Disrupted Christmas – A live Installation by Holler

img-5 Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 4.29.45 pm

Best Ads – Best Interactive

Advertising prides itself on disruption. But what if you could disrupt advertising?

On Friday 13th December 2013 we raised $5,500 for The Factory, a local community centre, via a live, interactive installation, which gave the public the chance to disrupt the agency as it worked throughout the day.

We hacked Electric Muscle Stimulation units and hooked them up to the Internet via IP cameras. Key members of the agency were then connected to the EMS units, and the Internet via a live stream.

The public could watch our day and disrupt it at will with the click of a button. Users chose a stream, clicked the ‘Disrupt’ button, and watched as the EMS instantaneously zapped our staff, interrupting their ability to continue the task at hand.

For each ‘disruption’ we donated $1 to The Factory, a local community centre with a long history of supporting socially and economically disadvantaged local residents.

The interactive webcast lasted more than 4 hours, raising a grand total of over $5500. We achieved precious little work, but succeeded in spreading Christmas cheer in spades.



How it worked

The EMS hardware was custom built to be controlled via MIDI protocol. We designed it to put out pulses of 60v maximum, but we are mostly working with a third of that, sending 20 pulses a millisecond. The engineer opted for a battery operated system, running off 8 AA’s, mitigating risk of mains surge.

To control the device we built a patch in MAX/MSP, designed to receive the “trigger messages” sent from the Internet.

Our ‘disruption’ web interface was built with Backbone.js for view rendering and UI interactions and switching video streams. It connected to the server via Socket.io to listen to broadcast events (zap), and to trigger a zap.

We used a Single node.js server hosted on Heroku to manage queues and handle Socket.io connections. This server would receive and validate a ‘zap’ from a user, and then trigger a broadcast event which all users/clients were subscribed to.

Once a message was received, the socket server converted it to OSC format in order to communicate with MAX/MSP, and transmit that message over UDP protocol to MAX, subsequently triggering the EMS device to deliver the shock to the desired user. This happened all within milliseconds.

By Holler Sydney in collaboration with Michaela Davies.



Advertising Agency: Holler, Sydney, Australia
Agency website: http://www.holler.com.au

Creative Director: James Theophane
UX: Vlad Ivanovic
Art Director: Ben Heath
Copywriter: John Gault
Photographer: Anton Sugianto
Developers: Michael Hazell, Scott Swabey, Can Ertel.
Designers: Catalina Gouverneur, Jessica Tong
Producers: Nathan Johnson, Brooke Tebbenhoff, Coby Walter
Streaming Technology by BlueCentral
PR Max/Spectrum

4 thoughts on “Disrupted Christmas – A live Installation by Holler

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