They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and perhaps there’s no greater illustration of this concept than the “House Party ” musical installation by Neil Mendoza. The project takes the form of a room decorated by items literally found in the trash. This includes typical not-wanted items — like a CRT TV meant to look like wooden furniture, interesting art, and even a fake fireplace — to a true dumpster diving treasure in the form of an Arduino Zero used to control these now-animatronic devices.
The centerpiece of the installation, like many households, is the television set, which plays a news report loop of a mustachioed weatherman noting that you should, “Take an umbrella or take a raincoat, you’ll probably need it.” From there, things get very weird in the demo video below, with his voice rhythmically looping, shoes tapping, art deforming and spinning around, and other strange actions.
The documentation claims that the installation is built entirely from scavenged parts. How all of this was done is somewhat of a mystery, but we do know that it involves sending MIDI data to the Arduino board, as well as control via a JSON file. However it was accomplished, it’s an impressive display of re-purposing, so the next time you see a pile of junk by the side of the road, don’t be afraid to give it a second look to see what else it might be good for!