Happy Halloween y’all. Over the last 10 days I have been making a short film for a  halloween inspired short film festival/party. I decided to make my film about an alien abductee trying to convince the world of his experience with extra terrestrials. I chopped up my film and designed my project as a choose your own adventure/surveillance style video page. It was a fun project to design, however implementing the videos to play/pause/cue as I wanted was difficult. I worked with the residents to de-bug, re-code, de-bug, re-code for about 2 days to get the videos and CSS style elements to work in tandem. There were many times where I wish I could have just spoken to p5 to tell it exactly what to do i.e. “p5, please align all the button to the right” – however, my machine did not listen to my voice, only to my code. I used a closure for the first time to have to make the videos toggle correctly – I think my brain is still trying to rebuild itself and being broken by that logic.

Unidentified U.N.I.I.F.

I think this is a strong medium for me to work in and I look forward to focusing on a larger project using narrative elements.wallpaperunif

Physical Computing: Mid Term and Final Project Thoughts.

Mid Term:

Physical Computing has allowed me to explore a new aspect of music, an old fixture in my life, that I have always wanted to explore – instrument creation. Within the first 2 weeks of the semester I had begin construction on my first instrument, a primitive string instrument controlled by a DC motor with the Arduino acting as a battery. It was primitive but satisfying and I was proud that I had used the Arduino within the context of a physical chain of events (Arduino spins a DC motor -> Motor spins a piece of metal -> Metal piece hits strings -> String vibrate). I left this project for a moment to focus on the other realms of physical computing and computational Media, which both seemed to be quickly melding into each other. We started learning about serial communication, data visualization, and APIs amongst other types of information and communication that we can manipulate with our machines.

I knew leading up to our midterm that I would want to focus my attention back to my instrument. The idea of ‘digital wind chime’ or ‘light chime’ or ‘voice chime’ came into the realm of possibility for me after the results of the first DC motor experiment. It seemed that with all these sensors could act just like a natural input coming from the physical world. Reproducing the movement of a wind chime with another physical input became a very interesting notion for me, as this subverts our (or at least my own) notions of the natural world. Art and creative expression often subverts or changes our expectations of our reality, it is a complex idea that often can often lead to simplistic beauty.  I think can’t help but thing about a Venus Flytrap or a lizard with can turn itself into a flower – our ideas of what this already complex organism is changes instantly – its behavior in the world goes beyond how we expect it to act. Making a wind chime that utilizes a data input from the digital world which is representing real world measurements such as light, heat, sound, or any weather data became the focus of my project.

When we began focusing on APIs in ICM my enlightenment moment occurred. I could use actual wind data from new york city to control the motor speed of my wind chime, thus making it a true digital wind chime. The physical world would became the digital world, the digital world would then become my physical world. It was a satisfying notion to see such a large concept become localized to my 6V motor. It spoked to my consciousness immensely.

With the midterm project coming to a close, I began pouring over the many iterations of my code. Some early versions had hard coded “wind” and other versions had my motor mapped to different speeds using the actual wind data from the http://openweathermap.org/api. After looking at these versions I saw that perhaps I was more satisfied my my own inputs that i had hard coded myself – there was something very pleasing about the way they moved (I had mapped them like revving a motor, start off slow, get fast, and reduce speed). Perhaps there will be a happy medium between the two types of data – although realistically I think I am just bored of weather data.

photo 1 (1)photo 2 (2)


On friday I went to Tri-State Lumber in Greenpoint to pick up a few 2x4s to put my final into motion. I know that I want my final project to act as an instillation piece. Something big and tangible and satisfying to interact with. My schematic has my new structure to be around 5 feet tall and using longer piano strings instead of guitar strings. I am trying to determine if I should continue using the spinning motion of the dc motor or us a motor/slide assembly for linear motion (like Franklin’s pixel Mid Term).  Depending on the type of motion, I will have to decide what type of housing/ framework to build. If I use rotary motion I will build what I would describe as a Strung Clock and with linear motion I will build a Strung Frame.

photo 1 (2)  photo 2 (3)

Final Iteration with mounted dc motor and wooden flapper

Visual Language, Physical Computing and ICM week 7: Circle Manipulation & Linear Color Wheel

—> Color Wheel Video  <— Visual Language

—> Linear Color Wheel <— Visual Language & ICM

—> Circle Manipulation <—  PCOMP

—> 2nd look at Circle <— PCOMP

With our 7 week courses coming to an end and our midterm projects quickly approaching, this week has been hectic. Trying to navigate through this cramped and busy road lead to my cram all of my bags into one car and drive – so to speak…  I attempted to link together my ICM, Physical Computing, and Visual Language projects for one large and interlinked project that could encompass site, touch, and color. When trying to think of individual projects for this week I came to rely on my influences that I have soaked in over the last half semester, with one of the largest of those influences being shapes. When I got my final project for Visual Language, a color composition that requires a color hue visual test, I immediately thought of the color wheel – and with color wheel came potentiometer, and with potentiometer came a revolving visuals. I thought about the ways colors interest me and what kind of personal emotions they evoke from me. I did some research and found a vast array of emotional color wheels – each color on the diagram representing a different emotion and each emotion represents a different color. I then thought about trying to construct an emotional color wheel with hue, brightness, and saturation that could be controlled with a potentiometer, yet, I found this to be very advanced. What I ended up with while trying to create a moveable and transformative emotional color wheel are three projects which ultimately work, but failed to become how I imagined them working together. In the end we are left with a circle that can be manipulated with a potentiometer, a linear color wheel (the words are matched with a color and they move linearly with the click of a mouse) and a video demonstrating how color and words can help each other express meaning. I know these projects have potential to work together and I know that they are things I want to come back to in the very near future. I can say that although I did perhaps fail in some aspects, I  did succeed in making satisfying projects and learning an incredible amount over the week.

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Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 3.09.56 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 4.21.24 PM

Physical computing Code: Here we can manipulate the size of two circles with a potentiometer. 

var serial; // variable to hold an instance of the serialport library
var portName = ‘/dev/cu.usbmodemfd121’; // fill in your serial port name here
var inData; // for incoming serial data
var options = { baudrate: 9600}; // change the data rate to whatever you wish
serial.open(portName, options);

function setup() {
createCanvas(windowWidth, windowHeight);
img = loadImage(“assets/earth3.jpg”);
serial = new p5.SerialPort(); // make a new instance of the serialport library
// serial.on(‘list’, printList); // set a callback function for the serialport list event
serial.on(‘connected’, serverConnected); // callback for connecting to the server
serial.on(‘open’, portOpen); // callback for the port opening
serial.on(‘data’, serialEvent); // callback for when new data arrives
serial.on(‘error’, serialError); // callback for errors
serial.on(‘close’, portClose); // callback for the port closing
function serverConnected() {
println(‘connected to server.’);

function portOpen() {
println(‘the serial port opened.’)

function serialEvent() {
inData = Number(serial.readLine());

function serialError(err) {
println(‘Something went wrong with the serial port. ‘ + err);

function portClose() {
println(‘The serial port closed.’);
serial.list(); // list the serial ports
serial.open(portName); // open a serial port

function draw() {
ellipse(width / 2, height / 2, inData * 4, inData * 4);
ellipse(width / 2, height / 2, inData * 2, inData * 2);

Visual Language Week 6: Collaboration Card


It is interesting how we choose to define ourselves. We are either choosing to fill in the blanks or we are choose to leave things out, undefined. I know what makes me comfortable and I know what that comfort looks like. I feel that comfort in the clothing I wear, the music I listen to, the art I make (and so on and so forth) or in a more basic sense, I feel that comfort in the things I consume, produce, and share. It’s a real shame that the most unremarkable and mundane things can take me down a dark and sorrowful path, for no good reason other than the fact that I am perceiving myself being perceived. All the while I do realize that and do try to continually reduce, refine and ultimately dissolve my ego more and more, everyday until it is no more. Of course, to be rid of one’s ego is not an easily reachable goal, but this mental exercise is for myself a way to just try and not care about how I am thought of by other human beings superficially. The unfortunate but arguably universal notions of pride and shame guide us to do the things we do, to take part in the things we take part in, and to also not do the things we don’t want to do.

With that being laid out on the table, I would like to state that this is a reaction to my discomfort with the idea of making business cards for myself. Never would I have thought to make an actual business card as my comfort in promoting myself comes from letting the work I produce act in place of such a thing. I had to ditch Instagram 2 months ago because I was becoming upset with seeing my friends and collaborators as advertisers. This is not their fault, as an artist or business owner it is an incredibly useful tool, but that is not how I want to view my friends on a day to day basis. Perhaps it’s the name, which I know has been challenged by many people who have searched the terms “business card alternative”, that made me feel a slight bit of anxiety when approaching this assignment. Regardless of the fact that whenever I have been paid for my services to act creatively in any way, I have been doing business as an artist. It would be silly to say that I am not, never have been or never will be a person of business, because it’s not true. My whole adult life has been spent looking for jobs, looking for shows to play, organizing shows, buying things, selling things, selling myself, selling my work, selling – buying – selling – buying. I unfortunately can not think of a better way to phrase this other than to beat a dead horse, but what business comes down to, for me, is not selling out. So, what does not selling out look like? For me it means making tough decisions, not taking the path of least resistance, and letting your actions really represent who you feel you are. Not selling out is not about drawing a line in the sand. THAT NEVER WORKS.  To make an obtuse example, If they asked me to play the Superbowl and all the proceeds went to charity, i’d do it. You can never say never, because who I am now is not who I thought I would be 10 years ago.  These things can change in the blink of an eye, forward and backward, evolving and revolving. So now that I am tasked with designing a business card, something I didn’t see myself ever having or wanting to do, taking all this ego, anxiety, and discomfort into account, how do I go about this? For starters, I would like to refer to what I have made as a collaboration card, because that is a name with more truth and accuracy as to how this card will play a part in my life.

If Joel Bauer has anything to say about it, he will tell you that an impressive business card is worth your life. I will probably never feel that a single document will be able to effectively represent everything I am and hope to be, but I can make something that gives a glimpse as to what inspires me, what speaks to me, and ultimately shares something a little bit personal about myself. I chose to approach this project with zero irony – the easy way out for me on this project would be to make people laugh, which I know is a good tactic and would ensure something memorable, but in the end I would just be deflecting my discomfort of having to represent myself with something like this. All I have to do to break through this assignment is put myself into it.

Let’s look at my inspirations:

a0074751662_10Doug Poole’s (friend and creative collaborators) album artwork.

In_Utero_(Nirvana)_album_coverNirvana’s In Utero

a3690016760_10The album cover of a tape I released with my band.

anglebabeAnother porcelain angel figurine of mine

photo 4 (1)My hot pink Thrash Master guitar pedal.

photo 2 (1)                             photo 3 (1)

Freedom Triangle is a WW1 memorial that I fell in love with back in 2012 when I was visiting friends in New York. Freedom Triangle is one block from my house. The winged goddess Nike holds out an olive branch.

And Let’s look at the process:

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 4.29.14 PM

I started with a basic idea of using the Onyx (Nirvana rip off) font that I set my name to for our assignment during week 4. I then added the angel imagery (Another blatant Nirvana rip off) and framed it. I liked the way the angel was almost stepping off of the page.

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.11.19 AM

In the beginning I was looking for symmetry between the layout, colors, and imagery. But the whole design seemed a little too… prominent perhaps…

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 2.09.26 AM

So I played around different colors for the wings, at some point they were green, pink, and then finally red. I then inverted them looking for the exact opposite as I knew I have been drawn to red recently, although it is not a color I feel any strong connection to. I got this sky blue which seemed perfectly POP to me. I then drew the basic dimensions of the actual triangle that is Freedom Triangle and placed it behind the larger wings. I like the idea of the almost exploded view of the 3 elements. But in the end, I thought the text looked cheesy and the elements too exposed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.51.00 PM

I shrunk down the angel and placed it in the triangle. I like angels, I use them a lot. I think this looks cool and tells a little story about what inspires me. Also, this monument is very special to me and Freedom Triangle Studios felt like a nice and intimate name for my personal creative space.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.44.50 PM

I thought maybe the angel could be something of a beacon to where I can be found…

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.45.47 PM

Triangle studios sounded better to me. I also thought about something gimmicky like Tri-Angel Studios. In the end, I hated that idea.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.19.36 PM

I wanted the back to be dynamic and have a Pop Art Rock feel. I like how the elements interacted with each other and perhaps even tell a story when you look at them and how they are placed. I liked how the yellow triangle added some geography to the card.

And the final products:

photo (1)

I am happy with how my collaboration card came out. I tried to put myself into it. I look at it and I like what it looks like – it looks like an extension of myself. I pushed myself to make something that could act like a crystal ball that sees into me and not something that tries to projected anything that I am not. I think I achieved that.


ICM week 5 – Wiggle Jiggle and Bonus Poem


I had a lot of fun with this assignment. There is an amazing gratification that comes from using arrays. Like I mentioned in my synthesis write up – last week I was struggling to make a click through poem – I had an incredible moment when arrays and the function mousePressed came into my tool box. I was talking to a fellow classmate about how powerful arrays and being able to scroll through them made us feel. It is a true feeling of POWER. This was a moment I was really waiting for –  the ability to make multiples from single objects, and to display single objects from an array with multiple items.

*As a bonus for this post I have included my click through text project. I imagine this to one day be displayed on a big screen. I have a feeling my mid term projects will revolve around text and buttons. The final form on the display end will be simple and elegant – the button, I am hoping, will be something that enhances the experience with it’s uniqueness… *

Poem: Just To Call You My Friend

ICM week 5 and Synthesis Lab

Synthesis Button: Lay your head and Read and uplifting message

Last week we gathered for our synthesis lab. Ian, Jordan and I took on a soft button / text display model. We put our strengths together to come up a design that would have compelling elements of touch and sound. I felt my strengths came out in the design of the interface – where to place the button, how users with interact with the button and how the text display would look. I found myself designing the interface based of a project which I was trying to create earlier in the week, a poem that you can scroll through and read. It seemed simple but before I had the ability to set my quotes in an array, I could not manage to make it work. Creating this project with Jordan and Ian gave me a lot of inspiration and knowledge as to how to make this idea come to life. Not only did we have text which utilizes a button (before I was thinking mouse press) but it now has an interface which allowed the user to use a different part of their body to control the text on screen. This got me thinking about the versatility of the Arduino and p5 working together. Our idea started off in a nice and light way –  a place where you can go to pound your head in times of desperation and in return you get an uplifting quote to calm you down – fitting for the anxiety I am sure we all felt during the beginning of our synthesis experience. It was nice to see that in the end people would take there time and equated the soft button to more of a pleasurable experience. I am not surprised that something  soft to the touch and matched with something whimsical to read made people laugh and relax.

photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

PCOMP week 5 – experimenting with mood.


We have been learning a lot with tangible buttons and how they work when a user interacts with them. After our synthesis lab, I was curious to see how something may be able to act as if it has a mind of its own. After tracking down a suitable experiment through the Arduino Projects for Dummies handbook, I found a LED Mood Pet. The idea is to write code that will run on a random function to put LED’s in sequence that will display a mood. With three different colored LEDs I was able to run an experiment that would allow the mood to change over time, using the random function to display different values of brightness for the LEDs. The general idea is that when the green and blue LEDs are lit, the mood is happy, and when the red LED is lit up, the mood is angry. In the beginning I could not get the mood to change faster or at intervals which would give a quickly gratifying experience, the code was originally meant for something that you can experience over a longer period of time. Each time I tried to make the random function run faster I ended up breaking the code. Eventually I was able to manipulate the code to move faster, by making the random function wick between smaller values. It seemed obvious in the end compared to my original idea which was playing with the delay. I am going to try and boil down the code so that it could run on sensor based inputs, perhaps a motion sensor or a sound sensor, rather than the random, time based phases.

The Little Happy Pet

Mood Light

Building a cute inclosure for this would enhance the humanity or – let’s say natural essence of the experiment. Using our new found ability to create tone would enhance the idea of mood, so placing a speaker inside of an enclosure would do wonders to help this project. As Dan O’Sullivan has stated many times in my ICM class, sound is one of the great way to enhance a project.

Potential for sound – (this is a video from last week, but it shows the kind of sounds and light phases that could help this Arduino pet come to life)