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CMU Electronic Media Studio II, Fall 2011, Section D » Assignment 4 due 9/21

Sam’s walking dog

Assignment 4 due 9/21 — EricSinger @ 1:48 pm

Code is here

Looking Outwards 1

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — HANK.EHRENFRIED @ 3:50 am

In Strata #1, Quayola aims to create a sharp contrast between classical art icons and the architecture they reside in and more contemporary geometric forms. Quayola’s additions to these classical works of art give these works already filled with tension, drama and narrative new life; the murals, paintings and architecture come back to life as they jump out at you. The sounds that each geometric shape makes as it appears and disappears gives the art the ability to speak out while it flaunts its additions. As if the spaces Quayola is editing weren’t awe inspiring enough, the way these artworks pop and expand in the videos and installations only make them more incredible.

Raven Kwok’s dec06c_2010 is one of the most addicting programs I have experienced. For starters, it is easy to use and laid out in a way that is clear to the user. All it takes to get this program running is a click and drag of your mouse and it instantly gets started. The basic forms travel toward your mouse that, if it remains clicked, will continue to circle around your mouse in smooth motions. I could sit and watch the simple shapes circle my mouse for hours. The way this program moves is organic and effortless even though it is made up of simple rigid lines.

Ricardo Sanchez’s current project is great a brought a smile to my face. Sanchez focuses on creating things that are truly interactive. Currently, the project he has on display mimics a fish tank. We have an aerial view. The fish swim in random patterns unless you click and drag your mouse. When you do that, you drop food into the tank and the fish nearby will flock towards the food and start to eat. The best part of this, other than the colors and simplicity of the design, is that you can feed these fish as much as you want and they’ll never pop or whatever it is that fish do when you over feed them.

Looking Outwards

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — NATHAN.TREVINO @ 3:20 am

simple, beautiful, elegant. The ability to utilize technology to mimic what human hands have so greatly boasted about for the last century. Graffiti, the epitome of personal expression, hand-made in the dead of night from the can of spray paint and discussed for years as “low art”. Now examined everywhere as a legitimate artistic form with its own style and show in galleries throughout the world, and a robot does it for him. The idea of combining technology and art has been around for such a long time and yet done in such a simple way and with the help of the Arduino. Art for the everyman, and by the everyman, with the help of robots of course.

Go down to COMPRESSED 2…. it is amazing. First off lets start with this idea. Beautiful form and shape created by two contradicting elements; dirty, clean, white, black, ink, soap. More than that the movement involved in the video and the natural created out of the unnatural is powerful. The blood-movement imagery really resounds with me because of its attempt to show off or show up the human body. Albeit, I am not too fond of the introduction of the red because of its more than necessary reference to blood and the ‘explosion’ quality the ink already has.

Go down to ADA…an analog interactive installation. I chose this one because I have a soft spot for interactive or user input artworks. This one is super simple. Giant Sphere with ‘nipples’ of charcoal that draw on top of the white room’s walls. I don’t think that analog drawing could be more simple that attaching a moving object to drawing utensils. I believe this work could have been more successful in a larger room or even had multiple giant spheres in the same area reacting off of each other and multiple people be supposed to interact simultaneously.

Looking Outward 1

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — HENRY.ARMERO @ 1:34 am

Taeji Sawai


In this video, Taeji Sawai demonstrates an audio-visual contraption he has created which uses a camera and some clever programming to turn points of light into beautiful sounds. He then uses it by slowly writing out words that appear in the corner of the display. The way he does this is a lot of what makes the display appealing. He kind of shuffles around and draws the letters with big graceful arm sweeps, sometimes adding little flourishes at the end. It just evokes a calm happy feeling, if you ask me.

Also, the program appears to have some pretty decent programming in it. It knows enough to ignore the lights from the environment, probably by making sure it’s over some threshold. Also, it differentiates between different sound by the color of the light. The artist hangs up some slowly pulsing lights to work as percussion instruments. These look a bit more green than their cousins the blue lights used to make slow harmonic noises. This is the first of a few little details that make the work wonderful. First, how often do you see a light that pulses regularly? He must have made it himself. Additionally, the way the lights leave trails is something that must be programmed in, which would be awfully difficult.

The only downside to Taeji Sawai’s program is that it is difficult to produce a large variety of music. Also, it wouldn’t go so well in a public setting, because it looks like a pretty unintuitive system in some aspects. For example, the hanging lights and the percussion would not be obvious. Also, the work-together-to-write-this-word-at-the-top aspect would get lost in a big crowd of children. But on the whole, it is an audio-visual creation that I think is pretty darn great.



Click This Link, Hey

Moonbell is a little applet that uses the topography of the moon to generate music. The user picks an orbit, and a little pointer slowly rolls over the landscape, playing sounds through various instruments according to various algorithms. Users can change which instruments are used and change which scale the notes come out in. With careful tweaking, rather remarkable creations can be made. The only downside is that some bits of the user interface aren’t very user-friendly. To change the instruments, one has to open up a preferences tab, which one would expect to contain nonessential parts of the program. Instead, there should be a little ‘Tweak Sounds’ button, or something like that. Also, there is a wall graphic option that creates a fullscreen video of colored bars to match the sound. This would be a great thing to demonstrate in a gallery environment, except that it totally hides the moon-topology aspect of the art. Sure, the colored lines are interesting, but there should be some visual to represent the lunar aspect of it all. Without it, the Wall Graphics option just detracts from the work. Anyway, in conclusion, it’s a really clever applet, but the exhibition-oriented aspect of the piece is more or less overlooked.


‘kao no study’

This video is really, really unnerving. The screechy sounds with the uneasy base rumble mix with the distorted visuals of something that might be a face to create something awfully disturbing. If that was the goal, the artist more than succeeded. If I have any nits to pick, though, they would be that the visuals appear to be a still image with some video-editing-software effects thrown on top and that the audio loops. Actually, I think having the background image be a still picture is fine. As digital paintings go,  you can get glimpses that tell you it is pretty creepy in it’s near-humanity. Having a little 3D animation might be more eerie, but might also look less interesting, due to the cleanness of 3d models. This image is very dirty and gritty, which wouldn’t translate well to 3D, I don’t think. It is good the way it is, I suppose. Either way, this is the kind of thing that subconsciously gives you nightmares, I imagine.

Looking Outward-3

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — SAMANTHA.OLESON @ 5:59 pm


I really enjoyed interacting Gravity Flocking by bjoscha.  In this project, bejoscha created many colorful and self propelled lines that would “flock” to the location of click of your mouse.  I liked the execution of the project in that the click of the mouse did not cause the lines to go directly to the location where the mouse was clicked but diverted their path momentarily and then they continued to go in their own random paths.  The design of the lines paths gave the lines a natural, almost animal-like quality.  When the mouse is clicked the lines pause from their own paths and turn their attention to the “disturbance,” similar to the behavior of wild animals.  Similarly, when the mouse click is held, the lines go strait to the location of the mouse and then become a jumble of bouncing dots, reminiscent of a trapped animal.  The natural qualities of the objects on the screen almost make the viewer want to simply observe the interactions of the lines rather than interfere.  This is a quality that I find amusing in a project where the objective of the creator was to create an interactive piece but the viewer would rather let the piece continue undisturbed.


Go here to experience it for yourself.

Looking Outward 1- 2

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — SAMANTHA.OLESON @ 3:20 pm

Pixel Knitting is an open processing project by emoc, where the artist manipulates the pixels of a photograph.  The code for Pixel Knitting allows “every pixel of the source picture [to be] given pictorial qualities from its components in a color space (emoc).” The result of this manipulation is a transformation of the original photograph from a picture of an obviously human made landscape to a natural and somewhat dreamlike environment.  The transformation occurs from the top of the screen and sweeps down the photograph, enlarging the pixels of the image and softening their shape to create an organic landscape.  The visual elements of this project are beautiful in their simplicity but the promise of a deeper meaning gives the piece a complexity not typically expected of the coding experiments populating openprocessing.org.  The process happens over a period of approximately 5 seconds but this short cycle can easily be projected onto the much longer cycle of the natural world.  emoc’s piece seems to be prophesying the future of our modern society,
explaining that everything that we have constructed will, over time, return to its natural state.


To see full transformation go here.

Example 2 for next homework

Assignment 4 due 9/21 — EricSinger @ 9:58 pm

It’s a frame-based animation uploaded to OpenProcessing: here

Example 1 for next homework

Assignment 4 due 9/21 — EricSinger @ 8:42 pm


So you understand what I mean by procedural animation based on time, here is a dastardly simple example.

The routine drawStick() draws a stick figure at x,y with arms up or down. Thus, I have parameterized control of location and whether its arms are up or down…in other words, not a hell of a lot I can do with this guy, but at least a few things I can control.

Now, I can move it based on 1/10 of a second steps of time, and flap its arms up and down on every other step.`

The animation here is computed from timeStep. You could just as easily use timeStep and the switch statement to change the behavior for each animation frame, with timeStep as your counter.

Sorry about the loss of formatting below. Just auto-format it.

final int diam = 50;
final int bodyY = 150;
final int armY = 50;
final int armLength = 50;
final int legLength = 50;
final int stepX = 10;

void setup()
size(400, 400);
stroke(255, 0, 0);
fill(255, 0, 0);

void draw()
int timeStep = (millis() / 100) % 40; // 1/10 of a second time steps from 0-39

background(0, 255, 0);

// stick figure’s x moves with timeStep
// stick figure alternates moving arms up and down based on timeStep
// draw stick moving rightwards
if (timeStep < 20) { drawStick(100 + timeStep * stepX, 100, timeStep % 2); } // draw stick moving leftwards else { drawStick(100 + (40 - timeStep) * stepX, 100, timeStep % 2); } } void drawStick(int x, int y, int armsUp) { // head at x, y ellipse(x, y, diam, diam); // body line(x, y, x, y + bodyY); // if arms are up, draw a straight arm line if (armsUp == 1) { line(x - armLength, y + armY, x + armLength, y + armY); } // else draw diagonally down angle arms else { line(x, y + armY, x - armLength, y + armY + armLength); line(x, y + armY, x + armLength, y + armY + armLength); } // draw diagonally down legs line(x, y + bodyY, x - legLength, y + bodyY + legLength); line(x, y + bodyY, x + legLength, y + bodyY + legLength); }

Looking Outward 1

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — SAMANTHA.OLESON @ 4:34 am


The Last Clock is an app created by NewMediology for use on the ipad.  The application uses a live video feed that is played three times on the surface of the clock.  Each of the rings of video is controlled by one of the hands of the clock (second, minute or hour) and the video loads as the hand sweeps around the face of the clock.  I was really drawn by the idea of using the live video footage as a measurement of time in that the actions captured by the camera are slowed by the speed at which the hand travels.  The second hand preserves the visual integrity of the footage without distorting it while the minute and hour hands slow the footage down to such an extent that it is increasingly impossible to understand what image you are looking at.  The viewer watches three iterations of live footage, all of which are designed to measure time as it passes.  However, “real time” is represented by “real time” footage in the second hand’s track while “real time” is represented by slowed “real time” footage in the minute and hour hand’s tracks.  The contrast between time as it occurs naturally and manipulated time as a representation of natural time is interesting as a concept in regards to the complex layering of “real time” images.


To watch the video that explains this better then I can, go here.

Looking Outward #1 – Assignment 4

Assignment 4 due 9/21,Looking Outwards — JILLIAN.GOODWYN @ 8:21 pm

Evan Roth’s “Multi-Touch Finger Paintings” really resonated with me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the tidal wave of digital technology that has collided with our generation, and I know that personally I rarely stop to think about the basic, human functions that power so many hi-tech gadgets. Roth’s “paintings” remind me so much of caveman drawings, which makes such an awesome contrast with the technological theme of the images. Roth’s work brings me back to the human side of the digital age, and it reminds me of how simple we would be without our fancy technology.

 I also really enjoyed Erica Dorn’s “The Golden Mistake” where she covered the Command and Z keys on her Apple computer with opaque golden keys. Although the piece itself may seem a bit simple at first glance, I feel that it has a lot more meaning underneath the surface. Like Roth’s exhibit, I feel that Dorn also uncovers the more human side of technology. I believe her piece points toward our inevitable fallibity as living organisms and our efforts to “go back” and make things right, perhaps even perfect. Additionally, covering the keys so that we can no longer read their labels also raises the question of what we would do without those particular keys. I suppose we would have to suffer through the 5 extra seconds of going to the menu bar and clicking “Undo.”

 I thought the “First Digital 3D Rendered Film (1972)” by Ed Catmull and and Fred Parke was absolutely fantastic. Seriously, that was almost FORTY years ago! I also can’t deny that I love the fact that Ed Catmull is the guy who went on the found Pixar. It really makes me appreciate how far animation has come, and how much hard work has brought us this far. Catmull and Park’s work is highly inspiring and makes me wonder how much farther we can push the envelope and improve the techniques and tools that we have now.

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