Red Paper Heart is a collective of four inspiring and talented professionals set on creating experiences that help us value the most mundane activities by using them as a point of interaction. With projection art in mind, these four work to create installments that enrich the mind, body and soul. Whether it’s through stationary bike tournaments, lightshows propelled by smiles, or the heady sensation of jumping on a giant, cuddly plush bear named Marvin, Red Paper Heart presents thoughts and feelings that have gotten lost in the monotony of things and made them something special again, something fantastical.
Zander Brimijoin and Charlie Whitney, two of the masterminds behind these compelling passion projects, walked us through a few of their works, particularly Cycling Classic. The main goal in mind when working on this project was to create the feeling of speed without physical motion, isolating that sense of exhilaration.
Red Paper Heart experimented with and eventually implemented this project into the Escape to New York (E2NY) Music and Arts Festival 2011 hosted by online magazine, UrbanDaddy. This head to head stationary bike race let you face off against friends, enemies and strangers to see who could ride the farthest in 60 seconds. While very much like Goldsprints Roller Racing, Cycling Classic was a more design-oriented take on this competition, creating an even greater thrill than you would usually get while biking. By mapping an array of environments to the speed of the bikes, the riders got to experience first hand the heady sensation in a new and exciting way.
So how exactly did Red Paper Heart make this happen? Zander and Charlie talked about how the bikes were rigged on a modifier roller, which fed data into a central server with the help of Arduino and the opensource OpenSprints system. In order to get the dynamic graphics to coincide with the bike race the server would sync data out to three separate openframeworks applications. By doing so, the graphics would seamlessly mirror the riders speed and, with the help of pre-rendered and live effects, would grow and evolve depending upon performance. Ride fast enough and terrain particles would rise up into the air, forming hybrid “spirit animals” that would reflect the intensity of the racer. These lightening-fast races are something you absolutely need to see to believe.