“We are turning Seed Space into a sentient space that reacts to exploration with skitters and flutters of nearly invisible but audibly reactive objects.”
Robbie Lynn Hunsinger brought in two brilliant local makers to help create Skitter Flutter. She met Patrick Becker and Steve Ghertner through her longtime membership in the Middle Tennessee Robotic Arts Society, a wonderful free resource in Nashville for those interested in pursuing robotics, technology and programming. An Arduino micro-controller activates robotic motors, turning them on and off and changing their rotation and vibrational speed in real-time response to input from sensors hidden in the gallery. Moving closer to a pipe might silence a sound, while walking across the room might trigger the deep fluttering crescendo in the far corner. Large black loops of pipe could be ducked into, creating a unique surround sound experience for those tall enough to reach.
Skitter Flutter was heavily influenced by Hunsinger’s years of pre-dawn bird rescue in the Chicago area as Founder of The Chicago Bird Collision Monitors program, a very successful conservation effort in which volunteers save injured and stunned migratory birds that have struck buildings.
She became fascinated with the idea of creating an invisible array of reactive robotic sounds that would mimic small mammals, insects and birds . Sounds pull the viewer in but dissipate upon investigation, much as crickets grow quiet as we approach.
Skitter Flutter is her first robotic sound sculpture and an iteration in her Arduino sound series. Her first robotic composition was the “Duet for Arduino Drummer” premiered at her solo recital at Nashville’s Soundcrawl 2012.