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October 29, 2009

Collaborative Exploration

Jane and I are talking about project ideas using types of conduction and analog control systems. I will be manufacturing a pressure sensing device that responds to amount of area and pressure applied in order to translate the values into controlling a kinetic sculpture. I received my order of conductive foam in the mail this week, and I found a site that explains how to use it in order to create pressure sensors from this and some wire mesh. Here is the link:

October 23, 2009

Julia Masvernat

Masvernat is an Argentinian artist, born 1973 in buenos aires. She works as a visual artist and graphic designer. Her work is developed through various medias and techniques: wooden objects, cutout paper installation, shadow projections, interactive audiovisual games, web platforms. The intimate relationship with the materials and their transformations (of form and meaning) is a recurring theme in her projects. She has exposed works in various individual and group shows (C.C.R.Rojas, C.C. Recoleta, CCEBA, arteBA, VideoBrasil, Fundación Telefónica, Fundación PROA, Galería BM). She is a university professor in electronic art and gives a youth-oriented workshop in visual arts. She's now working for a Non Governmental Organization teaching kids from a poor neighbourhood.

"What I like to do is take one thing and turn it into another, with few resources, like a transformation action. The idea is to put all of this in context: the city, the country, what is going on around us"

Ten years ago she started working for one of the most important argentine newspapers, and discovered the Internet. She worked on design and other products. "It's all about experience and perception: colours, sounds, I like people to get inside my work and participate in it."

making things move

Today we talked about kinetics and how to make things move ... especially how to transform the rotary, spinning motion of a motor into other ways of moving.

The Caberet Mechanical Theatre book and motion kit is in the closet. feel free to explore that.

There are some online resource that introduce you to a expansive vocabulary of motion:

animations of various mechanisms for inspiration:

KMODDL digital library has a collection of movies

Flying Pig describes simple forms of motion through animations. They have developed sculptural paper forms that are kinetic.

The Exploratorium has a video glossary of mechanisms.

October 22, 2009

It's Chris O'Shea!

For all your entertainment and inspirational needs, look no further:


Heart Beat Arduino Project

Heart Beat Arduino Project.JPG

Heart Beat Arduino Project

Before I detail my outline for the "touch" sensor project let me start off by saying that prior to my breakthrough - and when I say breakthrough, I mean my escape from an unrelenting creative block - I was in a state of utter panic and anxiety. I was walking home from work, contemplating the inactivity of my brain to develop coherent and interesting ideas, when I finally told myself to breath in order to calm down. During this time, I heard an inner noise that is common under such stress; it was the beating of my heart, fast and agitated like my state of mind. Then I thought, "Wow, I wish there were a sensor to pick up this sort of human activity." Immediately I answered this ridiculous thought with an obvious solution - a stethoscope! I know, amazing right? This brought on a myriad of ideas all flowing into the idea of the heartbeat which is the basis of my project and which I will outline as my project.

As of course, as you might guess, this project is not compatible with a touch sensor, or at least not to my knowledge, but my excuse for this is simple even if it might be inadequate. When I have a creative road block and I find an exit out of it, I will take that exit rather than stay in the traffic jam. That means moving from touch sensor to sound sensor. My project at this point is rough, but relatively simple in theory. Use an electronic device that monitors heart rate and hook it up to the arduino, then use the arduino to communicate that signal to a sound program - I am thinking garage band just because it is probably the most basic to start out with. The sound picked up from the monitor/sensor/whatever will register into garage band and the sound will be projected in the form of a random musical instrument. In the beginning the choice of instrument will probably be hand picked - timpani, synth, etc etc - but later on I hope to translate the heart beat activity to signal a different instrument based on the intensity of the heart beat itself. For example, a fast weak heart beat would be translated as a snare; a slow strong heart beat as a gong etc. etc. Of course, I would experiment to see what instruments and effects would yield more interesting sound variations. To later expand on this project, multiple stations could be set up in different settings, maybe one in dark room and one in a lighted room to see if the setting will affect the results.

Anyway, that is my project proposal; hopefully I can make it work.

-Mike Ballard

Heart Beat Arduino Projec Diagram.doc

October 21, 2009

Bryce Davidson - Tilt Sensor

While it was a large moment of excitement getting the tilt sensor to work, When I got home I found that that was no longer the case. I have rewired, and followed the tutorial to no success. I truly do not understand. ...Atleast there was momentary sucess... Photo 51.jpg

October 20, 2009

Tilt Sensor

I'm very proud of myself not only for getting the tilt sensor to work, but also to get it to make the light blink. Slowly, slowly, the snail climbs mount fuji.

Photo 7.jpg
Photo 6.jpg
Photo 12.jpg

Touch Sensor version 1 - Nick Gentle


Thumbnail image for touch-sensor-prototype.gif

My prototype is a sketch at this point. I wasn't able to manipulate the touch sensors in the way I was hoping, so I made a sketch to represent it anyway. It's essentially layed out for your hand to fit comfortably on the sensors; one finger on each of the 5 sensors. As each finger was pressed upon the sensor, the LED would light up, each a different color (or at least as many as I have access to). My hope was that depending on how firmly you pressed your finger to the sensor, the LED would shine brighter or dimmer. Hopefully I'll come up with some breakthrough that will lead me in the next direction with this idea.





October 19, 2009

Touch Prototype Presentation October 20th

This is an invitation to expand your ideas about the sense of touch and how touch can engage people in the experience of your artwork.

This prototype is focused on the responsiveness of interactive art that is created when the wires in a circuit are connected and disconnected, switched on or switched off.

Rather than thinking about switches, we are exploring this as an extension of our sense of touch. How can we imagine opening and closing a circuit through touch beyond the convention of a button that is pressed.

Think of touch very broadly - as contact with the surface beneath your feet, the movement of a grass-like element that brushes you as you walk past it, as two surfaces that make contact when you move them with your breath, as a soft object that you squeeze, etc.

The touch prototype is your interpretation of a physical sensor that begins an interaction or changes the state of your artwork when it is touched. Your choice of materials, scale and form will influence how people interact with it.

On Tuesday you will present your touch sensor prototype. Think about how you want people to encounter it. You may present it in our class studio space, W123 or the Installation and Performance Space W130.

We will experience and critique each Touch Prototype.

Providing meaningful feedback to each person requires the full participation of the class, with everyone sharing her/his unique perspective in response to each work.

This will be an opportunity to for you to observe how people intuitively interact with your Touch Prototype. Our focus is more on the experience of sensing and less on the action or response. We will put the sensing and response together in the Collaborative Explorations that will be introduced on Thursday and will be presented on November 12th.

October 15, 2009

Tilt Sensor Exploration - Nick Gentle

Photo on 2009-10-15 at 15.17.jpg

Photo on 2009-10-15 at 15.17 #2.jpg

My exploration with the tilt sensor was pretty basic in terms of what I made it do. I essentially just twist-tied the breadboard to the protoshield and arduino, then wired it the specifications I found on a website (I'll post the link/code below), pasted the code, and played with it. Basically, when the arduino/tilt sensor was upright, the LED was off. Then, when you turned it upside down, or at least until the ball in the tilt sensor moved, the LED turned on. Simple but groundbreaking. It was fun..

If you scroll down in the link, you'll find some decent diagrams on how to wire the board and there is a code at the way bottom that you can literally paste in the Arduino program.

Tilt Sensor

Tyler Williams
I was experimenting with the tilt sensor by programing it to turn on and off an LED light. I used it in the same sketch as the button switch. I was able to get it to work to turn on the LED and turn it off. It helped me greatly to put the tilt sensor on wires enabling more of a range of motion rather than attaching it directly to the Arduino. I want to think of how i could use this in a project. I am excited to learn how to use the tilt sensor to run a motor. I think that will be able to create a larger range of ideas and possibilities for a project.



October 14, 2009


Document and Post your exploration with the tilt sensor as an INput to the arduino and an LED, speaker, etc. as an OUTput.

This is an opportunity to review the a circuit that includes an on/off digital switch/sensor which in this case is the tilt sensor, and an LED or another OUTput which responds to this INput.

Feel free to use the small tilt sensor as an inspiration to make your own tilt sensor - you can change its scale, form, and material presence in the process.

October 13, 2009

Processing Sketch Controlled by Arduino via Photoresistor

Photoresistor is connected to analog-in pin. Processing uses serial connection to listen to Arduino. Will post code and schematic this week.

Five Servo Motors Controlled by Arduino Via Photoresistors

Each servo motor is connected to a digital-out pin. Each photoresistor is connected to an analog-in pin. Arduino serves as bridge for communication between servos and photoresistors. Will post code and schematic this week.

Tilt Sensor LED Control

Tilt sensor is used to switch LED on and off.

October 8, 2009

Concept Proposal

My concept is loosely based on some scientific fields. I drew ideas from ecology, in terms of interrelationships of organisms, and influence of environment on behavior. Also string theory, a field of theoretical physics, which implies universal connectivity.


Sensors obtain measurements from predetermined locations outdoors, such as the tree outside our classroom window. This environmental data includes sunlight and wind speed, as well as temperature. The data is abstracted into a value, and translated into parameters through coding and algorithms.

The way this works, is that all measured environmental factors will contribute to the overall value of environmental vitality. This figure will increase with energy received from the sun, and decrease in times of low sunlight, for example. The idea is not to replicate nature, but abstract the constant flows of energy into material for an ongoing artistic representation of these processes.

A second value will measure human activity inside and at arbitrary locations outside the digital ecosystem, the presentation space.

Human activity value will be represented in the environment through introduction of simulated organisms, and their interactions. The humans in the space will, in real time, effectively become the organisms in the space, as well as influence these same organisms through their actions in the space.

A warm sunny day will translate into certain activity in the digitally created ecosystem. The translation will be determined by the computer program/code and will be variable according to the users. Control of the parameters, and mapping of environmental data will occur through a system with terminal inside the presentation space. With different templates, the ecosystem will translate values obtained through sensors into entirely different landscapes, to allow many possibilities for the user's interaction.

The Killer Robots Circulatory System


My Killer Arduino Robot


Chico MacMurtrie

Tyler Williams
Artist Presentation

Chico MacMurtrie was born in New Mexico in 1961. He studied at the University of Arizona and went on to earn a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the director of the Amorphic Robot Works, which is a group of artists, technicians and programmers that work with machines sculptures that interact with their environments.

I enjoy the work of Chico MacMurtrie because of his unique ability to bring organic life to robots and machines. The machines that he builds have many organic characteristics and they often take on a life of their own. The viewer doesn't look at his creations as though they are machines but instead the viewer believes that he/she is interacting with another life form.

In his creation "Growing Raining Tree", MacMurtrie has created an amorphic tree that reacts to its surrounding environment. MacMurtrie uses the idea of interactivity because as viewers come near the tree, the limbs begin to stretch towards the viewer. The tree also responds to amount of sunlight that is in the room and occasionally it will rain out of its limbs based on the weather. The viewer is left to ponder artificial nature, the relationship between humans and nature and the way nature responds to its environment.

In his creation "Skeletal Reflections", has created a mimicking robotic skeleton. The robot mimics the gestures of the viewer based on a database of poses from throughout art history. Thus MacMurtrie again utilizes viewer interaction such that the viewers are in control of the robots movements, however the fact that the machine can only choose poses from art history the viewer must also think about the relationship between art and the machines as well as the viewer and machine.

The larger body of work from MacMurtrie fallows similar themes of interactivity and the transformation of machine into organic life. "Inflatable Architechture" is one of his newest installations and it uses many of the ideas from "Growing Raining Tree". The structures seem to grow as they are filled with air and becoming life like. This is another concept that is illustrated in "Totemobile" in which he transforms a car into a flowerlike totem pole.

I think that work of Chico MacMurtie is reminiscent of the work of Jim Henson because of his ability to bring objects to life. Although Chico MacMurtrie does this with advanced machinery and Jim Henson primarily uses puppetry, they both share an unbelievable knowledge of the movement of creatures and plants and they both use this knowledge to create immersive environments.

The work of Chico MacMurtie has inspired me to try to hide the technology that is powering the artwork not by covering it but by making the movements of the creature so life like that the viewer is not interested in how the creation works but is instead focused on their interaction with this creation. I also like the way that in some of his works he has created a totally immersive environment. That is also something that I want to take away with me and utilize in my own projects.

adding sensors

Limor Fried provides a guided tour of 5 sensors

start with the light sensor


and the tilt sensor


try the this code with the tilt sensorbetterDeBouncer.pde

jane powers: Comments on Huhtamo Article

I would like to counter Erkki Huhtamo's third misunderstanding, in his article, "Seven Ways of Misunderstanding Interactive Art", in terms of two interactive art works: Alexitimia, made by Paula Gaetano Adi and Translator II: Grower made by Sabrina Raaf. In his third misunderstanding, he contends that "interactive artists are content with technological trickery" and that there "is no significant difference between and interactive artwork and a well-made video game". Additionally, he comments, " An artwork requires something else, a kind of surplus of inspiration and signification which will transcend the rational assembly of the "machine parts", melt them together and give them a raison d'être on a higher level of abstraction."

Alexitimia, the title, is a term that refers to an emotional cognitive deficit, the inability to know what emotions signify and consequently the inability to verbalize them. Emotions do get expressed through the body. Gaetano's, Alexitimia is a high-tech machine covered in soft/pliable simulated skin. When the participant touches, its "skin", the "skin" begins to "sweat". The tactility of the simulated skin and the ooze of the "sweat", seeming would conflate the participant's mind and body. There is no prescribed outcome, rather the participant's experience is personal and sensorial, and would be felt, as Huhtamo asks, as "transcending the rational assembly of the 'machine parts'.



Translator II: Grower is a small high-tech robotic 'rover' vehicle, which navigates around the periphery of a room hugging the wall and "responding" to the carbon dioxide levels in the air by drawing varying heights of "grass" on the walls in green ink. Grower senses CO2 levels via a digital CO2 sensor. The number of people in the room affects the CO2 level. Grower seemly works on both a conceptual and sense perception level, thus on Huhtamo's request for a "higher level of abstraction". The participant(s) in the room are given a visual image of the consequence of our mostly invisible breath. In the room he/she/they can grasp that breath has a substance that can affect other life forms positively and be brought to noticing/experiencing his/her/their breath. This robotic rover "transcends" to metaphoric space.

Translator II: Grower

Grower image.jpg

the complete beginners guide to the arduino

Earthshine Design shares their complete beginners guide to the arduino as well as the code files for their examples.

the arduino programming notebook

The Arduino Programming Notebook - written by Brian Evans arduino_notebook_v1-1.pdf
introduces in more depth how to communicate with the arduino via code.

Robin Schwartzman-Concept Proposal

My concept proposal is something that I actually want to see through to the end of the semester. I want to create an entirely artificial sculptural landscape in which the viewer is invited to participate. The landscape will look something like this:

The "island" will be constructed of layered insulation foam covered in turf. The clovers and flowers will be cut paper on wire. IMG_4573.jpgThe tree will be a hollow structure of paper-mached chicken wire and paint chips acting as leaves. The apple half eyes will be made of foam and the picnic blanket will be real fabric.

As the viewer steps onto this island they can search the clovers for one four-leafed clover and upon picking it will be rewarded with audio. When one attempts to pick any of the flowers, they will scream in pain. When one walks onto the picnic blanket, small fans from within the canopy of the tree will turn on, thus rustling the leaves. If one dares to pick an apple half, the tree will groan in angry agony.

An additional thought I had was to create a video of a costumed character interacting with the piece. Within the video, all of the audio actions will be positive sounds...giggles, sighs of pleasure, etc. Then, by watching this video, the viewer will be encouraged to also interact with the sculpture in the same way, except the live version will contain the more negative reactions described above.

October 7, 2009

Arduino related books

If you would like a tangible, handheld guide to the arduino there are a couple of books that you can purchase:




Camille Utterback


Camille Utterback's early work - 1999, Text Rain [with Romy Achituv] introduced the interactive concept and playful aesthetic that informs the "tree" projection now active at MSP airport.

Camille has a new work installed in St Louis Park ... perhaps a future field trip and conversation with curator Steve Dietz?


Congratulations to Camille who is now a MacArthur Fellow.

October 6, 2009

jane powers: Concept Proposal: Exchange: symbiotic moments

Concept Overview:

I'm interested in creating a prototype wearable that allows for an exchange of O2 and CO2 between the wearer and the plants in a waistpack terrarium. People and plants have a symbiotic relationship in that people, through respiration, take in O2 and give off CO2 while plants need CO2 for photosynthesis, and give off O2 as a byproduct. People who have certain medical conditions, such as emphysema and pneumonia, or who are in a reduced O2 environment or exerting themselves, especially in high altitudes, can require/benefit from added O2. Many plants in an enhanced CO2 environment have increased growth.


Cycle between autotrophs and heterotrophs. Autotrophs can use carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to form oxygen and complex organic compounds, mainly through the process of photosynthesis. All organisms can use such compounds to again form CO2 and water through cellular respiration.

The following pdf provides documentation of the project development.


Waistpack Carrier


Breathing O2--Exhaling CO2


On the Road

Exchange-car carrier.jpg

Justin Berken

Presenting Brendan Dawes 10/08

Nick Gentle - Concept Proposal

My concept is essentially a theoretical interactive "lightsaber".

Inspired by "laser harp": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLVXmsbVwUs

Sensor LEDs: http://www.dhgate.com/supernova-led-color-nova-space-night-light/p-ff80808121b68c1e0121b9a9019f5448.html


Very hypothetical representation...


The "lightsaber" itself would be a tangible object that you could use (turn on, swing around, turn off). However, the rest of the experience would entail a large room (the presentation room next door to the classroom would be ideal) in which six projectors would be utilized to project on each wall (north, south, east, west) as well as one projecting on the ceiling and one on the floor. Each projector would probably be connected to an individual computer as well as light sensors. The sensors would react with the lightsaber's beam and consequently react with the projection. So, how you react to the projection using the lightsaber would result in how the projection changes. The environment would be tailored to how you use the lightsaber in the "virtual world" being projected all around you.

Concept impossible

For my concept proposal seeing as I don't have to see it to fruition. I decided that I would choose something that in this current era is entirely impossible. The concept is that we live in this city and the entire city will sleep at night and/or weekends holidays. The skyscrapers would be built on a massive system of state of the art hydraulics or some equivalent technology where they could then recede into the earth and a natural environment would emerge. Part of my inspiration for this is that I went to New York for the first time, and one thing I noticed was a severe lack of nature. I believe that so many people get caught up in the materialistic business and media oriented world, that they lose touch with their inner animal. city change.gif

The interactive nature is that the buildings are only as large as they need be receding as the number of occupants decreases.city change.gif






buildings + movement





these are the links of what i'm inspired by. i find it interesting when artists make an attempt to make public spaces have private intimate emotions. often times this involved large buildings or larger gallery spaces.

the concept that i want to follow is one that mixes my love for philomene longpre's video systems and pipilotti rist's large scale productions.


i wanted to follow either the idea of having furniture that has sound systems built creating a multiviseral experience of the space engulfed with the sound from the large scale multichanneled videos.



however another conept proposal that i feel more attached to for my independent project is the silent video system using max msp to create a flow with sound and video combined. the sounds and silence would connect to the movement of the large scale video performance. this way the viewers sound and movements could help control the view of the piece itself.

Tyler Williams- Project Proposal

For my project proposal I would like to create a wearable projection device. I want the projection to be able to change color at the press of a button. The button would be located in the hand of the wearer of the projection device. The projection would also have an image on it although I have not yet thought of the appropriate image. I would want there to be a number of different projection images as well as colors. I think it would be cool if the images changed based on the distance away from an object/person.

The wearer would be able to change his experience and interaction with the projected image by changing the color as well as moving the projection to different surfaces. The wearer would also have an interesting interaction with non-wearing viewers because they could become the viewing surface.

I guess it would kind of be like a combination of one of those old viewmasters, in the sense of the changing images, projected on a headlamp that can be displayed on any surface.

http://ianbashaw.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/viewmaster.jpg +http://flashlightsunlimited.com/images/Coleman/ColemanHeadlamp.jpg

Justin Berken - Conceptual Project

Animation of a conceptual wall tiles that repond to proximity of user.

Animation of a conceptual wall system that reponds to proximity of user.

interactive architecture.jpg
Rendering of wall system that responds to environmental changes.


For my concept piece, I want to create a video that the viewer is allowed to interact with and control. The idea is to have two or three screens lined up next to each other and video will play on the one screen that the viewer is standing in front of. There will be sensors that activate the "play" button for the video that the person is standing in front of. So if the viewer moves to stand in front of the the next video, the previous video will pause and then the new video that the person stands in front of starts to play. The idea is based off of feelings for wasted media use and also the interaction with video is very interesting to me. A lot of times, we watch movies and TV because we don't want to interact with things/people/work, etc. because we want to "shut down". So I'm interested in the viewer being able to think about what they are seeing and to be able to create their own story out of what they are seeing, just by playing with the timing of the video's. Ideally, there would be motions that the viewer could do (example: stomp or clap) in front of the video to skip ahead if they didn't like what was happening in the video at that time. This kind of interaction forces the viewer to be aware of what they are seeing, because the video only plays when it has the viewers direct attention. The video content is still under consideration, because there are a few different directions that I could take it in. But overall, the video content will obviously be very important in determining how the viewer interacts with the piece.

on-off switches

Here are some guides for exploring the switch as "digital in" that is either on or off.

One of the choices that you can make is to have the switch on initially on [high] off [low].

This seemingly small distinction opens up completely different modes of interaction.

Something quiet and inactive is activated when it is touched.

An illuminated surface stops glowing as you touch it.

We will continue to experiment with expressiveness of touch by re-imagining the "touch sensor" or switch and exploring new modes of interaction via this act of making contact and breaking contact.

Digital Input and Output

Digital Ins


Make has a sensibility that differs from Instructables.

- at some point I will describe how my ambivalence emerged when Make created two gendered cultures with Make and Craft.

It is repository of resources including:

The Maker Shed is also a source for arduinos, supplies and books.

and projects like the
conductive keyboard in the wearables category

We have a collection of the early volumes of Make Magazine in the closet in W123.


Instructables describes itself as " a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others."

It is a great resource for project ideas, ways of using the arduino, problem solving suggestions, design inspiration and how to work with various materials and fabrication techniques.

The resouces of Instructables are best when complemented by your artisitc vision and aesthetic sensibility.

There are a range of searchable categories including:



tech guides

a green focus


servo motors

Bryce Davidson - Project Proposal

Energy in motion.

I would like to create a suit made of lights that would cover my entire body. Creating an outline of my arms and legs and holding a heavy mass of lights on my chest and abdomen.

The lights would be activated by an accelerometer. The faster that I move the brighter the lights would blink.

The idea would be to convey the electricity of movement, and the a visual representation of what energy feels like when it moves through the body.

I found this website, which instructs on how to sew LED lights into clothing...


I also found an art piece called the Kinetic Dress. This lights which are sewn into the dress light up with movement of the wearer. Therefore, I believe my idea can come to life.

Here is the website...

"Depending on the amount and speed of the wearer's movement the electroluminescent embroidery changes pattern, displaying the wearer's mood to the audience and creating a magic halo around her"

Another site which features wearable LED clothing...

And how to do it...

If I am able to make this costume/light suit, I would present it as a dance performance.

At the beginning of the performance everyone would be instructed to put on a pair of cheap plastic sunglasses (the kind you get from the optometrist). The lights would go black and the audience would see nothing but pitch black.

Then, I would enter, and all the audience would see would be the lights flashing brightly as I danced. I would end the performance with headspins, which I imagine would create the brightest lights.

I hope that I can make this happen...

here's a link to some dancing


Here's a quick clip with an idea for how the clouds could come toward the viewer. It still looks a bit stiff and artificial. I could also animate individual images within the video. Here I've just used changing the speed, direction, and center of an existing clip.

I imagine the interactivity could be done either by motion sensor or by sensors activated when people step on them. Motion sensors would be great because then movement of arms or more dramatic body motion could create imitative actions in the video.Besides for interactive video, I could also create a sculpture of a tree or clouds which move or come toward the viewer when similar motions are performed.


I would love to create the video of the moving tree which moves in response to the movements of the person's movements, and hopefully offers its own movements for the person to imitate. Like a conversation, back and forth. I would also love this to happen with a video of clouds. If you move forward the clouds move toward you, and if you move away they move more slowly and flow apart. Here are some example video clips.

October 5, 2009

Servo motor control

I have been experimenting with servo motors. (Basically, a servo is a motor that can move to a specified position generally between 0 and 180 degrees.) In this example, each motor communicates with a potentiometer connected through the arduino. The arduino serves as a translator between the servo and potentiometer. The potentiometer creates a resistance value between 0 and 1023 and the arduino translates that value into the degree in which the servo rotates.P1013486.JPGTwo_servos.pde

October 3, 2009

sixth sense

Alec mentions a tactile computing project in his reflections of the future of the interface.

this project, the Sixth Sense was featured at at TED talk.

Pranav Mistry, a graduate student in Patti Maes's Fluid Interfaces research group at the MIT Media Lab posted more info here.

October 1, 2009

Active Sketch 1 Tyler Williams

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I was trying to create a symbolic representation of the brain working as a machine. The LED lights were an attempt to represent the neurons going off when we have thoughts. I think that the different colors could represent the various types of thoughts, such as red representing a negative or angry thought, green as a enjoyable happy thought and blue as a calm or sad thought. I want to further the investigation into the emotions that these lights of color can convey.

Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell's body of work explores the expressive potential of image making with LEDs.


He describes this image as a "A matrix of 32 x 24 (768) pixels made out of red LEDs displaying a pedestrian and auto traffic scene in NY from an off street perspective. There is a sheet of diffusing plexiglass angled in front of the grid. As the pedestrians move from left to right the figures gradually go from a discrete representation to a continuous one (or metaphorically from a digital representation to an analog one)."


Jin-You Mok's Sonicolumn mimics a music box, using touch sensitive led's that emit tones when touched.sonicolumn.jpg

Ned Kahn

Ned Kahn is inspired by the forms and forces of natural phenomena. Many of his works are atmospheric.

His early work, smoke rings uses a whole body touch interface - a large rubber membrane that you press to create delicate, drifting, smoke rings.


connecting a 12V relay to the Arduino


You can watch this animation of a relay to get a sense of how it works.

The use of a diode with a relay is detailed here as well.

History of the Interface


1) Describe an example of the role of story or the narrative in the history of the interface?
In the history of the interface based on this article we see the story evolve from being a more centralized aspect of the interface to becoming less and inherent. Early computer games being a text that you interact with, then you get into side scrollers which still carry some story. The interface seems to follow with this pattern. As the technology improved throughout the years the crutch of the story to support this art has become less and less a necessity. I would say the lack of a story in most interactive pieces, or in art in general is what makes it art. A picture book for children is a story. A painting in a museum can tell a story, but it isn't necessarily a story on its own. I think the same goes for the interface.

3) What future modes of interaction can you imagine?
I didnt think anything of this until today, but I was at the airport this summer and projected onto the wall was an advertisement that had leaves, and when someone would move around the person. I was actually amazed by how many people didnt seem to notice, or didn't care. I see commercial media adopting these technologies. The modes of interaction that art will adopt is just going to have to be more provocative. I could see things that people have to punch, scream, kick to activate. Maybe installations that have very different reactions for different people. Some might be able to recognize certain individuals after 5 years when they come back to see it. Maybe crying would be an interaction. There are so many possibilities open to the future.

Concept Project

The Concept Project is designed to offer you the opportunity to imagine an interactive art work without the constraints of available resources. It centers on an idea that you are passionate about. It is not bound by your budget, access to space, the availability of the technology that you suggest, nor your current set of skills.

The Concept proposal provides an opportunity to think in the medium of interactive art.
As you describe your concept you will be communicating your ideas related to interactivity in art, what it means to you, and how you imagine people encountering, engaging or otherwise interacting with you project.

Use any media necessary to convey your idea. Visual media such as drawings, photos, video, animations, text, diagrams, audio are among the media that may be useful. Your goal is to communicate your project concept such that other people are able to imagine it as clearly as you do.

By design, the Concept Proposal does not describe a project that you are required to realize, rather it's purpose is to stretch your imagination.

If you choose to, you can use the Concept Project as an opportunity to develop a project that has been on your mind, one that you would like to realize.

The History of the Interface in Interactive Art Reflection - Alec Rippberger

2.) The senses and interface, as pertaining to interactive art, share a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist without the other. The interface allows a subject (read: viewer, audience member) to interact with the artwork, in turn stimulating the senses. This stimulation then prompts the subject to further interact with the art, creating new senses and influencing upcoming interactions. This creates a feedback loop which continues until the subjects senses become numbed to the reoccurring product of the artwork or some other outlying factor comes into play.
3.) My imagination produces unlimited modes of future interaction. At the extreme, future modes of interaction will cooperate with our biology. We will become what is known today as a "cyborg". Technology will be seamlessly integrated with ourselves. It is difficult to specifically say how this will be done, but I imagine a chip implanted within one's brain. One's thoughts will be translated to computer code allowing for interaction and information gathering from the electronic realm. This will present humanity with unknown and unfathomable costs and benefits. Already MIT is developing a tactile computer system which projects an image on a service and allows a user to manipulate that image with his or her hands. The possibilities for art in this new medium will be endless.

Haegue Yang-Artist Talk

The most interesting part of this talk for me was when Yang discusses the democratic space that the setup creates. Curator Doryun Chong then begins to talk about the perceptual experiences that we have when we wake up, especially in public spaces, walking through airports, etc. without being fully aware of our surroundings. I feel that Yearning Melancholy Red reflects this idea well because it seems as a viewer we are entering into a surreal world without an acute sense of time or space. I would like to hear this topic touched on more by the artist rather than the curator. When Yang talks about her installation, she says the whole structure is kind of breathing, and how the moving lights reveal the structure of the lines. I don't know that I had this same experience in the installation, but thinking about it as such is an interesting angle that I can understand.
I also liked how she discussed the exclusion of power in her work, how the player of the drums cannot see the effect they are creating with the light, which was something I definitely experienced in partaking in the space.

-Robin Schwartzman

Amy Youngs

We discussed Amy Youngs work, including work that includes living animals such as Cricket Call, Rearming the Spineless Opuntia, and Intraterrestrial Soundings as well as Why Look at Animals?, Digestive Table, and Farm Fountain.

Kelly Dobson

We discussed Kelly Dobson's work with machines as companion species and watched her documentation of Blendie and ScreamBody.