Madhav Tankha – Final Project

For my final project I wanted to make a total of five (5) bioplastic masks and then hook them up to LEDs and arduinos and then to max/msp to create some synchronized light/sound blips, algorithmically generating patterns every x seconds. I made a mold out of clay and cast the bioplastic in it. ¬†Sadly only 3 masks came out in a semi-usable state, and even they were not too great. (Since then, on Aisen’s suggestions, I’ve begun making more masks using multiple thin layers of bioplastic, and the results seem encouraging. Using more vegetable oil / vinegar seems to reduce shrinking and cracking.) I tried a bunch of tests with coloured bioplastics (using acrylic paint) but they all cracked and disintegrated very easily. I also made some stuff with wheat paste in case the bioplastic ones didn’t work out. They’re sturdier but don’t have the nice translucent texture)

The final recipe:

2 tablespoon corn starch

8-12 tablespoons water (12 seems to work nicely with the mould…you don’t want it to be too thick)

1/2 tablespoon gelatin

1/2 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

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The bioplastic texture, especially when lit, does indeed look very nice. But perhaps stronger LEDs are required,


The video isn’t too great, but basically I wanted the masks to form patterns out of sounds and light. I intend to continue working on this project throughout the summer. My aims are:

1. To create 5 (five) sturdy, wall-mountable masks

2. to acquire stronger LEDs

3. To re-record the audio and do some research on syllables and language,  so that the combination of sounds suggests some sort of song-speech.

4. Finally, to perhaps hook everything up to a raspberry pi with speakers instead of running it off my computer.


With the encouragement of my instructors, I am confident that I will overcome all obstacles.