Interactive LED Wall
In spring of 2018 I was invited to create an interactive installation for the Array Festival in Dallas, Tx.
I had previously helped Thomas Hudson create audio for an interactive touch-reactive cube installation, and was able to repurpose the circuitry to create a sleek wall-mounted display. The display was programmed with about 12 selectable modes. Programming was primarily done by Zac Archer with help from Gus Reiter for some of the advanced lighting animations. I generated a CAD model for the design, assembled and tested all electronics in Portland beforehand, then flew to Dallas and built the entire structure in about 2.5 weeks at the Dallas Makerspace.
Dallas Observer article
article written about recent installations in the dallas observer in print and online, and photo used for printed cover.
Monolith Synth Teensy Powered synthesizer
In early 2017 I was contacted by Paul Stoffregen of Teensy Microcontrollers to help create a synthesizer for the Bay Area Maker Faire. The exhibit was hosted in the Kickstarter booth. Together, myself, Paul Stoffregen, Ben Davis of Malekko, and Ross Fish of Moffenzeef Modular all worked together to create a unique interactive synthesizer sculpture. I created a touchscreen controller that modulated pitch and fx based on the X/Y position, with a few arcade buttons to choose between the different modes. I and Paul traveled to San Francisco before the event to do a live build for the Tested video series. There is a detailed blog entry available on the Dorkbot PDX site.
Images from the build nights, documented at https://dorkbotpdx.org/node/1274
Chicago Workshop Series
More info on my workshop page
Digital Dallas Surround Sound Event: Spatial Sound
In late 2016 I created 2 interactive art installations for the Digital Dallas showcase at the Bomb Factory.
The first installation was an interactive furniture installation called Spatial Sound, which was created with the help of Nick Sainz and Stephen Wylie. It used ultrasonic proximity sensors to modulate the frequency and light patterns that played through the furniture.
It proved to be an entertaining installation for the evening and was displayed exclusively for the Bomb Factory event.
Digital Dallas Surround Sound Event: Interactive Kinect Wall
The second piece I created for the Digital Dallas event in 2016 was an interactive Kinect dance/painting wall I created using a modified version of OpenFrameworks software with a custom built rear projection rig I created. This piece was displayed at the Bomb Factory for a few events and later displayed at an art opening during the reception of sculptor Jason Mehl, which included a performance by dancer and artist Tara Baker.
Paint wall displayed during the Bomb Factory event.
Initial tests with grid mesh display.
LED Video Wall Commission
In early 2016 I was commissioned to create an LED Video wall to accompany a sculpture created by Michael Christopher Matson. I created a low profile LED video display to animate the detailed metal sculpture.
Video of the LED video wall installed behind the metal sculpture by Michael Christopher Matson.
Demo of the fullsize LED video wall with touchscreen controller.
Demo of the Raspberry Pi touchscreen controller, which was a collaboration with Daniel Bornhorst.
Circuit Breaker Show at Texas Womens University
I was asked by Danielle Avram to participate in a collaborative art show with Luke Harnden and Michael A. Morris. This event which was titled Circuit Breaker was a participatory multimedia installation that considered the cause-and-effect relationship between information flow and the various levels through which it cascades – shifting with individual and collective perceptions, commentaries, and energies – challenging viewers to stop and think about their position within the social media and Internet food chains. Like a twisted game of telephone, information is disseminated, internalized, personalized, and regurgitated back into the circuit, often eschewing facts and nuanced opinions for rabble-rousing and highly subjective/skewed accounts. I created four unique works for this event with the utilization of Rasberry Pis, custom LED matrixes, Twitter controlled thermal printers and arrows shot directly into the wall of the gallery.
LED Matrix Mirror created by Darcy Neal. Footage during initial testing. Final installation included mounted camera hidden in frame.
Interactive installation by Michael A. Morris
Video installation byLuke Harnden
Twitter LoveBomb Interactive Map for Digital Dallas 2015
I collaborated with Alex Meswarb to create an interactive Twitter map that tracked how often love was being tweeted across the US. This was displayed during the Digital Dallas showcase at Aria Stone Gallery with the code displayed so that users could view the incoming data which was displayed on the LED display I built.
Wayne Brain for the Flaming Lips, called the “Universal Death Sound & Light Cube”
The Universal Death Light and Sound Cube is an ongoing sculpture series of interactive light sculptures, created by Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, his friends at the Womb Gallery in Oklahoma City, and LadyBrain Studios.
Coyne approached Darcy Neal and Haley Moore of LadyBrain Studios and asked us to add a sound element to his brain sculpture and to assemble it as a standalone unit. The LadyBrains team quickly got to work, and installed an analog sound circuit that reacted dynamically to the light levels of the brain, and also wired the lights to a microcontroller so that they were able to trigger sections of the brain as desired. Coyne gave the LadyBrains team the opportunity to create a customized brain based off of ideas that they collaborated on.
The next brain they built, (V.2) was built customized to the ideas discussed between Wayne Coyne and LadyBrain Studios. The new v.2 of the Universal Death Sculpture was custom built so that the lighting reacted dynamically to the sounds that were being played through the brain via FFT analysis. The sculpture was built to be a standalone unit that was controlled by a Teensy 3.1 and a Teensy Audio Adapter Board. Using FFT analysis, they began to trigger the lights based off of the frequencies heard within the songs, which were stored on an SD card connected to the Teensy microcontroller. Adam Love helped with the FFT analysis and LED programming for this.
They also created a Neopixel driver breakout board, that used Neopixel data to trigger MOSFETs, so that they could use the same FFT code and Neopixel logic to control much brighter, more powerful LED installations. The enclosures for the brains were created using CNC technology and the silicone mold were created by Darcy Neal at the Dallas Makerspace so that we were able to get exact replicas of the brain sculptures for future production. There have been 7 brains produced so far, and there are new designs in the works utilizing WS2812 RGB leds and a Raspberry Pi to do low-resolution video playback across the surface of the brain.
Universal Death Cubes no. 3, 4, and 7
Universal Death Cube no. 3
Demonstration of the original Universal Death cube prototype
Universal Death Cube no. 3
Universal Death Cube no. 4, 5, and 7
Mecca Production and Design Studio
I worked at Mecca Design as a production artist helping with sculpting. While working there, I proposed that they utilized their CNC mill for 3d sculpting in order to make their workflow more efficient. I created a gargoyle on the CNC mill as a proof of concept to show that it was possible and worked as a 3d CNC mill operator for a bit before moving on to new LadyBrain Studios production work.
The majority of my work generated after 2015 has been going towards my production art company, LadyBrain Studios. We build custom electronics, sculptures, and any other props with an emphasis on physical computing and immersive lighting,
Electronic works video and circuit bent work from early 2010’s
This is a demo video covering some of my electronic works from 2011-2013. This is images of some of the circuitbent work that I had created over the years, which I performed with onstage and sold as custom commissions.
Custom Lighting Installation for MAC Gallery
In the fall of 2013 I was commissioned by Jenny Vogel to control 100 lamps with Morse code signals. I had to devise a system that would work with the
limitations of the gallery space and regulations. We did so by building her a series of customizable lighting control units for her project. It was on display at the MAC gallery in Dallas during the winter of 2013.
This was the completed installation with relay units and Arduino interface connected.
Footage of the custom lighting control relay units being tested, which I housed in custom laser-cut cases.
Testing out the modules and code for the installation.
Perot Museum Electronics Workshop
In fall of 2013 I taught a soldering course at the Perot Museum for the Social Science: Sound exhibit. I provided all of the electronic kits in order
to teach the class. I taught a step-by-step soldering course for 14 participants, all of which were able to successfully assemble their kits and take home a functioning instrument.
I provided my light theremin kits for the soldering class, which were based on the design that I sold to Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips as a commissioned light theremin instrument.
photographs from the workshop taken by H. Pederson Design Studio.
The first students testing their completed instruments. I love teaching others how to work with electronics!
Currents New Media 2013
I spent some time in Santa Fe helping with the install for the Currents 2013 New Media exhibition. Much thanks to Frank Ragano
& Mariannah Amster for all their hard work making this amazing exhibit possible.
Documentation from the exhibition
Animatronic Dinosaur Exhibition Specialist
I previously worked as a production artist for an animatronic life-size dinosaur and giant animatronic insect company from 2007-2013. Everything was produced in house, and I became fluent with the entire production process, and am very familiar with a wide range of animatronics processes, sculpting, mold making, casting, feather and hair application, welding, airbrushing, production design, exhibit installation, exhibit maintenance, and more. Whatever was needed to get the job done, I was able to do. When I wasn’t creating new works in the shop, I traveled the U.S. doing on-site installation and maintenance. The work volume was high, which required lots of discipline to produce the number of works expected. I honestly prefer being able to dedicate a longer amount of time to a project in
order to produce a more refined aesthetic, but it has consistently proven beneficial to know how to produce large amounts of work quickly.
This is a video demo of my production work, which was submitted for the 2013 Flight School Fellowship in Pittsburgh, PA
In 2011 we constructed the world’s first animatronic fully feathered dinosaur that was built to be suitable for outdoor exhibitions. We teamed up with a paleontologist to determine the best representation of the creature based off of its known
living conditions and survival traits.
Completed the worlds first animatronic feathered citipati suited for outdoor display.
Citipati on display at Lowry Park zoo in Tampa, FL
Custom vivid paint job for Audubon Zoo.
In addition to creating life-size dinosaurs, we also created larger than life insects for outdoor exhibitions.
This was a Madagascan Sunset Moth that I directed the fabrication for, and fully painted and applied all surface treatments.
Since the creature was being created about 50x larger than it actually was, I had to look at the wing under magnification to know what surface texture I needed to recreate. After researching that the wings were actually made up of tiny ‘scales’, I located a thick fiberglass weave that represented approximately the same density as the scale size of the wing itself based off of the enlarged proportions and applied all surface treatments on top of that textured fiberglass base. The surface treatment
involved working with drybrush techniques to enhance the textured weave of the fiberglass, iridescent mica powders, flock lining, and various artificial furs.
Process shot of painting the wings.
Detail of the completed wings to show their luminosity.
- This was a celebration snapshot of the freshly completed Mexican Red-knee Tarantula. I was in charge of the fabric/material application and painting. We had less than one week to apply all of the fur and fibers and paint the creature. For the legs/facial hairs, I used different gauges of nylon fibers. This photo was taken shortly after midnight when the creature was finally finished. The victory pose was well earned. This was a work in progress shot for a giant grasshopper we created for one of the insect exhibits.
- Grasshopper sculpt in progress
We had to figure out how to replicate the enlarged compound eye structure, and I came up with the idea of using a honeycomb jersey mesh and melting a thin layer of heat soluble clay over the surface so that the mesh would leave an impression when it
was peeled away from the clay surface.
Heres a few other examples of some of the insects we created.
Ladybug with mechanical wing mechanism exposed.
Goliath beetle armature is larger than a car!
Giant Scorpion being prepped for painting.
Devils Flower Praying Mantis during the casting stage.
Devils Flower Praying Mantis after painting.
You can check out my early-work here.