Mini robots turn color into music
At the Mudam's Publics Department, a museum dedicated to contemporary art in Luxembourg, a summer project by the artist and designer Yuri Suzuki is making music from art. Based on his work Colour Chaser, Suzuki has designed an installation piece for the museum called Looks Like Music, which gives kids (and adults) the opportunity to contribute to a musical score with their artistic coloring.
The concept is based on a basic, miniature robot that detects and follows a black line. Though it's not the most complex piece of robotic hardware, the robot isn't a one-trick-pony. As it travels along the black-line path, drawn at random by museum-goers, the robot also senses RGB data and translates that into sound.
As museum patrons witness the exhibit, they are encouraged to extend the ever-changing circuit. There are five different robots operating within the installation, and each has a different name to define the distinctive sound it emits, like basscar, glitchcar, arpeggiocar, and drumcarone.
With the Looks Like Music project, Suzuki hopes to raise public awareness about the methods in which sound and music are produced – through performance and often requiring public participation.
Suzuki has presented several sound and technology pieces around the world, and in doing so he has conducted workshops that cover learning basic principles of electronic music and the creation of sound pieces. The workshops have included everything from creating iconic record sleeves to creating music through experimentation with a smartphone or tablet.
The video below shows a simplified version of the installation with Suzuki's original Colour Chaser.