1. James Dooley
  2. limina




J.R. Dooley

Responsive and self-reflexive: limina creates dynamic sonic and visual forms from cellular agents. Fluctuations in the sound and movement within the installation environment prompt limina's sounds and visuals to flutter in response, as the threshold between sparse cellularity and dense emergent forms is repeatedly crossed. limina is built with open-source software and released under a Creative Commons license: all project files can be accessed for free at BitBucket.



limina: an audio/visual installation

J.R. Dooley, 2012.

limina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

You are free:

to Share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work

to Remix – to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

Attribution - You must attribute this work to J.R. Dooley (with link)

Noncommercial - You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

Software and Hardware Prerequisites

limina requires Processing with oscP5 library installed. If the installation is run under Linux the GSVideo library will be will also be needed. The audio is handled by Pd-Extended using the mrpeach OSC library (this comes pre-installed with Pd-extended). The OSC protocol is used to facilitate bi-directional communication between Pd and Processing. The software should be installed on a small computer (one that is visually discrete) that is capable of receiving at least stereo in and mono out, as well as sending the visuals to a projector. Channel one's input is received from a microphone either on the periphery or outside of the installation space. This signal records environmental sounds which are then used as source files in the convolution reverb. Channel two's signal is received from a microphone place within the installation space, relatively close to the projection, and is used to trigger the audio-visual responses.

The projection screen must be as large as possible: the installation should be immersive. The room should be dimmed, though not completely in dark. This reduced lightning is intended to heighten the senses and the effect of the work.


The above constitutes one system. A installation of limina may comprise of one or more systems. If multiple systems are used, it is suggested that the Processing code is modified to change the colour of the visuals. The appearance of the 'Cell' may also be changed to add variety. Similarly, the Pd patch can be altered to create variations on the sonic output. The main aesthetic goal of the work being variation on a theme, and the interaction/influence that has on other systems. The systems are to be placed around the installation space with their relevant audio feeds being positioned accordingly. limina could be exhibited throughout multiple rooms/spaces.

Software Operation

With Processing, Pd and the appropriate libraries installed, first open up the limina.pde file in Processing, followed by limina.pd(found in the PureDataPatches directory) with Pd. The Processing sketch is ready to go, though Pd needs to be configured before operation. Firstly, navigate to (Pd-extended->Preferences->Audio Settings...) and configure the audio settings as follows: sample rate = 44100, delay(msec) = 50. The input/output device and channel configuration is dependant upon the audio interface used.

Next, run the Processing sketch. In Pd, simply check the 'on/off' toggle: audio is turned on and OSC connects to Processing, allowing Pure Data to send and receive OSC messages. The system is now up and running!