All posts by Ieva Urbaite

Computational Media and Storytelling

For my Gallatin Colloquium, I’ve been reading a lot of books that warn against the dangers of casually incorporating technology into every aspect of our lives. Two of the books include Amusing Ourselves to Death  by Neil Postman and Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other by Sherry Turkle. In both texts, the authors argue that we are continuously shirking our social responsibilities by hiding behind technology.

I would argue, however, that from the perspective of someone tinkering with computational media, the opposite may be true. While no one can debate  the existence of a strong community of nerds who hide behind their computers online, I’ve found my experience with computational media, especially physical computing, to be much more engaging than the casual online chat. With physical computing, we are taking abstract ideas and bringing them to the material world. The data collected comes from human interaction in the real world and can potentially create some sort of disturbance in the physical world as well.

From my experience, while the end-result of a computational media project may be a simple game or a horrible animation, the behind-the-scenes work is what is truly fascinating. Now computers and arduinos can be ordered online for a small cost instead of found only in the bowels of MIT. People like myself, who have virtually no coding experience, can learn to think in new ways and process information to create art. We can work with people from completely foreign fields and create something harmonious. This accessibility is totally mind blowing to me because it is creating new forms of communication for people who would normally stick with more traditional storytelling media like music, writing, or film.

Ieva and Emily: Cat Detectives (in training)

 

This party is so not happening

I tried to use face detect to control the paddle in the Zoolander game. I got stuck  🙁

 

KILLING THE MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER != GOOD

You’re Derek Zoolander and you’ve got some decisions to make.

 

Risky Business (Take a Chance on Cheese)

This time around I used an array to make many cheeses and added a nasty carpet in the background. And the little mouse is in there, too!

I tried to see how I could get the cheese to identify when it was clicked, but couldn’t figure it out. Ideally, as the mouse eats the cheese, the cheese would disappear.

Cheese Array Files

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P6JnybsEE4&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Workin’ that cheese…

I want to eventually make a mouse have to catch the cheese and dodge the spinning cat.

VIDEO

 

The Big Cheese

I made a really simple animation with a bouncing ball and the image of a mouse.  The mouse follows your computer mouse. I would have liked to have the ball disappear when the mouse goes over the cheese ball, but I wasn’t sure how to do that.

Screenshot 2014-03-03 12.27.08

mouse and cheese

 

Rose Colored Glasses

 

Screenshot 2014-02-24 05.44.58

 

Woo!

 

 

Does Charlie Even CARE?!

For my stupid pet trick I decided to make a board that tested whether or not my cat was interested in sniffing the Arduino. To my surprise, the buzzing of the motor got her interested enough to try the setup out for herself!

Playing with Cardboard

Charlie gets in on the action

 

 

Catman Strikes Again!

I made a simple circuit with two lightbulbs.

photo (12) photo 2

The green bulb blinks whenever the switch is not in use. The blue bulb is set off when a connection is made within the switch. In this scenario, Lil Elephant tries to warn Rubber Ducky about Catman with a secret message embedded in the blue bulb using really sloppy Morse Code. Can you guess what it is?

Catman Strikes Again

Code:

void setup(){
pinMode(7,OUTPUT);
pinMode(8,INPUT);
pinMode(3,OUTPUT);
}

void loop(){
if(digitalRead(8) == HIGH)
{
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(2000);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(700);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(2000);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(700);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(700);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(2000);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
digitalWrite(3,HIGH);
delay(2000);
digitalWrite(3,LOW);
delay(300);
}
else{
digitalWrite(7,HIGH);
delay(350);
digitalWrite(7,LOW);
delay(350);

}
}