What if your very voice could be transformed into rainbow light that would carry off to the ends of the universe? What if we could transform laughter or song into colors and patterns? Wormhole can do both of these things and it’s quite spectacular.
20 feet long, 8 feet high and 8 feet wide, you and just about anyone you want can collate and create within the wormhole. As the wormhole listens to song or cacophony alike, rainbow light surrounds you and embarks upon its long journey across the universe.
The Backstory: Wormhole since 2017
Wormhole is an interactive art piece we’ve worked on for several. years now. Every year we’d take any grants we won and would invest them solely in the piece. Bit by bit our original concept from 2018 blossomed into the Wormhole of today.
In 2018, Filma Collective set off to create an immersive installation unlike no other. This conceptual installation was called Amongst The Vines and with the concept centered around creating transitions between two very different environments: trash and tech. The wormhole was conceived as the apex of this transition – a tunnel you would enter where you would be converted into rainbow light exiting to find a utopian fantasy.
This was the first iteration of the wormhole. We built it out of 2×4’s on a sidewalk. This original piece used 1200 lights and took a crew of about 4 people to set up and 2 cars to move it.
Of all the pieces from the conceptual installation Amongst The Vines the Wormhole ended up becoming a beloved interactive art piece within our community. Event after event, we’d get requests to bring wormhole. And at every event people would gather and communally experiment with Wormhole to see just what kinds of rainbows they could create.
These shows even won us a grant or two which we used to make wormhole improvements. Since those early shows we’ve built a new frame with a sleek folding Japanese inspired design and added another 600 lights to bring our grand total to 1800 LEDs.
Award: Niantic Innovation Award at the 2021 Autumn Lights Festival
We won our very first award at the 2021 Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt California. We’re totally blushing.
Engineering Behind the Art
Want to know how we drive 1800 lights with sound? We’ll break it down for you right now.
First, think about wormhole like this: its a teeny tiny computer hooked up to 1800 individually addressable LEDs. The magic happens on that computer, an ESP32, we break down for you with this sweet sauce chart:
The ESP32, using a microphone grabs audio from the environment. This audio is rendered digitally and sent through a Fast Fourier Transform or an FFT. FFTs spit out a bunch of numbers we can use to determine how much bass, mid, treble there is in a sound among other things. Depending on the values the FFT spits out an image generate generates pixel values and renders them to the wormhole’s 1800 leds.
Want to learn more?
- Fast Fourier Transforms (very, very math)
- Analog to digital conversion (sound engineering)
- drawing pixels (software engineering / computer science )
- ESP32 Microcontroller
Wormhole at your event
Wormhole travels well. Want wormhole at your event? Installation requires prep time, 2 hour setup, 2 hour teardown, and storage time as well as access to electricity and space for the installation. We have corporate rates but love finding ways to work with local arts organizations and non-profits.
Please contact us for an estimate.