For our first Readymades project, we needed to find a pre-existing object and give it a personality using only sounds as an output.
I partnered with Aaron Montoya and we both wanted to do something that would make us uncomfortable and push our limits. Cut to us deciding to use porn. Why? because it’s something that is usually a very private thing and make it a shared experience and somewhat of a public performance.
We decided the best way to do this would be utilizing what is already a very phallic object – the recorder flute – and giving it a new use.
The original idea was to put photocells inside the flute for the sensors, and putting a piezo in the mouth piece so that when you blow the amplitude changes. Aaron did the Max patch for it, and we spent a bunch of time prototyping. We used a moteino for this, which is basically a wireless Arduino – much smaller, and great to use! From there, we realized the photocells were very finicky, and buttons would give us a more exact result.
Finally, when assembling the phlute, we realized that the buttons didn’t fit through the holes the way we had intended them to. We ended up having to drill holes through both sides of the recorder in order to push the buttons through and all of the wiring.
Once assembled though, everything worked beautifully, and we made lots of people uncomfortable! project: success.
Update: after presenting it in class, we got a couple of good pieces of feedback that, if continuing to work on this, we should definitely incorporate:
- Making it so that you HAVE to blow on it for it to work. It really cements the whole notion of making this a performance element, as well as making the user a part of the whole porn thing that would ultimately make them uncomfortable
- Make sure you incorporate some sort of story to this
- Possibly do a male and female versions of it, so that you can basically perform porn on stage with someone else and truly put on a show.
All really great, and really interesting. And even if we don’t use them for this piece, there’s some overarching stuff that is applicable for future projects.