Required Reading: An Interview With Computing Pioneer Alan Kay
I started weaving conductive threads into fabric with a loom and hacking a lazy susan to count the number of rotations using a hall effect sensor and rare earth magnets. Both are prototypes for a larger project. I have been sending applications to grants and residencies in hopes I can continue to work on them. Meanwhile, I’ve been collecting performances of modern music using traditional instruments and would really like to share them with you. Let me know if you know of any more!
Been super busy cranking on my work for the Vimeo internship. One of the apps is close to going live, which is exciting. I’ll share it with everyone once it’s up. Managed to catch “The Visitors” video installation with Genevieve and Antonius a couple weeks ago. It was inspiring, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Had a great time running workshops for Comm Lab Web and its exciting to see the thesis progress everyone is making.
Over the next couple weeks, I’m planning on doing some much overdo documentation of Shiffman’s office/studio. Also will be going to the Rhizome Seven On Seven talks on Sat April 20th. Let me know if you’re going!
And here are some notable items I’ve enjoyed recently-ish on the internetz:
The New Yorker launched a Science & Tech Blog.
Recalling1993 – Call 1-855-FOR-1993
Poof, and down goes the month of March, though winter certainly held on for long enough. Early on in the month I finished a short term art installation Time Machine for Playtime New York. Following that, Thesis midterm presentations, office hours, a snowy Cleveland spring break and plenty of NCAA basketball games.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with rubber mold making (both laser cut and 3d printed parts), and casting refined sugar mechanical parts. This video shows how refined sugar is actually produced, something which I am attempting to mimic.
I’ve also been stalking the Oculus Rift blog, waiting for any Mac support before buying a one, but they certainly peaked my interest between Unreal/Unity dev kit and full Team Fortress 2 support.
Last month I participated on a panel entitled Locative Media and Society at the University of Georgia, and brought the Darkness Map down south. It’s almost ready to go live in NYC, and I’ll send out an announcement when it is. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Irish media artist Connor McGarrigle, now teaching at the University of Denver, and got to experience one of his psychogeographic walking tours, in which he mapped sites of the Greek Debt Crisis in Athens, Greece onto Athens, Georgia.
Tomorrow I’m heading up to the University of Buffalo to present at a symposium organized by Media Studies professor (and ITP alum) Teri Rueb, called Landscapes Across the Disciplines. I’m looking forward to presenting my thesis research on Financial Landscapes, as well as a new project I’m working on with Melissa Clarke (ITP ‘11) about climate change in Greenland.
Over spring break I spent some time in Southern California soaking up much needed vitamin D. Springtime seems to be just around the corner and I’m looking forward to more sunshine in NYC.
Attempting for the nth time to dive back into my thesis, so lots of research this month on making things for kids. There are some great User Interface guidelines for digital apps for toddlers in this Sesame Street study. They include: toddlers like swiping, but not so much pinching and dragging; how to treat mistakes; don’t put anything where they usually lay their wrists (the bottom edges of the screen). Here’s an Atlantic Video on How Kids Use Touchpads and an article on the Touch Screen Generation.
Have you seen Christoph Neimann’s simple, beautiful app, Petting Zoo? He wrote an article for the New Yorker about his experience making it. It’s got some great bits, including this one that reminded me of some week-9 thesis angst that we all went through:
“Simplicity is not about making something without ornament, but rather about making something very complex, then slicing elements away, until you reveal the very essence. [sic] The painful and inevitable struggle remains to create in a childlike and open-hearted manner, but to be un-wistful and cruel when judging one’s creation.”
Finally, Andrew Bell (Cinder)’s great Eyeo 2012 Talk: How to Feed Babies with Creative Code.
If you are like me and open up a few dozen browser tabs at once, One Tab is the answer to your prayers.
Want to make a fortune selling apps? Here’s a 5-part guide on how to price your creation.
SPG!!!!(Catalan equivalent from OMG I recently learnt from a friend, that means Sant Pau Gloriós) It’s been one month since last time!!!Let’s see what happened in between …
I presented the last piece I have been working on with Thessia Machado for ART JAM IV a couple of weeks ago and came out unexpectedly fun and playful. I thanks once more all the ITP faces that were around making the event so special. There is some documentation for the ones that missed it and also a second chance to see the platform alive in Knockdown Center this coming Saturday with fabulous Nick Yulman and some other ITP alumni: Kate Watson curating and Michael Rosen presenting some work.
Over Springbreak I was diving some other veeeery space sound atmospheres for the collaboration that I did with Chika in Harvestworks . They have an amazing crew of technicians there and I could adapt my composition for six speakers and four subwoofers without touching a single wire during the installation process. Now I feel quite spoilt. But if you have a proposal for a sound-installation that requires a good surround system I highly recommend talking with them!!
I am also preparing my performance for the instrument competition in Georgia Tech Guthman next week in Atlanta. One of the instruments that I developed for my thesis, Espongina was selected and I have to show its magic in front of Miss Laurie Anderson, which feels extremely exciting and equally paralyzing..specially after watching some videos of past years performances!!
Some other trips over the last weeks: I walked on the moon in Oktophonie (they gave us the score of the piece if someone is interested), the amazing Nick Cave’s horses performing in Gran Central and the 9 channel installation “The visitors” by Ragnar Kjartansson in Chelsea (unfortunately I just checked and it’s over..).
And this looks like the place to be in the next days: http://nycemf.org/
Over Spring Break, Antonius gave me a one-person tour of the instruments in his Gamelan orchestra. It just reminded me that something that does many things (like the bowflex or a computer) will never be better at a single thing than something that does that single thing really well (like a Gamelan gong). Isn’t there some kind of law for that?
Last Friday I attended hack b-school at stern for my other day-job working on Parlor. Clay kicked the half-day session off with a comparison between today’s MOOC/Flip/Peer-to-Peer challenge to institutional higher-ed and what Napster-style file-sharing did to the music industry. http://www.theawl.com/2013/02/how-to-save-college I found the b-school faculty interesting and quirky, the latter of which I did not expect.
I also watched this movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSYQ0IbNsBw about a band of percussion terrorists in Sweden being tracked down by a tone-deaf, I-hate-music-because-my-whole-family-is-filled-with-music-prodigies policeman. It’s not quite hilarious as promised by the reviewers on Netflix, but the piece with giant earth-moving construction equipment and jackhammer was cool.
I spent spring break visiting my wife Carrie, who’s teaching a study abroad program in Senegal. I was in Dakar and a small Wolof village near the Gambia border. It was an amazing trip and I took a lot of photos. Though they weren’t open during my visit, I was interested to see that Dakar has it’s own tech art/hacker space called Ker Thiossane.
This Saturday night I’m going to be showing some work at Knockdown Center, an amazing new art space in an old factory in Maspeth Queens that ITP alum Kate Watson has been organizing. Merche and our fellow ITP 2012er Michael Rosen are also part of the show which is focussed on sound art.
Here’s a recent interview about my work in the British music magazine Clash.
Big Screens was great. Yea it’s been a month and a half since our last digest. I’ve been working on squashing more and more bugs with the Thesis Site and just had a meeting with Katherine and a few first years (Adam, Su, Yuliya and Xinran) about designing and importing data for the Thesis Book.
After talking to a lot of second years about how to best approach making a website and giving the advice to use what they already know I’ve returned to my thesis project and rewrote the code with Ruby and Sinatra instead of Node.js. And now it’s looking like I’ll actually finish a new version of the project.
Earlier this month I wrote a tutorial about authentication with Sinatra based on what I learned in making the Thesis Site. It’s up on my blog as well as on Github. I’ve also written a little example of a JSON API with Sinatra and DataMapper. Both of these examples build off of the Sinatra-Heroku-Template project that I made last year off of Rune’s example.