I met many students these past two weeks in and out of office hours, ranging from coding out some fun sketches to etching printed circuit boards. I apologize to everyone who I couldn’t get to, especially last weekend because I was so busy documenting Nancy Hechinger and Anna Deavere Smith’s amazing class. I have also been assisting the Big Screens students, including having to wipe one of the machines clean and setting up two render machines for the students to use. The IAC is treating me really well and I’m about to meet with marketing for a feasibility report before pitching my idea to the head honchos. One of my other duties is to help port an existing product to Windows 8 and Windows RT, so I’m excited to go to Microsoft’s event on October 26 at Pier 57. Fingers crossed they’ll give me a Surface! Last week, I finished the entire Hunger Games trilogy within a span of a few days. It was just too addictive. Now, while I wait for Grace Coddington’s memoir to be released, I’ve started The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. It’s a brilliantly executed novel, with an unapologetically Western tone despite being written by one of Japan’s definitive contemporary writers.
The semester is def in full swing and the days have been jam packed. Office hours are going well, it’s exciting to see the progress everyone is making. I’ve also been super impressed with the final projects coming out of the 2 unit courses including Comm Lab Web & Glitch. And can’t wait to see the finals for both Pop-Up Windows and Puppets.
I finally got my little Sinatra app to run locally with syncing video, more to come. Spent a day working with ITP adjunct Shawn Van Every re-thinking the video-recording setup for Shiffman’s office. We’re starting to create a real-time system where viewers can ideally interact with both live and recorded lessons. Speaking of the future of education, take 15 minutes and watch this talk by Seth Godin - Stop Stealing Dreams – “What is school for?”.
Steve and I went to the EmpireJS conference on Monday. John Resig, the author of jQuery, gave a great talk on the work he’s doing at Khan Academy. Dean McNamee’s talk on Plask was also great. He came by ITP this Friday to talk about the system, some projects, and his technical-design philosophy.
The Vimeo fellowship is progressing well. We’ve locked in on a idea surrounding “creative exploration.” Can’t wait to stop brainstorming and start making. First step will be digging into the Vimeo api.
The Andrew Bell Eyeo 2012 talk “The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Code” was finally posted. Andrew, the lead Cinder developer, makes some compelling arguments regarding the future of creative coding both academically and professionally.
And, check out this site - Texter – paint with text!
It’s been another busy couple of weeks with office hours covering processing, 3d printing, and other fabrication questions. The help sessions have also been progressing well. It seems that every week more and more people have been using the MakerBot 3d printer, so it has been an endless job to keep up with maintenance, help sessions, and 3d modeling questions. I recommend checking out this getting started with Rhino tutorial series, but it is also worth looking for models on thingiverse.
I have also made progress with the Lasersaur, attaching the power supply and water cooler, cleaning up the wiring, and tightening the timing belts The goal is that by the end of this Friday, Oct 26th to fire the laser itself!
In other news, the Puppet’s Class Halloween show is Kitchen Apocalypse Halloween night at 7pm, be sure and check it out in room 50!
Watch this absolutely amazing automaton narrative machine which is part of an exhibit on prohibition in Philadelphia and the surreal and self-reflexive Animator vs Animated Character Classic Looney Tunes “Duck Amuck,”
Read about an interactive laser cutter which lets you specify your cut by a laser pointer (thanks Doug)
Listen to Joburg Jam and Kadinchey by the remix artist Pogo.
The past two weeks have been quite busy. I went out to San Francisco for the Urban Prototyping Festival last Saturday, which was organized by the Gray Area Foundation, Intersection for the Arts and the City of San Francisco, and brought together artists, technologists, architects and other people making public interventions in the city. The Darkness Map made its debut at the festival, which is an ongoing project I’ve been working on that attempts to map nighttime luminosity in urban areas. You can participate in this experiment in crowd-sourced data collection by downloading an app to your Android device. The map is currently active in San Francisco, but a New York map will be coming soon, along with an app for iPhone.
At the festival I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about the role of open data in municipal government, and how we as citizens can initiate the creation of new datasets and projects to visualize them. Michal Migurski from Stamen Design described a project they’d done recently where they basically went out and tracked down information on how many people use private bus services to commute from city centers to tech campuses in Silicon Valley. Stamen tried to reach out to companies directly, but had to resort to figuring out how to create the dataset on their own after various tech companies declined to release the information. If you haven’t checked out Stamen’s work, they do a lot of with maps and data viz, including Oakland Crimespotting and Cabspotting. Sha Hwang, Shannon Spanhake and Jeff Risom were also on the panel, and all do really great work. Oh, and I saw Andrew Benson perform live visuals at the festival. You might know him from his Jitter Recipes.
Yesterday I also had my first day of work at the IAC, where I’ll be producing content for the video wall. I’m just at the initial stages of brainstorming, but I’m looking forward to working on that scale again, especially after seeing all the great stuff coming out of the Big Screens class so far.
I sent this link to the Renatured list, but thought I’d share it here. This man is doing really great work with aquaponics and social/environmental justice. I want to get a kit for the floor!
Midterms are afoot! Since I’m sure you just can’t get enough of us, here’s a SPECIAL RETROSPECTIVE on the midterms of years past (i.e, I stalked my fellow residents, here are their PComp midterms from Fall 2010– then titled, “Media Controller”. Enjoy). Mimi made a weather station with Christine and Matt. Genevieve made Tape Translations with Emily and Ju Yun. Nick and Merche made a kalimba and an airharp with Noah. Eric made Power Plant with Paul and Suzanne. Antonius made the Cool Master with Ahn and Guang (gotta watch this video, srsly), and Craig and I made Message in a Bottle with Anna, Martin, and Liza!
I’ve been getting a bunch of openFrameworks questions this week, so to tentatively start off a better processing-to-OF initiative, I’ve started translating example sketches from Processing to Open Frameworks, starting with the all-important bouncing ball and the ArraysOfObjects example that comes with processing. The examples are on github. I will keep adding more as the weeks go by, as well as updating the itpedia OF/ iphone/ mobile pages. If you have any processing sketches that you want translated, let me know and we can work on it together. As a matter of fact, if you have any interest in learning OpenFrameworks, for projects this semester or next, I’d love to hear from you. I’m putting together a quick-and-easy FAQ for Processing users who want to do a project or two in OF, but get stuck with simple questions like, “why isn’t my picture transparent?” or “how do I install a library?”. If you want to learn, come by office hours and I will teach you the basics. If you already know OF, I’d love to get your input on what would be valuable information for a beginner. Seriously — write me.
Speaking of OF, if you’ve used it before and haven’t yet downloaded the new version, do it! Aside from a bunch of great updates, it has a rockin’ Project Generator that should clear up about 30% of any headache that you used to have while learning OF.
Hey, if there was a permanent green screen station on the floor, would you use it?
This is already pretty long. How did it get so long? Does anyone actually read these? (Hi Will). Did you know that the first webcam was invented because of a coffee pot? Here’s a great table of animals sounds in different languages.
World-Class DARPA Robot Successfully Launches Through Obstacle Course Like A Drunken Sailor.
Uhaaaa….it’s been already two weeks??
Midterms and NIMERs have been bringing a lot of fun interesting questions and projects, so I have been doing some research to help them. There has been a lot of video editing this week too. There was a hole in the documentation history of NIME from the performances of last year, so I created in the ITP vimeo site a home for all of them and edited the ones missing…a lot of interesting memories from that day came back! Check them out here .
I am really excited about going to the studio this weekend for the final MIX for the soundtrack of the Storywalks project I mentioned in our last Issue, that I am working with all ITP alumni, including our dear resident Lia.
Some days ago in an art opening I had the greatest chat with this fabulous “luthier” and he did an amazing musical performance in the middle of the street with just a little strip of latex that he pulled out from his pocket. Worth checking out!
There are also some interesting performances coming in the next two weeks in Grace Exhibition Space, in Brooklyn and for Bill Moggridge’s fans there is this event in Symphony Space
Made a quick trip to San Francisco where it was mostly rainy, but had one day of the most amazing clouds.
Starting to work with Antonius and Genevieve on credits and website for Big Screens.
Attended a recruiting event at the Columbia U Engineering School last night featuring a string quartet rendition of Bad Romance (Lady Gaga for those who need the context).
Take 2 on Photoshop workshop with Lia today which went much better than Take 1. Prepping with Craig for a how-to-debug workshop. It’ll be good times coming up with good examples of broken code for that.
People are coming in with challenging ICM questions which is giving me ideas for next round of Math Helper sessions.
In case you missed it, some dodo jumped from 24 miles above the earths and broke the sound barrier. (Mt. Everest is < 5 miles.)
It has been great to see the what people are working on for their pcomp media controllers. Happy to set up extra office hours if anyone is need of some extended help as they finish up.
I installed my new sound / data representation piece, New York City Immigration Song, at the New York Hall of Science for the Regeneration show (up through January). Here’s a quick video I shot of it in action. It represents Immigration to NYC based on U.S. census data and uses mechanically actuated piano wires to represent different paths of immigration. It maps distance to pitch and # of people to duration. A snare drum represents missing data points.
Speaking of mechanical music (as I often am), Saturday is the late Conlon Nancarrow’s 100th Birthday! Starting in the 1940s, Nancarrow wrote astounding music for player pianos by hand punching piano rolls with a custom made machine. He explored rhythmic and dynamic concepts that prefigured many aspects of electronic music. Here’s an extended interview with him from 1984.
At the ReGen opening, I chatted with the folks from Rockwell Lab about their new project Spacebrew, an open toolkit for creating interactive spaces using websockets. Looks exciting — they’ll be hosting workshops on the first friday of each month to introduce it. You can check it out and sign-up for updates here.
Woah, these last two weeks have been real busy. And you’ve made it to the last section of the Residents’ Digest, so here’s a little treat.
This past weekend I attended the TenConf, where everyone who attends gives a 10 minute talk. Greg Borenstein, Patricia Adler and Paul May all gave great talks. The talks ranged from state machines to a summary of 50+ Star Wars novels to how and why to work entirely from coffee shops. I gave my talk on a Chrome extension I made to automatically like everything you see on Facebook.
You may have seen me around the floor flying a quadcopter. There’s going to be a lot more of that. The copter has a usb port and runs Linux, so the obvious next step is to attach an Arduino to it. Max and I were working on that yesterday, but don’t know a ton about serial ports. There’s an issue on Github about where we’re at.
Just some links: