Category: Arduino

Adamski O

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I did an Arduino workshop with Adam Gibney (aka Adamski O’Gibahney) last year, so decided to check out one of his solo shows. It was a very quick but enjoyable visit to the tiny Artbox gallery a few streets away. Its a sleek, minimal space, perfect for Adam’s monochrome pieces.

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‘Euclid, I miss you’ the title of his show is centred on the concepts of geometry, mathematics and certainty.

“But this map of what surrounds the present, like all maps, is only a surface; its features are but abstract signs and symbols of things that in themselves are concrete bits of sensible experience.”

William James, Some Problems of Philosophy, Harvard University Press. 1979

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“Symbolic descriptions of reality, even the axiomatic, have proven to be only temporary and tentative. The line, a breadthless length…”

Euclid, Definition 2

“…now protrudes into the platonic. The solid formal structures that held truth now exist precariously within the newfound multitudes of reality. The rigorous quest for certainty seems to only expand the terrain of uncertainty. Here and there, an arbitrary line connects points, which have no part, here.”

Euclid, Definition 1

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The show featured x3 audio boxes that an aerial sporadically extended from and which triggered a robotic vocal utterance. There was also nice use of what looked like self made lights, in front of linear prints that seemed to grow out of the wall itself, and then cascaded down onto the floor. A camera atop a screen filmed you as you approached and glitched your bottom half. Finally a mutated 3D printed coffee cup rested on a light table.

There was a sense of continuity between the four sets of pieces, all complimenting each other.

Note to Self:

  • Complete any 3D prints put on hold.

Arduino to Processing Revisited

I have revisited an experiment I did a few weeks back, of creating a visual graph in Processing generated by triggering a sensor in Arduino. The graph generated didn’t look aesthetically pleasing so I tweaked the Processing code to change the visualisation of the data.

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The visuals still don’t look as I want them so I have introduced some new code in the Processing sketch.

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This changes the look of the data generated by the Arduino sensor and is closer to the look I wanted to achieve.

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Note to Self:

  • Do some more versions.

Tutorial v2.0

Tutor: Jonathan Kearney

I discussed with Jonathan what I have been up to, a lot of reading and experiments with Arduino and Processing mostly.

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I have been using the Blynk app to trigger Arduino events in the physical world, but Blynk is no longer free so may bin using it.

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I have been generating visuals on the screen by getting Arduino to talk to the Processing app but the imagery is not what I envisaged. I want the aesthetic to be more 3D rendered/gaming look + feel, not sure I can achieve this via these methods.

Note to Self:

  • The end results with the Arduino experiments are not producing the visuals I though they would, so I’m having a re-think about my approach and methods.
  • I have been increasingly drawn to the world of 3D scanning, 360 films and VR.

Inspiratio

We have been asked by Jonathan to present an artist/Group that inspires us, and that impacts on our own making of work. I could not just put x1 Artist or group that inspires me as I am still exploring various avenues of making…Sensors + Arduino, VR/Augmented Reality, IoT/Video.

So I chose x3 artists and aspects of their work that get me excited.

Andrew Thomas Huang: (VR/Augmented Reality)

I first came across the work of Andrew Thomas Huang when he directed the video for Bjork’s Stonemilker [1] track, it was a 360 virtual Reality experience.

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Also Her ‘Vulincura, moving album cover’.

Some of his instagram ‘sketches’ are below. He seems to combine constructed objects, puppets etc..

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…with 3D imagery and CGI effects.

They seem to be of strange, fierce and mythical 3D rendered creatures, which are beautiful. He is Asian/American and seems to have that affinity for a bright and powerful colour palette, oranges and turquoises mix with deep reds and day-glo limes.

TeamLab: (Sensors + Arduino)

TeamLab are a Japanese ‘Ultra Technologist Group’ comprising of UI engineers, CG animators, web designers, software architects and mathematicians.

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Their founder Toshiyuki Inoko believes…

“Technology and culture can evolve society, and that the start of the information age was a revolution in Society and it will be looked back on in a few hundred years as a Renaissance and a new dawn.”[2]

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I like the fact that they take from ancient Japanese culture and thorough experimentation and innovation blur the boundaries between science, technology, art and design. They use sensors a lot to trigger particular events in their installations.

Mark Leckey: (IoT/Video)

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A performance work of his, GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction (2010) touched me as it seems to me he is trying to give a plaintive voice to the object, the thing. There is a strange kind of brutal pathos in the thought of an object trying to find its voice in the world of humans and sentient beings.

The Fridge stands on a green screen infinity cyc while ‘he coaxes it into revealing its thoughts and actions’. It shows a shiny black Samsung smart fridge pondering its existence and mingling with like objects. In a scientifically-charged description that concerns its inner workings, the fridge’s anguished, robotic first person voiceover renders audible its inner life and its potential dreams. As we create increasingly smarter objects, Leckey predicts a world in which things become sentient, start communicating, and alter our environment into new digital ecosystems.

“Now, instead of wanting to seduce an object into offering up its meaning, Leckey seemed to want the object to consume him. The work began with his inhaling the gases used as coolant for a Samsung fridge: a kind of shamanistic ritual in which, in order to understand the fridge, he took on some of its characteristics. The fridge sang back a kind of mournful plainchant: “See, see, see we assemble. See we assemble. See we assemble; Samsung, Viking, Gaggenau and Whirlpool …” The work, Leckey said, is a kind of fantasy: that he could bring himself into “a state outside of myself, fridge-like, less-human, feeling like an image”. As if he wanted to dissolve into pixels.

You could see the work as nodding to the notion of the internet of things – the technology through which objects, especially consumer appliances, will be connected online and see it more broadly, as a reaction to the fact that technology is triggering strange, disruptive new relationships between humans, objects and images; people, animals and machines.” [3]

Arduino to Processing

I wondered previously if it was possible to get Arduino to talk to Processing and vice versa and previously had rigged up a quick experiment that got them talking and to display a simple message, but it seemed to always cause problems with the serial ports.

Arduino Sketch

So to create a visual graph in Processing generated by triggering a sensor in Arduino.

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Processing Sketch

When I play the Processing sketch a purple graph is created in the display window. As I move my hand up and down over the Arduino sensor, the graph displays peaks and troughs representing the sound triggered. The numbers created by Ardunino are between 0 and 1023.

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Note to Self:

  • Visually this graph looks fairly horrible, so the next step is to manipulate the Processing sketch so it looks aesthetically appealing
  • I also thought it would easily be able to display any binary info/numbers generated via Arduino in the Blynk app, but they only have a bog standard graphical method of display, not very creative, also the Blynk app has stared to charge since jan 1st 2016, so I think its best used as a virtual button to trigger any Arduino events if need be in the future.

Blynk & Miss

I have revisited this Blynk gateway experiment from October.

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Blynk is an app with a digital dashboard where you can build a graphic interface to control virtually the Arduino micro processor. I have set up a simple Arduino sketch, a simple LED light being triggered by a button. After setting up in this case a virtual button in Blynk, You get sent an authorisation token code via email that is pasted into the Arduino sketch, this then enables you to trigger the LED light simply by pressing the virtual button.

The problem was to get the app to talk physically to the Arduino board, I had to get either a wireless or an ethernet shield to act as an online gateway. It would have been better to do it via Wifi but the European Wifi boards were sold out and the ethernet boards were cheaper, so I opted for that instead.

ethernet

As my studio is in a network in a building and therefore to route it I had to generate special IP addresses and do a lot of fiddling about with ethernet and CAT cables, but after reinstalling Arduino Blynk libraries I finally got it to work. The virtual button triggers the LED on the Arduino board via the web/app.

Note to Self:

  • This is handy If I want to further develop some proper Mobile Locative Media installations.
  • Get a Wifi shield and set it up use that instead.
  • I had rigged up the Arduino board to talk to the Processing app in another experiment, which worked but it seems to mess up all the Ardunio ports and libraries.

Hundreds & Thousands Theremin

Last few very quick Arduino experiments…1 little piggy went to the market, 1 little piggy stayed at home

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A Photoresistor sensor, as the hand moves closer to the pile of hundreds and thousands the sensor measures the distance, and acts like a Theremin.

Piggy friends were just lying around the studio, so gave them some hundreds + thousands to feed on, as they look for the sensor in the pile.

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Note to Self:

  • Sensors: Have been mucking about with various sensors…proximity, light etc..so kind of know now, which ones are useful to me going frwd.
  • Need to push into a more focused action research state.
  • Things are now bits + pieces/loose ends, digital sketches, be good to have a few ‘finished’ pieces for my own kick…however small.