Piets's Palette, 2012


"Piet's Palette" uses the Makey-Makey open-source circuitry board to create an interactive arts education tool.  Utilizing an analog palette, each area of the palette is interactively enabled to give the user a tool to experience the vision of iconic artist Piet Mondrian's New York City during the 1930's .

The project makes an original use of a wooden material: a material that does not conduct electricity.  Use circuit tape, we created an essential "controller" to interactively draw colors onto an empty canvas with the potential of creating Mondrian's masterpiece "Broadway Boogie Woogie."  As the user touches the blue paint, audio sounds of rain are heard as Mondrian's blue squares are drawn interactively with an audio of rain.  Subsequently, the user uses his/her left hand on the "controller" to move up or down, left and right to draw.  As the user touches the red swatch, he/she re-creates Mondrian's traffic with interactive sounds of honking Model-T' Fords.

The educational idea that Mondrian's piece represented the loud, fast, complex city of midtown New York, gives the user freedom to ask his/herself what Mondrian was trying to express with abstract shapes.

Each street as a line, each building as a square, and each light as a cube, are all interactively connected with audio - creating a jump from a simple analog input from wood to a digital output for paint.