The work Lady Bugs is the fourth version of the author’s
project, Breaking AndyWall, which explores how factors often
considered negative, such as errors, mistakes, or uncertainty, may
actually support creative, playful, and inspiring ways of inquiry and
design in the fields of computing and the broader STEM fields. This
interface is set up on a dining table and features a large vertical
monitor, customized audio-visual synthesizers, and three different
user interfaces (a cranking handle, piano, and microphone).
These not only individually produce certain synth sounds but also
interfere with and modulate the sound qualities of the other interfaces,
such as pitch modulation, harmonics, and effects. Through
this computer-supported cooperative interface, users can explore
not-fully-determinate but unique sounds collaboratively.
In addition, this system analyzes the volume and frequency of this sound and translates it into diverse audio-visual responses. These include randomly selected radio signals, the brightness of bulbs and disco balls, as well as the intensity of glitches in images of ladies on the screen. These images are digitally painted in the style of Warhol’s pop art, with doodlings from Solanas’ text in her manifesto. By interacting with this nonlinear style (situated, error-engaged, interdependent) of computing system, users can experience a not-fully-transparent, and therefore need-to-improvise- together, way of interaction with other human and the system.