Wii Max Granu Boids gestural interface demo (featuring Howard Rheingold on Cooperation Theory)

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This performance demonstrates my evolving Wii-Max/MSP gestural interface prototype.


Beginning with Howard Rheingold's brilliant interview on cooperation theory, I used the Wii controller to manipulate audio with a granular synthesis patch, and filled the video track with flocking pixels based on Craig Reynold's famous Boids algorithm in an OpenGL Jitter implementation.

In performance I insert realtime video feeds of myself operating the wireless controller, grabbed from the onboard laptop cam. The purpose is to integrate my physical presence and gestures. This material may also be understood as a reference to Narcissus, whose reflected extension of himself was described by McLuhan as one of the first accounts of the narcotic effect of technology.

The demo was completed as part of my coursework for Master of Science degree with the Integrated Digital Media Institute, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn.

My approach to this project was roughly as follows:

  • The problem: prepare and present a five-min. audio/video performance using an external controller with a dataflow flow programming environment, namely Max/MSP/Jitter
  • Start with my previous WiiGrano_6 demo and extend it to include new functionality
  • Add Nunchuck controller to Wii remote setup for additional input control
  • Select jit.boids family of patches to modify and control for visuals (http://www.maxobjects.com/?v=objects&id_objet=3980)
  • Patch Nunchuck joystick, triggers and accelerometer data into boids patch
  • Select new audio sample material (Howard Rheingold on Cooperation Theory)
  • Optimize gestural control around interesting & sensitive feedback params.
  • Practice, record, and present integrated a/v performance