Multi-disciplinary designer & current student in the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design + Engineering Master’s Program.


Evergreen PT
Bitcoin Ballet

Other Work

Heliconia Loop
Exhibition Fountain
Cours Sèvres
Haystack Guys

About Me

Bitcoin Ballet

Date: Winter 2021
Instructor: Adi Azulay
Tools: Arduino, Python

This project, completed as a final project for HCDE 539: Physical Computing, is a prototype for a larger, in-progress art piece, which aims to present the ebb and flow of financial data as a choreographed dance performed by music-box ballerinas.

For my physical computing final, I decided to prototype a concept that involved representing fluctuating financial data with an array of spinning music-box dancers.

Using the yfinance API for live financial data, I used Python and Arduino to program this oven-bake clay ballerina’s servo motor to spin faster or slower depending on the rate of change between the current and previous price of Bitcoin. Her stage lighting and spin direction would also shift, depending on if prices were rising or falling.

The above shows a sketch of my overall concept, to show the stock prices of the top 5 US employers. This Bitcoin dancer served as proof of concept for this larger piece.

I programmed an OLED screen to monitor the system, which let me know how price and spin rate were changing.

Initially, my goal was to build a dancing model of a segment of the stock market - but as I began to build it, I found that both the small degrees of shifts in price and the limitations of market hours made it difficult to test my system.  BitCoin’s 24-hour volatility made it a great candidate for my first prototype, as it was easy to tell when things were and werent working.

I also began my system without using an OLED screen, and I was often uncertain if the dancer was responding to the data I intended. Adding the screen to my board gave me a way to get live feedback from the system, which I couldn’t do when using the serial monitor to link my Arduino and Python code.

For my initial setup, I positioned the ballerina inside a carboard box ‘stage’ with the lighting installed overhead. Her performance would begin whenever a user opened the stage door, which would trigger a magnetic door sensor and turn on the motor, LED, and OLED screen.
This video shows the system in action: