Photograph by Steve Rainwater

On October 15th and 16th, Dallas Makerspace took part in TEDxSMU, an independently organized TED event sponsored by Southern Methodist University. A call was put out by the staff organizing the event to local artists in order to bring them in for an art installation piece that portrayed a specific theme; finite resources. Dallas Makerspace presented their idea and won a commission to present their piece at the event.

This project was the creative collaboration of many of the members of the Dallas Makerspace and was successfully launched at Friday’s TEDxKids@SMU and again on Saturday’s adult TEDxSMU presentation.

The Dallas Makerspace explored the idea of finite resources by creating two super sized canvases, complete with over sized brushes and paint buckets that worked in conjunction with software they’d designed that would limited the amount of paint available between the two sets. As one color would begin to run out it would take the paint from its sister canvas. The idea was to see the reactions of people when they began to realize their resources were running out. How would they react? Would they realize what was happening? And what course of action would they take to handle the problem?


Photograph by Steve Rainwater

The software designed to make this project possible was released as free software under the GPLv3 License and worked hand in hand with LEDs and a Wii remote in order to track the movements of the brushes and monitor the levels of paint.

Without the efforts of many people this project would not have been possible. A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who participated in making this commission a success. A subsequent post will be made concerning the specifics involved in this project, such as the technical specs of the brushes, the mechanics behind the paint buckets and a break down of the software incorporated and how it was molded to fit the needs outlined in the commission.

For more pictures of the event and those involved visit the Dallas Makerspace flickr group.


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