ArTime v1.0

ArTime focuses on the interaction between old and new technology. It has been a project accomplished in the course Experts in Team at NTNU, in the village called “Art and IT”. ArTime explores the physical vs the digital domain and use new media in its sonic and visual expression. It is made as an submission to the ArTe-competition.
We put all the posts in one so that you easily can see the process of ArTime. We hope it could be useful and inspiring!

The Processing-code can be downloaded here.

First week:
– We are making an artwork for the competition ArTe and want to create this blog so that the progress towards the final product can be documented. We hope that it can be an inspiration for others who want to create something with focus on art, IT and open source.

– We’ve come up with an idea about making an artwork that focuses on the concept of time in a artistic way: ArTime! We want to explore the interplay between old and new technology; physical vs digital domain, focusing on interaction and sound made by open source programs. Who are “we”, you say? We are an interdisciplinary group in the EiT-village “Art and IT”: Nikolai, Zihong, Ivete, Chetana and Jan Olav!

– We’ve bought an old clock from It is beautiful!

– Now, we will transfer it into the artwork we are planning. We want to integrate a screen where the lower glass window is and add speakers to the woodwork so that the box itself is the resonator. We will also include a webcamera. The screen will be the monitor for the interactive part of the artwork, that will be done in the open source program Processing. It will interact with what happens in front of the camera.

Second week

– We are working hard to get the artwork ready. Here is what happen the last days:

– Zihong, Nikolai and Chetana had a recording session last Wednesday. The sounds they captured will be a part of ArTime’s sonic expression. We rebuilt two old speakers and Jan Olav mounted them inside the clock for the box itself like mentioned in the last post.

Working class heroes

– We bought our hardware: A Lenovo mini computer, webcamera, photo frame, keyboard and mouse. We could apply for some money, and used roughly 3000 kr. Great fun!:)

– Ivete has been focusing on the programming in Processing. It is coming along, but we have some difficulties with the webcamera. Hopefully we’ll figure it out. Processing is great, but not very intuitive if you don’t have some experience in Java. Therefore we are making the code informative and engcouraging! Neither of us have been working much in Java, so it is good for the project that we obtain roughly the same experience level as the target group: Teenagers. The script will combine random movement, geometric shapes, pictures, webcamera, sound trigger opportunities, relevant to our artistic target about ‘time’. Here is a still image preview:


– The screen is integrated! Isn’t is nice? It was 1.0 mm to wide, so Jan Olav used a knife to make it perfect. It feels a bit wierd to “hurt” the beautiful old clock, but it is also great to see how it is changing!

Third week
– ArTime is almost ready. We’ve made four buttons/switches on the clock. These buttons are connected to the circuits of keys from a keyboard, so basically instead of pushing down a key on a keyboard, you use the button. The buttons are mapped in Processing using the following code:

void keyReleased() {
if ( key == ‘2’ ) {
// for (int i = 0; i < 1; i++) {
float r = random(3);
int o = int(r);
if ( o == 1) {
else if ( o == 2){

else if ( key == '4' ) {

– q,w and e are different sounds and q.trigger(), w.trigger() and e.trigger() trigger these sounds. The idea is to have several different sounds triggered, but now there are only three. Here are some pictures: (The scotch tape isn't looking very good, we know..)

– Our biggest challenge now is to finish the digital artwork that is supposed to be showed in the screen. We realized that Processing doesn’t like the frame rate from usb-webcameras, so it only gives us noise. Then it is difficult to interact with it. The script we have now shows a clock that you can rotate around in OpenGL, but it should be a bit more than that. Hopefully, we’ll figure something out:)

– We’ve had the presentation of ArTime and will now publish the final work. The webcamera did not work as it should, but we decided to include it in the digital part of the artwork after all. If you download the code, and your computer has an integrated webcamera (not USB), you’ll see how the colours was supposed to act:) Here is a pitcure.

– The four buttons/switches is connected to the computer with usb, and worked well. It is not optimal, however, that the buttons are active (pressed in) all the time and trigger sound only when they are released. But if we were to use keys being pressed to trigger the sounds, the sounds would trigger all the time. We should have bought some switches that let the current flow through only when they are pressed.


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