When the Hastings on Hudson Arts Commission announced a call to artists for an upcoming show, I didn’t think to enter a submission. But my wife encouraged me to do it, and so I submitted Moon Radio for consideration — and was accepted! More about the show in a future post.
This project started as a simple concept: create an art appliance that you could plug in and just let run, leaving it to do its thing. Sort of like a lava lamp, but with a bit more content. Also, it would have a touchscreen to allow people to skip around between pieces of content — very much unlike a lava lamp.
Here’s the original sketch I made back in the Spring:
There would be three main components:
- A series of short, looping music videos
- A Raspberry Pi 3 mini computer with touchscreen to run the content
- A wooden housing to hold it all together
As I began work on 1. and 2., it became clear that I would need a lot of help on 3… So I tapped my good friend David Press (who is a great artist and a great person) to help out with the fabrication. In order to get that started, I made a crude prototype out of foam core which looks like this:
(note the duct tape: there’s always duct tape involved at some point in a project, regardless of medium)
As David and I worked to design the final piece based on this prototype, he had lots of great design ideas and we brainstormed until we came up with this:
Here are a couple of shots of David and I working on the box:
(or, more accurately, David working hard and me goofing off.)
As David measured, cut, glued, sanded, and painted, I got busy putting together the music and video and the code required to make it run and respond to touch. And I explain that process right over here in Part 2.
Thanks for reading!