Month: October 2015

Pylos: 3D Printing with Soil

After my recent exploration of ‘Soil as Interface’ and my interest in 3D Printing this grabbed my attention, a Greek researcher Sofoklis Giannakopoulos based in Barcelona Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has created ‘Pylos’ a 3D Printer that uses one of the most basic materials you can think of – soil.

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Soil is not something new in architecture – its biodegradable properties, alongside with the fact that it would be harder to imagine a cheaper material, makes it the perfect material for a large scale construction approach. While combining 96 % soil with other elements, the material is stated to be “three times higher tensile strength” compared to industrial hard clay.

Note to Self:

  • Cinema 4D: Quite a steep learning curve to be any way useful to me, be nice to maybe print via 3D some basic items/objects, then I can start to mess with it. only when I learn the rules…can I break them.

Bookish

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Jean Baudrillard – Xerox & Infinity

Some reading. I Keep going back to this pamphlet;

“If men create intelligent machines, or fantasise about them, it is because they secretly despair of their own intelligence…”

I always liked Baudrillard as he was never fully accepted by French academia, destined forever to be on the outside. An interesting essay on Artifical intelligence, screens and ‘Telecomputer Man.’

“We lived once in a world where the realm of the imaginary was governed by the mirror, by dividing one into two, by theatre, by otherness and alienation. Today that realm is the realm of the screen, of interfaces and duplication, of contiguity and networks. All our machines are screens, and the interactivity of humans has been replaced by the interactivity of screens.”

This essay was originally published as part of Jean Baudrillard’s “La transparence du mal: Essai sur les phénomènes extrèmes” (1990), translated into English in 1993 as “The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena”.

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Lev Manovich – Database as a Symbolic form

I have been enjoying reading Lee Manovich’s – ‘The language of New Media’, interesting thoughts and stories of his time in the former Soviet Union and present day USA, how his 1st foray into computer programming ended in failure as he inputted the letter O instead of 0 (zero)!
I might also pick up a copy of his ‘Software takes command’ if funds allow.

I came across this old essay of his called ‘Database as a Symbolic Form’.

“Vertov is able to achieve something which new media designers still have to learn – how to merge database and narrative into a new form.”

Note to Self:

  • Social media: I have followed Lev Manovich’s page on Facebook, some good stuff posted. He is quite scathing of various people, institutions etc though, but in a refreshing/fair way. One of his favourites put downs in relation to any (dare I say it?)… ‘Digital Art’ is “That’s very 90s” or “That was done in the 00’s”. Funny.

Lives driven by Data

Media theorist ‘Lev Manovich’ said:

“19th Century culture was defined by the novel,
20th Century culture by Cinema,
The culture of the 21st century will be defined by the interface.”

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His media visualisation techniques compress massive amounts of data into ‘smaller observable media landscapes. Rather than searching through metadata, we’re then able to find relevant information in a way that’s more compatible with the way humans process information. This is particularly valuable in giving us the ability to observe where patterns of structure and colour may exist.

A lot of digital works for me in general are conceptually sound, but the arrived at outcome is not always aesthetically pleasing.

Artist Aaron Koblin expands on this, he takes vast amounts of data — and at times vast numbers of people — and weaves them into interesting visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, his works explore how modern technology can make us more human.

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We can set parameters and choose what to pull out of the data glut. Below is a visualisation of data from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration processed to create animations of flight traffic patterns and density. The outcome is Colour coded by type: Altitude, make and model.

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Note to Self:

  • I Will continue my reading/research into the representation of information gathered, and how best to present it once captured.

Dirtbox

#1 Soil Touch Sensitive/Earth as Interface.

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The experiment was sparked by a musical effects unit I saw a while back, but it ties in with my current exploration of what exactly constitutes an interface? and of taking various inanimate objects or physical elements across the threshold into the digital realm and onto the screen.

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This started out as a proximity sensor to generate code from the soil, but as It emerged I thought it would be nicer to make people ‘get their hands dirty’ and actually touch the soil to generate a series of numbers (single and double digit), which can be seen in the serial port. These fluctuate depending on how hard the soil is pressed.

The soil is always visible through the perspex, there is a sensor hidden just below the top layer of soil. I have added an alchemist Earth symbol atop a piece of wood, to give it a ritual aspect and maybe remind myself that it is ‘Earth as interface’. The Arduino jumper wire is also green, the wiring earth colour. The numbers can now be manipulated to turn into sound, or colour, images, infographics etc…which is the next step.

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The underlying concept and process is important, but also the whole set up must look aesthetically pleasing to me, like in a Japanese fruit market where the price is not based on weight or size but on how beautiful the object is.

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Note to Self:

  • Question: Do I want to bring the virtual object on the screen to the physical world?…or the object from the physical world into the virtual, or both?
  • Question: Is the information generated and how it is displayed the ‘final outcome’ or is it just part of the process, and the finished piece then still to be arrived at?

May(a)hem

I was scouting the interweb thingy for some 3D software I can use for free, when I came across this mayhem below. It seems to be a large rotating metal bar mowing down a crowd of football hooligans?!

It is actually a ‘Crowd Dynamics test’ using Miarmy for Maya. The last guy at 00:41 who trips up brought a chuckle.
That software is way too advanced for what I need, but I picked up a free ‘authorised student’ version of Cinema 4D instead.

Note to Self: 3D Printing file types.

  • STL: 3D printing, single colour.
  • VRML/WRL: When the 3D model has more than one colour.

Woody

An experiment with sound. Slo-mo musical scale/paper speaker in leaves. I was getting restless dwelling a lot on context, process and methodology and simply wanted to create some ‘work’ however small, a mini piece, with a view to then developing a larger project based on it called ‘The Old Ohm Tree’ which would feature maybe 5 speakers and a lot more wooden boughs!

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Slo-mo musical scale gives it an eerie Autumnal feel. ‘Oiche Samhain’ (Gaelic for Halloween night) will soon be upon us, the leaves are falling off the trees.

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I want to harvest this information and represent it online. I am Waiting to receive a Arduino shield that will help connect me via Blynk app.

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Note to Self: Old Ohm Tree.

  • Boughs: Source x5 other Silver Birch wooden pieces and cut to fit.
  • 3D rendered base: Install Cinema 4D? and sketch up 3D object for white base.
  • 3D Printing: Does this need to be modular/not all 1 piece for a 3D printer?

Eunoia – h20 manipulated with the mind

“Eunoia” is a performance that uses conceptual artists Lisa Parks brainwaves (collected via a NeuroSky EEG sensor) to manipulate the motions of water. It derives from the Greek word “eu” (well) + “nous” (mind) meaning “beautiful thinking”. Electroencephalography (EEG) is a brainwave detecting sensor. It measures frequencies of her brain activity (Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Theta) relating to her state of consciousness while wearing it. The data collected from EEG is translated in realtime to modulate vibrations of sound with using software programs. EEG sends the information of my brain activity to Processing, which is linked with Max/MSP to receive data and generate sound from Reaktor.

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Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta, theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various patterns in accordance with her brain activity.

While the system is not an exact science, Park rehearsed for nearly a month by thinking about specific people whom she had strong emotional reactions to. The artist then correlated each of the five speakers with certain emotions: sadness, anger, hatred, desire, and happiness.

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Composer and experimental musician Alvin Lucier had a somewhat similar performance called Music for Solo Performer back in 1965.

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