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Crank Zappa

Interaction & Activation Design, Programming, Installation
amigo & amigo

Crank Zappa was created by amigo & amigo for Vivid Chatswood 2018. The giant jellyfish stands around 5m tall and invites audience members, especially children to gather beneath it amongst its interactive tentacles. Crank spends most of his time talking about his experiences in polluted oceans, whilst zapping with light anyone who touches his tentacles. A touch sensitive panel on his centre tentacle, when touched, brings this to a sudden halt as he flippantly criticises humanity’s disrespect for the world’s oceans whilst zapping every tentacle simultaneously.

My role on Crank was to design and produce a control system capable of bringing the piece to life. This included a custom controller network, powerful internal audio system, 24 touch sensors, and a lighting network consisting of 90m of digital RGB LED strip light along with 8 DMX universes filled by the 2 different sets of fixtures used in the tentacles. This extended into programming the entire show for the piece, including a collection of different reactive animations for the tentacles, and special sculpture-wide animations triggered by the centre touch sensor which synchronised with unique custom sound bites.