gallery visit – Zwischenräume/ robotic installation


Visiting Petra and Rob’s exhibition in Vienna was a highlight… It doesn’t have much to do my own project, but I thought I’d include some pictures from the exhibition.
The work could be related to Lachlan’s project inspiration of “Friendly Fascism” where the playful nature of the robots takes away from their more sinister agenda of autonomous surveillance of the public, much like today’s proliferation of social networking sites and their use as means for users to create their own digital persona, yet on the flip side, also as data harvesting tools for marketing and other capitalist evils.

“The installation embeds a group of autonomous robots into the walls of a gallery. They punch holes through the walls to inspect what’s outside, signal each other, and conspire. As if the walls had ears and a hammer to pierce holes for their eyes to see. The work develops a political relationship between the stealthy invasion of digital surveillance and urban combat tactics in which soldiers are literally instructed to walk through private walls. The installation stages this relationship in the form of an autonomous sculptural process that marks and wounds our environment, leaving behind open scars. “ (Taken from the project’s mircosite


i-CubeX Workshop Brief

In the workshop, participants will learn how to apply sensor technology
(with special attention to capturing human movements) to develop their
own concepts of electronic media control (with special attention to
controlling sound and music media), without needing to become a hardware
engineer. The workshop aims to achieve three goals.

1. Understanding of I-CubeX sensors’ capabilities (what they can capture
and how they could be applied)
Starting with a discussion and analysis of what the participants would
like to achieve, various relevant sensor technologies will be presented
and discussed together with examples of I-CubeX sensor products, and/or
similar electronic art projects. If applicable, demo applications of
I-CubeX products will be presented and discussed in some detail to
provide suggestions to the participants how to proceed with their vision
of a controller, interactive installation etc..

2. Understanding of I-CubeX operation (how to setup a number of sensors
and create/control output)
Each participant will be setup with I-CubeX equipment as best matches
their needs. After all setups have been installed and are working, all
features of I-CubeX hardware and software will be explained and
demonstrated, with the participants being able to try out these features
on their setup.

3. Proof of concept wrt. participant’s interactive design
The participants will be guided to develop the setup into a prototype of
the controller or interactive installation they would like to make. This
includes examining and discussing signal processing aspects, mapping and
routing of data, 3rd-party software options to create suitable output,
practical implementation issues (eg. in the case of on-body
instrumentation), wireless options etc..

We will be using software such as Max/MSP, Live, Max4Live, Flash etc..
The participants need to be familiar with the software of their choice
already, but no knowledge of sensors and sensor interfacing is assumed,
while it will not be necessary for participants to hack hardware or
solder electronic components.

Sensoriffic… a journey

Having some problems connecting my senors with my computer…. I continually get the error Unable to properly connect to digitizer”… I have tried to use the MIDI and USB interfaces and get the same error in the i-cubeX editor.
Still troubleshooting online… but it looks bleak for today…
… hmm.. ok.. now looking into booking the computer from cofa..

I went to the i-cubeX website and downloaded the appropriate Editor for my operating system and plugged the digitzer into my computer via the usb midi connector. I plugged the sensor in with the red wire on top and tried all of the ports, the computer is registering the USB. The editor is able to connect to the digitize, however, when i click Configure, even though the usb is being read, because i see it as one of the options to configure, when i click Test Connection, I get the error “Unable to properly connect to the digitizer”. I tried with both sensors and using all the ports of the digitzer.
When I tried with the PC, I was using Windows7, but the same result occurs.
I thought perhaps I was missing a driver for my mac. I have searched on the web to troubleshoot, and found that a few others had this problem, but I could not find and solutions to their posts on the Processing forum, or other forums.

I only tried testing using the icubeX editor to test if the hardware was working — this may inherently be my “fatal” error. But even using this ‘simple’ interface, I have not managed to configure my digitizer to my computer…

Similarly, I downloaded some Max patches, however they do not seem to be reading the input from the digitzer… although, I didn’t think it would work anyway because the LEDs show “power”, “out” but “IN” is not lit.

I have a feeling I am missing a very trivial step…

S.O.S. please…

re-opening credits…

Starting my final semester and I seem to be constantly in anticipation of what lies ahead for me. It’s a tricky balancing act of appreciating ‘the moment’ and seeing into the future, trying to read the signs.
After a somewhat turbulent first half of the year – it seems as though Assemblage and the Randomness and Connectedness of Things is the “flavour of the season” so to speak.
My courses were not chosen because of their possibility to cross over one another, yet there are many parallels and overlaps of material and thinking in approach and design process.
I have my final work to consider that is due in 2 weeks and I have no idea how I will smelt the Materials, Process and Contexts course into a singular piece that will aptly reflect my learnings and personality.
Can it be done??
Meanwhile, I have discovered my latest art-crush: Ida Applebroog.
She is wonderful, I hope that I have the sensitivity, playfulness and presence that she has, when I am 80 years old.
Her work has evolved with the times and with her as a personal, physically and mentally. She doesn’t like labels and she does not restrict herself to one medium – rather she says she simple has to express something within her – no matter how it happens. Which I think is inspiring.

I have my first presentation tomorrow… What. Will. I. Talk. About???
I had an idea, but while I was running it over with Charbs, I realised that it is completely flimsy and littered with inconsistency and probably wishful thinking in the world we live in.
I want my product to be community based and run – I want it to have the possibility of making an example of the community it is in – in order to maybe affect other places. I want it – even if it is naive to think that environmental education on the small scale could make a difference — to at the very least draw the interpersonal bonds of a community together and make people feel responsible for their local actions and be aware of the larger scale effects of their actions.
Too much to ask?
I was shot down last night.. and Charbs has a point. For there to be an actual affect on our carbon footprint, or what ever you want to call our impact on the environment – there needs to be a mass global shift of thinking and acting from everyone.
Is sustainable design just a fanciful concept that will never attain it’s purpose?
I still have hope, but as I wipe over and out of these tangents… I see that this will be a great opportunity to research the merits of sustainable design and the actual environmental impacts of design decisions.
I would like to steer away from simply education – and rather think about provoking actions from the public that then, lead to self-education. Sort of like the teaching a man to fish proverb.
In the meantime, thank you for re-visiting this space.. it has been pretty bleak here since 2008… I hope you’ll stick with me for the transition-make-over that begun at the first work of this blog.

More on the randomness and journey next time…

back in the saddle again….

Back at uni and my head is exploding with possibilities and ideas…. how to get them all out? how to sift through the garbage to find the gem??

My new hero, who I knew in the past, but I wasn’t ready to fully appreciate his work:

So… touch screen applications, a data sculpture and a 2 minute animation…


more to come. this is only the tip of the iceberg.