justin peakethings & experiences
I’m an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, designer, and technologist.
My expertise lies in holistic interaction design using human-centered approaches to making things and telling stories with hardware and software.
I like challenging and ambiguous problem sets - the kind that ask for imaginative and creative inquiry through hypothesis, prototyping and testing.
Sometimes we can feel unfulfilled. I wanted to address the difficulty we often have in identifying how much whole-self-engagement we have in any given moment. Identifying which areas may be lacking - especially in times of professional, intellectual or emotional discomfort.
What is it?
It’s part magic-8-ball, mood ring, career/life coach, and digital mirror. It’s a thought experiment.
It would be a multi-dimensional interrelated cluster of interests and goals with connections of varying weights according to an onboarding flow.
Design / Prototyping
What is it?
A Bluetooth-enabled synthesizer module with companion iOS mobile App.
- UX Designer: Mobile, Hardware, Circuit / Faceplate Layout & Fabrication
- Full Stack Developer: React Native, Bluetooth Low Energy, Arduino
None of the Eurorack sequencers available today offer the distinct feature set and/or hardware size that optimizes workflow.
I executed hands-on market research, user interviews; the results of which I used to inform wireframes, flow diagrams, and initial prototypes for the proof-of-concept of the mobile app. I built the working mobile app with React Native.
I designed & manufactured the BLE connected hardware device over an iterative process based on user tests, refining the layout, scale, and circuit design resulting in a minimal-footprint / maximal-feature niche instrument.
iOS Prototype Walkthrough
Early UI Sketches
Circuit Board Iterations (Top: Early, Bottom: Final)
Earlier Faceplate Sketch
Early Circuit Board Layout Sketch
I was commissioned to compose and produce a performance of interactive music and projections in conjunction with the INST-INT festival for two nights for an audience around 200 people each night.
What is it?
an interactive installation and performance of music and light featuring custom built instruments and system interfaces.
- Project Lead / Composer
- Experience / Installation Design
- Hardware Design
- Full Stack Development
I had integral support from a team of 4 colleagues who helped with crucial fabrication and installation of the table, the boxes, and the smooth flow of the performances.
We designed and built a connected system by which the audience interactions subtly shifted the course of the live musical performance and video/lighting by leveraging an extended version of my digital performance platfom called Archer.
The whole system consisted of a Node server handling real time data from the table of cups, the wind instruments, the show control interface and sending to the wired sculptures, video mapping, and surround sound speaker array.
The wind instruments are activated by placing a cup on the top surface. They transmit data via RFM on Moteino’s enclosed within when blown into via a wind sensor. They were made from unfinished local Cypress.
Early sketches for the wind instruments.
Wind instruments in performance (Rex Gregory & Helen Gillet pictured)
Each ceramic cup has a magnet affixed to its base to interact with each of the table’s 200 Hall effect sensors. The table communicates to the main Node server in the venue.
Early sketch of simple cup design.
ConcentricWhat is it?
a dual purpose ergonometric prototype & musical interface
- Software Design
- Hardware Design
Health -> Performance
Initially I created a hardware system which uses 10 force-sensitive resistors to monitor the expenditure of energy and identify pain points in professional saxophonists’ finger technique.
The instrument I built uses that hardware, mounted on a modified bamboo shoot which contains a taut spring (for reverb), electrified via contact microphone, to allow percussive and vocal sounds to be processed.
What is it?
Mitigation films serve as humanizing documentary films at the service of the individuals (and their families) who are incarcerated and are about to be sentenced or are seeking parole.
I work as support staff to investigator and filmmaker Katie Carter. We research and assemble people for interviews who can speak to the full-picture of an individual’s life, struggle, and humanity in hopes that they will be treated more humanely and fairly by the often strong hand of the U.S. courts.
Collaborator, Interviewer, Videographer, Editor
Multiple short documentary films.
Storyboarding, Interview Preparation, Research, Storytelling
In legal terms, “discovery” the formal process by which the parties to a case in court exchange information about the case.
In early 2022, I became aware of the monumental task that Public Defenders face when having to familiarize themselves with the details of a new case.
I began a design research process to identify the key needs of a new software platform that could alleviate much of the workload and pressure that these attorneys face when combing through piles of relatively unorganized data.
Initially I interviewed users & experts in the field of Public Defense
UX Field Research, UX Embedded Research, Market Research
Currently involved in Contextual Research
Publication of research is pending
I have been designing and sewing clothes for the past 7 months.
One of the driving factors behind this newfound love is my desire to be comfortable in the “second skin” that I wear. I want to own my clothing from fabric to form.
One of the most time consuming aspects of this practice is converting bespoke measurements to a working pattern that can be used to cut fabric to the correct dimensions.
What is it?
It’s a set of scripts that automates the generation of sewing patterns via Adobe Illustrator.
A tailor can take bespoke measurements and enter them into the program. The tailor selects the garment type from my digital library of designs. The program then generates a pattern that can be printed on a home printer and assembled.
Concept, Research, Design, Prototype, Coding
Currently in User Testing / Research
I am an avid reader and I prefer paper books. One of my favorite things about having paper books is the ability to write notes in the margins.
I’m constantly reading to learn, identifying material that might be good to remember or that ties in with my other collected notes.
- facilitates dialogue between readers
- encourages independent scholarship by making it accessible, discursive, and applicable
- provides a place to catalog and organize a personal body of research
- good for professors, doctoral candidates as well
- see what other people found worthwhile in a book you just read
What is it?
It is an application that allows me (users) to create a profile and then add books to my profile by looking up their respective ISBN numbers.
I can then enter my annotations by reference to page number / paragraph.
Concept, Design, Prototype
In progress prototype
“What can I build for my 2 year old nephew that is simple enough to engage him but perplexing enough to exercise those fresh neurons?”
What is it?
Calypso, the nymph who, in Homer’s Odyssey, kept Odysseus with her on her island of Ogygia for seven year. The game is intended to keep you tapping through a seemingly unsolvable fictional semafore until you find your way through. Admittedly, I just liked the name Calypso and it turns out it’s aptly named.
What is it?
It’s an interactive memory puzzle that can double as a ‘fidget’ app.
A person interacts with various arrangements of shapes in order to unlock the next puzzle.
Sometimes thinking in patterns / systems can help in visualizing what content we’re working with and how it could flow narratively.
What is it?
This is an example of multimodal data vizualiztions created by hand (not algorithmically) to help navigate a collection of footage of interviews in B-Roll in a documentary film that I co-directed and edited.
The attention economy can feel like a gauntlet.
What is it?
It’s is a hypothetical interactive installation design that is an attention trainer.
A user sits down in front of an older model television and places an EEG device of her head. The behavior of the television consists of 2 states:
“scanning” and “still”.
When the participant’s brain waves indicate that she is attentive to the image on screen, the television begins to scan quickly between stations.
When her attention becomes softened and unfocused because of the unintelligible scanning, the scanning will cease, and offer a new station to try an coax the attention from her.
It is a feedback loop and a cat chasing it’s tail.
Still in Concept Phase
Digital products have become an ever-popular and sometimes infamous path toward the “experience of mindfulness” often to mixed results.
In recognizing the role of anxiety and self-regulation in addiction recovery, I sought to create a system that invisibly guides a user into a state of ‘mindful breathing’ without even referencing the word.
What is it?
a dual purpose vagal tone trainer & musical interface
MANTIS is a sono-physiological mirror allowing a person to explore the interconnectedness of their breath and heart-rate in real-time.
Concept, Research, Development, Software, Hardware,
The use of the system in multiple applications including physical installation, musical performance, dance accompaniment and reasearch residency.
As a composer and improviser I have worked with a variety of conducting strategies to strike a balance between overt, performative conducting (e.g. Soundpainting, Conduction, or Cobra-style gamepieces) and ‘free’ and ‘spontaneous’ composition with virtually no constraints.
I prefer more discrete cueing strategies because of the visual dominance of more performative conducting gestures. So, the problem presents itself: “How can I send highly specific messages or prompts to musicians with out anyone being ‘visibly in control?” I want a conduction system that is capable of sending multimedia cues discretely, allowing real-time cueing of indefinitely many musicians via WiFi enabled screens.
What is it?
a network-based conducting application that will send text, notation, sound, video or any other cues to any and all performers via a conductor interface. It can also be used algorithmically to automatically deliver cues based on a predetermined score order and timing.
It is a full system with:
- user accounts for composers to sign-up
- data hosting for composers to host their socre materials
- the ability to send data simultaneously, sequentially, or both to over 100 individual screens.
Concept, Research, Design, Prototype, Development
A scalable working prototype
Conventional noise abatement / acoustic foam is typically high in petrochemical materials which can create difficulty in disposal as well as toxic off-gassing in spaces that are typically airtight (sound studios).
The mycelium of Oyster mushrooms has been shown to effectively neitralize toxic hydrocarbons that are often leftover from petroleum spills in soil.
As a dialogue with these factors, I created objects from the growing mycelium of Oyster mushrooms (and agrocultural waste) that are completely sustainable sound diffusing objects.
The myceliated millet was introduced to a variety of forms which contained the sterilized chaff of roasted coffee beans.
As the mycelium digests and proliferates through the medium, a solid object begins to form to the mould.
I have also taught this process.
Research, Design, Fabrication
A group of completely biodegradable objects.
A 20 minute audio-visual piece in late 2020
Composer, Designer, Editor
In 2019, I was commissioned to design and exhibit a performance system in collaboration with visual artist Manon Bellet for the New Orleans Museum of Art.
What is it?
I created a performance system which uses computer vision to interact with the delicate and subtle motion of Manon’s installation.
I created a Max patch which will continuously and sequentially record 6 one-minute segments from the sound happening in the room and play it back at variable rate, duration, and playhead position based on the motion of the installation.
I performed a solo improvisation on percussion, contrabass, cornet, and the interactive Max patch.
The performance is approximately 45mins and is loosely structured into 5 movements.
A performance and album recording.
Visual Motion Prototyping
I am a multi-instrumentalist (principally percussion), composer and sound artist.
These are some recordings I have distilled into form.
Master’s: Interactive Telecommunications - New York University (Tisch School of the Arts) (2016)
Bachelor’s: Philosophy - The University of Alabama (2004)
SELECT PERFORMANCES & EXHIBIT //
2019 New Orleans Museum of Art: Solo Performance in collaboration with Manon Bellet installation
2018 Triskelion Arts: “Hunting Year” in collaboration with Angie Moon Dance Theatre
2018 Omega Institute (Celebrate Life Festival) performing ‘Heartmusic’, Rhinebeck, NY
2018 ISP festival: Creative Music Guild, performing THINK TANK solo, Portland, OR
2017 MOOGFEST 2017, sound objects for Found Sound Nation's "Ouroborium" installation, Durham, NC
2017 TED 2017, sound objects for Found Sound Nation's "Ouroborium" installation, Vancouver, BC
2017 INST-INT, "Oracles" performance/installation New Orleans, LA
2016 ITP Spring Show, "FIGURE" New York, NY
2015 The Bell House, "Concentric" Brooklyn, NY
2014 ITP Winter Show, "MANTIS" New York, NY
2014 Prospect 3 "How Far Can You Go?" New Orleans, LA
2014 Unerhörte Räume "Your New Car" Berlin, DE
2014 Knock Knock "Soliloquy" Berlin, DE
2019 Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) - Composer in Residence - Stockholm, SE
2019 Fix Residency - Thessaloniki, GR
2019 Badabum Artist in Residence - Zug, CH
2019 Engelshom Hojskole - Artist in Residence - Bredsden, DK
2016 NYU-ITP Research Fellow - New York, NY
2015 Group Artist Residency - Romanmotier, CH
2013 Liquid Land Promotional Tour - Multi-City, CH
TEACHING, ETC. //
2019 Imagining Sound (Workshop) - Beaubourg School
2018 - present: Adjunct Professor - Tulane University - Computer Applications in Music, Composition for Electronic Media
2018 - 2019: Adjunct Lecturer - New York University (ITP)
2017 Guest Artist Talk - NYU - Waverly Labs - New York, NY
2017 "Encouraging Collaborative Community" - NAEA Artist Talk - Columbia University - New York, NY
2017 Co-founder: ADJACENT: Journal of Emerging Media
2017 Guest Artist Talk - Creative Campus University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, AL
2017 "Community Driven Interactive Multimedia" - Student Workshop- Marigny Opera House - New Orleans, LA
2016 "Rethinking the Conductor" - IMPACT Conference - New York, NY
2016 "FIGURE" (Graduate Thesis Talk) - NYU - ITP - New York, NY
2013 "Improvisation: Drums & Electronics" - Badabum Atelier - Zug, CH
AWARDS & HONORS //
2016 - 2017 NYU - ITP Research Fellowship / Residency
2015 - 2016 Tisch School of the Arts Departmental Fellowship
2014 - 2015 Tisch School of the Arts Departmental Fellowship
SOUND & MUSIC RECORDINGS //
2021 “Radial Decay” - Audio / Visual Composition
2019 “Justin Peake Solo” - Live at the New Orleans Museum of Art
2019 “Inner Being” - Audio / Visual Composition
2017 #1 & #2 Head Cradle of 10 - Shawn Hall - Prospect 4, New Orleans, LA
2017 “A Field Guide to Whale Creek” - soundtrack for Marina Zurkow et al.
2016 "May Not / Always" - music for dance for Angie Moon Dance Theatre et al.
2015 "What is Left?" - music for dance for Angie Moon Dance Theatre et al.
2014 "The Moon in Gemini vol. 3"
2014 "Skin Deep" Soundtrack
2014 "The Fall of Erebus" Soundtrack
2014 Scott Amendola, "Fade to Orange" Remix
2013 "One Cent Piece"
2012 "The Moon in Gemini vol. 2"
2011 "Managing Depth"
2011 Shigeto, "Children at Midnight" Remix
2010 "The Moon in Gemini vol. 1"
2009 "Solo Percussion"