Homeostasis - ACM Siggraph 2020

The project “Homeostasis” is a speculative, interactive visual experience. It is a metaphorical representation of human interference with data interpretations. The animated artwork is generated in real time, reflecting cumulative and dramatic changes in sea level for the world’s oceans for over the past 100 years. The viewer can manipulate the data through a unique, interactive vapor cloud that also modulates the generative process, providing a natural flow and rhythm to digital motion. During the interaction, the viewer disrupts the phenomenon that alters the abstraction as an “aftermath” effect.

Emerging technologies are more than ever impacting human interactions, while public perception of automation, artificial intelligence, and human enhancement remains critical. In creative fields innovative ideas are often triggered by intersecting dissimilar phenomena filtered through aesthetic considerations. It can be argued that introducing Ai in artistic practice destroys spontaneity, intuition, and serendipity; consequently, the outcome is deliberate and premeditated. However, art is open to interpretations and through designing of unorthodox digital artifacts, interfaces, and experiences in contrast with main stream processes we can challenge existing beliefs and provoke new ideas to reach a better understanding of how our culture is affected by technology. The project “Homeostasis” is a speculative interactive visual experience. It connects a unique interface design with generative art and meaningful data to communicate an important topic. Shapes, colors, form, and timing is manipulated based on a set of design principles, while the pattern of a vapor cloud from an ultrasonic vaporizer is analyzed and processed in a machine learning model in real time. The variations of the vapor pattern enable infinite possibilities between the natural boundaries and provide exciting data through computer vision which is then driving the spatial and temporal attributes of the animation. The design is a biologically inspired and it attempts to create an illusion of cellular lifeforms in deep waters.

https://blog.siggraph.org/2020/04/homeostasis-and-human-interference.html/

‘Story-Go-Round’: Embracing Ambiguity by Integrating Art and Design - ACM Siggraph 2020

“Story-Go-Round” is a physical development platform for producing augmented digital experiences, designed exclusively as an assignment to tell stories through interactive control and gameplay via circular rotating sets. We propose a miniature mechanical and replaceable “carousel-like” stage linked to a game engine, which controls the rotation using a motor as well as streaming live camera feeds of the stage directly into the game environment.
It is inspired by the historical aspects of replaceable computer media such as game cartridges, and early animation devices such as the zoetrope and animated concertina.  The stage component is open to continuous physical interaction for an evolving set design, like the process used in stop motion animation set building. The assignment asks students to develop a seamless circling narrative by understanding material and spatial choices and their impact as seen through the camera as well as inside the game engine as logically meaningful and visually important components. The narrative can evolve around a defined theme, or simply focus on engaging and innovative play.

https://blog.siggraph.org/2020/07/story-go-round-embracing-ambiguity-by-integrating-art-and-design.html/

Immersive Scholar Creative Residency

A short preview of a real time generative project. The graphics is utilizing Global Average Absolute Sea Level Change between 1880-2014 through machine learning that combines it with real time user input. The viewer uses an app and applies simple gestures on the screen unknowingly of what consequence that will have in the scientific data. The experience is a metaphor describing controversial and politically influenced aspects of climate change denial and rejection of scientific facts.
Completed as part of the Immersive Scholar Creative Residency sponsored by the NCSU Libraries and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

*datahub.io/core/sea-level-rise

Immersive Scholar Talk
Emil Polyak

It was a great honor to present to the public two projects I've had the chance to work on with some amazing colleagues: scientists and artists. 61 thousand people visited in three days the National Museum of American History - Smithsonian Institution to see the festival. Thank you Olga Kleiankina, David Papp, Peter Askim, Rodney Waschka, Nikki Knapp, and Melissa Gaddy.

Optimization for Radiotherapy
Optimization for Radiotherapy
..Our passage to the stars
..Our passage to the stars
..Our passage to the stars

OPTIMIZATION FOR RADIOTHERAPY

This installation was completed in spring of 2018 as a collaboration between Emil Polyak designer and Dávid Papp mathematician who specializes in optimization for radiotherapy in cancer treatment. Students who participated in the project were Sarah Albright, Madison Brown, Ariana Ehuan, Nikki Knapp, Marcus Reefer, Madison Tart, and Stephen Waddell.

The key to treating cancer is to destroy as much of the tumor as possible while preserving the healthy tissue. Cut too little and the tumor grows back. Cut too much and wreak havoc on the patient. Recent biological insights and technological advancements are worked into the mathematical optimization models and algorithms for radiotherapy. Conversely, mathematical analysis can lead to medical improvements! For example, our math research has found that the benefit of radiotherapy can be substantially increased by using a continuously modulated radiation beam whose shape and intensity is changing as it is rotating around the patient (“arc therapy”); and designing multi-day treatments that treat different parts of the tumor on each day of the treatment (“spatiotemporal fractionation”).

This artistic simulation of radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer exposes critical aspects of geometric optimization in radiotherapy. The experience is physical and three dimensional, engaging the public in a unique and memorable interactive, digital “experiment” to communicate complex and multifaceted challenges in mathematical optimization.

The Leading Strand exhibition June 2018, Raleigh, NC.

Jazz and Viz

Real time computed installation for a special event at the North Carolina Museum of Art, May 2018.

Jazz and Viz in NCMA

... Our Passage to the Stars (piano/visual recital)

A piano and visual recital in collaboration with Olga Kleiankina. 3D and 2D animated pieces driven by the acoustic waves sampled and processed in real time during performance. February 2018, Stewart Theatre, Raleigh NC.

Link to an article.

Salonen: Mechanisme
Waschka: Considering Jupiter
Rzewsky: Piece IV
Ligeti: Arc-en-Ciel

MIST DJ

Mist DJ is an interactive installation using optical processing and tracking of a mist-cloud made of micro-particles. The processing includes additional computer generated particle simulations connected to the original mist pattern in real time. The tracking of the mist is done with optical flow and the generated vector field is connected to midi commands that function as a sound mixer, driving clips, instrument samples, and audio effects.

RICHMOND ELECTRIC CARNIVAL

An installation for InLight Richmond 2017, a light-based public art exhibition. The work is a real-time physics simulation integrating an organically moving gear system inspired by the historically famous Richmond Locomotive and Machine Works.

Simulation for Inlight
Richmond Inlight

VISITING PAPER TOWN

By capturing the viewer and reversing the commonly understood principle of looking at the virtual world from the inside, this work allows us to see ourselves from the outside at different time intervals to emphasize the idea of latency between worlds. NC State Brooks Hall, Raleigh NC.

SUPERMOON (projection mapping)

This project was done in collaboration with Todd Berreth and Patrick Fitzgerald for the Shimmer: The Art of Light festival in Carrboro NC.

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WORD WARS

This installation downloads current topics from news articles in real time, then compares the text and searches for correlations. The resulted words are delivered into an interactive experience where the user reveals the words and their connections. Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh NC.

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Projection_CAM_Emil

WAVE IN MOTION (mechatronics)

Mechanical wave segment inspired by multiplied sine waves characteristic to open waters. The interconnected mesh has a loose network, creating a textile that “floats’. The audience can interact using the black rocks. By removing any of them the balance is interrupted and the wave becomes active. The process was based on virtual prototyping of waves and ripples. Affordable Art Fair Singapore.

Wave in Motion
_Wave in Motion_
with Søren Solkær Starbird
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Audience
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Close-up on the wave
Close-up on the rock
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INTERACTIVE AUDIO with PROXIMITY SENSING

This work was commissioned by Isaac Kerlow for his exhbition titled "Sudden Nature" at the Singapore Art Museum in 2014. The project included the design and development of an ultrasonic sensing network and an interactive audio and video projection system controlling  the playback of recorded pieces driven by the location of people in the space.

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VIRTUAL IMPERSONATION USING INTERACTIVE GLOVE PUPPETS

I designed and developed a pair of interactive gloves to mimic the impersonation of a costumed human hand and to tell stories on a virtual 3D stage. The digital puppet inherits the bio-mechanical constraints of the puppeteer's hand and applies them in posing and facial expressions during the performance. The project was accepted to Siggraph in 2012.

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MACHINES THAT CARE

Design for Future (Not for Humans)

Non-realistic fictional concept exploring machines that independently help the remaining endangered living species to survive in the post-human era.

The primary and driving stimulus is the search for an answer on how we (human) experience, observe, take part in, or liberate ourselves from - the needs of other creatures in an environment that we are destroying.
 

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© 2016 by Emil Polyak