Sam Blanchard, Kirk Cameron: SeeMore

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Creation Year:



Artist Statement:

    SeeMore is the collaborative brainchild of Sam Blanchard, an artist, and Kirk Cameron, a computer scientist, both driven to educate viewers as to the importance of parallel computational thinking. Inspired by the wildly successful Raspberry Pi (RPi)—a small, fully functional computer designed at the extremely low cost of 35 USD, RPis are cheap enough for a young person to reasonably obtain and, more importantly, to tinker with. A single RPi might be very useful to an individual—the world runs on parallel systems without which Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon could not provide their services; local and global weather forecasting would be less accurate; air travel would be less reliable; and essential medicines might go undiscovered. While less understood and appreciated by the general public, parallel computational thinking is essential to our everyday lives. The resulting work showcases the elegance and significance of parallel computation to viewers while simultaneously educating and inspiring parallel computational thinking. The 256-node RPi cylindrical structure is inspired both by early parallel Cray computer designs and by the fluid dynamic simulations these powerful computers are regularly tasked with calculating. While an expert may appreciate the subtle beauty of parallel computation, the act of dividing tasks, distributing and communicating data is hidden from the naked eye. This project translates data movement through a living sculpture that physically represents computation as it propagates and evolves across the surface of the form.

Technical Information:

    SeeMore is a kinetic sculpture that showcases the inherent beauty of parallel algorithms through the correlating movements of an animatronic 256-node Raspberry Pi computer cluster.

Other Information:

    Special thanks to Robert Redfern, Sergio Bernales, Bo Li, Michelle Will, Hung-Ching Chang, Kelsey Farenholtz, Brandon Deaguero, Timmy Meyer, John Mooring, Ali Butt, Tamar Petersen (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) for their assistance with this project.