Visualization graduate student.

Here is a semi-recent picture of me:

And a bonus of me as a little ballet dancer (I don’t quite remember what performance this was for…):

So I have seen many dance performances throughout the years. One performance that was particularly memorable was Bad Unkl Sista’s “The Study of Soft” in San Francisco, CA in the spring of 2010.

From their company site:
“Bad Unkl Sista is a performance installation ensemble that fuses Butoh-inspired choreography, improvised music, couture costuming, and physical theater elements while producing site-specific experiences that seek to move each witness to a state of extraordinary and memorable being.”

Here are some images I found of the performance (also from their website).



It was almost four years ago, so the details are quite hazy. But from what I remember, I was completely entranced by the entire performance. It was morbid, yet beautiful, and absolutely mesmerizing.

Edit: Here is a video of the same company, but different performance.

Alright… now here are a few samples of my work.

Music Paintings:

Kishi Bashi – It All Began With a Burst
Snoop Doggy Dogg – Who Am I

Here is a video example of how the above works were made. This was an earlier version of the system, but will explain the main functionality:

Complex System Inspired:



Again, here is a video example of how the above works were made (also an earlier version of the system):

Chance Based System Post-Critique Thoughts

So, I had my In-Progress Critique in class today for my music input chance based system. I thought I’d organize my thoughts/goals for the upcoming week.

  • Color Algorithm:
    Definitely going through with my plan to normalize the amplitudes of each frequency band, and pull my RBG channel values from the low, mid, and high frequency bands. In order to properly normalize each band, I think I will need to  find the maximum amplitude of each band across all songs I plan to use in my final piece.
  • Opacity Algorithm:
    I had been using the average amplitude of the low frequencies. Instead, I would also like to utilize the normalized bands. Perhaps using the average amplitude across the entire spectrum, or maybe a summation of amplitudes of the low, mid, and high band.
  • Behavior Pattern Investigation:
    Phil pointed out to me that thing he found most interesting about each piece is the vertical bands of color that appear. Although I feel like this is mainly due to serendipity of the pattern of consecutive beats in the song and the wavelengths having a small amplitude (thus less vertical movement), I feel this is worth further investigation. Also, it would be good to be able to reason why certain behavior appears.
  • Final Presentation:
    I really liked the idea of having a bunch of still images, as well as a video demonstrating the program as it draws in real time along to the song.
    As my main goal was to demonstrate a visual difference between different artists, it would be good to select approximately five artists of different genres. And in order to demonstrate consistency, I would use three songs from each artist.
    I’m having some difficulty choosing genres/artists, but right now I’m leaning towards indie (Kishi Bashi), hip-hop/jazz (Nujabes), rap (Snoop Dog), folk (The Avett Brothers), and rock (ZZ Top). That being said, I have a lot of favorite artists and wide taste in music, so don’t be surprised if these change. I definitely want to keep it to three songs per artist though!

All in all! I am really happy with my progress so far, and I am excited to see what comes!