The BellHouse

‘BellHouse is a playful, interactive sound sculpture that translated the non-verbal communication of the delegates presenting at the EUPORIAS General Assembly in October 2016 into the chimes of 35 bells in an opened sided house. Combining craft and technology, the bells are in fact beautiful ceramic pots, made by ceramicist and BellHouse creator Roop Johnstone.

A motion capture system devised by the Met Office Informatics Lab activated striking mechanisms associated with each ceramic bell generating a continuous chiming whilst each speaker at the 250 delegate conference presented their findings.

BellHouse also invited Met Office scientists to interact through their work.  It played video climate data to curious staff and passers by in the main Met Office thoroughfare known as ‘the Street’.  Some of our favourite data translated into sound included Etna’s volcanic plumes, the European drought of 1976, solar winds, 250 years of English and Welsh anomalies in temperature and precipitation and the Fog of Uncertainty.’

We are excited to have been part of this project to have the BellHouse up and running in Exeter Library as part of the Lost Weekend Festival – it also played a part in October’s Raspberry Jam where Roop gave a talk and then showed people how it was all working. We have been working with Roop and Kaleider to make the user interface more user friendly and to also make BellHouse capable of playing prerecorded videos that people bring in rather than solely relying on the live stream.  We will be doing further work on this over the next few months to improve and refine the way in which it works.

In the meantime it is in Exeter Library until the end of the month and it is hoped that people will come in and play with it as well as suggest and develop new ways of interacting with it.