Cooper Newby | Yash Saraf

"Box of Stars" is a mind-bending, infinite universe confined within the volume of a cube. We want viewers to experience infinity surrounded by the music of the Frost Festival. With 5 infinity mirrors bound together on the faces of a cube, festival attendees can experience three-dimensional space within two-dimensional frames. Move your hands towards the reflective cube, and watch infinity float further away, bend the tunneling universe and alter your reality. Or in the immortal words in the film the Matrix, “There is no spoon." Special Thanks to ME 289, SOCA, and the Stanford Arts Institute!

SOCA Art After Dark 2014

Frost 2014

Maker Faire 2014

What we learned:

On top of all of the inherent mechanical, software, and electrical technical challenges, we learned a lot about designing and tailoring art for interactivity. People love to have a tangible influence on artistic objects. Sonic drop appeased a taboo subject squirting water at electronics to make curious noises. Box of stars aroused a different type of visual, optical illusion curiosity.  People could bend light and the tunneling infinity by pushing on the cube's reflective surfaces. I feel we could have improved the interactions in a few ways starting with a more obvious and intuitive description of "how to trigger and interact with the cubes", but for the most part I think the cubes were a huge success, especially after dark.  

- Faster CPU inside to control the sounds with less latency
- Glowing cube is much prettier at night or indoors

- Effect was much more impressive at night or indoors
- Adding musical interaction to the bending plexiglass

Future Work:

I am currently working on syncing the cube with music and Ableton to create an awesome visual element to supplement dance music in a club environment. Using Midi information, the cube LEDs can create captivating animations following the music that can be infinitely customizable in realtime through my dj software. I like to think of it as an updated, fresh take on the traditional disco ball.

Process Photos: