Pop Up Synth Instrument uses browser pop-up windows as pixels and sequencer steps to create audio/visual experience for desktop. Syncronous communication was built crossing browsers and devices. Resize and Relocate windows to compose 8 bit music.



Frequence Sweep #1, babycastles
Dec 17, 2017

3rd Annual NYU World Tour Pop-Up Gallery, Kimmel Center
Oct 25, 2017

World Maker Faire 2017, New York Hall Of Science
Sep 22 - Sep 24, 2017

ITP Spring Show, Tisch School of the Arts
May 16 - May 17, 2017

Markov Chain algorithm is used to sample color from webcam captures, fine art paintings and news figures pixel by pixel (one pop-up by one pop-up window). While sampling, generative chords is created based on the placement and size of each pop-up window.


Sites and web applications becomes the most important virual utlities of daily life, while pop-up windows is other side, like trash, more or less. The instict of clicking the close button was trained and became a human nature. Pop up Synth was built originally based on a weird question I asked: Can I recyle pop-up windows?

"Making collage" is one of the answers I gave to this meaningless question and it echos the found object idea.

Using browser window as art materials is not a new idea. Back to 2009, Micheal Demer have created Color Field Paintings, which generates a series of browser windows, and each with a randomly assigned color based upon parameters established for each piece.

Color Field Painting (2009), Micheal Demer

Modern browsers are contrained as rectangle, and the minimal size is 100 x 100 PX square, like a super large pixel. Street artists Invader, Pantone color artist Nick Smith, have done pixel style painting in their own art practice context.

Invader's work
Nick Smith's work

What if the browser windows are not only the segment of painting, and also sound? What if the the browser windows can perform a show itself? 

It's a open playground waiting for algorithm and creative interactions. I made this project, adding placement(dragging), size(resizing), sequences and synths to each of the window, and create a web music toy for children and adult to gain knowledge about browser and it's potential.


Digital space has became another public space to make discourse. The pop up animation is naturally a strong expression. In the latest version, data base and scraping feature were added to recreate the overwhelming and informtive browsering experience in a short audio/visual performance.