workshop_notes from the Project Txoom workshop, feb.02002 - f0am brussels

still needs to be refactored into topics, rather than sequentially + extended

tgarden 2001 developers evaluation

we have examined the TG documentation recorded in Linz and Rotterdam - participant's feedback, playspace recordings and developers feedback, discussed glories and downfalls, summarised suggestions for future development.

“negative feedback: feedback that tends to stabilize a process by reducing its rate or output when its effects are too great”

the tgarden has a very wide (vague?) scope, and part of the rationale for creating another project along similar lines is to focus on certain aspects which were not adequately developed as part of the tgarden. it is also an attempt to learn form the mistakes of the tgarden development cycles, while benefiting from the work which has (and is) being put into its development.

the (re)focii are →

  • focus on emergent properties of responsive environments and their (semi)autonomous behaviour
    • the designers are inspired by an array of processes + behaviours in extreme ecosystems (such as deep oceans)
    • biomimetics, 'learning from nature to inform the design of tangible, responsive materials, media, objects and environments' is one of the guiding principles in txOom design
  • viewing the media as visualisation+sonification of human and system's behaviour, rather than singular artworks
  • HCI + HCH in mixed realities:
    • what makes sense to sense? * sensor types + positioning
    • textiles and costumes as interfaces to the media worlds
      • closer integration with hardware, sound + images
      • closer integration with the space, less costume party like
      • smart fabrics - research + analysis of growth processes (will most probably not be used in production 2002)

(recycling) “allows the same materials to be transformed from one object to another, such that the materials begin to move into media, that are consumed as a form of nutrition…. the body expands, the environment is brought inside… space gets reconstituted, architecture is what you swallow… ”

these keywords were triggers for a series of discussions on motivations + aesthetic directions

  • thickness - describes a general atmostphere in the room
  • spikiness - sometimes uncovered 'hard skeleton' of the objects; unexpected/random 'cuts', 'events'
  • density - the macro spaces are filled with (amplified) micro matter + events
  • bioluminescence (emission of light from living organisms) - visualisation of design paradigms: the environment wide results are produced by living, interacting and evolving entities
  • system should be flexible, to allow an array of applications
  • all components should be tightly integrated to provide a coherent experience
  • rooms should be site specific
  • the environment should be an immersive, liquid realm
  • the interaction should resemble a conversation with a stranger who appears that one knew for ages
  • the experience should be that of a free play, not goal directed
  • txOom could become a biomimetic system
    • evolves through nutrition of players' behaviours
    • the player is viewed as intrudor, predator – media eater – mate or food
    • the environment feeds the player with spaces (architecture, costumes) and media (a dance of give + take)
  • all events/media/costumes should recycle + be transformed from one medium to another
    • they extend player's gestures (and their body - if using biofeedback) in the environment
  • costumes atatchable/detatchable from architecture – “modular”;
  • walls - flexible, partially constructed and 'growing' out from the existing architecture of the site“ – “deformed by players + obervers”;
  • floor - sensor carpet for position tracking”;
  • use the walls + floor as projection surfaces
  • waiting room
    • coffee lady as hostess, and explanatory introduciton to the space, but also part of the 'flexible architecture'
    • interviews + feedback
  • the media can make the existing architecture thicker, by adding fields of invisible spaces - when the players brush along/enter into them, they cause a signifiant change in the local+global (?) conditions
  • experiential duration - the media can slow down, or speed up the duration of the playCycle - depending on player's actions

the component systems need to be integrated closely (ex. alexander's horned sphere), and developed with a very tight feedback between the developers involved

all component systems should evolve through state space (yon's dynamics engine) - this will improve the immersion and the involvement of the players

  • costumes
    • translucent + skeletal structures
    • adding to the thickness of the space
    • the shapes can e worn individually, or grow out of walls: they should be put on inside the playspace
    • stretchy, shapeable projection surfaces:
    • if 2 people wear the same costume, they an shape the image in between them
    • examples:
    • harmonica prototypes
    • moulded rubber tubes
    • shrimp tails
    • wings in the form of duck's feet / wale's tail
  • visual
    • spread projection surfaces
      • walls as well as floor
      • integration of wall screens + projections surfaces * visual examples
      • matta - thick substance + emerging structure
      • BBC Blue Planet - bioluminescent and translucent organisms
      • Ernesto Neto - different installations
      • images and diagrams from TGarden design spec
      • plantworlds, giant forests
      • psychedelic experiences
      • algoritmic (virtual) architecture
      • on growth and form (Thompson D'Arcy)
    • layered thickness
    • standing on deep jelly-like matter
    • coupled with sound using sound analysis
    • swarms of small components
    • around, rather than under the players
    • using circular surfaces
    • small interdepenent components create bigger and more dense visual entities * use feedback from tracking camera to generate visual traces of player's gestures * the feedback becomes less obvious in more 'advanced' states of the system (the rooms plays with them)
  • sound
    • underlaying ambience of the room changes slowly through the states
    • abrupt events can be triggerred if players 'disturb' a particular region of the room ('invisible architecture')
    • players have individual voices that are discrete and clear when they play alone - in a group, the become more subdued and subtle
    • spatialisation - vbap and use of shifting delay times, etc+
    • conection to clothing - sampling from costumes (audio+visual)
    • sound examples
      • neural synthesis, tudor - distinct organic/synthetic
      • ligetti - connected players /cloudlike
      • zoviet france, monomishe - drone + populated randomness
      • no forest old feet - erratic slices emerging from synthetic fluid
      • select parks - digital games
      • nature of sound - sound of nature - thick space behind the sound, becoming a part of a space
  • bioluminesce + signalling
  • many interconneted autonomous parts
  • repeating patterns/sounds/behaviour of costumes in the media systems
  • amplifying spaces in between the fibres in sound/visuals
  • low frequqnces can be perceived as tactile sensations
  • visual feedback from tracking camera used as source for visual transofrmations
  • costumes should be transparent, irridescent or reflective (gels, rubbers, plastics, foams - so that when looking at them, the players can partially see through them, and see the media around magnified, warped


  • oz
    • short term: integrating the dynamics engine
    • short term: incorporate data logging + better vizliser
    • short term: evaluate existing system for longer term usage
  • visuals
    • short term: nato + (extending existing patches)
  • longer term: particle systems/game-engines
  • sound
    • short term: max/msp
    • longer term: max/msp, pd, supercollider

media systems

  • graphics
    • reuse + extend tg system
    • new nato stuff from hiaz
  • sound
    • new system, build from collected parts to better merge with graphics
    • spawner, accn → density“;
    • work on spatialisation - invisible architecture
    • region based effects - as pseudo sensor on position data

room_logic (aka 'oz')

  • sensor data analysis
  • networking + comm
  • dynamics


  • wings - bend sensors - DIEM (very fragile)
  • bend sensors - require frequent replacement
  • magnetic resonance - hiroshi ishii
  • acceleromters
    • already designed, hw + sw tested, but may need new constructions
  • logos stichting
    • ghent, congostraat
    • concert space + sensor dev.
    • ultrasound doeppler for motion sensing
body sensing
  • ipaqs + accelerometers (pth of least modification)
  • positioning
    • one on centre of mass, 1 or 2 on limbs
    • one on each arm would avoid single arm flapping actions
    • open to more testing
  • biofeedback

position tracking

  • vision based
    • softvns - check capabilities for multiple pppl
    • 242.pupille - part of nato, possibly limited
    • cyclops - cycling74, ??
    • correlation + recognition
    • see kalman filter notes from siggraph
    • use accelerometer to correlate
  • pressure sensors - sensor carpet
    • piezo - matrix of cheap units
    • see max-list notes /haiz
    • requires construction + maintainance
    • keyboards
    • use input sprokets to deplex multiple keyboards
    • requires construction + maintainance


  • wearables - ipaq-hardware, 3 available for torino
  • wireless - 802.11 setup
  • fixed location systems
    • ?
    • see majas notes + torino tech.spec


  • hiaz proposed developing a system to enhance the recording of data + media from the playspace
  • multiple angle cameras, using dv or cctv
  • sensor data can be recorded on seperate channels
    • laptop w/ max patch → video
    • “max → logging object, “log” - peter swinnen
    • as a pixel track in .qt
  • sound - 5.1 surround /direct→disk

txo0m venues for 2002

  • torino
  • vienna?
  • gt. yarmouth
  • dates 15-19 setup, 19-27 open
  • following the scheda technica sent to BIGTorino in January, with small additions for recording,
  • sound requirements> need 2x big subwoofers - myer/details frm hiaz

short term timeline

March: all component systems development. dependency chart and deadlines will be put online in the first week of March

April: first two weeks testing, last two weeks Torino


  • hardware
    • sensors
    • construction - todor 4sensors
    • redesign * stamp - construct for more than 2 sensors, since wiring enables 4 inputs
  • vzl systmm
    • requires oz (requires working sensors)
    • meshing of hiazs constructr interface with oz + statespace
    • requires statespace
  • vision tracking
    • requires software descision
    • softvns data (nik has sent details)
    • programming to be done by nik and/or hiaz and/or yon
  • wearables
    • ipaq-software (operate+calibrate) would need to be rewritten for new sensors
  • long term tangents
    • for a higher level designer interface we need a graph that can display information, as well as be an interface for modifying behaviour and dynamics
    • using system as storytelling/performance platform (hiaz/theatre and todor/dance)
    • AKG microphone/headphone units as part of outdoor performance
    • phillips, fabric speakers (user testing/sponsorship?)
  • vibrating floor
  • bioluminescent bacteria, dinoflagelati
  • maxtor 160gb firewire drives
  • where do all the broken plasma screens go? (perhaps ask phillips/thompson)
  • surround sound - cambridge soundworks system 330EUR without dolby encoder WITH 6 audio inputs

– transcribed + condensed by Nik Gaffney + Maja Kuzmanovic

  • project_txoom_workshop_notes.txt
  • Last modified: 2020-06-06 11:55
  • by nik