EEK! So, trying to decide what my final p. comp project should be has proven to be kind of more harrowing than I imagine actually making the project will be(…let’s hope?). Which is maybe the way it should be, come to think of it.
Originally, I was torn between p.comping-up my ICM pablo pescado project and collabing with Anne-Marie on body-scale pressure sensor stuff. But I decided that anything much more than a button or a knob didn’t really belong with little old pablo, so I started brainstorming in that kind of frantic, deadline-induced way. Here are several things I’m considering building:
The Twittering Machine
Based off of a favorite painting of mine:
I’d like to construct this as a physical object from metal and felt that, when cranked, records a message and tweets it.
I think this would be fun to make, but is maybe too kitschy? Or art snobby? Would people get the joke? Is the joke worth making? I’m also not sure what kind of sensor I’d use…something that can sense its being turned, like a potentiometer? Would I be able to write code to the tune of “if the readings are moving, record to soundcloud, and once the readings stagnate, post to twitter and reset?” (what a coding language I could write…). These are all considerations. Also, I don’t want to uh, be “putting a bird on it.”
As a direct backlash to the kitschiness of that idea, and also influenced by a trip I took to Storm King this weekend, I started wondering about abstract art in the realm of physical computing. Maybe I should stop trying to come up with a palatable idea that’s so super clear, and instead work from form and from the technology itself. I’m not sure exactly what this would look like, but I imagine it would be something without a describable narrative, just an object you interact with through various inputs and that delivers various outputs. Sounds nice. Nice and vague.
Modular Story Box
So, since that takes the form of a big question mark, I tried to think about something concrete. What are the things I liked about the block equalizer? Perhaps my favorite thing about it is its versatility. My dream right now for it is, once it gets working smoothly, to put out a call for people to compose works to be played on it specifically that highlight the capabilities of the object, then have a show of all of those works performed. This is something I feel like I could run with: making a platform for a medium that directly informs the content of the piece. So, I turned to my pre-ITP life, and thought of how I could combine that framework with language:
This would be a cube with five usable sides, each with a sensor that is representative of a physical space. For example: A keyhole, a doorknob, a doorbell, a light switch, a stove dial (does that thing have a name?). Each sensor would trigger a sentence or phrase. Depending on the order that they are triggered, the story would change. This would take a shitload of coding and some good story writing…
So, intimidated by that idea, I decided maybe I should rethink. Physical Computing, at least how it was introduced to us in class, can hep us solve problems in our lives. What is a problem I have? Getting a lot of calls from my mom in California about whether I’m warm enough in New York.
How to solve it? I’m interested in making a piece of jewelry (pin or necklace) that, once an hour or two, if the temperature is 72 or higher, sends an email or text to my mom: “don’t worry! i’m not cold!” or, if it’s like, 75, “it’s just like LA!” or, you know “I’m schvitzing” or “It’s practically like a volcano erupted in Manhattan!”
Soooo… in the end maybe i’ll just collab with Anne Marie again. She tends to think up less-ridiculous projects, and my frivolousness makes a good counterpoint to that. I hope?!
EDIT: forgot to mention smell project by photocell buttons!