Maker Spotlight: Peter A. Jackson

Meet The Multimedia Artist Behind "Tap Tap Smile"

May 30, 2013

Peter won second place in our Make It BIG Challenge with his piece, “Tap Tap Smile.” This New York based multimedia artist made two fantastic entries for the Challenge. Peter’s first submission was a collaboration with his friend, Sha Sha Feng titled “a little bit of music.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMCuR8nUlWk]

The judges were throughly impressed with the innovative use of Play-doh and a toy xylophone in this motion based sound generator. However, the interactive and lighthearted elements of “Tap Tap Smile” won them over.

Tell us about your background and work.

I work at Hunter College and I am also a student in the IMA (Integrated Media Arts) program in the Department of Film & Media. I enjoy tinkering, installation art and have made an interactive map and a life size interactive maze.

maze

What inspired your project?

The inspiration for my project was two fold. First, to create a window display akin to what I saw littleBits do at MOMA, and what I could do with the littleBits to make an interactive piece. Second,  how to make [Tap Tap Smile] easy for kids to make. As I was thinking, the idea popped into my head of the fish tanks I had when I was growing up. I loved tapping on them to try to get the attention of the fish, but it would normally just scare them. So I thought it would be fun to have my project smile when the glass was tapped.

What advice do you have for other people interested in creating with littleBits?

Explore and have fun. Have an idea or concept for the project first and then figure out how you can accomplish it using the littleBits you have.

Any plans for a future littleBits projects?

I would like to first improve Tap Tap Smile, I just need to get my hands on two or three servos. They were not available at the time I did my Project. After that I’ll just experiment with the littleBits to see what else I can do with them, I would like to try and interface the littleBits with MAX/MSP though sound.

To learn more about Peter and view his work, checkout his website. Interested in submitting your own project? Visit our project page.