I wanted to make an object with used circuit boards. I finally actually finished yesterday. I used a jewelers saw to cut out a piece from a pcb board i found on ITP’s junk shelf. Then i came across a few piecs of white plexi that sort of looked like ghosts. I drilled holes in it to make eyes and mouth shape. I attached them with some jump rings and some chain. Here’s the necklace that resulted:
7 in Seven is an audacious scheme by the ITP Resident Researchers to do seven creative projects in seven days
So as Kate says below…Day 7=Window Ghosts. I can’t believe I made it through all 7 days without collapsing. It took alot of patience and food delivery but I made it. And then I slept for three days and forgot to put up this video documentation. So there it is. Take it…already.
MUSIC OF THE DAY: Aphex Twin
For my 7th and final project, I collaborated with Gabe Barcia-Colombo on a video installation called Window Ghosts. I initially got the idea for it one night when I was leaving work, walking down Waverly, and looked up at the Tisch bulding to see to two people standing in a window. There was something eerie about the way they looked because they were high within the frame of the window and there was a curtain drawn close behind them. The overall effect was that it seemed as though they were floating.
This, in combination with the realization that we have some prime, publicly-viewable, rear-projection real estate in the windows of the Resident’s office and the ITP conference room, made me want to create my own “window ghosts” - video projections of people that would stand at the window, passing the night by gazing at the street below.
Gabe is my favorite projection expert and he knows all about projecting people in weird places, so it was a match made in heaven. On Saturday night we installed a single projection (thank you, John Schimmel, for your sleepless night at the window!), but we hope to further develop the installation so that it includes multiple projections and perhaps some other iterations. Don’t be surprised if you pass by some night and see my toes wiggling in the window, 5 feet tall!
You can expect the final installation to be featured in the upcoming ITP Residents Show.
Programming XBees on the Mac isn’t as easy as I would like it to be because there aren’t any GUI interfaces like the Digi XCTU for Windows. I decided to build one in python using Tkinter and pyserial. Here is an initial version which I will be improving soon.
In this current version you must use a search term (above usb) to open a serial port at 9600 baud rate. Usually most XBee USB dongles or USB->Serial converters show up with a ‘usb’ in the path.
A more advanced version will be coming soon!
I also worked on putting my favorite drawings up on my website:
And of course the infamous Action Park Album, which you’ll have to ask about if you want to hear. Or just bug Gabe. But a hint, in that it sounds like those 4 above sang it.
For airplanes, elevators, and other tight spaces, the Elbow Detector is a wearable device that notifies you of the presence of another elbow so you can avoid that embarrassing moment of bumping elbows with a stranger.
I have two variations in mind: the silent notifier (that signals the wearer with a small vibrating motor) and the alarm system (a more aggressive version that activates a buzzer when the elbows get too close).
I made a rough prototype using the Arduino Lilypad, a Maxbotix Ultrasonic Rangefinder, and a Radio Shack buzzer mounted on an ever-so-elegant wrist band from American Apparel.
Better documentation coming soon. It basically works, but here are some next steps:
- Smoothing code. Right now I’m just doing down & dirty “if the sensor value is below X, then turn on the buzzer”, which obviously makes the buzzer a bit warbly.
- A different form factor. Obviously a wrist band is meant to be worn on the wrist, not on the elbow. Might try working off of an elbow brace like this or else making a custom piece.
- A different sensor. Though I am interested in proximity, the Rangefinder doesn’t provide enough resolution in the distance range that I’m interested in. Ideally, I’d like to be able to sense the difference between something being 1 or 2 inches away.
Let’s talk about Josh Karpf. Josh and I both went to Oberlin, where we did our undergrad. The majority of my memories of him are of his flyaway Warholesque hair and a minority are about the unusual objects he kept in a pencil cup. Anyway, a number of years after we graduated I was perusing the still-nascent web and stumbled across a “site-of-the-day” depicting martinis made from meat. It was linked to from everywhere which was possible then because the Internet was still pretty small. Something seemed familiar, and then the realization flashed on me that I knew the guy who had done this. It was Josh, the dude with that hair, and it turns out his carnivore’s cocktail had taken the 1997 Internet by storm. Within a week or two it was all over the web’s list of weird, strange, new, looney, worst and best sites. The pork martini was a meme and by chance, I was on a first name basis with the source. Josh has since updated the site with new pictures and a somewhat more modern look. The other white meat martini lives on.
In the days and years that passed, when martinis or pork come up on conversation I often find myself defending Josh’s explorations to those who would close their mind to a martini made of meat. I encourage them to consider a trial swig but usually they defer. Naturally, a few of my friends get a free pass. They’re vegans, so tasting a pork martini is out of the question. Until now. Presenting an animal-free homage to Josh’s porcine concoction, devised as my last day-long project of 7 in 7. He’s a rabid carnivore so I doubt we’d ever get his full endorsement, but adventerous vegetarians and vegans can now quaff a meat-like drink without fear of sullying their fauna-free repasts. I give you the Vegan Pork Martini:
Kudos to the May Wah Market on Hester Street for their Vegan BBQ Pork and Vegan Bacon strips, to Gabe and Kate for tasting, and to Josh Karpf for the original inspiration and his lifelong commitment to all things meat.
We work with the LilyPad open-source wearables system and the XBee radios a lot at ITP, so Kate Hartman and I decided that it was time to put the two together. My Friday 7 in 7 project was to create a XBee LilyPad board, the first draft of which is pictured above. There’s probably going to be a second draft before we have the printed circuit boards made, adding some decoupling capacitors and possibly a few output LEDs. I’d like to keep things pretty bare bones and just see how people might use them before adding complexity like sensors or independent power. We’re planning to run some tests on the prototypes to evaluate wearability and integration methods. The XBee can transmit information from an Arduino module, but also has some ability to function independently. There’s eight pins of input and output, including analog transmissions, that can be used without a microcontroller. Therefore it makes sense to think about another iteration with integrated battery power.
When the board files are done, they’ll be posted publicly on my site (under Projects) and can be used by anyone under a Creative Commons open-source license. A couple of my Sociable Objects students working on socially shape-shifting skirts. Hopefully the new XBee LilyPad will enable their creations.