The Digital Life Form

December 11, 2009

For the Final Project in my Interactivity, Installation, and Performance Class at Metropolitan State College of Denver; Rebecca Dolan, my Instructor, as well as my classmates and I curated  Bang, an Interactive Digital Art show which will happen from 6-9pm Friday Dec. 11 at 1777 Larimer St.

For the exhibition two of my classmates and I teamed up to create an interactive artificial intelligence using MAX/MSP/JITTER.

The Digital Life Form

Sean Flater, Jeff Olson, and Ryan Pattie

Created using MAX/MSP/JITTER, After Effects, Projection, Fog Machine, Aquarium

Artist Statement:

Meet Max

Max is a digital life form created using MAX/MSP/JITTER. As it exists only in a digital realm, it must stay in its specially designed container to survive.  Max enjoys company, but loud noises will frighten it. Give Max commands using the keyboard. Some of the words in  its vocabulary include: Hello, Bad, Good, Sit, Jump, Roll Over, Dance, Love, Change Color, Vanish, Grow, Shrink, Glow, Stupid, Bad, Die, and Defrag.

The relationship we feel for inanimate objects has been changed in the age of artificial inelegance.  We feel affectionate for something designed to be life-like, especially when it seems to be aware of our presence. Interactivity in digital mediums is becoming more and more important in our society. This means less actual human interaction, and more human-like interaction with digitally created interfaces. Making that interaction more meaningful allows us to become more emotionally involved with the digital world we live in.


The patch works by reading the volume in the room, which is sent to an object that gives a bang to different loop points in the movie file of the character depending on the volume. Commands are given by using the “match object” which waits for a combination of numbers which are sent by the keyboard. Once a command is typed, the video plane size, position, color and effect is changed to create the illusion of movement.

A DV Camera above the viewer tracks the viewers motion and tells the video to move closer to their position. This makes it seems as though the character is following you as you walks by.

We hope this project shows people how interactivity, and a reliance on the presence of the viewer is what makes digital art so interesting and refreshing.


Bang Setup and Critique Images

December 11, 2009

Video Wall Patch

November 15, 2009

This is a simple patch I created to make a video wall. I wanted a grid of which I could feed videos into live.


In Presentation Mode, the wall looks cleaner. I can have the video wall in the 2nd display of my computer, and keep the read buttons on the first so I can be pulling videos of my computer and loading them into the wall when i want.

Animata Patch

November 15, 2009

A friend of mine discovered an open source program that allows you to animate 2D images as puppets. It was difficult to learn at first, but the benefit is, you can hook it up to Max and control the coordinates of the puppet’s joints. The videos on the site are really advanced and allow people to contorl the movement of the puppets with their entire bodies. You can see the videos below.

I haven’t found the patch that allows interaction on this level, but I have played with the patch available online and made it control a puppet with audio.


This patch only controls one joint at this point and makes the puppet wave back and forth based on your volume.

I plan on learning how to create more refined control of the characters with this program.

Command Patch

November 15, 2009

Here is a patch I created using the listen object, as well as several objects. The user can give commends which the object reads and plays different videos based on what you say. For the final project, my group will hook up .movs of a creature so the creature will react to commands.

It can also be used to play different sounds based on the commands you give it.


Project 2 Patch

November 6, 2009

I posted the patch I showed in class that uses word recognition and reads text in the box dealy on the right. You also have to download two objects here- link , for the patch to work. Dowload the aka,speach object and the aka.listen object.

aka Objects

October 29, 2009

i downloaded two new objects for max: aka.speech and aka.listen. One reads text aloud and the other listens for certain words in your voice that you type into the patch. i connected them to make a patch that almost “speaks” to you. You have to answer a question and depending on what you say you get a different response. The objects are easy to use and have a lot of potential.

You can get those objects and many more aka objects here:

Pipilotti Rist – Open My Glade

October 27, 2009

Nam June Paik

October 27, 2009

Afternoon Delight Karaoke

October 22, 2009

I recently created two interactive videos using MAX/MSP/JITTER for Afternoon Delight Karaoke, an interactive performance hosted by Rebecca Dolan and Adam Trauwein. These are the two patches I used to allow the perfomer to affect the video.

Dated Disco:

Dated Disco is a patch of custom software created in MAX/MSP/JITTER which uses input from a microphone and alters the video depending on amplitude and pitch.

The green areas read amplitude coming from the microphone and speed up the rate of the video with higher volume.

The pink areas read the pitch and raise saturation and contrast with higher pitch.

The orange area lets me manually choose which part of the video to play

Below is a capture of the actual patch.


Rubber Globe:

Rubber Globe is the second patch I created in MAX/MSP/JITTER which also uses input from a microphone and alters the video depending on amplitude and pitch.

The blue areas read amplitude of the audio and stretch the video width.

The yellow areas read pitch and slow the “slide” of the video, making motion blurred.