I/O Brush: The World as the Palette

Sorry to spoil the suspense, but I couldn't resist adding the pictures -- law

The Brush

Most drawing tools/pens we use today allow only a one-way flow of ink, and we are oblivious to how the content of the tool came to exist inside. What if we could not only have control over the outflow of the ink, but also have influence on what goes inside? Indeed, old fountain pens served as both tools to pick up and release the ink, and paintbrushes still preserve that function. We bring back this tradition of a drawing tool as both an input and output device, but instead of picking up the liquid ink, I/O Brush lifts up and captures photons.

In our current prototype, the brush houses a small CCD video camera in its tip with a ring of white LEDs around it. Force sensors are also embedded inside of the brush, measuring the pressure that is getting applied to the bristles. When the brush touches a surface, the lights around the camera briefly turn on to provide supplemental light for the camera. During that time, the system grabs the frames from the camera and stores them in the program.

The Canvas

On the canvas, the brush lets the artist draw with that special ink s/he has just picked up. We currently use a large touch screen with a back projection screen.

Our current development includes the technology that allows artistic creations not only to be appreciated from a fixed point in time, but as an active portrait with the memory of its process of creation. This way, the stories about the evolving creation are part of the creation that could be shared, and hopefully appreciated by its viewers. The brush strokes artists make on the canvas will be linked to the movies that documents where the artist’s had picked up that certain materials so that the portrait can take both artist and audience back through the journey and reveal the stories behind the special palette of colors.

I/O Brush: The World as the Palette


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