Rattlin' Bog


Rattlin Bog: Interactive Installation


Project Summary:


Water’s presence and absence can destroy, nourish, pervade, cultivate, soak or retain. In climate change’s proliferating wake we observe the destruction that water can bring when there is more than the ground can handle. But then, too little water causes harm in its own harsh way – without enough to sustain life, the absence of water leaves landscapes to shrivel and burn.


The Rattlin’ Bog interactive installation uses laser etching, conductive surfaces, projection, sound and animation to present an ecosystem affected by the presence and absence of water. The screen-based component contains a community of animals who are forever striving in their limited environment.


Adjacent to this projection is a physical computing device that reflects the tree, bog and animals from the animated scene. The viewer-participant controls the temperament and behavior of the animals by fitting the muskrat, snake and eagle into magnetic conductive cut-outs on the device.


When this triad is in place, it triggers the water in the bog to rise, the vegetation to pop, and the snake and eagle to calm. The squirrel flits between them, gathering nuts as he chitters along the way. Beneath this band lives a muskrat, the everyman, who constantly strives below the tree, swimming to stay afloat when the water rises.


When the water is low, the snake and eagle are more agitated, stressed by their thirst and by not knowing when the water will rise again. The muskrat continues to skuttle on dry ground, unmoved by the drama above.


A button on the device switches the camera angle, focusing on different views of the scene.


Like the Rattlin’ Bog folk song, the animals here are caught in a repetitive chorus, affected by the state of the monotonous ecosystem around them.


Rattlin' Bog is by Victoria Bradbury


Production Team:


Concept Development

Victoria Bradbury
Clara Tracey


3D Modeling and Rigging

Clara Tracey


Game Development

Sarah Hendricks


Sound Design and Composition

David Freund


Web and Social Media

Kayla Hammonds


Physical Computing and Digital Fabrication

Victoria Bradbury


Digital Fabrication Design Assistance

Shiasia Beasley


Rattlin' Bog uses an IF MAGIC microcontroller

Rattlin' Bog is made possible by funds from the Epic MegaGrants program and
UNC Asheville's Department of New Media.