Blog Selected

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam – Touch and Tweet! Exhibition

Currently showing at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam are three installations from the first five years of Hellicar&Lewis: The Hello Cube, Feedback and Somantics.

Documentary directed by Steven Elbers. In collaboration with Diederick Huijbers, Todd Vanderlin, Marek Bereza and Dr. Wendy Keay-Bright.

Thanks to the openFrameworks community and What Design Can Do festival.

Prints of our posters will be available soon.

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We collaborated with Intel as they launched 3rd Generation Intel Core processor to create Triptych. Powered by the latest generation of Ultrabooks and Inspired by Intel, the launch event used immersive installations to bring Intel’s new processors to life.

We teamed up with Blink Art and Protein to produce the installation and launch event in the Vinyl Factory in Soho, London.

Triptych consists of three fully immersive interactions with particle simulation and real time physics, focused key elements of Intel’s new processors: design, power and performance and security. The installation saw people interact with Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensors, hooked up to Intel-powered laptops, creating visuals projected onto giant screens that reacted differently depending on a visitor’s movements.

For example “Security”, representing virus and malware protection, saw a school of piranha-like quadrilaterals dive into the on screen silhouette of who ever was interacting in real time.

We worked with several members of the openFrameworks community and wider development community to make the project happen:

Source code available on GitHub.

Intel Triptych at The Vinyl Factory, London.

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The Hello Cube

The Hello Cube was installed on the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall bridge from Friday March 23rd to Sunday March 25th, 2012, as part of Tate Collectives Infinite Kusama. This was part of Tate’s Yayoi Kusama exhibition programme and innovative new approach to digital interaction for the UK’s largest public art institution.

The Hello Cube is a digital installation that combines interactive software with a physical object in order to create a unique digital experience that integrates online, social media and physical interaction.

The world’s first “Twitterable Object,” visitors could interact directly with physical installation in the Tate’s Turbine Hall and beyond this, anyone could interact remotely anywhere in the world via Twitter.

We worked with several members of the openFrameworks community and wider development community to make the project happen:

Source code available on GitHub.

By tweeting @thehellocube with a series of commands based on Yayoi Kusama’s practice a visitor can generate their own unique work. The Hello Cube responds to a series of scenes, colors, and actions, based on workshops run as part of the development process with young people and galleries across London. The Hello Cube development process was based on young people’s response Yayoi Kusama and Hellicar & Lewis’s own artistic practice.

Tate Audiences & Media team and Tate Collectives teamed up with The Louis Vuitton Young Arts programme and REcreative website with the ambition of finding new ways to engage young people with Kusama’s work and philosophy.

The Hello interaction series began with the earlier openFrameworks development on The Hello Wall

Hello Cube, Tate Modern Turbine Hall.


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Dewar’s Hub, TED 2012

For TED 2012 at Long Beach, California, Hellicar & Lewis were commissioned to create The Dewar’s Hub. Dewars partnered with TED to sponsor its annual technology conference TED and this year debuted its interactive ‘Dewar’s Hub’.

Hellicar and Lewis collaborated with Nexus Interactive Arts to create an interactive digital installation that linked social media comment and real world TED event conversation, creating a ‘conscious graphic’.

TED attendees and offsite Twitter users could interact with The Hub by tweeting @dewarshub. The installation immediately and continuously updated as the technology conference unfolded, creating a visualisation of the social interactions at TED 2012.

The installation displayed @dewarshub tweets in the midst of a real time visualisation of all the Twitter activity at TED – drawing connections between keywords and tweets in real time. The hub also used Microsoft Kinect to allow real world users to physically change the visualisation.

The Dewar’s Hub was created using Open Frameworks to deliver a real time experience bridging the real world and Twitter.

We worked with several members of the openFrameworks community and wider development community to make the project happen:

Source code available on GitHub.

The Dewar’s Hub, TED 2012.

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Somantics & ReacTickles Magic

The Somantics project is a suite of applications that use touch, gesture and camera input to encourage, capture and amplify the interests of young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and other related communication difficulties. The overarching goal of Somantics is promote greater self-awareness, confidence and independence.

Interaction with Somantics is repetitious, flowing and highly expresssive. The applications are non-competitive; users discover their own purpose. Somantics functions as a tool for researchers, teachers, parents and practitioners; it is available for use across educational, community and clinical settings.

Somantics is available for the iPad and iPad2. Mac, PC and Linux versions are currently in development. Desktop and laptop machines require a Microsoft Kinect or compatible device to function.

Somantics was a winner of the Making Waves competition sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Technology Strategy Board, managed by JISC Techdis.

Somantics is co-produced by Dr. Wendy Keay-Bright (UWIC), Joel Gethin Lewis and Pete Hellicar of Hellicar & Lewis, and Interaction DesignerMarek Bereza.

The research and design team also involved working with the designer and researcher Joshua Noble, cognitive psychologist Darren Walker and Head of Creative Curriculum at Ashgrove School in Penarth, Ben Milne.

You can download Somantics for free from the Apple iPad Store.

You can find the source code for Somantics on the Hellicar&Lewis GitHub site.

Tunnel, Somantics



ReacTickles Magic is a suite of applications that use touch, gesture and audio input to encourage interactive communication. The overarching goal of ReacTickles Magic is to allow users to playfully explore the magical possibilities of the system without prior knowledge or skill with technology. The variety of input modes reward any action with a dynamic array of animated shapes and patterns.

Trail, ReacTickles Magic

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Coke 24hr Music

On March 22nd, 2011, Hellicar&Lewis teamed up with Nexus Productions, Wieden+Kennedy, Frukt, Lexus PR, Coca-Cola and Maroon 5 to put on a live 24 hour music event.

As well as directing the visual identity of the event, and the narrative flow over the 24 hours, we used openFrameworks to create and deliver an interactive experience for the band in the studio that allowed them to interact with fans Tweets in real time. The event was simultaneously broadcast to the world via the web thanks to Streaming Tank and Akamai. Tomas Leach directed the camera team.

We worked with several members of the OpenFrameworks community to make the project happen:

Coca-Cola’s archive of the event is here.

An interview with Pete and Joel about the project:

A behind the scenes look the gestural projection mapping technology we used:

Our blog post about the project.

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Turner Prize Twitter Wall

We were commissioned by the Tate Britain and APFEL to create a Twitter wall that would allow the public and gallery visitors to comment on the work within the Turner Prize Nominee Exhibition. We searched Twitter in real time to create a stream of public commentary, with another stream to allow curators to promote specific comments and editorialise the Twitterverse’s commentary.

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Divide By Zero

Divide By Zero is an interactive dance performance made in collaboration with with Nina Umniakov, first performed at the Laban School by Catarina Carvalho.

Divide by Zero is completely real-time – all imagery is generated on the fly by custom software using computer vision to capture the body silhouette and movement of a dancer.

Full source code is available at Github.

Rehearsal Video for Divide By Zero.

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White Heat

A table based interactive installation for the Kaleid Editions Gallery. Supported by Creative Technology London.

Full source is available on our GitHub page.

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Feedback – case study from onedotzero on Vimeo.

Feedback was commissioned by the Roundhouse and onedotzero, as part of Roundhouse CircusFest 2010. It has since been exhibited at the Banff Art Centre in Canada, in St. Petersberg as part of the Yota show and finally as part of the London opening of onedotzero 2010.

Inspired by the Hall of Mirrors often found at Circus and fairgrounds, Feedback takes your digital reflection and distorts it kinetically and in time.

Made in collaboration with Todd Vanderlin.

Full source code is available on our GitHub page.

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Night Lights

Software: YesYesNo
Show Direction and Production: Inside Out Productions
Production: Simon Velvin @ The Church
Projection: The Electric Canvas

Hellicar & Lewis produced, interaction designed and art directed a large scale interactive installation for the rebrand of NZ Telecom at the Ferry Building, Auckland, New Zealand.

Using software created in openFrameworks by YesYesNo, we collaborated to create a series of installations that worked with peoples bodies, hands or even mobile phones.

Taking place over five days, the source code (designed for openFrameworks 0.06) is available here.