a second performance i did using arduino was DEMOCRACY in 2011. it had a similar setup tech-wise to K.ONTROL, however the whole thing on a completely different scale. it took place in the new zealand parliament and had a cast of a member of parliament, a political scientist, a political journalist, a child, and (as the only ‘real’ actor) someone playing the cartoon figure ‘orange man’ who wants to encourage people to vote in ads before elections.

30 audience members would sit in a semi-circle in the former upper house of parliament and have a controller each with three push buttons. throughout the show they could vote for what they wanted to see on stage in terms of themes and also voice their opinions in polls. we would skip through different topics and performance sections in this manner, followed by an always lively discussion in the end about the political system. you can find more info about DEMOCRACY on its website.

the hardware setup was pretty similar to the one used in K.ONTROL, however all the thirty controllers were connected to one processor that would pre-calculate it and just sent 1, 2 or 3 (corresponding to the button pressed) for each controller into an arduino mega. coding was done in flash as i can remember, because this allowed better visual effects for the projection. basically there was always a question projected on screen, followed by a certain amount of time to vote, and then the results in bar or pie charts.

i am very grateful that i had such an amazingly skilled team for this. hardware was constructed by neill and michael, and coding done by amy and craig.

unfortunately i cannot post more images than these from rehearsals and construction phase for now as i haven’t secured the rights yet with new zealand parliament.

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