How not to place a pressure mat! fringe foul-up

The undercroft is a great place to put my interactive sculpture, but I knew I needed to replace my pressure mat as it had seemed quite worn out and unresponsive after my MA show, so I duly ordered a new one and feeling pleased I’d been organised put it in place and was gratified to see it work much more smoothly.

But on Monday night when I was rewiring my sound – it had only been playing in mono, but it hadn’t affected it too much in the echoey space – I noticed the new mat was not functioning properly, in fact I pretty much needed to jump on it to make it trigger the animation

As I wondered what on earth had happened I noticed a small tear in the cover and placing my hand over it discovered a sharp protrusion underneath, I looked under the cover in case a stone had got in, no, then I lifted the pressure mat to find this!wpid-dsc_0075.jpgBlimey…

no wonder the mat was being unresponsive this bit of piling that they would have used to reinforce the concrete had stabbed all the way through the mat and out of the cover as well…sheesh… so much for being organised and ordering a lovely new pressure sensor for the Norwich Fringe!


look what it did!


and out the other side…

What a proverbial pain in the rear end…

It’s so disappointing, but this is why I want to look at more gesture based control, I know that can still go wrong, but the physical mat doesn’t take to being used like this very well.

I ordered yet another mat from maplin which arrived this morning, so was able to install it for todays exhibition, it’s so pleasing when it works.

When I met up with Andy Logie the other day, we talked about the possibility of that type of control using a kinect, Andy seemed to think this was a possibility, but we both agreed that the technical coding side of these things just drove us potty!

The Norwich Fringe Festival

This year I have been invited to take part in the Norwich Fringe Festival and I wanted to explain a little of the background to my live interactive art.

I was inspired to bring an inanimate object to life when I visited the Norwich Castle Museum and saw the Great Bustard display they have there, although they are now being reintroduced on Salisbury Plain, they had been extinct and I felt that the static display could be enhanced in a non-destructive way using the newest technology that I had been experimenting with. All of the printed items are Augmented Reality enabled with the download of the Aurasma app, but to make it truly immersive and non-exclusive I have used a pressure mat to augment the physical reality of the sculpture.

This technology could be used for anything, to find out more information, or to make the object interactive and I would love to see it used in more places.

My research continues as I look at more discrete motion sensors, such as a Leap Motion, or a kinect for a more gesture based experience. My feedback from this installation has always been positive and somewhat satisfying to view the flying animation as you stand on the pressure mat and watch the Great Bustard fly across the wall in front of you.

It reacts, because you interact…




The Norwich Fringe Festival is open from 11-25th of October and I am part of the Undercroft show, free to the public and open from 12-7 most nights (not Monday 13th).
If you want to meet me I will be invigilating on both Thursday Afternoons.

The Booklet below works using Aurasma an AR app to show you all of the background videos, please feel free to download and play with the AR enabled images.

To access the Augmented Reality content of my piece, you will need to download the free Aurasma app on your mobile device, either Android or Apple. Because the software is very sophisticated your device will need to be less than 18 months old to see the 3D cgi content, I have tested an iPad3-working, a Samsung Galaxy S2-working and an ipod4-not working, all other trigger images work on all platforms. Once you have downloaded Aurasma, open the app and then search for my channel – Tracey Tutt – subscribe to my content and then all of the images will come to life with more information.



Artist Statement

I want art to be playful and this piece depends on the viewer taking a closer look at the sculpture and this interaction causes a physical and audio reaction, making the viewer feel part of the whole experience.

I constantly research and experiment to push boundaries and find limits, I want to excite and stimulate the viewer, using my creativity to tell another story over the original, blending technology seamlessly with beauty by weaving different media together.

This installation draws together and implements all of my research and experimentation over the last two years and I am using a huge array of mediums and techniques from traditional plaster sculpting, projection mapping, spatial stereo sound, hand drawn animation using real feathers, coding, and physical interactivity in a truly immersive transmedia experience to ‘virtually’ bring to life a Great Bustard in Norfolk after 180 years since it’s last sighting.

Bustard flies again @norwichfringe

Great Bustards will fly again in Norwich, well my interactive sculpture and feather animation version of a reintroduction of the species back to it’s native Norfolk will.

I’ve been accepted as an exhibiting artist in the Norfolk and Norwich Fringe Festival line-up this year, alongside my fellow recent NUA graduate Andrew Logie we will be part of the undercroft programme.

On every day from 11-25th October

Launch on the Saturday, come and see us!

I’ve been testing everything still works and it’s looking good, I just hope my supplies of extra long wire make it in time…