[ISEA2020] Paper: Martin Fröhlich, Maximilian Kriegleder, Serena Cangiano, Joel Gähwiler, Roman Jurt & Christian Iseli — Blimpy: an artistic framework for creating a spatial augmented reality experience with helium blimps

Abstract (short paper)

Keywords: SAR, helium balloons, 3D audiovisual mapping, drone, blimp, artistic research, autonomous agents, iot kit

Drone technology combined with spatial augmented reality software provides novel opportunities in the creation of immersive audiovisual performances and installations. The Blimpy project leverages these opportunities by developing a spatial augmented reality experience built around helium devices, which are ideally suited for this application, to explore future research questions on the formal aesthetics and interaction between autonomous agents, people and physical spaces. This paper introduces the framework, which has evolved from the Blimpy project and provides encapsulated components dealing with the technical challenges arising in the creation of such experiences. The framework is designed to be transparent to artists and people whose sole interest lies in the creation of audiovisual performances and has been implemented at the Immersive Arts Space of the Zurich University of the Arts for verification and experimentation. The design of an interdisciplinary workshop employing the framework and Immersive Arts space will further leverage the interaction between researchers and students.

  • Martin Fröhlich studied Mechanical engineering and Media art at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. His work oscillates between arts and technology, and ranges from computer animations to interactive art spaces, from experimental digital music interfaces to video mapping software, to spatial augmented reality toolsets. His recent works include the “Mossprinter” (2011), a mechatronic device that prints moss onto house walls; “MeshWarpServer” (2012), a versatile and open source video mapping software frequently used by video artists around the world; the “IMPOD” (2013), short for Impersonating Overhead Display, a helmet with a rotating strip of LEDs that creates a cylindrical screen around the wearers head; or the kinetic work “Between Time and Space” (2015), a mechanical device using rubber bands to create the illusion of a rotating cube. He conceptualizes his artworks or inventions as tools to alter the audience mode of perception and reflection. Currently he has the operative lead for the Immersive Arts Space at the University of Arts in Zürich.
  • Maximilian Kriegleder, Serena Cangiano, Joel Gähwiler, Roman Jurt & Christian Iseli, Zurich University of the Arts, SUPSI Lugano, Zürich, Switzerland.