Bridging Worlds final proposal :: Diffuse



For our final project in Bridging Worlds, Dan Melancon and I are making a reactionary projection mapping installation.


The basic ecosystem of our project is seen above: a Kinect is monitoring the environment around an abstract, polygonal shape which will be constructed out of intricately folded paper.   A projection of chemical reaction-diffusion, written in Cinder, will be projected onto this shape, and will react to external stimuli in its environment.  Seeming to ooze out pores and crevices in the paper, the substance will change shape, size and color based on user interactions.  Users will be invited to explore and determine whether they have control over the diffusion, or if it has a life of its own.




MINED is my project for section 3 of Data Art, “Data and Publics” which focused on spatial data.  Using a USGS dataset on active commodity mines from 2003, I developed a physical representation of mining data.  Following the above slides, I mapped out all ~7000 mines, then mapped them with color according to the 5 most popular mine types.  I then got the 10 states with the most mines, and made the circular outline graphs showing the number of each type of mine in the state (larger spikes represented a large amount of a certain type of mine).  Those outlines were then mapped in size to the population of the state.  10 graphs were overlaid, extruded and rendered in Rhino.  I laser cut the 10 states to make a stack from largest to smaller, with the hope of evoking the physical form of an actual mine.  The last step is to cast the form, but it couldn’t get finished in time (also, I don’t know anything about casting).



Python parser:


Processing code:

Drawing on Everything :: Working with Failure

 This past Friday, we had our final performance for Drawing on Everything with Shantell Martin at the Museum of Moving Image.  Most people chose to do live, projection-based performances, mixing analog and digital media.  I wanted to pursue a physical, analog drawing object where people could collaboratively draw together.    The form was going to be a rectangular wooden box, where hidden motorized rollers scrolled paper across the smooth box surface.  15′ of paper would wind on one end, then reverse and scroll to the opposite roller multiple times to ensure people would get a chance to draw and fill the canvas.

photo 1

Motor-controlled rubber wheel spinning an industrial aluminum roller.

photo 2

Birch wood box.  Hand-made, with CNC-routed slots for the paper.

photo 3

Underside of box, showing roller placement.  Motors sat on top of rollers.

After prototyping the basic movement I wanted, wheels spinning rollers as seen above, I constructed the housing.  The rectangular box measured 5′ x 2′ x 5″, with two 22″ slots where the paper would come in and out of.  Once the housing was built, I began setting the pieces in place to iron out the mechanics.  This, of course, began taking place on Thursday night, with the hope it would be smoothly wrapped up on Friday morning in time for our 6:30pm performance.  Naturally, that didn’t work out.  Timing malfunctions, motor speed and placement experiments, and paper rolling issues led to an extremely frustrating and stressful day.  I brought the project to the Museum with the hopes of wrapping up a few issues before things kicked off.

As people were beginning to come into the space, I realized I knew how to fix my problems, but it was realistically going to take me 30-40 minutes.  I had to make the decision to abandon my plan and improvise.  Thankfully Rodrigo, who was doing a large wall drawing, had some extra pieces of thick paper cut, which I was able to use.  I taped a large piece to the floor and started drawing, and left a bunch of markers out to still encourage the collaboration I was originally looking for.  Sharang jumped in early before his performance, but pretty soon the space got overrun with all the little kids who came, including Gal and Alon’s children.

photo 4 

photo 5


The impromptu performance actually worked out really well.  All the kids had a great time getting to draw, and a lot of other older people and fellow students came to draw for a few minutes.  Being able to talk to everyone and see their different drawing styles was a nice way to decompress after the stress of having my original project fail.  I put a lot of time, money, and effort into the box, and it was pretty disappointing to see it fail.  But the resulting performance was not only really enjoyable and fulfilling in its own right, but it forced me to completely rethink the interaction for my original box.  This drawing worked out significantly better than the box would have, and if I want to finish and use the box (which I d0), I’ll need to put a good deal of work into rethinking its design, interaction, and purpose.  None of that would have been possible without experiencing the failure of that first plan.

Python OOP

Our assignment for RWET was to rewrite an old homework in object oriented notation. I took my second homework, a mashup of a marriage counseling book and a taxidermy guide, and made a class out of the logic for splitting the texts. The class Splitter, below, takes the text and divides it into even and odd lines, returning the even.


Then, in the main file, I have two instances of the class for the two text files. The output from each instance is combined, shuffled, and a small excerpt is printed.