RobotBallet: Musical improvisation, gesture and movements for robotic actuation.

RobotBallet is an installation performance piece using a piano with contact switches installed beneath 8 of its keys. When pressed, each note sends an identifying voltage signal into a micoprocessor and outputs into a series of robotic armatures. The work is specifically interested in creating an interactive system capable of translating the emotional into the mechanical. The work consists of four (figuratively speaking) 'movements', which function as much philosphically, as they do systematically.

As the piano keys are pressed, a set of electrical contacts will open and close; This is the primary stage of movement-which translates the emotional into physical change.

As the electrical signals are sent to the microprocessor, the timing of each contact is interpreted;This is the secondary stage of movement-which translates the physical into digital (binary data) change.

As the output from the microprocessor reaches the relay switch mounted on the base of the robot armatures, electrical current flows into the geared motors; This is the tertiary stage of movement-which translates the digital into mechanical change.



program for inputs from pin0-7 and output8-15 using random function for pause length
'{$STAMP BS2e}
DIRS=$0000000011111111
compute1 VAR Word
divide1 VAR Word
LOW 0 INPUT 0 IF IN0 = 1 THEN GOSUB note1
LOW 1 INPUT 1 IF IN1 = 1 THEN GOSUB note2
LOW 2 INPUT 2 IF IN2 = 1 THEN GOSUB note3
LOW 3 INPUT 3 IF IN7 = 1 THEN GOSUB note4
LOW 4 INPUT 4 IF IN0 = 1 THEN GOSUB note5
LOW 5 INPUT 5 IF IN5 = 1 THEN GOSUB note6
LOW 6 INPUT 6 IF IN6 = 1 THEN GOSUB note7
LOW 7 INPUT 7 IF IN7 = 1 THEN GOSUB note8
GET:
RANDOM compute1
divide1 = compute1/1000+50
RETURN
note1: HIGH 8 GOSUB GET PAUSE divide1 RETURN
note2: HIGH 9 GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note3: GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note4: GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note5: HIGH 8 GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note6: HIGH 9 GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note7: GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN
note8: GOSUB GET PAUSE compute RETURN




As the sound and visual movements from the armatures reach the audience, the entire piece is interpreted and reacted to; This is the quadratic stage of movement-which translates the mechanical into the sensual. The four movements correspond not only to the four movements within a symphony, but also to the epistemology as given by Plato in his 'divided line'; which are:

1.Forms(substance)-emotional as physical
2.Concepts(mathematics)-physical as digital
3.Objects(concreteness tangible)-digital as mechanical
4.Images(experience non-tangible)-mechanical as sensual

Plato's divided line


Key Components
  • Performative Robotics
  • Transmodalities
  • Philosophy as Art
  • Codification of Language
  • Music and Machine Acutation
  • Reductivist Pyschology