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jtnimoy: BallDroppings

Joshua T. Nimoy is a Venetian code artist. He began working in this trade before the likes of Flash and Processing came to light. He has taught himself the tricks of the digital trade through pure dedication or by studying theories, asking his peers and scouring the web for reusable code. If all else fails he just has to invent his own methods.


BallDroppings is his most famous digital work but he has also been involved with more commercial projects for clients such as IBM, LG, Verizon, Gatorade, Buick and Google Chrome. A lot of his projects have been showcased in galleries, museums and some very well know institutions.

Essentially BallDroppings is an audio-visual performance instrument. Balls fall from the top of the screen and bounce off the lines you are drawing with the mouse. The balls make a percussive and melodic sound, whose pitch depends on how fast the ball is moving when it hits the line.


“Balldroppings was one night of idle programming that blew up unexpectedly into a web phenomenon. I learned that simplicity is elegant, and C++ is wonderful for low-latency sound+image. I also learned about addiction and glucose metabolism rate highs.

Although I do not accredit myself for having originated the idea of interactive lines with bouncing balls, there exists a small following in the online gaming community that gives me such credit, particularly when accusing one another of having copied me in their recent developments.

BallDroppings has also been re-implemented in other languages by random people, referencing the name “BallDroppings.” All this activity is very surprising to me. It is also a clear example of the great power resulting from refraining to mark intellectual property. A lot of people mistook BallDroppings to be my graduate thesis. I don’t try to correct this misunderstanding.”