Spider Haus Movies is an algorithmic video work, allowing a common house spider to control a film about spiders. When the living spider is still and not moving in the web (which is what they mostly do) the projector plays a film about spiders. The film is a view through the magnified 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. These films were selected from footage I located on Vimeo from other film makers also interested in the stunning beauty of spiders.
There is also a web camera always monitoring the spider and when the spider moves, the camera interfaced to a computer, focuses onto the living spider and projects that to the wall instead of the film and the living spider, is cut into and becomes the focus of the film, which is now about live spiders moving/eating/capturing. In this living installation the house spider (haearanea tepidariorum) code monitoring the camera for movement also allows the spider to activate a miniature door, to feed itself with flies that are housed in a 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.
“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
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.
By walking and moving on the web in this new work of art/science, the spider is able to control feeding time as well.
This creates a feedback loop of action, response and behavior for the spiders world, though also affects algorithmic film making / editing for human pleasure and viewing.
The film becomes and mashup 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.
BIOPRESENCE Hopkins Exhibition Hall Gallery The Ohio State University Columbus Ohio, Dec 2015
Premiere of new work algorithmic spider work
Design and 3D modeling: Ken Rinaldo
Construction: Ken Rinaldo
Laser cutting: Alex Smith
Hardware/Electronics: Ken Rinaldo
Software: Trademark Gunderson MAX MSP and Jitter / Maxuino
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.
Common house spider, Common house fly, (Most universities have access to these in their insect research areas.)
This work can be displayed in a slightly darkened room with a screen or white wall for projection.
3D modeling, database, algorithmic video, projection mapping, max msp jitter, spider, spider haus movies