Category Archives: videos

Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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Water Creature Prototype II

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Worked on getting the “Lillites” into the water today. These are just rough experiments using silicone molding. It came out looking a little like a jellyfish, or some sort of bioluminescent creature. The good thing is they are waterproof and buoyant! That was my goal for this round. Now it’s on the the important stuff – form and communication! More experiments to come! I’ll keep you posted.

“Lillites” Pre-Prototype

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Spent some time making these tiny things today. I decided to call them “Lillites” for now because they’re only 1-inch in diameter. I’m going to prepare to try and get some swimming in the water! More to come…

String + Breeze Experiment

Did some testing of some materials the other afternoon. It flows well with the breeze, but can get tangled up pretty easily. I’m going to experiment with other types of threads that don’t “stick” to each other so much. Nylon threads, metallic threads, fishwire to name a few.

Reed Switch Prototype

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I just finished making this quick prototype this weekend. This particular prototype responds to the wind. You can’t see it, but there is a piece of conductive thread dangling from the the leaf-like structure. When that thread hits an open loop, it closes the circuit, allowing the LED to turn on and flicker. I’ll write more about my observations in a little bit, but just wanted to get this up. Check out the video below.

Sound to Light Unit Made!

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Today, I made a simple sound to light unit. This unit is often used for alerts such as doorbells or barking dogs. Basically, when the microphone picks up a certain level of sound, it then triggers the LED’s to flash. There is a knob where you can control the level of sensitivity, but the range isn’t too large. 

I made this in order to see how it would react to environmental sounds. In the video, I demonstrated how the lights react to music. In regards to my thesis, I started to ask how this contraption would be useful to detect and visually environmental noise or noise pollution levels in a space or city? What if there were different light behaviors or colors that indicated specific types of noises? What if a bustling city was enveloped with these lights? What would it look like from a Google Earth map? Is this an opportunity to amplify an man-made noises or population density? 

Lately, I’ve been contemplating how my work can visualize environmental issues through the affordances of light. I’ve been questioning how to get people’s attention in new ways and I’ve also been wondering how the beautification around what I’m trying to create  might allow someone to be more conscious of environmental factors often caused by man-made interferences (like noise pollution). 

Here’s the demo of the sound to light unit below:

Steve Roden Workshop

@ The Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock
presented by The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS)

I had a chance to attend a three-hour workshop called Make It, Perform It, Install It: Listen facilitated by sound artist Steve Roden. I wanted to attend this workshop because I figured it would bring inspiration and new perspectives to my own thesis work. Steve Roden started off by presenting some of his work. One of his focuses is on the translation of letters, numbers, shapes and color into new forms through the use of self-imposed codes and constraints. I really enjoyed viewing his work not only because his interests relate to sound and language, but also because he’s a man of juxtapositions who finds inspiration and new meaning by removing some of the obvious and distorting the senses.

During the workshop, we had the chance to create a bit of a collaborative orchestra of sound, film and color. There were about fifteen people at the workshop and we each were asked to color a portion of 8mm film that was strung between all of us. As music and sounds played in the background, we were asked to draw on the film according to the way we felt. When this part of the exercise was completed, we ran the film through a projection reel to see what types of patterns would emerge. 

Prior to arriving at the workshop, we were asked to bring instruments or sound making devices. I brought some percussion instruments, but others brought guitars, violins, digital devices, bells, their own voices… . The film was played again, and this time, we were asked to play our instruments according to relative connections the patterns we were viewing. Steve asked us not to play tunes to the literal movements and color patterns – he wanted us to observe the smaller details of the visuals and he also wanted us to listen to the other participants and allow everyone to have their own creative sound space. One might think that we would have played something horrible and messy, but the outcome seemed quite the opposite. Instead, there seemed to be moments of, hmm…harmonious dissonance. In many ways, it seemed very much like a design research exercise and because it was very free in nature, I felt it was easier to be a creative participant. 

There were a few takeaways I learned from this workshop. First, experimental projects have to be thought-out, but they don’t have to be complicated. Through our exercises that evening, I learned quite a lot about the integration of media, interaction and space. Experimentation doesn’t have to be hard – you just have to do it and learn from it. Second, live participation can be very rewarding, especially when the interaction you do is not just between you and a device or machine, but between other people as well. There is something much more personal about making with others. One other observation I made was about alternative ways of displaying light and color. The workshop allowed me to realize that I must keep my options about in terms of how I portray light and color and what mediums I use to project light. I.e. Not everything I make has to be be about LED’s. Rather, where else can I gather light? Projectors, shadows, natural light? Also, what subtleties can make my work more meaningful, more detailed, more – for lack of a better word right now – poetic?