Mechanisms, Fields, Environments

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 in Physical Computing
Mechanisms, Fields, Environments


While I’m fairly disgruntled with my mid-term, which could be resolved (with an old keystone kids’ projector and different motors), I’ve been searching the blogs to see what other potential final projects are being hatched. So, despite a final sound-mixer sketch as a send-off below, I been looking around at the structure of my classmates projects to see whether some of their interface ideas might actually fit with my interests better.


Plus, both my time and skills might be more useful as a coder and contributor rather than doggedly fixating on mechanical reproduction issues. (Sorry, Walter Benjamin, ;))


Sam Lavign’s frisking machine is great, from a conceptual, polemic standpoint. His representation  of an interaction, a forccd encounter, pulls from a whole spectrum of 70’s art (Acconci et. al.) that looked at the social rules, policies and antagonism in contemporary relationships. And, of course the commentary on ubiquitous police procedure is great. I can’t however see why or what would push my pragmatic interest. Cool none-the-less.

Saki’s spatial ‘chess’ game is also quite interesting. As yet another ex-architect, the child-like building play strikes me as somewhere between Christopher Alexander’s pattern language, Cedric Price’s programs, and the circus-inspired Eames toys and games (themselves merely a step removed from military corps and the logistics lessons of WWII). Since it’s her pcomp, icm, and web final, it is an open question where addition hands would come into play.  Her mechanism for coding the objects and their placement is interesting. From a processing side or php side, I can see the logic of individual objects in an array, set up to recognize 5 states of combination. I guess, I’m sort of curious whether there might be a physical background/sensor table for the ‘chess’ pieces that might be based on simple, magnet-based induction and a series of analog/mapped inputs. Saki has proposed four or five components to each piece, with each-side coded. It seems like a serial series of feedback screen visualizations could show people magic moments and radically simplify the physical object, make it much easier/cheaper to produce. Granted, a fixed grid and the ‘strengths’ of magnets might limit the number of pieces used, plus I have no idea how one might begin to segment and insulate separate square/circuits.  There’s something intriguing about the simple field setup that I can’t quite put my thumb on… I see how the multi-player memory and internet database draws directly from correspondence chess (which has its own Duchamp-ian arts legacy).  I’m not sure collaboration makes sense given that I’m intrigued by the structure as a graded, pixelized field (simplifying, clarifying) and Saki clearly has a broader investment in the correspondence.

Michelle’s environmental sensor project also might be interesting, just given that I’m enormously invested in infographics and visualization and she’s collecting data. And, as some of year’s introverts, we’ve established a good brainstorming, conceptual review rapport and friendship. I know that she’s moved on from either visualizing the sensor/serial readouts for this term, starting collection only, but it is one route where I can see an appropriate use for my various processing dashboards and readout visualization skills. There’s also something intriguing about how easily the input/outcome status of Michelle’s environmental trigger/headache type  could fit into the sankey diagram code that I’m working up for ICM (built off the same principles/math/csv as in Mike Bostok’s d3.js version or a csv variation such as this).

Anyways, I’m leaning toward collaboration, so we’ll see whether my soldering, conceptualization, and viz skills make sense to those above… until tomorrow, I’m going to head back to sankey structures.