Digital art – turning wishes into butterflies

One of my most recent interests is digital art. Since I’ve been using an iPad to create animations and also now I’ve started to play around with text animation (or kinetic typography) in After Effects I’ve become keen to learn about the use of digital art and wondering what the scope is for the future for connecting computer art with other elements such as words or emotions.

I used to be terrified of AfterEffects

I used to be terrified of After Effects

Today, I came across this interesting news article. This article is about an exhibition taking place at the Barbican in London called Digital Revolution. One of the exhibits, called The Wishing Wall, allows members of the public to turn their wishes into butterflies. Speaking your wish into a microphone turns the wish into script on the wall which replicates your wish. This text then turns into a cocoon, which is transformed into a digital butterfly, the colour of which depends on the type of wish. You may hold the butterfly in your hand and release it. I have no idea exactly how this works but it looks truly amazing. A device called the ‘connect motion sensor’ is used to detect where the hand is relative to the virtual butterfly. This clever device is what allows the art to interact with the viewer.

If wishes were butterflies...

If wishes were butterflies…

Another technology that I find interesting is the ability to turn people’s emotions into art using what are called ‘smart bracelets’ which claim to detect how people feel about what they see. This apparently works because the bracelete is able to measure emotions electronically. The bracelets glow in different colours depending on the wearer’s level of arousal. They run an electric current across the skin to measure resistance, e.g we sweat when we are excited. Data from the bracelets can be used to create laser art which illustrates collective emotions in real time. Bracelets such as these can also be used to detect other collective changes such as movement to create art. The use of emotional data  or ’emotional tech’ has many applications I’m sure. It’s an idea that has legs.

Bracelets that tell you how you are feeling

Bracelets that tell you how you are feeling


Click 05/07/2014, BBC iPlayer. Available from: [last accessed 11/07/2014]

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