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This is a really interesting piece of interactive art by Ellie Harrison. The Vending Machine is programmed to give out free snacks when the recession makes the headlines of the BBC News RSS feed. Also, there is a sign outside the gallery that flashed “Free Food”, alerting any hungry gallery visitors. I really enjoy seeing the virtual and physical worlds interacting in such a cool way. Check out the link for a lot more information about the work.

The Vending Machine project is one of the outcomes of Ellie’s period of residency at Plymouth College of Art in 2009 and is on show at the college’s Viewpoint Gallery as part of her solo exhibition from 23rd April – 30th May 2009. It was programmed by Ben Dembroski in PureData and Python and uses project2891 to communicate with i-DAT in order to activate the messages on the GreenScreen. Production assistance by Jason Mills.

More about the Vending Machine by Ellie Harrison

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Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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