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Busy Bees


Busy Bees is an interactive installation. The interaction is situated in a larger context than just the space of the installation; it is taking place in the community of people using the university wireless network. Busy Bees listens in, or monitors, the interactions taking place on the wireless network and respond directly to this stimulus. The more information that is being exchanged the more active the bees become.

I created this piece using small motors that are connected to the I/O pins of the arduino. I used processing to program the arduino (more info). The processing program essentially monitors the WIFI network and gives a number according to how much information is being exchanged. This number is then used to activate the motors (the more people online the more motors that are active)---
Download Program

I envision this piece growing much larger. I think that it would be interesting to fill an entire room with these bees. I think the drama would add a nice touch to the piece- I have also thought of different ways to activate the bees- perhaps instead of amount of people online-- it could be various tasks that are being done or sites that are visited.

This piece was my first exploration in networking my artworks. I found the language used in networking to be a little different, however approachable. I used "Making Things Talk" by Tom Igoe as a reference in creating my arduino/network interaction-

I am wondering the importance of having people understand the interaction-- I'm not really interested in have a didactic to explain that this work is reflecting internet usage, however feel that it is not something that could be intuitively understood. I am interested in perhaps creating another layer of interaction that can engage people in the immediate space - and perhaps clue them into what they are experiencing---
(any suggestions?)