Firewall, Art That People Can Push to Create Fire-Like Visuals & Music

Firewall is an interactive media installation by Aaron Sherwood, in collaboration with Michael Allison, that people can push to create fire-like visuals and music. The surface is made of a stretched sheet of spandex that “acts as a membrane.”

The piece was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect. The Kinect measures the average depth of the spandex from the frame it is mounted on. If the spandex is not being pressed into nothing happens. When someone presses into it the visuals react around where the person presses, and the music is triggered. An algorithm created with Max allows the music to speed up and slow down and get louder and softer, based on the depth. This provides a very expressive musical playing experience, even for people who have never played music before. A switch is built into the frame which toggles between two modes. The second mode is a little more aggressive than the first.