A nod to the future and the past, this is an instrument that uses the face as a score for music.
Sonic Physiognomy is my response to the politicization of the human face, drawing a relationship between the historical practices of physiognomy or face reading and the technologies of facial recognition and iris identification used for tracking and surveillance.
The is a form of live sonic portraiture, and comprises an installation wherein participants volunteer to have their face “scanned” and translated into sound. (For a future interation, each song will be recorded and made available for download to be used as unique sonic signatures in other applications, such as ringtones on cell phones.)
A subject's silhouette is captured and the topography of the face is read into a unique series of chimes and sonic harmonies.
The Sonic Portrait installation consists of a “scan pod” that is made of over 615 unique pieces of corrugated cardboard that form the shape of two interlocking spirals.
Interior during construction
Adam Brillhart looking at the translucency of the material during construction
Inside the pod is a mirror, LED, plexiglass screen, a pico projector, a portable speaker, and a webcam. The pod is open to allow people to put their heads inside.
Detail of exterior wall and interior scanning projection
A series of red lines scan across the face while subject is inside
In designing the facade for the face scanner, I was inspired by the bellows used by traditional box cameras of the early 20th century.
Century model 43 camera manufactured in the early 1900's
The camera and bellows echoed the mechanisms of perception, image capture, and projection that I was trying to achieve in the face scanner.
However, I was not quite satisfied with making a box to house the electronic components. I wanted the object to take a nod both to the past and to the future. Furthermore, I wanted it to be soft and to have a more organic structure. I believe that the structures of the future will be both soft and strong, and was inspired by Tereforms soft car designs when I saw them several years ago.
Mitchell Joachim and Tereform's soft car
Working with the architect and my good friend Adam Brillhart, we discussed how the object’s design could reflect its content. Elaborating on the design of the original bellows, he created a double spiral connected horizontally in the center.
Hi Everyone, I find the current mode of thesis discussions not as productive as they could be–as is evidenced by the difficulty nearly everyone is having in figuring out exactly what they’re doing. So I wanted to share something I read this morning that I thought might be helpful.
Excerpted from a talk by William Kentridge at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
William Kentridge (b. 1955) De Peccato Originali with Three Figures in Procession, 2000
A rational description would be imperfect and arrived at with difficulty. Recognition is immediate and effortless… one does not have to translate what one has seen into a rationalist model before it becomes a usable piece of knowledge.
…I take a sheet of black paper, I tear it into three or four shapes and place them next to each other. Now as a purist I can defy nature, and say these are four abstract shapes of black paper on a white ground, perhaps overlapping. But removing monasticism and dogmatics, things start to emerge. In this combination they are a dog, in this combination, a man with a stick, I tilt the piece forward and he ages, I lean it back slightly and he gains in arrogance. There is a process here of the eye saying, “Let me show you what I know of the world.”… If I had started the other way around, and said “Let me make a shadow figure of someone with a limp”, I would be hard pressed to do it.
The best I can do is to set in place strategies to allow this image of a limp to emerge. When Rembrandt draws his woman teaching a child to walk, or Picasso does the same, they are not saying, “I know what this looks like and will carry it out”, they are saying, “Let me work with a looseness or openness that will allow to emerge what I cannot describe or give instructions for, but I will recognise as it emerges.”
This process is not a preserve of artists, talented or gifted people, it is fundamental to what it is to be sighted in the world, an oscillation between openness and recognition. The exercise I have described works as well with an eight-year old, as with MA students.
I did a workshop with eight-year old scholars at my children’s school. They cut or tore roughly the elements of a vertebrate–a head, limbs, torso, pelvis. And they made a dog doing a somersault, a dinosaur rearing on its hind legs…if we had started the other way, this would have been impossible, of course. None of them could say or draw what a dog doing a somersault looked like, but all could recognize it as it appeared before them, made by them.
William Kentridge’s “Act IV Scene 7″ from “Ubu Tells the Truth”
… This is not a deep or novel insight — but it is remarkable how we take it for granted, and naturalise our seeing into something purely objective. And if there is one thing that art can make clear, it is to make us conscious of the precept “always be mediating”. All calls to certainty, whether of political jingoism or of objective knowledge, have an authoritarian origin relying on blindness and coercion– which are fundamentally inimical to what it is to be alive in the world with one’s eyes open.
In doing projects at ITP, I’ve felt that rarely do we get an opportunity to fully trust our own creative process because we are constantly asked to predetermine or question the path of this creativity. It is stifling, and undermines the genuine value of our instincts and impulses in leading us to unforeseen conclusions that are illuminating. It drains the exhilaration out of the unfolding process, and makes it strenuous and angstful. In doing thesis, we have the opportunity to discover ourselves as Sighted creatures, in Kentridge’s sense of the word. That this sight is beyond the grasp of the brain, but extends to all tools, means and experiences open to us as human beings. All tools that exist to aid us in our quest to bring our unique message to the world.
A mental impression of something perceived by the senses, viewed as the basic component in the formation of concepts; a sense datum.
A percept is the input that an intelligent agent is perceiving at any given moment. It is essentially the same concept as a percept inpsychology, except that it is being perceived not by the brain but by the agent. A percept is detected by a sensor, often a camera, processed accordingly, and acted upon by an actuator. Each percept is added to a percept sequence, which is a complete history of each percept ever detected. An intelligent agent chooses how to act not only based on the current percept, but the percept sequence. The next action is chosen by the agent function, which maps every percept to an action.
For example, if a camera were to record a gesture, the agent would process the percepts, calculate the corresponding spatial vectors, examine its percept history, and use the agent program (the application of the agent function) to act accordingly.
A percept in the information technology industry is a term used in the pricing of data transfer. For example, rather than charging an individual (who is remotely retrieving data from say a weather sensor or a GPS device) by the size of the data, a company would charge that individual by the percept. Here a percept would constitute a statistical data point, such as a GPS location. Pricing per percept would mean that a customer or individual using that GPS device would actually be charged per unit of true economic value to him/her, a GPS location datapoint, rather than on the size of that datapoint in bits/bytes/kilobytes, etc.
I am simply inspired by the ephemeral, playful, magical quality of Tokihiro Sato’s work.
He uses the essential qualities of light as a medium –capturing the wavelengths of light with precise timing over long exposures. But I would say that light is itself the subject of his photographs. His photographs are portraits of light. Light is almost a character, each point of light has a presence much like a being. In the photographs where it moves, bouncing or waving in response to objects in its environment, the light has volition. Where it is split by mirrors into the spectrum, it is unclothed, revealing its delicate nature in wavelengths of brilliant color.
Or perhaps the light acts like his avatar, his puppet, his mask.
ON THE FUTURISTS
Giacomo Balla, Speed of a Motorcycle, 1913, Oil on Canvas
The Futurists’ Manifesto seems to boil down to this statement from within the greater reading:
“Our growing need of truth is no longer satisfied with Form and Color as they have been understood hitherto.
The gesture which we would reproduce on canvas shall no longer be a fixed moment in universal dynamism. It shall simply be the dynamic sensation itself.”
It occurs to me that the thematic focus by the Futurists on speed is utterly applicable to our society today–and especially within the context of New York, with its press of humanity and machinery rushing to and fro every hour of every day. Globally, the movement of goods and services is happening at an unprecedented pace, with aviation becoming more ubiquitous and furthermore, with the infinite possibilities posed by the internet.
So that brings me to the question, what does that mean for painting today?
This brings me to recall one of my favorite artists, Julie Mehretu.
Perhaps Mehretu represents the postmodern turn on the Futurists’ influence, as her work is a reflection not only of the movement of technology and architecture but also of her personal human experience of movement in her family’s diaspora from Ethiopia to the United States.
Certainly, her work also reflects the Futurists’ claim that, “our art is intoxicated with spontaneity and power”.
A laser is a light generator and amplifier that generates a single wavelength or color of light. Laser cutting uses a beam of infrared light or heat, focused to a small and intense spot to vaporize or melt a hole through a workpiece. Because laser light is a single wavelength it does not diverge, or spread out, as quickly and can be focused to a much smaller spot than ordinary white light.
Comparing the power density between an incandescent bulb and a laser.
A 100 Watt Incandescent Bulb Focused to 1cm spot (0.4") Power Density = 127 Watts /cm2
A 100 Watt Laser Focused to 150 micron spot (0.006") Power Density = 550,000 Watts /cm2 (Image: PRCLaser.com)
There are several types of Industrial Laser Cutters:
- Solid state JK Nd:YAG Lasers (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) and JK Fiber Lasers lasers can be used to cut metals, some ceramics and plastics, and graphite composites.
- CO2 lasers address thin metal, paper, wood, plastic, fabrics, and other non-metal cutting applications.
The advantages of Laser Cutting include:
Applicability to a wide range of materials and thickness
Narrow kerf widths
Consistent weld bead
Very high repeatability
Very high reliability
Low operational costs–Easily automated and programmable
Flexibility in changeovers
Reduced tooling costs and reduced setup times
Non-contact process (no tooling wear or breakage, minimal material distortion)
Versatility (the same tool can also be used for laser drilling and laser welding)
Capacity for high degree of beam manipulation (true 3-D cutting)
Only requires access to one side of part
No filler material (typically)
A laser cutting system has three major sections:
1) The Laser:
Generates a round beam 1/2″ – 1.2″ (12 – 30mm) in diameter.
First pulses to drill or pierce a hole through the workpiece.
Then will output variable power based upon the material being cut and desired process speed.
2) The Beam Delivery:
Transmits or delivers the beam to the focusing head via a series of mirrors called “beam benders”.
The focusing or cutting head uses a lens to focus the beam down to a spot 0.004″ – 0.010″ (100-250 microns).
The focused laser beam will vaporize and or melt a small area of the workpiece.
A pressurized gas, or “assist gas”, will be added beneath the lens coaxially with the laser beam to push the molten material out of the cut zone.
Typical lens focal lengths for laser cutting are 3.75″, 5″, 7.5″ and 10″. The choice of lens will depend on the material type and thickness to be cut.
Beneath the lens, a pressurized assist gas is injected to help remove material from the cut zone.
There will usually be an interchangable nozzle attached to the bottom of the cutting head that allows the user to change the dynamics of the assist gas jet for different materials.
Critical parameters to consider on the cutting head are:
Lens Focal Length
Lens, or focal spot standoff from the material
Nozzle standoff from material
Standard file type for fabrication depends on the company, most accept: CAD (DXF, DMG), Rhino, Illustrator. Photoshop, TIFF or JPG files may have a set-up fee.
Materials often not supported: PVCs, including Sintra PVC Foam Board, Polycarbonate Plastic
Local Resources: (Other than AMS)
Prototope, 349 Greenwich Street #5, New York ; (212) 431-7776, email@example.com, ($15 set-up fee, no minimum order, no glass or metal, 12″x24″ bed, up to 1/4″ thick)
Kennedy Fabrications Architectural Models, 318 West 39th Street, New York; (212) 229-0722, firstname.lastname@example.org, ($150/hr, $100/hr to convert files, $120 min order, laminate PVC ok, bed sizes include 18″x24″, 24″x48″ and 48″x48″).
Fine Laser Cut, 151 W 47th Street, New York; (212) 302-6073, email@example.com, (precious metal laser cutting, 7″x7″ max, up to 1/8″ thick, no min, no set-up fee, Illustrator file preferred).