BliK, an interactive installation.

A LEMUR installation commissioned by Networked_Music_Review,
with generous funding from the New York State Music Fund

What is "BliK?"

"BliK" is an interactive installation, made by Roberto J. Osorio-Goenaga,using LEMUR's ModBots.

As described in a LEMUR paper, "ModBots are miniature, modular instruments designed to affix to virtually any structure, thereby allow the composer musical control of anything from a battery of specially designed instruments to structural surfaces within preexisting architectural space. With an emphasis on simplicity, each ModBot design usually consists of only one electromechanical actuator (a rotary motor or linear solenoid) which responds to varying degrees of supply voltage regulated by a microcontroller. This single-actuator design philosophy demands that all mechanical movement within the instrument be subordinated to the physical capabilities of the lone motor or solenoid employed. While this may sound like a limitation, such use of mechanical design (as opposed to more “intelligent” electronic design) brings a reliability, mechanical consistency and modularity that would otherwise not be possible."

Employing the social framework characteristic of the so-called "Web 2.0" mindset, it has become increasingly important to produce artistic work that extends the collaborative creation process to the spectator/user. Interactive art relies on such principles for its effectiveness, and work created for the web, an interactive medium by design, can be further enhanced by their employment.

"BliK" capitalizes on the 21st-century phenomenon of the web log to create interaction between a spectator/user and a physical installation, in this case the LEMURbots.

At present, "BliK" is only available at the LEMURplex for users to try. Listen to the bot samples on the Sounds page to envision what a specific piece might sound like.

How do I use "BliK?"

The central command for "BliK" is a blog located on the server. This interfaces, via the web, with Cycling 74's Max/MSP software, an interaction environment commonly used for electronic installations. The Max/MSP program, or 'patch' as it is commonly known, parses the blog's latest post via an RSS feed through a JavaScript parser written by the author, along with an external Max object created by Ali Momeni of the University of Minessotta.

The parser searches for the number of instances of each bot's name and, based on this, creates a pattern algorithmically, which the robots replicate via MIDI.

Where are the LEMURbots located?

LEMUR's headquarters is known as the LEMURplex, and is located in Brooklyn, New York, at 461 3rd Avenue between 9th and 10th streets. Please log on to for more information about visiting and about the work being done there. While you are there, ask to try out "BliK" in person!

What do the ModBots sound like?

Users are encouraged to go to the sounds page to download and experiment with samples of the sounds made by the ModBots. Listen to each of the bots included by clicking on each mp3. Don't forget to stop by the LEMURplex to try out "BliK" first-hand next time you are in the New York City area!

Enough chatter. Take me to the blog!

Not so fast! First you have to know the name of each bot, so you can start blogging away. Learn the keywords below. Be sure to check out earlier blog posts for guidance. Please email to receive an invitation to post on the blog. You can log in to Blogger here.

The patch also responds to tempo keywords:

Okay, happy blogging! Find the blog here. See below for some pictures and video from the November 30th, 2007 debut of "Blik"!

"BliK" is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., for Networked_Music_Review. It was made possible with funding from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney general at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

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