Getting Ready for “Play Ball!”, Arc Gallery

“Play Ball!” at Arc Gallery and Studios is a multimedia show about women’s passion for baseball bringing together artists Amanda Chaudhary, Mido Lee and Priscilla Otani. The installation was a true collaboration brought together our respective talents in physical object making, electronics, software, sound, and photography.

One of the more challenging aspects was the interactive sound installation, which was to be installed a series of columns representing the bases on a standard baseball diamond. Four sound sets were composed based on field recordings made at Bay Area games and installed on an Arduino-based system for playback. The electronics included the Arduino itself, a Wave Shield from Adafruit for sound playback, and several motion sensors.


The sensors and main electronics package were installed in spheres made from baseball scorecards.


Programming the devices, installing them into the physical space, and then testing and debugging was an incremental, iterative, and at times grueling process. But through repeated efforts and understanding the interaction of sensors, wiring, and our software code we ultimately made it work.

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[Photos by Priscilla Otani]

Within the final installation, viewers can explore the bases and the surrounding life-size images representing the diversity of women at baseball games. As viewers pass by individual bases, different sounds will be triggered, creating an immersive sound, space, and visual experience.


“Play Ball!” opens at Arc Gallery and Studios on Friday, April 3. In keeping with the theme, traditional stadium fare (including hot dogs and peanuts) will be served.

Getting Ready for Ghost House

“Obake Yashiki” (Ghost House) officially opens tonight at Arc Studios and Gallery in San Francisco. The project is a collaboration with artists Priscilla Otani and Judi Shintani, and combines sound, Japanese lanterns and “deconstructed kimonos”. Here is a view of the installation:

And the project statement:

An atmospheric space in-between worlds is glimpsed in this installation. Fragments of sound from crickets, chanting monks and Japanese instruments envelope Japanese lanterns, womanly silhouettes and floating deteriorating kimonos. Obake Yashiki or Ghost House, is a dwelling place of spirits that continue to haunt us. They cannot find their peaceful resting place due to tragic occurrences during their lifetimes. The exhibition calls attention to women around the world whose lives have been taken due to earthly disasters and violent human interaction. We honor the spirits who are trapped between life and death in hopes they may find peace and resolution.

A lot of work went into making this installation happen, including hanging the kimonos and approximately 100 lanterns! But three of the lanterns were also outfitted with tiny speakers and MP3 players to create the immersive soundscape in the space:

The assemblage works quite well, and the sounds emanating from the lantern clusters adds to the overall eerie quality of the piece. Of course, portable electronic devices need to be recharged, so we have the odd visual today of Japanese lanterns being recharged via USB cables (i.e., like an iPhone) ahead of tonight’s reception:

Hopefully everything is charged up later this afternoon and ready to go.

If you are in San Francisco this evening, feel free to drop by our free reception. It is at Arc Studios and Gallery, 1246 Folsom St, and goes from 6PM to 9PM. We are also planning an interesting closing program in October.