Rain Field is an interactive sound, smell, and light installation which generates weather systems in relation to the movement of observers; each individual raindrop plays on one of the 117 speakers located within a 12 square foot area. Through a motion tracking system, the piece generates weather conditions based on live audience movement, determining wind velocity, direction, and precipitation levels. The piece explores sound as a visual, structural medium by evoking visual-memory response to sonic stimuli. 

Technology

Rain Field consist of two 12’x12’ squares; one providing light from the ceiling, and the other, a platform which is walked on by the audience. 117 speakers are embedded in the platform, each playing the sound of an individual raindrop. A custom sound system was electronically developed, independently controlling each of the 117 channels of sound, which in turn was controlled by a central computer. Custom software and hardware on the computer allowed the interpretation of sensor data (pressure switches, proximity sensors, and an IR camera). The software used the sensor data, generated by user movement, to create a weather system (prevailing winds, air humidity, precipitation levels, and cloud cover). The weather system is then displayed to the user through the sound system (rain drops responding to precipitation levels and cloud locations), four independently controlled overhead LED lights (responding to cloud coverage and location), humidifiers, and four independently controlled blower fans (changing in relation to wind speed and direction). On the outside of the gallery, a screen displayed a plan view of the gallery with graphics depicting the live interior weather system.