COLLISIONcollective

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*                        For engineers that moonlight as artists and artists that moonlight as engineers                                         *
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Lucidus

PMMA Lens, gearmotor, mount, and light
2014
Lucidus

Lucidus, latin for “clear”, “full of light”, or “perspicuous”, is here personified by the ghost of an ancient philosopher. He is conjured from a beam of light by a smooth clear lens that I have shaped to rearrange light rays into an image. As the lens turns, Lucidus distorts and ultimately dissolves into caustics -- folds of light -- like those one sees at the bottom of a pool or fountain on a sunny day. Then the caustics coalesce to form a lucid image again, but only briefly -- all is evanescent.

See video

Glitchometry Stripes

Inkjet print mounted on lightbox
2014
Daniel Temkin: Glitchometry Stripes

Each image begins as a series of vertical black and white stripes. They are sonified -- imported into an audio editor. Sound effects are added to individual color channels, transforming the image. Because the tool is used in an unconventional way, there is no immediate way to monitor the effect. The image manipulator has a sense of what each effect does, but no precise control over the result. These sound effects -- flanger, dynamic delay -- curve the initial lines, creating images reminiscent of Op Art artists like Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. It is a wrestling with the machine, -- as Curt Cloninger describes databending, “like painting with a very blunt brush that has a mind of its own.”

Pick-up Sticks

Wooden shelves, pickup sticks game, light, graphite block, lens
2013
Pick-up Sticks

surveyed by live projection through a small lens onto a block of polished graphite. The projection onto the graphite is inverted, but very recognizable as the players hand and the game being played. The quality of the projected image is strange and exquisite.

The intention of the work is to mediate the interaction between players of this dexterity game, and to mediate thier noticing of the strange mediation. The other intention is to present the entire piece, players included, as a work of art.

See video

extraterrestrial origins of pulsating stars

LED light tubes, wood, plastic, custom software and electronics
2013
extraterrestrial origins of pulsating stars

During the fall of 1967, a heated debate over whether man had finally received contact from another civilization ensued. Not until the next year was another signal discovered and determined to be a rotating, radiating neutron star, spinning at a regular interval. When this radiation is detected by radio telescopes on Earth the pulsing is heard as a frequency or musical tone.

Extraterrestrial origins of pulsating stars examines the timings of 96 rotating pulsars as light and sound. The abstracted screen displays either single stars as a pulsing wave or clusters of stars, creating a cacophony of visual and sonic noise. 

The distant movement of these stars creates a visceral, sensory experience for the audience. Radiation to sound, sound to light, light to sensation.

Everything is Made of Atoms

computer, flatscreen monitor, Kinect, lights, custom software
2013
Everything is Made of Atoms

Everything is Made of Atoms is an interactive new media installation that explores the entangled and ever-changing relationship between the body and technology. It draws on previous works created by artists such as Simon Penny's Traces (1999). The piece draws parallels between participants and their digitally-mediated images, expressing both as a whole and at the same time as a flow of constituent parts, the lifetimes of which, as philosopher Karen Barad (2003) argues, is not an attribute but the ongoing reconfigurings of the world.

Everything is Made of Atoms has two major software components: methods to access the stream of image, depth, and skeleton data from the Microsoft Kinect sensor, and routines to perform a high-performance computation of three-dimensional vortex dynamics. These methods are connected by an extensible framework of the artists own design.

Mortality Shmortality

oatmeal box, paper, glue, led light and video-player
2010 - 2012
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]

A diorama that has the illusion of little characters moving around inside it: a scientist presses a button on a giant ray-gun that brings to life a monster on a slab.  When the monster awakes the overjoyed scientist comes down from his machine to greet him but the monster tries to kill him. The scientist narrowly escapes out the doorway.  The monster then looks longingly back at the slab and goes to lie back down. As soon as he goes lifeless the scientist reemerges at the controls and turns the ray gun back on starting the entire loop over.  The whole scenario lasts about 1 minute.

LumaTouch Synesthesia

wood, Plexiglas, fluorescent lights, computer with custom software, webcam, video projector, headphones, speakers
2010
Artwork by [user-name]

LumaTouch Synesthesia is an interactive system for creating abstract artwork with electronic music by manipulating tangible objects. The system consists of a light table with five movable objects on the surface, four small cubes and a small cylinder. By manipulating these objects, the user can simultaneously create an abstract painting and compose electronic music to complement the painting. The phenomenon of synesthesia is experienced literally in the creation of color and sound.
The location and rotation of the four cubes are detected by a webcam in the light table. The custom software uses these inputs to choose up to eight of 16 reference images to be morphed and combined for the painting and up to eight of 16 music loops to be mixed for the song. The cylinder is used to change the color of the images and the musical key of the song.
While a viewer is interacting with the piece, it will show the digital painting projected on the wall behind the light table, and play music at a moderate volume level in the room. Headphones are also available to allow the operator to listen more closely. The user can retrieve his/her painting by sliding the “ROBGON” gadget to the center of the light table. The image will be uploaded to www.RobGon.com and instructions for retrieval will appear on the screen.
LumaTouch uses OpenFrameworks, an open-source C++ library for creative coding. The tracking used by LumaTouch is based on the concepts from TrackMate, an open-source tracking system. The reference paintings are from the Smithsonian Institute Website, www.si.edu, and are used in accordance with the Smithsonian's terms of use. Some of the music loops are original and some are from looperman.com and are used in accordance with their terms of use. I would like to thank Jennifer Lim for her help with this project.

The Trouble with Algorithmic Art

C-print transparency over light box
2009
Artwork by [user-name]

simulations. The surfaces represent boundaries between fluids in a virtual space, and those fluids are constrained to obey certain rules of physics. In The Trouble with Algorithmic Art, the subject is the result of a simulation of
the collision of three spherical blobs. The surfaces are rendered as thin, colored, sheets of glass in front of a virtual light box. The image is then presented as a transparency, illuminated by a real light box.
The Trouble With Algorithmic Art describes a frustration that I sometimes feel with my chosen form of artistic expression. Because I use computational algorithms to define the detail and structure of my subjects, the resulting forms should only bear resemblance to natural shapes insofar as those natural shapes originate from the same fluid forces. For example, when I view my simulation results, I might expect to see a cloud, but not a book. But the pattern-matching capability of the human mind conveniently ignores such physical limitations---especially in the rigid medium of a still image---and mine regularly conjures an embarrassingly puerile form.

One Small Step

Moon globe, child’s moon-boots, plastic, metal foils, light blue paint, Qwerk robot controller, motors, sensors, misc. additional mechatronic components.
2009
Artwork by [user-name]

A moon globe sits in a stand on the floor of the gallery near the wall. A mechanical structure attached to the gallery wall supports a child’s moon-boot above the globe by two thin cables each of which is controlled by a winch motor. Movements of the winch motors puppet the boot to perform a walking motion with a bounce like that of the Apollo astronauts as they explored the moon’s surface. A small toy satellite dish is gimbal-mounted above the boot mechanism so that two additional motors can make it peer in different directions around the gallery. It sweeps the gallery looking for “life” which in this case equates to anything that interrupts the beam of its low-end IR range-finder, including occasionally itself. A third motor on the boot turns the winch assembly so
that the boot can “walk” in different compass direction depending on where the satellite dish indicates it should search. “One Small Step” is a simple robot that quixotically “believes” it is living every robot’s dream: to go to other celestial bodies and look for life.

weightloss

Metal, electronics, lights
2009
Installation view at AXIOM

Prototype of a 2 person interactive sculpture. 2 people must provide physical and mechanical input to a sculpture. When the 2 people work together, they speed up the piece to a point where strobe lighting turns on and provides a "magic" moment.

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