Decorate a Hive13 flying pig, get $1500

Last minute, but I just found out about this:

They’ve extended the application deadline because they didn’t have enough high quality submissions. Anybody interested in brainstorming some ideas the Hive could build? Some include sound activated actions (the pigs will be on display for the World Choir Games) so I’d imagine other microcontroller based ideas would be welcome.

Description from the artist’s packet:

Fiberglass, life-size ‘singing’ pigs – expertly crafted by Atomic
Specialties, Inc. – will be “purchased” by area sponsors and
decorated by local artists. Completed Pigs will be unveiled to the
public during the Flying Pig Marathon weekend, May 4-6, 2012.
The Pigs will stick around throughout the summer of 2012 in
celebration of the World Choir Games held in Cincinnati, acting
as a welcoming beacon to residents and visitors alike.

Each pig will be securely mounted and displayed through October
2012 within a defined, strategic region of downtown Cincinnati,
including the Global Villages of the World Choir Games.

A plaque will accompany each Pig, featuring the sponsor’s name,
the artist’s name, and the title of your decorated Pig. All Pigs will
be publicized through collateral materials, maps, news articles,
and a series of summertime events.

Here’s where you come in. If you submit a design and are
selected and matched with a Pig sponsor, ArtWorks will pay
you a $1,500 honorarium for your participation as an artist who
decorates a Pig.

Maybe we can do something with conductive sensors. Some circuit pig
bending? Let people pet the pig and make their own sounds and music.


I plan on coming to Tuesday meeting with Ed Estes, can we talk about this then?



Roscoe + fellow Hivers,

This is a blast from the past. Back in 1999 when my daughters were in
the 4th and 6th grades, we were involved in fundraising and support
for Ayer Elementary to have two pigs in the original Big Pig Gig

I was not aware of this next round event, and and the possibility we
can still propose for a $1,500 ArtWorks honorarium to make a pig for
to this year's marathon and world choir games in Cincinnati.

I will be at Tuesday night's meeting. I'll make a motion for HIVE13
to propose a pig built around our collective experience and focused on
electronic music and theatrical lighting. Such a concept would
require electrical power to be a multi-media sound and light
experience that was also possibly interactive. The $1,500 honorarium
should cover most of the out-of-pocket cost for the extra hardware.
We have the talent to make a great pig, but the May timing is tight.

It would also be SUPER publicity for HIVE13 and put us on the map.


I KNEW I left something out of my email…

The extended deadline is Monday - Tuesday will (probably) be too late.

If people are interested in getting together today or tomorrow, I should be available most any time.

What are the rules? Can we just decide/vote by email and appoint
someone to say yes or do we need to submit some form of formal


The rules are generally designed for single artists, the details are here:

Anything further for us as a bigger group, we should probably try to coordinate to submit all ideas as one set of proposals. I’ll step up to make that happen.

If anybody is interested in brainstorming some ideas, I’ll plan on being at the Hive working on something Sunday evening at 6pm. We’ll try to conference in anybody that can’t make it but can be on a phone or computer.



I couldn't make it earlier. Don't know who was able to brainstorm
with you. I tried to download their template but it would not fully
download for some strange reason. I'd vote for the standing version
and perhaps making it "wired" with a tie in to electronic music and
lights as mentioned earlier.


Hi Jim,

Yes a couple of people showed up, and we came up with some design ideas. I spoke to ArtWorks today, and they are just fine with us submitting at the end of the week. So, I plan on having another brainstorming session tomorrow night after the meeting, and this time we really will set up a chat so people can remotely join in.

A pig requiring power is ok, so that opens more options for us.

Current best ideas:

‘Pig Skin’

  • A standing pig with a display in its chest. A camera and software will use face recognition on anybody standing in the field of view to display them with (cute) pig’s faces

  • Or, displays on front / back and left and right sides. Same processing would be done, but on people on the other side of the pig. This way two people could see each other with pig faces, but not themselves.

‘An Achoired Taste’

  • Standing pig dressed as a choir member. Internal camera and software would do gesture recognition to allow somebody standing in front of the pig to conduct choir voices which would play through a speaker in the pig’s mouth.

Since the pigs are to be displayed specifically for the World Choir Games, I thought this would be well received.


  • Orchestral version of previous.

Anybody interested in just throwing out some ideas, reply to the thread and / or come brainstorm tomorrow after the meeting!


One thing that may not be a bad idea that people seem to like is an “air harp”. An led coupled with a sensor so when you move your hand over it it plays a tone. Put a bunch of these along it’s back in multiple tones. Easy to do, very durable (as compared to a computer screen), and people will like it. I’ve seen these at museums before.

Has anyone started thinking about what it will look like?


I would LOVE to work on this, absolutely love to work on this. Besides the “tech things” on it like a camera or other things, the look of the pig is important too. I think it would be awesome to make an android/robot pig, so really metallic, maybe look rusty in parts and really mechanical, put actual screws in it, paint parts and shadows to make it look awesome, maybe mod it with some actual pieces of metal, we could incorporate moving parts, and put an led in one of the eyes terminator style, and have it light up. Just a quick idea.

I'll second Elizabeth's thoughts. The images in these two links show
a "circuit board skin" look that would be great (and most appropriate)
for HIVE13's pig. We certainly have enough junk boards. components,
and wires to make it happen, particularly if we can get someone with
an arts background to make it look good.

I like Jon's idea too. Whatever we do has to be very durable.

Looking forward to tonight's discussion.


While the “Pig Skin” type project looks cool, I vote for a KISS approach. With a more complicated solution, it’s very likely to break and require frequent repairs. (and there would be nothing worse than people walking up to a broken pig with our name on it) Given the short timeline to get this done, we need to be realistic about what can be accomplished. (and not spending all the budget on materials)

I’ll throw some variations on Jon’s suggestion, even though I have only seen a few of these pigs around town up close:

Since this is for the World Choir Games this July, having something that is musical in nature is a good fit. In looking at the web site, this is a family event that draws a lot of kids (just look at “Whirl & Twirl”) so the design should reflect that. Ideally the pig can be touched on all sides so multiple people can “play” it at the same time. Each area of the pig would play a different instrument (or voice) making it something that people might explore. Not sure what the input would be: maybe proximity sensors, where the tone is changing based on how close your hand is to the sensor. (12"-0") Another option (that Jon suggested) would be to have multiple sensors per station, each one representing a different tone. A third option might be some painted stripe that acts as a linear potentiometer across the segment, similar to what a Drawdio does but with better sound quality. (the nice thing about this design is it’s cheap and durable) If we went with a “hands-on” approach, then a fun, colorful skinning would be inviting and encourage people to explore.

This isn’t a tech looking design but one that leverages tech in a fun, engaging way that is relevant to the event. (and it’s simple enough that we can knock it out of the park without spending 100s of hours on the project)

I look forward to further discussions tonight!


I have an artsy background, which is why I wanted to help on it. In my opinion if it doesn’t look professional, it doesn’t really matter what it does. The two aspects, the visual and the action have to work in tandem, if one, either, is lacking then the project won’t be nearly as strong as if we can create something that looks amazing and does something really neat and novel.

I agree it has to LOOK as awesome as it FUNCTIONS. The reference to “Pig Skin” wasn’t about the “artsy” look of the project. It was regarding what Chris Davis called:

- A standing pig with a display in its chest. A camera and software will use face recognition on anybody standing in the field of view to display them with (cute) pig’s faces

And I am not saying that’s a bad concept either - I just don’t want this thing to get so complicated that it creates problems. (both in the creation of it, as well as keeping it running) As geeks we can easily get excited about a project and not think about those things. (been there, done that)

Sorry for the confusion.


Oh yeah, I completely understand, I just want to make sure that we represent ourselves as amazingly as possible, in all aspects of it, if we decide to do it :slight_smile:

I was looking over the template and was thinking the feathers on the wings could make cool piano keys. Painted black and white. I do not know how much flexibility you have and it seems up to the sponsor if they want wings or not. But that might be something interesting to add, assuming it is easily reachable to touch to play notes. But then where would the wires go? Maybe it could have low tech drum, though maybe that would not be as durable.

Also, I thought touching the nose or tail could have various effects. I feel these should be pig related noises, with random variation.

Brian Goessling

Funny thinking about drumsticks on a pig! Oink…