Artist makes network box that lets videos games command new functions.
If you’ve always wanted to do a sweet remix of a song while simultaneously playing a video game, Chris Novello has got you covered. The Providence-based artist has built a hacking device called Illucia, capable of making pretty much any computer program control any other computer program, and you can buy one for less than $500.
Novello has already demonstrated the capabilities of what he calls a ‘patchable videogame system’ on Vine and Vimeo, where you’ll find videos of him remixing Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Juicy’ with a game similar to Tetris, using a synthesizer controller called Soundplane to manipulate a game of Super Mario and connecting Zelda to an automatic drawing machine.
Watch him play Super Mario with a Soundplane here:
According to the artist:
When you use the personality of one program to control another, strange and interesting behaviors emerge. I think of it as playing a network of software the way one might play a video game or musical instrument — coaxing audiovisuals from a chaotic system built out of video games playing each other.
Illucia was hand-built with an Arduino microcontroller to turn analogue data digital and a music computing language called the Open Sound Control protocol. The user uses physical cables to connect their desired programs and twists the knobs to manipulate the program codes at will.
I think that medium still has tons of unexplored potential and I’d love to see more people pushing it to new places. I want to live in a world where more people are empowered to create their own computer interfaces and software.
If you’re keen on playing around with the Illucia yourself, a limited single run of these devices are on sale on Novello’s website now. Each are individually numbered and uniquely hand-assembled by him. And in case you were wondering: Yes, he accepts Bitcoins.