Interactive Sonic Paintings with Electric Paint

We recently discovered a music art installation, made with Electric Paint and Arduino, by Ayal Subar, a music and interactive design student at the University of Michigan.

Ayal has recently been experimenting with interactive design, concerning performance and human-computer interaction. This installation is part of his study, with the goal to make an interactive piece that augmented a specific space, sonically and visually. In this case, the stairwell of the School of Music at the University of Michigan was temporarily transformed from its usual state of being into a tangible sonic space.

The interaction that he was inspired by is another installation from our Bare Conductive community; the Format 3 that he experienced first hand at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City this past year. 

Ayal wanted to take this seemingly “magical” interaction using conductive paint and introduce it into a space with his own sonic fingerprint, allowing other people to contribute to by interacting with the work.

The interaction element was simple and strong – people touched and played with the paintings as they walked the staircase. It did not take long for people to figure out that the only way for them to make a sound was to actually touch the black conductive paint.

Thanks to the magic of Bare Conductive paint, users would “get it” and apply their new knowledge to the rest of the paintings. Users would also play with each other as groups, one at the top of the staircase and one at the bottom. Sometimes these duets were a pair of strangers. One woman candidly asked me as her daughter was playing with a painting, “Is this used for therapy?” An idea that could definitely be applied in therapeutic projects. 

Images & Video: Ayal Subar

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