Almost Mirror

Almost Mirror is almost a mirror. It encourages the participant to bring more fully into to consciousness the medium of the color digital display. This display, like most displays, represents a simulation of a full-color reality through the use of only 3 colors of light: a Red, a Green and a Blue that some-what match the prominent light sensitivity of “red”, “green”, and “blue” cones in some human eyes, to create the illusion of a full color experience.

Step up to the Mirror and watch your reflection as it slowly grows each pixel until the red, green and blue components that make up this “full-color” display fully saturate the experience.

Almost Mirror was shown in the Altered Realities show produced by ArtSynergies at the Cotuit Center for the Arts from October 9, 2021 to November 13, 2021. With Altered Realities “Twenty-two artists explore the show’s title in various media defining experiences of changed reality—how the content of a photograph, painting, print, or objects transform the nature between real and illusive appearances.”

Color Theory

With Almost Mirror, a 2D camera is used to present a mirror image of the viewer on the monitor. Instead of presenting the image precisely we break up the display into quadrants. Each quadrant then varies in the size of the pixel it is currently showing, the colors it uses (either red+green, red+blue, green+blue or red+green+blue). Each quadrant can also be sub-divided into more quadrants. Over time quadrants collapse or divide, and vary in which colors they are using and their pixel size. Standing and viewing Almost Mirror over time forces the viewer to be aware of how pixel sizes and color representations affect how we perceive the world.

When the viewer observes a quadrant that is red+green+blue with small pixel sizes they have the most precise recreation of the world (that our display can produce). As the pixel size grows the viewers eye is forced to deconstruct the red+green+blue pixels that previously were merging to produce a single color into their constituent parts: red+green+blue.

Quadrants consisting of red+green can only reproduce the colors red, green and yellow, and various colors in between them. As the pixel sizes grow, or as the viewer steps back from the display, red+green quadrants turn a wash of yellow making the viewer cognizant of the color mixing red+green produces in their vision system: typically yellow.

Quadrants consisting of red+blue can only reproduce the colors red, blue and magenta, and various colors in between them. As the pixel sizes grow, or as the viewer steps back from the display, red+blue quadrants turn a wash of magenta making the viewer cognizant of the color mixing red+blue produces in their vision system: typically magenta.

And finally quadrants consisting of blue+green can only reproduce the colors blue, green and cyan, and various colors in between them. As the pixel sizes grow, or as the viewer steps back from the display, blue+green quadrants turn a wash of cyan making the viewer cognizant of the color mixing blue+green produces in their vision system: typically cyan.


Almost Mirror is a vertically wall mounted television monitor powered by embedded linux. A Raspberry Pi 4 2-GB computer running Raspberry Pi OS Buster connected to the Raspberry Pi V2 Camera is mounted behind the monitor. Software is written in Processing using the JRPiCam library to interface with the Raspberry Pi camera. For performance nearly all code is written as an OpenGL fragment shader.

almost mirror gallery view

Almost Mirror gallery view

Sound Squares

Sound Squares is an abstract interactive experience where festival goers can create visuals and sounds by walking in front of the installation. Sound Squares has two modes and switches between them every minute.

This project was shown at the Somerville Ignite Festival on October 2nd 2021 and funded by the Somerville Arts Council.

The first mode is a colorful grid of squares representing sheet music (a drum machine). Each column represents an instrument, each row represents a point in time. As time progresses, rows are played, for each of the 3 instruments if a square is active a sound will play, the sheet music is read from bottom to top and then repeats. Viewers can active and deactivate cells by standing in front of the projection and using their hands to activate and deactivate various cells.

The second mode of Sound Square acts an abstract visual mirror. As people walk in front of the display their image is show represented by oversized rectangular “pixels” of red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow. As they move a subtle soundscape forms changing in pitch and duration in time with their movements. Even in this mode the sounds programmed in the colorful grid mode continue to play. As well, even in the colorful grid mode sounds from a person’s movement continue to form as well.


Sound squares is written in the programming language Processing using the Maxim sound library for all sound generation. It uses an X-Box Kinect to capture people’s hand positions for programming the sheet music, as well as skeleton tracking to trigger the ambient soundscapes, as well as the depth map to show people’s silhouettes in the abstract visual mirror. Images are rear-projected onto rear projection plexiglass.

Sound Squares display

sound squares silhouette

sound squares silhouettes

sound squares silhouettes

City Built

City Built by Andrew Ringler; adapted from code by Luca Sassone Schizzo Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike, October 2nd, 2010

City Built is an algorithmically generated line-drawn city skyline created in the Processing language. City Built was shown as a projection on a building facade most evenings from 5—9pm November 15th 2019 through February 2020 in Union Square, Somerville Massachusetts. City Built is supported by a grant from the Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Continue reading

Ghost Mirror

Video by Alyssa Ringler

Artist Statement

Walk by, look at the tablet, see what happens. Stand still, see what happens. Ghost mirror simultaneously shows the present, the very—near—past, and the slightly more distant very—near—past. Enjoy.

Black Android tablet, power cord, software (Processing)

Shown at Higgins Art Gallery At Cape Cod Community College as an invited guest of Scott Anderson. November 12–December 9, 2019. Art Faculty & Guests Show.


Ghost Mirror is an interactive art piece written in the Processing programming language for an Android tablet mounted on the wall 4 feet off the ground. It uses the Android camera to capture people walking by. Movement is translated into thin vertical lines roughly translated into the dominant color of the original object. Moving objects are replayed over time as translucent “ghosted” images of the original creating “ghosts” moving throughout the image even when the viewer is no longer moving.

ghost mirror on wall



můj-emoji, by: Alyssa Ringler + Andrew Ringler. Photograph by Alyssa Ringler
Valašské Meziříčí, Česká republika: Festival Světlo Valmez | Valmez Festival of Lights + Music September 6-7, 2019

Collaboration with Alyssa Ringler

můj-emoji was created by Alyssa Ringler and Andrew Ringler and was installed from September 6-7, 2019 at the Valmez Festival of Lights in Valašské Meziříčí, Česká republika: Festival Světlo Valmez | Valmez Festival of Lights. It was funded through a grant by the U.S. Embassy Prague, Office of Public Affairs Small Grants Program with additional sponsorship from Festival Světlo Valmez.

Artist Statement

můj-emoji​ is a public dialogue and conversation projected large, on a building facade. A question is posed in emoji, perhaps `​❤?`​ (what do you love?). Anyone nearby may open their phone, launch our custom mobile friendly web-app, using only emoji, respond to the question, or respond to the unfolding public conversation. Every few minutes a new question is posed, changing the course of the dialogue.

The entire set of emojis is custom designed by Alyssa and Andrew Ringler. Through our emoji design we are able to loosely influence the course of conversations, while leaving a tremendous depth of creative options for participants. Inspired by personal and current events we will pose questions (using emoji) on topics such as technology, communication, human rights, immigration, disinformation, gender, and more. Yet, through our use of emoji and absence of polarizing words, topics that are traditionally difficult to converse about respectfully and meaningfully, become increasingly accessible, through the ambiguity and abstraction of emoji. Our emoji gives people an expressive voice for conversation, yet are designed to be visually appropriate to an audience of all ages projected in public view.

Emoji are pictograms used in digital conversation. They first appeared digitally in 1999 on the Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo. Since then, they have become an indispensable tool for self expression appearing on all digital communication platforms. Over the past 100 years global communication has become increasingly easier with the invention of the radio, the telephone, and the Internet. What will communication look like in the next 100 years; will icons (or emoji), continue to be such an integral part of it? Will icons allow greater communication across the globe between people with differing languages?

Preparing a message with emoji requires creativity, flexibility, iteration and patience. The resulting messages will often be more abstract and open to interpretation than a message written in english (or čeština) would be. Forming messages out of such a restrictive set of icons is a challenge that becomes fun, engaging and rewarding. Similarly, interpreting messages left by others can be a fun and social challenge.

můj-emoji web-app user interface on a phone


Child drawing custom icons during můj-emoji festival workshop. Photo by Alyssa Ringler.

Public Radio

Public Radio is a collaboration between New American Public Art and Andrew Ringler.

See New American Public art’s post about the radio at

Public Radio is a giant controllable public FM radio. It plays music from FM stations, visitors can change the station or volume by turning giant plastic wheels mounted on the front. I was responsible for the design and fabrication of all electrical components including: audio, FM radio control, lighting, channel and volume changing sensors as well as all programming of the microcontroller.

A micro::bit microcontroller controls the entire radio. Each wheel spins continuously clockwise and counterclockwise, as the station wheel spins clockwise stations increase and then roll over at max. As the wheel is spun counterclockise stations decrease and then roll over at the minimum FM station. Volume increases while spinning the volume wheel clockwise, then rolls over and starts decreasing in volume, then repeats, spinning the wheel counterclockwise does the opposite, thus creating a feeling of continuous change no matter what the wheel is doing. See source code and detailed implementation explanations at

Public Radio was the winning proposal for the 2016 Public Space Invitational Digital Challenge. It was made possible by Microsoft Technology and Civic Engagement, Microsoft Garage, The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston, and the Artisan’s Asylum. Public Radio is a collaboration between interactive design studio New American Public Art and Somerville artist and creative programmer Andrew Ringler. It is sponsored in part by Vernier Software & Technology.

Installed outside District Hall, Boston, Seaport April 19th 2019—2021.

illuminated channels

FM stations laser etched and edge illuminated with LEDs

changing the station

Visitor changing the FM station

Visitor listening to radio

Visitor listening to radio

radio in daytime

Radio in the daytime

Visitor scratching some tunes by turning the tuning dial

Lights animate with a pulse when station is not changing

Lights give feedback while changing station and smoothly transition back to pulsing when at rest

Channel changing and volume changing animations. Volume flips direction when hitting max or min allowing the wheel to be continuously spun in any direction

Slightly Structured Visual Noise

Visuals by Andrew Ringler mimic-ing the Cirque Noir Elephant on Ball logo reacting to sounds by Know Thyself by Aphrohead and Clarian from Founders of Filth Volume One Felix Da Housecat

“Slightly Structured Visual Noise” is a constantly evolving visual experience running throughout the evening at Cirque Noir X Houston X Scorpion (November 10th 2018) reacting to the DJ’s music live. “Slightly Structured Visual Noise” runs unattended as an autonomous agent-based model taking cues from the DJ’s sound in addition to following beautiful semi-harmonious gradient noise spaces like ridged multifractal, Perlin, Voronoi and spherical.

I created a set of sound-reactive Processing sketches that played throughout the evening generating unique and ever-changing visuals on multiple screens, walls and surfaces always reacting to the ever changing DJ’s beats.

Video-2-Slit-Scan App

Video-2-Slit-Scan Quick Demo.

Video-2-Slit-Scan is an App I created that allows you to create a slit-scan image from a video. It provides a graphical interface for adjusting slit position and size. Video-2-Slit-Scan can support very large videos with modest RAM since it streams in the input video and writes out the output image to disk in chunks.

Download on Github.

wellspring fords slit scan image

Photo Slices App

Photo Slices App Walk-through.

An app to create sparklines, spark line app sparkline, for Continue reading

Fruit Beets

visitors play with fruit on table

Fruit Beets is a collaboration between myself and Philip Gedarovich. Fruit Beets is an interactive sound and visual experience activated by the fruit and vegetables of festival visitors. Installed on a banquet table inside a white tent at the Somerville Agricultural Festival on October 2nd 2016. Continue reading

Tangible Programming

The Tangible Programming project was created as the result of a collaboration between Anthony Baker (Harvard Graduate School of Education), Scott Penman (MIT Architecture Design + Computation), and myself during Hiroshi Ishii’s Tangible Interface course at MIT in the Fall of 2015. We decided to use the already existing Transform table Ishii’s lab had already built to create a tactile programming language. Website Site Walkthrough.

I implemented a fully responsive (mobile-first) WordPress site for Jan Kubasiewicz at Continue reading

Urban Jumble

A short created by a hand-drawn animation class I took with Karen Aqua and Ken Field at Somerville Community Access Television. Each student created drawings that they would animate into another student’s drawings. Ken and Karen produced the video. I was responsible the no-parking sign, the mailbox, the barber pole and the compass.

Something About Shoes

Just a little something about shoes. A short documentary exploring the casual shoe owner, the shoe store owner and the connoisseur. How do you feel about your shoes? Shot in HDV, completed in 2008.

Happy as an Oyster

A short day-in-the-life-of film explores the simplicity of everyday life. A young women rakes for oysters at sunrise and photographs professionally by day. Shot on 16mm B/W reversal in the Fall of 2006.