Synthesizer Lets Computer Programs Control One Another [Video]

Synthesizer Lets Computer Programs Control One Another [Video]
Arts & Culture

Artist makes network box that lets videos games command new functions.

Lin Qiu
  • 6 march 2014

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.

Novello adds:

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.

Chris Novello

Source: ANIMAL

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