Random Access


Random Access was part of the annual Architectural League of NY's Beaux Arts Ball in 2010.

Random Access is an interactive video piece created using a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and an Arduino microcontroller. Both the NES and the Arduino are running custom software and hardware designed and created by myself. Also in use is a NESSheild prototype by Batsly Adams.

This work creates real-time random collages of tiles stored in memory. True random number generation is a complex task, especially for an 8-bit machine. Random Access uses the audience to seed the randomly generated patterns of tiles, their colors, and the speed of the refresh rate.

Random Access senses natural human capacitance, or the ability of the body to hold an electrical charge, through an Arduino interface via the controller port in the NES. When it senses people's proximity (from about a foot away) or even direct touch, it speeds up and creates new, randomized patterns. These patterns continue to evolve and are altered each time someone steps near.

The most casual observer, even unaware of how the piece functions, helps to create new patterns that will emerge once, never to be seen again.

Random Access at BAB, 2010:

Photo by Tim Soter