The Human Paintbrush
Created with C++, OpenGL, MaxMSP, GigEVision SDK


This interactive piece was made for use by two individuals; one that gives instructions (the painter), and one that attempts to follow instructions (the paintbrush). The "paintbrush" is blindfolded in a square stage surrounded by speakers, and receives instructions via sound. The "painter" controls the instructions, attempting to influence the paintbrush's movements. The paintbrush's movements are tracked, and these actions create a digital image.

The painter controls two sound aspects. The direction of the sound informs the paintbrush which direction to walk. When the paintbrush moves, their path is painted with digital brush strokes. The other sound instruction is gradient (pitch and frequency), and informs the paintbrush how far to extend their arms. The paintbrush's arm width controls the width and color of the brush strokes.

The target user for this piece is someone who feels neutral or passive in the field of sound and music. Those users are pushed toward feeling either empowered by their own abilities with sound creation, or immersed in the experience of sound's direct influence. In both scenarios, the user is removed from a passive stance towards sound and artistic creation in general. The resulting "painting" in this piece can be thought of as documentation of the users' collective experience, as well as a translation of this experience into a different artistic medium.