Spider Haus Movies is an interactive algorithmic video work, allowing a spider to control a film about spiders.

When the living spider is still and not moving on the web (which is what they mostly do) the projector plays a film about spiders. The film is a view through the magnifying lens, with video footage of spiders in my garden, mixed and cut with videos of spiders watching over their young, spiders capturing and eating prey and architecting webs.

Some films were selected from footage I located on Vimeo from other filmmakers who are also interested in the stunning beauty of spiders.

Spider Haus Movies at the Hypothesis Exhibition curated by Amandda Tirey. Cultural Arts Center Columbus, November 2018. Photographer Holey Levers is captured with her camera by Ken Rinaldo.

 

There is a web camera monitoring the spider’s movements and when the spider moves, the camera interfaced to a computer, focuses on the living spider and projects that to the wall of the installation. Instead of the film about spiders, the new focus becomes the living spider, moving, eating and capturing.

In this living installation, the spider and code monitoring the camera for movement, also allows the spider to activate a miniature door, to feed itself with flies that are housed in round clear globe.

In this work, I wanted to amplify the spider walking on the web as I wanted to make that delicate communications medium apparent to the viewers. In researching how spiders communicate through web vibration to other spiders in both mating and capture of their prey I was stunned as well as seeing footage of spider communicating with signs or signals.

Spider Haus Movies at CAC Columbus Ohio. Hypothesis exhibition curated by Amandda Tirey 2018

 

“Numerous animals use vibrations propagating through a substrate to communicate with conspecifics, predators or prey. This mode of communication has reached extraordinary heights in insects and spiders, where it is both highly sophisticated and remarkably diverse in function.” 1

Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo 2015
Still from Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo 2015

 

While many animals use vibration, spiders are considered the arthropod masters of using vibration to communicate. Most species have sensitive mechanoreceptors in their cuticles-called slit sense organs, in which miniature grooves are able to deform in response to mechanical stimuli, such as strains imposed by the movement and vibrations of captured insects as well as potential mates.

Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo 2015
Still from Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo

 

By walking and moving on the web in this new work of art/science, the spider is able to control feeding time as well.

By walking and moving on the web in this new work of art/science, the spider is able to control feeding time as well. When the spider moves, mini doors (image below) are opened with a servo motor under the platform and release flies into the cubic chamber for lunch/dinner/breakfast.
When the spider moves, mini doors (image below) is opened with a servo motor under the platform and release flies into the cubic chamber for lunch/dinner/breakfast.

 

This creates a feedback loop of action, response, and behavior for the spider’s world, though also affects algorithmic film making/editing for human pleasure and viewing.

Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo 2015
Still from Spider Haus Movies by Ken Rinaldo

 

The film becomes and mash-up cultural constructions of “spider” from the point of view of numerous film makers and a living system sculpture.

It allows us to realize that the film about spiders and even the “real spider” are constructions, of our current understanding of these ancient creatures and we have much to learn from the 200 million years, they have been evolving on this earth.

Hypothesis, CAC, Columbus Ohio, Invited and curated by Amandda Tirey, Oct 2018

BIOPRESENCE Hopkins Exhibition Hall Gallery The Ohio State University Columbus Ohio, Dec 2015

CREDITS

Concept, Design, 3D modeling, fabrication: Ken Rinaldo
Construction: Ken Rinaldo
Laser cutting: Alex Smith
Hardware/Electronics: Ken Rinaldo
Software: Trademark Gunderson MAX MSP and Jitter / Maxuino

Special Thanks to George Keeney of the Ohio State Insectary

HARDWARE/SOFTWARE/TECHNIQUE

Mac Mini, nano projector, aluminum base, webcam and camera tripods running MAX MSP and Jitter with Arduino and servo motor.

Lessons on building and programming interactive robots.

BIO Requirements

Common house spider, Common house fly, (Most universities have access to these in their insect research areas.)

SHOW DIMENSIONS

This work can be displayed in a slightly darkened room with a screen or white wall for projection.

KEYWORDS

3D modeling, database, algorithmic video, projection mapping, max msp jitter, spider, spider haus movies