Confession Machine

The Confession Machine prints online texts that fade away as time passes, just like the confession itself. The machine prints on a surface painted with an ultra violate sensitive pigment. While passing over the surface, it turns on and off 16 UV LEDs in a carefully timed sequence, temporarily creating dots and dashes on the surface. Those are added into letters, words and sentences.

The intimate and revealing printed texts are taken from social networks, showing the lightness of confessions via online channels today. People today willingly share personal details of their lives via the digital medium. At the same time the importance people give to online confessions is small and temporary in its nature. One sees a reviling status, may get excited, like, comment, even share, and forget it. That is the life cycle of an online confession.
It is also a paradox as all this personal information now stays on a virtual limbo, forever exposed.

The Confession Machine uses the technology of repeatable writing using light (developed by the Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem) to show the temporary nature and lightheadedness of online confessions. A confession is printed and fades away. A new confession immediately takes our attention. Sometime a confession starts fading ever before the entire sentence was completed.

The Confession machine was commissioned by Artists' Residence Herzelya, January 2014.

Wrote about the Confession Machine:



Hatch | Amsterdam Light Festival

by Liat Segal & Hagar Elazari

The Hatch is a peephole to endless inner depths. It's a kinetic light sculpture half buried in the ground. Standing afar, it looks like a transparent cube covering illuminated sticks resembling a ladder. When looking from above, one sees an endless tunnel to the bottom of the earth.
The Hatch is manipulating space, building an infinite chamber through light.

The work was commissioned by the Amsterdam Light Festival, December 2013.

The sculpture is placed between a mirror and a half transparent mirror, behind which the viewer stands, seeing endless reflections.


Wall To Wall Carpeting

by Liat Segal & Shahar Binyamini
Dancers: Iyar Elezra, Shamel Pitts

Three hundred liters of paint are slowly flowing through the dance studio, changing the space. The change is so slow that it is hard to notice at any single moment. As time goes by, however, one may suddenly realize that the world has completely changed.
The work was presented for the first time as part of Plaza 2013 at Bat Sheva Dance Company.



@ Elsewhere Gallery by Adi Dahan | Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art

Elsewhere Gallery is a temporary gallery founded by Adi Dahan under the exhibition "Rising Star" in the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art. The gallery itself operates outside the museum walls and is being broadcasted back to museum through a web video call.

The work is making use of two machines built by Segal; the first (Heart for the tin man, 2012) is a painting machine, dropping acrylic paint on the surface below it at precise amounts and positions. The machine was used for painting in response to voices and music that surrounded it. This work results in a series of paintings, each one originated by a different source of information. While the paintings seem chaotic they actually have structure. As in many cases, the alleged randomness is a result of a sequence of strict choices.
By minor changes to the machine settings and replacing its painting device with a macro lens camera, the painting machine transforms into a scanner, scanning its own former outputs. This second machine results in the video work. The scanner navigates along the paintings as if they were a map and the paint drops were a topographic landscape. The macro lens reveals details that are invisible to the naked eye, some of which look as if they were taken by a lab’s microscope.

The new system works in interaction with museum visitors. Visitor’s motions are captured by video, affecting in real time the scanner’s navigation as a physical-human remote control.
The flow in this work is circular. Digital data gets a physical-mechanical manifestation, then sampled back into the digital world.

The name of the work “Microfilm” implies the analogue data storage mechanism that was in use before today’s digital data storage systems. Segal’s machine gives a strong association to the movements, magnification visuals and sounds of the old school microfilm reader.


Heart for the Tin Man | A Show of Robotic Action Painting & Music

by Liat Segal & Assaf Talmudi

Does a machine, any machine, create alienation just by virtue of being a machine? The answer, as far as we are concerned, is negative. The performance Heart for the Tin Man is a celebration of homemade machines, which have nothing to do with usefulness or usability – in the sense we usually attach to these terms.

At the centre of the performance stands a large robot, painting enormous abstract paintings in acrylic. The robot paints on a large canvas in response to the human voices and musical instruments that surround it. The audio and visual structures are open, and only subordinated to the interaction between the robotic parts and the human playing.

Heart for the Tin Man was the opening show at Fresh Paint 5.

During the show Assaf Talmudi (accordion), along with our special guests Shlomi Shaban (piano) and Ronald Boersen (violin), played music which in turn activated the painting machine and twelve robotic drums.

The sound was translated automatically at real time to movements of the painting machine and the release of acrylic paint by four pumps.


The Originals Factory

The Originals Factory is a fusing together and questioning digital, mechanic and plastic approaches to art, abstraction and originality. It is basically a DIY robot, built and programmed to create landscape paintings in the style of American abstract expressionism.
The computer system uses real time video input to control motor movement and pump actions to release paint drops on a large canvas. The drops are then drawn downwards courtesy of gravity, leaving thin colorful line marks.

Paintings by the Original Factory

The Originals Factory was first presented at the DLD Tel Aviv conference in November 2011.

The graphical language achieved by this mechanism is a language of lines. Instead of pixels creating the image, we get vertical graphical units, or Vixels.
Our mechanism allows us to control a few parameters for each such Vixel; its Horizontal position, length and color.

Other types of online data were used for prints, such as Google Trends and real time generated surveys.

Wrote about the project:

Make Magazine
Laughing Squid


Interactive bus stop for Pepsi Max

An interactive bus stop in Tel Aviv, made for Pepsi Max Isreal with Alenbi Concept House.
Director: Vania Heymann. Producer: Lihu Roter.


IOIO-Android based Cellular Wall Printer

What if people would expose and visualize their SMS text messages on buildings? If your Facebook status would be printed on a real, physical wall? What if you really checked in when you check in?
The wall printer takes the wall status concept back to physical dimensions.
Wall Printer
Inspired by old-school pin printers, the wall printer is a manually held device using seven markers to print digital messages on any flat surface. Seven individually controlled servo motors move the markers up and down, drawing dots and dashes.
When you manually slide the printer over a wall, the servo motions are carefully timed to produce text messages.

Connected to a cell phone, the printer can be directly fed by SMS text messages, Facebook statuses, GPS coordinates or practically by any other digital data source.
It uses a IOIO board to connect the physical electronic parts to an Android device and control them from an Android application.

Sweet Tech Studio

Sweet Tech Studio and IOIO

This project was done with help and advice by Ytai Ben Tsvi, IOIO inventor and friend :)

Wrote about the project:

Make Magazine
Next President
Talk Android
Cube Me
Microsiervos (Spanish) (Russian) (Italian)
Semageek (French)


Robotic drums party installation

Robotic drumsticks were playing on steel barrels at an abandoned textile factory party, Bar Yochai, Tel Aviv.
Beats were generated automatically, at real time, according to the music played by the DJ.

The system listens to the music played, analyses it and controls the drumstick's beats accordingly.
People choose which drumstick play at any given time by making shadows on them.

Robotic Drums

by Jonathan Rubin, Liat Segal & Assaf Talmudi

18 Darbuka drums and 36 robotic arms are controlled via wireless communication. Drum music is composed and played at a music sequencer on an iPad.

The project was presented at the Bat-Yam international biennale of landscape urbanism, September 2010, as a part of the 'Green to Blue' ecological street project, by Matanya Sack and Uri Reicher. During the biennale, electricity generated by wind turbines and photovoltaic cells was used to operate the robotic Darbuka drums. The drums were mounted on the wind turbines columns, creating a hybrid, digital-mechanic drumming circle, a futuristic-traditional acoustic space.

Thanks to Ben Handler and Eyal Talmudi for playing with us! :)

The making of...

So, what do we have here... 18 darbuka drums, each drum is played with two sticks mounted on servo motors and is lit by a super-bright 1W LED. We chose to use drum sticks mounted on servos (rather than the traditionally used solenoids) in order to achieve a powerful sound accompanied by a visual effect of a drumming circle.

Each of the 36 servos and 18 LEDs is controlled independently in real-time. In order to play (and light) our drums, we needed to control 54 channels wirelessly. To this aim, we built nine control units, each consisting of an Arduino and a XBee radio transceiver. Each unit was designed to control two drums (4 servos and 2 LEDs):

Two digital servos with attached drum sticks and a super-bright 1W LED were installed on each of the 18 Darbuka drums

A master netbook, running Max/MSP, sends control commands wirelessly (via XBee radio transceiver) to all control units.

As a final touch, we added an iPad interface to give an easy and intuitive way to interact with the installation. OSC protocol was used for wireless communication between the master netbook and the iPad (via Wi-Fi).

Three modes for playing the drums in real-time have been designed. The Sequencer mode allows composing specific beats for each of the 36 drum sticks. At this mode users can design and play loops and when happy with a loop, save it as a preset. Users can shift between previously saved presets at Presets mode.
Users can also play the drums by 'hitting them' at a location based Intuitive jamming mode.

At both the Sequencer and the Presets modes, the user can control the BPM of the loop by either switching a dial or shaking the iPad at the desired tempo.
Additionally, the user can switch between parts of the loop (and either play the entire loop, 1/2, 1/4 or 1/8th of it).

iPad interfaces

Wrote about the project:

Make Magazine
The Next Web
Hack a Day
Haaretz (Hebrew)
PadMania (German) (French)


Virtual Physical Pong

by Jonathan Rubin, Liat Segal & Hen Fitoussi

This version of the good old Pong game is played on a computer controlling motorized paddles (via Arduino) and a projected ball.
A feedback is received from the paddles in order to derive the paddles' position in the game arena.
This way, the projected virtual ball bounces once it hits the real paddle.
This demo was built in two days, during Geekcon 2010.


Augmented reality remote control car

The car is controlled from remote via PC. It transmits real time video footage by an IP camera it has on board. Then specific markers that are identified at the video are replaced by animations at real time (augmented reality), making the game both physical and virtual.
The project was done during Out Of the Box Week #5 at Microsoft Israel Innovation Labs with Hen Fitoussi, Kfir Karmon Omer Ramot.

The project was also presented at the MS Think Next event.


DIY Multi touch screen

Our low cost multi touch screen was built using the frustrated total internal reflection principle.
Total reflection occurs when light travels from a medium with a high refractive index to a medium with a lower one. The light is then trapped within the first medium.
In our case the Infra-Red beam of light, transmitted by IR LEDS, remains trapped inside an acryl surface, since the refractive index of the acryl is higher than that of the air surrounding it. When touching the acryl surface, light bounces off the finger out of the surface.

The touch-screen is composed of an acryl surface, a standard projector connected to a PC, a mirror, an IR-sensitive webcam and a foldable, portable construction:

The acryl surface is used both to display the PC output and to sense user's input.
The acryl is coated with diluted silicon which enhances the amount of reflected IR light due to user's applied pressure on the screen.
Then, a sketch paper sheet is placed on the silicon layer to protect and isolate it. A diffusing material is layered on top of the sketch paper. The diffuser is semi transparent, allowing quality projection, on the one hand, and blocking access visible light from the other side of the screen.

The entire surface is framed with an aluminum frame which has 112 IR LEDs drilled into. The LEDs' tips, sticking out of the frame, are coated with black silicon. This is done to reduce IR light spilling in the wrong direction.
To keep everything together and protected from short circuits, a wooden frame is applied around the screen.

The 112 IR LEDs in the aluminum frame are divided into 14 sub-circuits, each containing 8 LEDs and one resistor. The 14 sub-circuits are connected in parallel, producing a circuit that consumes 1.4Amps and 12Volts. It is powered by a standard PC power supplier which is short circuited to work without a motherboard.

The reflected IR light is detected by an IR-sensitive webcam. We used the Microsoft VX-1000 webcam. To make the camera sensitive to IR light we removed its internal IR Filter. To make it insensitive to visible light we applied several layers of burnt camera film.

This project was done as a part of the Out Of the Box Week #IV at Microsoft Innovation Labs, Israel, by Hen Fitoussi, Kfir Karmon, Omer Ramot & me.

Helpful Sites

NUI group
Instructables - Interactive Multitouch Display
Instructables - Back projection 56 inch multitouch television


Non Newtonian Fluids

Rivers and creatures of cornflour vibrated on speakers...
Non Newtonian fluid Non Newtonian fluid

Or as wiki describes... "A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid whose flow properties are not described by a single constant value of viscosity"...

Silly Puppeteer...

This puppeteer was first made as an Arduino demo for my Bezalel students. Since then, this roosterish creature got a life of its own... Using an Arduino, some photocells, resistors and servos.

Burning Man 2009 - Evolution )'(

Every summer a wooden man is built in a Nevada desert. Around it a city raises on the dust. For one week a year, Black Rock City is the third largest city in Nevada - until the man burns....

I edited this movie using videos and photos taken by Jonathan Rubin, Dadi Segal, Inbal Bentsiony, Omri Shacham, Yariv Bash & myself.


A Bit About Me...

When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it.

Liat Segal

(Israel, 1979), is a new media artist, fusing together art and technology. In her works Liat harnesses electronics, software, and mechanics to build installations and machines that connect the physical world with virtual ones. Liat comes from a technological background and today she uses technology as her materials and tools in her work.

Liat has graduated her M.Sc studies in computer science and biology at Tel Aviv University in the field of bioinformatics and machine learning, worked as a researcher at Microsoft Innovation Labs and taught at the Bezalel School of Arts and Design at the Hebrew University and at the Holon Institute of Technology's Interaction Lab.



Resources & Suppliers

Well, girls love shopping.. :)

electronic components, motors, sensors, batteries:

Electronics Goldmine
Hobby King

ספקים מקומיים בישראל ערן גל אור
דאש אלקטרוניקה

הר ציון 26, תל אביב

מ. כהן אלקטרוניקה
וולפסון 57, תל אביב

אבן אלקטרוניקה
הר-ציון 22, תל אביב

יואב סימן-טוב
וולפסון 61, תל אביב



In 2007 I finished my M.Sc studies at Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Prof. David Horn (physics) and Prof. Eytan Ruppin (computer science & medicine). My M.Sc research was in the field of bioinformatics and machine learning. In my research I dealt with the extraction of regulatory motifs from promoter regions in the genome and understanding aspects of the mechanism by which gene regulation occurs.

In 2005 I graduated the Tel Aviv University Interdisciplinary Program for Fostering Excellence. My undergraduate studies as a student of the program included an individually designed interdisciplinary curriculum. I aimed to acquire knowledge in various aspects of computational biology and machine learning; I have mostly studied mathematics, computer science and biology and got to taste a bit of economics, psychology, history & arts.

Liat Segal , Michal Lapidot , Zach Solan , Eytan Ruppin , Yitzhak Pilpel, David Horn
Nucleotide variation of regulatory motifs may lead to distinct expression patterns
Bioinformatics Vol. 23, pages i440-i449.

Motivation: Current methodologies for the selection of putative transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) rely on various assumptions such as over-representation of motifs occurring on gene promoters, and the use of motif descriptions such as consensus or position-specific scoring matrices (PSSMs). In order to avoid bias introduced by such assumptions, we apply an unsupervised motif extraction (MEX) algorithm to sequences of promoters. The extracted motifs are assessed for their likely cis-regulatory function by calculating the expression coherence (EC) of the corresponding genes, across a set of biological conditions.
Results: Applying MEX to all Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoters, followed by EC analysis across 40 biological conditions, we obtained a high percentage of putative cis-regulatory motifs. We clustered motifs that obtained highly significant EC scores, based on both their sequence similarity and similarity in the biological conditions these motifs appear to regulate. We describe 20 clusters, some of which regroup known TFBS. The clusters display different mRNA expression profiles, correlated with typical changes in the nucleotide composition of their relevant motifs. In several cases, a variation of a single nucleotide is shown to lead to distinct differences in expression patterns. These results are confronted with additional information, such as binding of transcription factors to groups of genes. Detailed analysis is presented for clusters related to MCB/SCB, STRE and PAC. In the first two cases, we provide evidence for different binding mechanisms of different clusters of motifs. For PAC-related motifs we uncover a new cluster that has so far been overshadowed by the stronger effects of known PAC motifs.