Raspberry Pi powered interactive digital art? Absolutely!

One of my favorite pieces at the show is Being Present – an interactive digital piece that aims to show people the benefits of mindfulness – of being present, even if only for 2 minutes.

I have loved watching everyone try it out – not everyone sees it to the end but those that do (and it’s only 2 mins!) say it’s very restful and calming.

Here is the technical spec followed by a gallery of shots from the last few weeks:

Being Present

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • Adafruit 64 x 32 RGB LED Matrix x 2 (giving 12,288 controllable points of red, green and blue, each with 255 levels of brightness)
  • Adafruit RGB Matrix HAT & Real Time Clock
  • WaveShare 5″ Touch Screen Display
  • Mini Keyboard with Mouse Mat
  • Custom electronics for control
  • Pressure sensitive mat
  • Raspbian Jessie Operating System running Python programs
  • IBM Node Red for Internet of Things

The installation is a collaboration between myself and technical expert Bradley Hawkins who has spent a great deal of time programming in order to get the effect I wanted.   Each time the process runs it is unique for each viewer and if they step away the work closes down.   The colours, shapes and effects have been carefully chosen to show chaos and then peace.

You can try the innovative work yourself at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Action Stations, first floor) daily until 2nd September.  It’s free to enter, just mention us at the gate.

I'd love to hear what you think!

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