Category: Assignment-09-Sketches

Project Proposals

[I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.]

1st idea: Starry Audio Visualizer
I wanted to make a physical audio visualizer using Arduino and multiple LED lights. The LED lights would be stored inside semi-transparent hand-made stars, which would individually light up according to noise input.

Partially inspired by these:

This is a cube made up of LED lights controlled by arduino. It is an interesting visualizer for 3D motion and objects. It is simple but effective.

This is a music visualizer made using Processing. Its display is also 3D. The white on black background makes the string of dots seem to glow, which reminds me of the night sky.

My beautiful picture

2nd idea: continuing Kimpi (game)
.. With enemies to kill, and overhead map in corner to show the enemies positions.

My beautiful picture

I realized a big part of the concept is actually very similar to this game:
Differences are that in this game, player is supposed to avoid obstacles, whereas Kimpi should kill enemies as well as avoid them. The movement of this game is also linear, but Kimpi should be able to go in circles, theoretically.

Maddy-Looking Outwards + Sketches


01. Elektrobiblioteka / Electrolibrary

An electronic book! The video makes the creation process look so INTENSE and DRAMATIC, look at the those arduino code closeups, wow, computers. This was somewhat disappointing in that the book was mainly used as just an HID for the actual program, which was on a computer. I’d love to see a book that is wireless + interactive. (another book spinoff is this circuit sketchbook)

02. Input / Output Paper

More of a tech demonstration than an art piece, input/output paper is a set of two sheets of paper. Fold one and the other mimics its movements. The actuated paper can be made to move, like a tiny paper creature. Adorable! I find memory wire really fascinating and would love to play with that + paper (which is such a flexible medium).

03. Sticker Circuits

This recently launched project on Crowd Supply is a toolkit of stickers that are conductive and can be used as part of electronics projects on non-traditional surfaces like paper, fabric, and even your wall! I know people have been making snap-together electronics kits for a while in a variety of forms, but I think that this more crafts-oriented approach to electronics is more engaging for people who may not be interested in electronics otherwise or find them unapproachable. I like the idea of creating tools with a pedagogical purpose.


01. Origami Robots


I’d like to use muscle wire and small microcontrollers to create self-sustaining origami robots that wander around. I would connect the wire from the bottom of each leg to a point above on the body/head that would create a right angle so I could have each leg “shuffle” forward based on the shrinking/expansion of the wire. I’d like to add simple sensors like a light sensor to enable line following or some sort of other navigation. For microcontrollers I’d use one of the ATtinys for lightweight control, and for power I’d either use a really light battery (think 3V coin cell) or a larger battery that has longer wires (so the creature is tethered but free to move about).

02. Circuit Graffiti Cookbook


A short book that details techniques and schematics for sticker circuits. I’d like to embed a battery in the back cover of the book and actually have demonstrations for things within the book. I could have a internet complement to it which could allow me to upload sketches/schematic files so people could then download them and use them to their own advantage.

bonus. SpaceTime Radio

I’ve been to a couple of artist talks on sound art in the recent past and i’m really fascinated by this genre of soundwalks, where you walk around with a device and it plays sounds based on your GPS location. I think it would be interesting to create a radio (I say radio because I’ve been manufacturing various radio design for a concept studio project, my life is currently fake radios and coding) that only plays when it’s placed in a certain location at a certain time. I’m fascinated with the idea of ritual and cargo cult, esp. in a modern era where there’s often very little understanding of objects we depend on every day (e.g. our cellphones!). The radio would be paired with either vague or nonexistent instructions for spacetime placement, forcing the user to wander and rely on the radio itself for knowledge.

Looking Outwards + Sketches for Final Project – Swetha

This piece dos not actually have to do with my final project, but I found it very interesting that it relates to our previous project. Although it does look menacing, it is meant to be since it is basically a countdown to nuclear warfare. This project although simple carries a lot of weight and perhaps this is a lesson that I can incorporate into my final project?

This interactive petting zoo inspired my second idea. The thought of using technology as a means to interact in new ways is interesting and although the creature in this project is synthetic it still carries the idea of animal.

I really wanted to work with pumps in this project so “Go With the Flow” was an interesting project to encounter. Water keeps piling up in response to different emails that one gets. It’s simple and is a good way to keep track of your life; i can really see this being in a home as some piece of furnishing or design that is also informative of an individual’s social interactions.

Idea #1:
In india there is a ritual called itu kala samskara that every young girl from a traditional family goes through. This ceremony is similar to england’s coming of age balls for young girls, or jewish ceremonies (like Bat Mitzvah) that commemorate some sort of transition into adulthood. In this case, the Indian ceremony commemorates the first period of a young girl and is also the first time she is allowed to wear the traditional indian Sari. The ceremony is very embarrassing and makes a spectacle out of the first period. Because of this, I want to make a standing sculpture of a sari, which has an has an artificial period. The period will get heavier as the viewer comes closer. The sculpture is meant to be on display for days/hours so that by the end of the exhibition, the gown of the sculpture is drenched with *fake* blood.
arsuino 2

Idea #2:
I want to make a sculpture that is based on interactions between creatures and may comeback to something we all had as a child; a pet goldfish. My idea is to make a fish tank with (hopefully) a live beta fish in it. The water in the tank will be continuously draining out of the tank and the only way water will be added to the tank is is someone is close to the tank (proximity sensor). In this way the fish relies on you for sustenance, which is against the nature of the beta and you, the viewer are similarly chained by the fish. I will of course add a safety feature to the tank to that the water level never goes below a certain threshold. I am, however reserved about this idea partly because of dealing with a live fish and partly because I am not yet sure how the mechanism would go.

arsuino 1

Miles: Looking Outwards & Project Ideas

inForm – Tangible Media Group at MIT Media Lab

inFORM – Interacting With a Dynamic Shape Display from Tangible Media Group on Vimeo.

inForm is a Dynamic Shape (shape-shifting) Display by the Tangible Media Group at MIT Media Lab. It is a step towards the group’s vision of “Radical Atoms”, or materials that change their physical form to reflect an underlying digital model. The documentation video is fairly comprehensive. It includes demos in which the display manipulates physical objects, visualizes data and responds to events like phone calls. The inForm reminds me of a pin point impression toy that I used to play with as a child.

I think this project has enormous potential to make the abstract tangible. One could use it to visualize trigonometric functions, or to represent data collected in an experiment. It also has architectural connotations. If one installs inForm in the floor of a room, the room itself can dynamically shapeshift.

“Face Visualizer”, “Face Instrument” – Daito Manabe

From Daito’s description of the project:

‘I got inspired “we can make fake smile with sending electric stimulation signals from computer to face, but NO ONE can make real smile without humans emotion”. This is words from Mr. Teruoka who is my collaborator to make devices.’

The notion of a “fake smile” is the impetus for my “Say Cheese” proposal below.

It’s interesting to conceive of the face as a means of visualizing emotional data. Daito’s project focuses on the performative aspect of the face, and the uncanny reality that a computer can manipulate a face with surgical precision.

I’m enthralled by the idea that facial expressions can be quantified and deployed on a face. It raises possibilities for cyborg theatre, performance art and retail technology.

Here are two project ideas that I thought of:

Consider a video game in which an alien jellyfish that attaches itself to your character’s face, then proceeds to take control of your real-life face.

Empathy Mirror: First, FaceOSC detects the facial expression of a person standing across from you. It then sends that data to a microcontroller which is attached to a series of electrodes. It contorts your face to the other person’s expression.

MOSS, The Dynamic Robot Constructor – Modular Robotics

The MOSS Kickstarter has, at the time of this writing, raised $252,042 – more than $100,000 over the original goal. It still has 20 days to go.

MOSS is the next iteration of Modular Robotics’ previous product, Cubelets. MOSS is a construction kit for building robots from magnetically connectable cubes and other components. One can combine and program them to make an infinite number of tiny robots – no coding required. Additionally, cubes transmit power and data between each other, so there is no need to individually program or charge them.

It’s clear from the success of the Kickstarter campaign that MOSS has the potential to make robotics more accessible than ever before. However, I’m concerned about the viability of a system in which coding isn’t an option. To what extent does this approach preclude complex designs/behaviors?

In any case, I’m excited to see how MOSS develops.

Project idea 1: Say Cheese

For far too long I have suppressed a burning hatred for cultural situations which require smiling. But I have had to “grin” and bear it: the ability to smile on command is a vital skill in America.

Recent immigrants and tourists might not be familiar with American smiling conventions. They might be shocked to find, for instance, that their neutral expression is interpreted as a sign of distress.

I propose a product called “Say Cheese” with these groups in mind. Say Cheese is a device comprised of a lavalier microphone, two electrodes, a wireless receiver (Pololu Wixel), and an Arduino microcontroller.

Using the Google Text to Speech API, it can pick up on certain key phrases:

• Say cheese

• You okay?

• What’s wrong?

• Are you depressed?

• You should really smile more

• Smile!

Each of these phrases prompts the device to send a current through the two electrodes, which are attached to the user’s face.

French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806 – 1875) experimented with electrically induced facial expressions

Regarding style, I figure that electrodes can’t be much worse than earbuds. And plus, wearing a Say Cheese indicates an earnest desire to assimilate to Our Way.

smile1 smile2

Variation 1: Clerk Control, a means of enforcing customer relations standards in the retail sector. The phrase “thank you, have a nice day” could trigger a wide, toothy grin.

Variation 2: Empathy Mirror. As described in my looking outwards, the Empathy Mirror matches your expression to that of another person (detected with FaceOSC).

Project idea 2: Turn on, tune in

Alarm Gates

Every time I pass the alarm gates to exit Hunt library, I hear a shrill, high pitched squeal – but only when I’m listening to music on earbuds. I was curious about this phenomenon, so I asked about it on a sound design forum. Here is what someone had to say:

“Basically your earbuds’ cables act as an antenna and pick up the RF signal sent out by the gates to check for tags passing (which when present cause a specific signal to be picked up by the receiver in the gates which in turn triggers the alarm).

To “exploit” this all you need is a radio transmitter and a receiver ;)”

– André Engelhardt, Sound Design on Stack Exchange

I’m fascinated by the prospect of invading someone’s private musical space, even with a modest squeal. I need to research more to find out exactly how this could be implemented, but ideally the radio transmitter would be small and portable. Walking around with it would be like emitting an aural scent to anyone in range (anyone wearing headphones that is).


Backup idea: Breath Graph

Airflow sensor from Cooking Hacks

Controlled breathing is a crucial skill in many activities: meditation and singing to name two. While it is possible to watch breathing in the present, it is difficult to notice gradual trends in breathing. The Breath Graph is a simple device that produces a history of breathing during the course of an activity – a breath graph.

It uses an airflow sensor to measure airflow rate from the nostrils, and a thermal printer to print a breath graph – a line graph with airflow rate on the y axis and time on the x axis – when the session ends.



Assignment 9 Looking Outwards + Sketches

Looking Outwards

Discovery 1: Triple Geek Showcase

The Triple Geek Showcase is a montage of projects by Stefan Goodchild,  a “freelance creative coder, motion graphics & interaction designer”. Most of his projects are concert visuals (largely light-based) for clients, made for a musical artist and a venue. Those visuals, especially in montage form, are really dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. Seeing his work made me want to experiment with large scale projections or music visualization.

Discovery 2: Equil Jot Pen

My second discovery is more of a product and less of an art piece, but stay with me. The Equil consists of a receiver and a pen which sends out a signal as a person writes. It allows a person to create on an analog medium—paper—and immediately have it appear and become manipulable onscreen. That blurring of borders between analog and digital input was the part that interests me. It reminds me thematically of a project I’ve referenced before by Bret Victor—a gestural animation app. I like that these projects change how input works to make it simpler to create more expressive digital images or animations.

Discovery 3: Rubix Cube Building

I can’t find the link for this one again as I write this, but I think that the project video I watched was filmed at the building pictured above, the Stuttgart library. The library is modeled after a rubick’s cube and has lights all over the outside. This person’s project was to create a custom, normal-sized rubick’s cube which people could solve, and as they moved the small scale cube, the LEDs on the building would mirror the changes. I liked the whimsy of this project, and how it took an existing light installation and made it interactive.

Discovery 4(ish): Expandos Digital Packaging

This project doesn’t involve circuits or code (at least as a visible output), but I wanted to include it anyways. The items pictured above are ExpanDOs, which are basically cardboard packing chips. The fun thing about them is that they are also Lego-like—once pulled apart, you can use them to build all kinds of structures (see below.) What I like about this product/project is how it takes what would otherwise be trash and makes something of it. Looking at these reminded of me of an idea I’ve had for a while, which is to take scrap cardboard and laser cut it to make larger building block toys (similar to ones I had as a kid.)

Final Project Ideas

Idea 1: Meditation Butterflies

One of my friends at CMU has been working with the university to create a Mindfulness Room, “a room where there is no technology or homework allowed, somewhere to go to relax, be inspired, and breathe.” My idea is to use computer vision (through a webcam, kinect, whatever) to create butterflies in the room which respond to people who enter the environment. Basically, the butterflies flutter around when you walk into the room, but as you sit and meditate longer, the butterflies come and “land” on you/your shadow. To me, the most important part of this concept is just creating a simulated natural environment (fitting the mood of the room) that rewards people for sitting/being still.

Idea 2: Sunrise Blinds

This concept is to link up a motor to the internet and use information about the time of sunrise and sunset in a given place to control the lifting and lowering of a set of blinds. People have done very similar projects before, though they are largely just automatically-controllable blinds. The role that I want my blinds to play is to make people more aware of and in tune with the rising and setting of the sun (as a counter to constant artificial lighting.)

The other motivation I have here is selfish—there are bright outdoor lights outside my window, so I close my blinds to block out as much light as possible at night. However, in the morning, waking up is easier if light gradually brightens (like the sunrise). But since I’m asleep, I can’t open the blinds to let the light in—this project that solves that problem for me.

Idea 3: Whimsical Cheery Creature

The last project is the most whimsical. It would basically be using code to control a cheery-mechanical figurine, either modeled after the above motivational penguin, or as a little creature which wags its tail in different ways in response to someone’s interactions with it. One of the benefits of this project is that it seems relatively simple, and that it would let me gain technical experience with creating basic robotics (I have none.)

Maryyann-Looking Outwards + Final Ideas


Comet is a phone booth that allows one to have private calls while in an enclosed space. The builders hacked into an old hair dryer helmet using Arduino circuits and created a special helmet that streams the voice of the person you’re calling while a microphone captures your own voice. I was inspired by this video and wanted to incorporate some kind of sound recognition in my final project.

I think the appearance of the project could have been greatly enhanced, but the video didn’t seem like the final product, so I’m expecting to see a cleaner video of this creation.

Comet from Pedro Andrade on Vimeo.

2. Standuino Pi 

This project involves syncing a microGranny and frauAngelico together to create musical combinations. The Standuino microGranny is a pocket sized handmade granular sampler. It uses a microSD card to store samples and allows you to change many different parameters. Since I’ve never messed with sound before on the arduino, I wondered how I could use it to create a communication between the user and my piece.

Standuino π [pi] synced with frauAngelico + microGranny from standuino on Vimeo.

3. Sweatshoppe

Sweatschoppe takes place in Europe. It involves a group of new media artists and their vision to create two-story tall video paintings. As each artist, rolls their paint roller across an empty wall, a new part of a video clip is revealed. This is done through computer software tracking the location of the paint roller. Video Painting allows them to create the illusion of painting on walls through electronic paint rollers.

I think this is an interesting idea and I wanted to try and incorporate not just projection, but also motion tracking in my final project similar to the paint roller.

SWEATSHOPPE Video Painting Europe from SWEATSHOPPE on Vimeo.

Final Ideas: 

1) Polly

Sound became a trigger while I was searching through examples and inspirations for my final project. One idea I had was playing with voice recognition, but I realized that the shields were really expensive for that piece of hardware. So I looked in another direction because usually if you combine a variety number of smaller cheaper shields or sensors, you can recreate essentially the same effect.

My first idea called Polly because it is a parrot that tracks your movement, and repeats back to you what you say, but in a parrot voice.

2)  Tank 

My second idea involves the combination of arduino and augmented projection.

I think it is fair to say that the world we live in is parallel to the ocean. Each person or living creature can represent a tiny fish in the vast open ocean. For this idea, I want to have an empty “ocean” projected onto a section of the wall. As people walk by, each person will drop into the ocean as a fish, which will involve motion tracking. Depending on the type of fish dropped, the fish will either stay in the view, or follow its “owner” out of the frame.



Melanie-LookingOutwards + sketches for final project

1) games: Thomas Was Alone + The Binding of Isaac + The Sense of Connectedness

I wrote about Thomas Was Alone before (not as a looking outwards entry but an example), and Ralph wrote about The Binding of Isaac (and is in fact the person who got me into the game). The Sense of Connectedness, despite also being an indie game, is very small compared to the two games, especially since it’s f2p PC downloadable. It’s an intense game in the not-action-y way: I felt as though my body was pulled through the grinder after spending a good hour on it, and in a good way. The sound is perfect and paces the player really well, prompting him/her to follow the rhythm in order to progress through the game without being an overtly rhythm-based game, and the vibrating graphics invoke a feeling of tension and urgency. It’s a game that messes with your mind as you try to figure out what’s going on, the mechanics of the gameplay, if you’re even in control of anything, etc. It’s an experience that encourages exploration and discovery.

There are three distinct respective elements I want to pull from these games: minimalist landscapes, randomization to the effect of infinite re-experiences, and overarching sensation of psychological discovery and engrossment.

2) Luan Chyi

It’s a generative landscape installation, based on the traditional Oriental ink painting. While it’s evocative of its source material, it stands strong on its own: a landscape that flows like water, ebbing and rushing constantly.


This is a “combination of imagery driven by generative processes in perspective to create representations of memory and mental association.” I become easily moved by art that channels the metaphysical, and this is no exception. Not only is it visually stunning, but it also has a compelling and alluring concept of the “aleph,” where “one can see the entire universe, from every angle at the same time.” It’s just very appealing and scary to think about.

First project idea is a game idea that’s been incubating in my head for quite a while now, and furthered by #1 in the looking outwards. Ideally, it would be minimalist in aesthetics, and the levels would revolve around generative landscapes that are different for every playthrough and level. I want to sustain an exploratory heart in players, and I think constantly moving landscapes a la #2 on looking outwards would help in that. Ultimately there’s a goal in the game other than to just explore the levels but figuring out what to do with the generative landscapes comes first.


(meager sketch because I’m too tired to take the rest of the photos. I will add more later)

The second project is an augmented projection but also playing with the idea of generating landscapes. Lemercier’s works come to mind when I think about what I want to do. Since this project is supposed to be small, projecting onto just big-enough-drawings instead of an entire room is what I’m aiming for. There’s a lot of random geometric landscapes in my sketchbook at the moment so there’s no shortage of materials to project onto… but I also want to create a meditative work like in #3 on looking outwards, so I might combine the two urges somehow.

Chloe – LookingOutwards – Community Sourcing (Final Project)

As we approach the end of the semester and a period of high burnout rates, I wanted my final project to take on CMU’s stress culture, and finding ways to foster a greater sense of community. I’ve always been inspired by the projects of Candy Chang, who has taken on the mission of “Making cities more emotional”. Some of her most well-known projects include “Before I die…” and “Confessions”

A principle of her projects and what I want to pursue is the idea of crowd-sourcing. With the capabilities of the tools that are available to us, it should would be easy to collect, store, and showcase such data. It’s only a matter of what that data is and how. One project I came across was Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Voice Array” (2011), in which participants can record their voices, which is looped and layered with the collection of all the past recordings.

“Voice Array” at MCA Sydney (2011) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer from bitforms gallery on Vimeo.

It is a beautiful display of both user input and history, like an updated oral tradition rich with meaning from those before. I think that it would be interesting if there were a prompt of some kind–like Candy Chang’s “Before I die I want to….” or the confessions that she prompts. But instead of displaying them as mere handwritten notes, how cool would it be to hear the voices–complete with intonation and personality–upon tapping into them?

Messa Di Voce (2003) by Zachary Lieberman, Jaap Blonk, Joan La Barbara, and our very own Prof. Golan Levin is an example of displaying user audio-input, creating bubbles of audio that release the sound recorded when the bubbles are dropped. For a project based on confessions, displaying a participant’s confession as such gives a sense of anonymity, as well as a randomness when others try to tap into and listen to these confessions.

Possible prompts that I have in mind for such a community confession booth would be things like “I wish______”, “I dream_______”, or “Where I see myself in 5 years time”. It would be interesting to see what the hopes and dreams of CMU’s students are, and also a good opportunity for the stress-ridden students of CMU to remember why they are here (i.e. the pursuit of their future, etc.). Another form of a prompt could also be a way to pay homage to Randy Pausch (“What are your childhood dreams”), who was one of my biggest reasons for being here at CMU, as well as fostering my love for the convergence of technology and art.

Another element of community building is by fostering a sense of connection between strangers, making fleeting, transient interactions meaningful and/or interesting. I’m particularly inspired by Passing, a project by Jonathan Ota, a CMU Design graduate during his study abroad in the Netherlands.

I was equally intrigued by the extensive testing and research he did for this project, as well as the simple beauty of the interaction itself. Through this, connection between strangers is facilitated in a transient space.

This then got me thinking about the transient spaces on CMU’s campus, the closest one for me being the long hallway of Maggie Mo, a place truly interdisciplinary both in the spirit of the Design school residing there, and in the literal sense of the mix of students that pass through it, from design, to architecture, to music, to business, to economics, and so on. I thought about ways that I could perhaps facilitate connections there, but struggled with trying to not be too intrusive as it is a very high traffic zone, and dangerous for any projector and kinect to be installed.

Another idea I had was inspired by the Talking Doors project by Julijonas Urbonas that was shown to us in a previous class, where Maggie Mo’s popularly used revolving door could be used as a control for music to be played. I’m not as keen on this one as it is rather one-sided, and kind of a rip-off of its inspiration. As an artist seeking ways to facilitate meaningful community building, it would be important to seek two-way interactions–a give and take/collect.

I think it would be interesting to have a device that demonstrates the goodwill of CMU students. On the giving end, participants would have some equivalent of a “big juicy red button” to push, with the prompt that they could make someone’s day. If pushed, somewhere else, a Hershey’s kiss/some sort of candy/some sort of compliment/note/treat would be released, ready to be picked up by those around the device. Even cooler would be to have live video feeds in these separate stations, so that the Giver could see the results of his goodwill. A compassion machine of sorts, if you will.

The context of the input and output of such a device could very greatly change its intentions–for example, thinking about the differences between a student giver to a student receiver, and a student giver to a campus employee receiver. Whereas the former could be taken as a recognition of empathy, the latter is a form of thanks for the employee in their service of the students. If the input is not a tangible button but rather a Facebook ‘Like’, that it itself already taps into the debatable realm of how meaningful/substantial “Likes” actually are.

Lots to think about and let incubate. I look forward to fleshing out some of these in studio later today!


I Think I May Scratch Myself in my Sleep is a project by Marco de Mutiis that depicts the inner violence of man through animating a dismembered piano. Without the strings to produce melodic tones, the hammers of the piano are left to flail about and rap against the cloth. The movements of the hammers are triggered by data received from internet sex convos, making their rapid tapping a manifestation of the internal frustration we suppress on a daily basis. While I don’t think I plan to make something this sophisticated for my final project, I really like this concept of taking data and representing it in an quirky, poetic manner.


The Pong Playing Flexible Screen on a Shirt is a pretty self-explanatory project: it is a T-shirt that also serves as an interface for playing pong. Wearable electronics has become a recent topic of interest of mine because it raises the question of how an article of clothing can be both fashionable and functional.


Speaking of wearable electronics, this pressure-sensitive conductive sheet seems to be a handy sensor to have for a wearable technology project. I was mostly drawn to it because it is a lightweight, cheap alternative to bend/flex sensors. In the example on Adafruit, it was used to create shoes that lit up with each step a person took – and building off that for inspiration, I thought it would be interesting to also make a project that focused on walking behavior.



1. Groove Gloves

sketch I

I was thinking about creating gloves that play sound based on certain finger movements – an air piano, in other words. Each finger would have a sensor that gets triggered when that finger is bent, which causes the note corresponding to the respective finger to be played. Instead of buying 10 expensive flex/bend sensors, I was thinking about making my own simple ‘contact switches’ that can be used to determine whether a finger is bent or not. When the fingers are relaxed the contact strips will be disconnected, otherwise when the fingers are bent to a certain extent the contact strips will be connected, triggering the sound.

It would be interesting to incorporate a visual aspect into the gloves as well – perhaps an LED for each finger that lights up whenever a note is played. With these two attributes the ‘Grooving Gloves’ can be used as a visually appealing performance-art instrument.


2. Tread Carefully (backup plan)

sketch II

While footsteps have a nice percussive sound, they do get a little boring after a while. With Adafruit’s FLORA and a few Velostats, boots can be made for both walking and music-making. These shoes allow a person to add some more spring to their step, because with every step they take a random note is played. But the greater the force is applied to the sensor, the louder the sound becomes; so if the wearer wishes to be less conspicuous, they would have to tread carefully.

Rachel-Final Project Sketches

The RAM Dance Toolkit by Yoko Ando and YCAM fuses two art forms: dance and programming. Using a motion detection system attached to the dancer’s bodies, the program catalogs and predicts the fluid motions of human expression. This project beautifully captures art within technology, though I find the external motion detection system distracting. So much of dance is about the visual body and its contours and forms in space that clunky straps and electronics retract from the performative aspect of the dance as it is captured. Though on-body systems are probably much more accurate than a single plain watching devices like the kinect, they take the magic from the art, turning it more into an ancient practice to be chronicled than a thriving societal pulse monitor.

tangent’s KIHOU is integrates simple beauty and mystery. A bowl of sticky transparent liquid covered in black oil is underlit with LEDs. Air bubbles push the liquids about, forming bubbles and pockets of animation and life within the substance. The design of this object is striking; sleek post post modern lines and minimal color contrasted with a viscous, organic, messy substance. This juxtaposition speaks to society today; to deep urges and desires buried beneath smooth facades. This generates a mysterious aura around the KIHOU object that makes it beautifully vague yet meaningful.

Signal | Noise’s Monolith

By the title, this object is meant to function as an artifact of current society. With clean, reflective surfaces and engaging light seams, the project does embody the design and conceptual concerns of today’s society. Ironically, these concerns mirror the post and lintel forms of ancient human monoliths. The light arrays react to touch, allowing every visitor to become a part of the work, a parallel to the ritualistic nature of ancient human monoliths in which every pilgrim was connected to each other through the common goal. The impact left on the light beam by one visitor is immediately absorbed by the next, so the interactions a viewer has with the object are really significant only to himself and not the object itself. This heightens the intimacy between viewer and object.

Project Ideas:

 photo Sketches9a_zps66e2853c.jpg
The Intuitive Development Environment takes input from a Kinect and generates a simple Processing program based on repetitive gestures found in skeletal movements. The code writing process becomes interactive and engaging, and much more akin to the creative impulse and practice of creating art than the stereotypically sterile methods of programming. The motions of the programmer are directly documented by the code, as is the conversation and dialect that forms between the artist and the creation. These connections are spiritual and integral to the creation process, an element I often find missing in the computerized world. The spacial element of this environment is also significant, as it actually does create an environment that is tangible and yet still defined by the user.


Meeting Place(Modern Monolith)
 photo Sketches9_zpsfaf8d98c.jpg
This project attempts to connect human concerns over eons and methods with common concepts and concerns with the creative process. Meeting Place consists of two parallel pillars, one for the sun and one for the moon, each with a large central hole carved through the tops. Through out the day and night, motors slowly turn each pillar so that the hole faces the celestial body that pillar is attuned to.LEDs are embedded in each pillar to illuminate them during times when the sun or moon’s light is not visible. This ensures that light is always passing through both openings. A meeting point/holy space is generated between the pillars, a space that is always connected to what is beyond humanity, yet a perpetual human goal. The pillars themselves would be constructed with a  hollow wood armature covered in joint compound to give them a stone texture.