I failed to mention that months ago, Pouya the CML lab-tech came up with a great tool to power the back-end of the project. What we need is an interface that will essentially “push” information back and forth between the canoe in the gallery and people who visit the steersman web site. As explained here already, the web interface will allow people to virtually run their hands along the screens in the gallery. What this means is that the canoe can come to life at any time, even if there is no one physically touching it.
The back-end tool we’ll be using is APE (Ajax Push Engine). Pouya has set up a demo at the site below. To see it in action, open the link in two separate browsers, and watch them interact.