OpenFrameworks Lab at Ars Electronica

Prix Ars Electronica 2008, Honorary Mention Interactive Art
Of course there are disadvantages for non-programmers. Suppose you want to see hearts fly from the collision of two marshmallow ponies desperately in love. Perhaps you don’t have a game controller and want to play super mario brothers with your body, leaning and jumping as Mario would. Perhaps you want… a posing machine? This is where the OF Lab comes in, with their team of talented programmers ready to grant wishes to any visitors of the OF Lab.
What is OpenFrameworks? It is an open source initiative started by Zach Lieberman and Theo Watson. “openFrameworks is an open-source, cross-platform C++ library for creative coding. The library is designed to assist the creative process by providing a simple and intuitive framework for experimentation.”
The OF Lab is a three-story temporary construction with works displayed on monitors on the ground floor. There is a whiteboard with five blank spaces that visitors fill out with five words of their choosing. The visitor then poses in front of a camera with their words, takes a snapshot, and sends it up to the OF lab workers through various means. At first, there was a hole in the ceiling with a bucket that you put an idea in, and the bucket was pulled up to the second floor to enter the queue of ideas. With the overwhelming amount of submissions, however, for the remainder of the festival ideas were hung from a clothesline with clothespins. The programmers work on the second floor; there are monitors hooked up to security cameras so that visitors can see them from the first. The third floor is a lounge area with huge square pillows and lots of electrical outlets.

Andy’s five words were “I want a posing machine”, and Tine Papendick made him a robot that would pose with him. Dan Paluska of Absolut Quartet played the robot. I didn’t take a photo of the robot, but it’s coming soon.