Inspired by Thomas Medicus’ Emulsifier, an anamorphic sculpture where four hidden images are revealed at every 90 degree rotation of the sculpture, Blowing Bridges features four hidden images that are spliced on eight four-sided panels that rotate individually based on the strength, control, and manipulation of human breath. Each panels are attached to continuous rotational servos that are programmed to rotate counter-clockwise whenever the user blows into the electret. The longer the duration of air, the faster the servo spins, revealing more images printed on the sides of the panels.
The first prototype was made with plywood and cardboard for preliminary user-testing. The rotations of the "panels" were handled manually. The method of interaction was further researched at this phase. Whether it would be a press of a button, a specific body motion, etc. After feedback from users, the decision of using an electret/microphone was made due to the similarities of the two elements—air and water.
The visuals used were photographs of New York City bridges. Since this project is about piecing together broken images, a linear structure, such as a recognizable bridge hinted to the users the objective of the installation. The intent to "bridge the gaps" became obvious once the users recognized different bridges photographed on each side of the acrylic panels.
Blowing Bridges was first showcased at New York University's ITP Winter Show 2016. All photographs taken by Christopher Lindor.