STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment

currents 2012: Artists Submission Form

The Santa Fe International New Media Festival / June 22 – July 8, 2012

Name/Names: Thomas J. Greenbaum
Email Address:
Website URL:

Submission sent via email

Category B - Installation (video, sound, interactive, “modulated sculpture”)
YES website/link to view my work
NO I am sending a DVD of my work

Title of work submitted

STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment
Following is my submission of:
YES sent via email to

Floor Plan

Click the thumbnail image below to enlarge the floor plan image.

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Detailed Written Installation Design Description

The STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment art piece is designed as an interactive, "modulated sculpture" that features both sound and lights controlled by a programmed micro-controller (Arduino Uno).

The sculpture consists of a colorful kiln-fused glass globe that sits atop a pine wood base. The overall dimensions of the sculpture are 1'-2"W x 1'-1"D x 2'-1"H. The sculpture sits on a small table of dimensions 2'-0"W x 1'4"D x 3'-0"H (by the artist). The table may be in the middle of the floor or it may be placed against a wall.

A 3'-0" area of clear floor space on two sides and the front of the table are optimal to allow the audience to view and interact with the sculpture. A dark environment with little ambient light is ideal to show off the sculpture which is internally lit by high-brightness LED lamps.

The sculpture requires only a single power receptacle (110V standard outlet) or extension cord. It draws a small amount of current, only enough to power a single wall adapter power supply (9VDC 650mA).

Lastly, sound rings out from the sculpture when two cast brass, Buddhist 'tingsha' bells are struck together through the interaction of the audience. The bells are not very loud, however, the sculpture is ideally located where the bell ringing would not interfere with the sound from other exhibits.

See a detailed sequence of operation and audience interaction below under Artist's Statement.

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Equipment List

Following is an equipment list (indicating which equipment you will need the festival to supply).

Description of Equipment By the Artist, or By the Festival
STUPAfy modulated sculpture by the Artist
Small table (2'-0"W x 1'4"D x 3'-0"H) by the Artist
Power receptacle, 110V standard outlet or extension cord at rear of table. by the Festival
Fixed or temporary wall at rear of table. (Not essential to the exhibit - table could be in middle of floor). by the Festival

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Still Images

The following three still images show the STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment modulated sculpture. Click on any of the following images to enlarge the photo.


Photo Gallery

Photos of the finished, fully operational art piece.

STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment Photo Gallery (click thumbnail to enlarge)

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Work-In-Progress Photos

Early photos taken of work-in-progress. Shown are photos of the interactive circuit under development on breadboard

STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment Work-In-Progress Photos
(click thumbnail to enlarge)

Video of interactive circuit on breadboard being tested.

From 2012-01-04_STUPAfy

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Golden rhombus inside of a golden rectangle. Original concept drawing for STUPAfy fused-glass faces.

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Tom Greenbaum lives in Albuquerque, NM working as Data Center Manager for Intel Corporation. Tom has presented at notable events such as the Technology Convergence Conference (San Jose, CA) at the 5th International Symposium on Digital Earth, (UC Berkeley, CA) and at the Computer Security Institute 31st Annual Conference (Washington DC). Tom graduated from the University of Florida, College of Architecture focusing on computer aided design. In his leisure time, Tom creates 3-dimensional geometric sculptures with kiln-formed glass art. Recently, Tom has added a fourth, interactive dimension to his sculptures with LED lamps and sound controlled by micro-processors and motion sensors.

Happily there are times when multi-dimensional visualization, followed by creative action, brings forth into physical reality an artifact which exceeds the inspiring concept. Tom considers himself fortunate to experience this joy in multiple fields of endeavor. Several of his designs in the fields of architecture, computer science and digital art have risen to this level. However, his greatest joy is in the creation of kiln-formed glass sculptures.

Tom met the great architect and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller while studying architecture in college. Bucky inspired Tom to explore geodesic geometries, especially those of the icosahedron and triacontahedron which are prevalent in natural structures.

Awards / Publications / Exhibitions:

  • Intel Environmental Excellence – 2010 Gold Award, for Global Data Center Power Saving (see end of this resume).
  • Data Center Landscape, Intel Premier IT Provider (IPIP), NYC, October 6, 2010, and Tempe, AZ, November 3, 2010.
  • Morphology of a Virus Attack (3-D Glass Sculpture), The Art and Science of Systems Biology, Santa Fe Complex, Santa Fe New Mexico, March 26-28, 2010.
  • New Mexico Technology Excellence (TechEx) Award, for Air Economizer POC, from New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC), April 2, 2009.
  • Wall Street Journal front page ad, April 2010, (Tom’s photo featured on many Intel ads and brochures).
  • Data Center Lessons Learned, New Mexico Technology Council (NMTC), Santa Fe, NM, March 13, 2009.
  • Intel Innovation Award (IAA), for Driving Innovation Through The Air Economizer POC, Q3 2008.
  • Data Center Capacity Visualization, Intel IT Operations Innovation Award, Q3 2008.
  • Spherical Metaphor (Spheriphor) For Geoscope Multi-Dimensional Data Visualization, 5th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE5), UC Berkeley Campus, June 7, 2007.
  • Full-Dome Immersive Business Visualization (BizViz), Intel Information Services and Technology Group, Technical Community Conference, Granlibakken Resort, Lake Tahoe, October 25, 2005.
  • Application Analysis for Factory Network, Computer Security Institute (CSI) 31st Annual Conference, Wash. D.C., November 8, 2004.
  • Digital Fine Art Society Group Show, Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 5-30, 2004.
  • Landscape & Portrait - Digital Orientation, Kimo Theater Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 3 - October 29, 2004.
  • Various software reviews and how-to articles for 3D Artist magazine.


  • BS, Dec 1981, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  • AutoDesk Value Added Reseller (VAR), CAD and 3D Modeling for System Integrators
  • Network Security Professional
  • Automated Software Load/Stress Testing
  • Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) Process Integration
  • ITIL Foundation Certification
  • Certified Data Center Professional (CDCP), October 2008 by ICOR

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Artist's Statement

The STUPAfy Interactive Enlightenment art piece is designed as an interactive, "modulated sculpture" that features both sound and lights controlled by a programmed micro-controller (Arduino Uno).

The STUPAfy IE sculpture is inspired by the Buddhist architectural form called a "stupa." The spatial forms of the stupa are symbols and express concepts of metaphysical importance. The title, STUPAfy is a pun which combines the meaning of the word "stupa" and "stupefy" to amaze, astonish and be mysterious and bewildering.

The STUPAfy IE sculpture is crowned by a mesmerizing kiln fused glass globe which rests atop a hand-crafted pine wood base. The hand-crafted fused glass globe is actually a 30-sided spherical geometric figure called a triacontahedron. The glass art piece is beautiful by itself, but the addition of interactive sound and light transforms it to another level.

Sound rings out from the STUPAfy IE sculpture when two cast brass, Buddhist 'tingsha' bells are struck together. These marvelous bells are suspended within the base and are programmatically rung by a hidden solenoid. All of the electronics and interactive controls required to operate the sculpture are also contained within in the base.

High brightness LED lamps illuminates the STUPAfy IE. Lights shine on both the fused glass globe and the brass bells. Bells and lights are controlled by a distance sensor and control knobs within the base of the sculpture. An audience member may interact with the sculpture by passing a hand in front of the distance sensor and twisting knobs in the base. The sculpture reacts to audience interaction by displaying a variety of LED light sequences and by ringing the bell.

A recurring timer function is also provided by a knob in the base. The timer interval is displayed by the red LED lamps in the base. A sequence of lights is displayed and the bells are rung when the set regular time interval elapses.

The STUPAfy IE art piece is intended to ultimately assist a person in their meditation practice. The sculpture is a tool for Interactive Enlightenment. A person sits down in front of STUPAfy IE and begins their meditation session by setting the timer interval. A gesture of their hand illuminates the sculpture and rings the bells to signal the start of meditation. Contemplation of the sacred geometry embodied by STUPAfy IE may enrich the meditation session as the proportions of the triacontahedron embrace the Golden Mean and other mathematical mysteries. After the set interval the timer function will display a sequence of lights and ring the tingsha bells to signal the end of the meditation session.

The STUPAfy IE art piece contemplates the spherical geometry of nature using interactive gestures to raise sculptural form, light and sound to symbolic meditative value.

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Copyright © 2012 by Tom Greenbaum. Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Albuquerque, New Mexico