During the final weeks of Kota: Digital Excavations in African Art, the Pulitzer and game developers-in-residence Rampant Interactive invited additional collaborators into the Kota ProtoLab for a series of rapid prototyping sessions. These projects responded to design challenges set by the exhibition curators in order to explore and adapt the database of Kota guardian figures created by Frederic Cloth. Each project resulted in public programs or events that invited visitors to engage with the Kota objects in unconventional ways.
Procedural Music with a Cultural Seed
Musician Phil Hayes debuted an original composition of procedural music inspired by the Kota guardian figures, applying music theory and data-driven analysis to examine the creativity and range of the original artists. As different features and decorations of the sculptures were assigned to trigger corresponding sounds, each Kota generated a musical composition that expressed both its individuality and its relationship to a larger group. The resulting music was played throughout the galleries at a special evening event, highlighting similarities and differences among the sculptures through sound.
Mechanics for Visualizing Patterns
Working with data generated by visitors through activities in the ProtoLab, Rob Santos—robotics specialist and Lead Game Developer at Pixel Press—partnered with Rampant Interactive to reveal emerging patterns and trends among user-generated Kota models. Santos developed a custom-built table that used the 3D printed objects to sort and animate data, applying statistical analysis and principles of robotics to investigate correlations among the visual characteristics of the Kota.