Playing with fire

Motion-activated sound sculpture trembles as people approach


People influence nature with their mere presence.

A structure that resembles nature and reacts to human presence.

Other Details

Learning arduino hardware and programming,laser cutting and 3d printing

December 2013 for The Lab Gallery in San Francisco


It's a reflexion on how we interact with our surroundings. We influence nature just by existing. My intention is to highlight that fact.

The shape is inspired in different natural elements that give remembrance to concepts of movement, presence and non-presence like wind and fire or wind and leaves.

Image of structure

Image of detail of leaf fire shape

The mechanism consists of an arduino, a PIR motion sensor, an mp3 arduino shield, a mini audio amplifier and a servo motor. The PIR motion sensor reads infrared bodies and sends this information to the arduino. I programmed the arduino to start playing the track001 and move the servo motor every time the PIR senses something alive moving.

Image of mechanism

In this video you can see how the mechanism works.

Inside the wooden sphere there is a 3d printed plastic sphere that holds the weight to balance the structure and the electronic mechanism that makes it work. Image of mechanism

Watch it work.


Arduino code screenshot and Illustrator paths for laser-cutting

Image of arduino code

Image of illustrator path