[ISEA2016] Artist Talk: Byeongwon Ha — Endless Ripples: A Growing Interactive Donation Device

Artist Statement

I quit architecture. I also quit filmmaking. I quit video art, too. However, these indeterminate wanderings expanded my artistic field into intermedia, or art with no boundaries. Finally, I make intermedia with interactive technologies. I am creating interactive pieces to help visitors escape from a gallery or museum where they are captured. To achieve this goal, I explore to connect visitors’ isolated experiences in my project with their community. With simple cybernetic technologies, my project merges inside gallery with outside gallery. This ecological approach is a recurrent cliché in avant-garde art; however, it is still an unrealized dream for our society and us.

Project Description
Participatory art mainly deals with a social relationship. [1] Interactive art mostly focuses on emerging technology. For this reason, participatory art and interactive art have a concrete boundary as if each has a different genealogy, but that is not the case; both fields share the same origins. Endless Ripples explores a way to bridge the significant gap between them. To give viewers exciting experiences and an opportunity to contribute to society, interactive art Endless Ripples was created with the Max MSP Jitter and DMX technologies.[2]

Endless Ripples is a growing participatory pond. It consists of a huge amount of 7000k white LEDs under the tiled painting canvases and a disposable cup with some water in the middle of the pond, while advertisement sounds from Youtube and ambient noises from the EarthCam website Internet play in the background. When visitors come in the dark space, LEDs under the cup emit dim lights to attract them to throw their coin into the cup. If they are successful, ambient noises disappear. Instead, they can see bright ripples through the canvases. The coins will be donated to the nearest public facilities from the exhibition. The coins outside the cup that they failed to put in will be used for growing and duplicating the project to provide more opportunities for audiences to take part in. Both outcomes will lead them to contribute to local areas.
Endless Ripples can be installed anywhere from a museum and a gallery to an arcade and outside of a building. It can be circulated or be permanently installed as it gradually grows. Endless Ripples explores how to coexist between art and life. The more Endless Ripples, the better the communities.


  1. Claire Bishop. “Introduction,” in Participation. Ed. Claire Bishop, (Whitechapel: MA, 2006), 10.
  2. David Butler, “IMP.DMX”, The Impersonal Stereo website. Max object, accessed April 1, 2016, http://www.theimpersonalstereo.com/impdmx/
  • Byeongwon Ha, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. Byeongwon Ha studied in the Film, Television and Multimedia program at SungKyunKwan University, Seoul, South Korea. After receiving his BFA, he created interactive media, experimental films, and video art in the graduate study of Media Art at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. He earned an MFA degree in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, and won the thesis project award. Now he is writing a dissertation about Nam June Paik’s interactive art in the Media, Art & Text Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA., USA. He participated in Art.CHI II workshop in CHI2016 in San Jose, California. He presented several papers about interactive art at the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA2014, UAE, ISEA2015, Vancouver and ISEA2016 in Hong Kong). He also exhibited an interactive piece in SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 in Singapore.