Balloon Project
installation, sound
2011

Experiments in balloon motion and sound using an MS Kinect depth sensing camera.

Created for the Carnegie Mellon 1st & 2nd year MFA Graduate show entitled "Fresh Baked Goods" at Bakery Square, April 2011.

Description

A machine stands in a room surrounded by balloons. Circulating fans blow the balloons over the machine which creates sound based on their movements.

Mode 1: Tones

Balloon height and x/y position control the pitch and panning of a treble and bass voice. The tones can be quantized into a certain key or a glissando can be employed for a theremin-style effect.

Mode 2: 99 Luftballons

The playback speed of Nena’s 99 Luftballons is controlled by balloon height. The balloons must be kept in the air for the song to play. Feed the machine.

Mode 3: 2016 Election Edition

The playback speed of Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy announcements is controlled by balloon height. Balloon color is used to track each candidate: red - Trump and blue - Hillary.

Acknowledgments

Built using Open Frameworks, ofxKinect, and OpenCV for balloon tracking and Pure Data for sound generation/playback.

Music: 99 Luftballons by Nena

Press

Create Digital Music: Music from Floating Balloons via Kinect

Images

Visit the Flickr set

Balloon Project

Notes

Popping Balloons: The space was very dry and dusty. As a result, many balloons popped involuntarily. This was an unintended feature which kept visitors on their toes.

Large Space: The next version of this installation will be made in a smaller space with more balloons...