This last week has been a flurry of activity in preparation for a group show tomorrow at the Kitchen Budapest. While battling a touch of the Hungarian Flu, I’ve contributed to several group projects and made some updates to Urban Echo. I will post a summary of the projects and the group later this weekend. In the mean time, here is a smoke and fire simulation I created for a Processing/WiiMote game we are demoing on Saturday.
The simulation consists of a hacked particle engine that uses random fire textures from a bunch of sources across the web. The texture colors change with time, eventually dying off as smoky textures. Here’s a picture and a link to the OpenGL-based applet and source.
R. Justin Stewart and I are currently working on a collaborative study that takes its cues from architecture, sculpture and design. We will be presenting the work sometime in mid-May (more specifics later). For now, a photo from our 4th round of experiments last night.
I recently developed an application for interactive patent database visualization and navigation. It’s still in progress but I thought I’d post a couple screen shots. It’s the standard mass/spring ball/stick network visualzation, which isn’t terribly intuituve or efficient, but it’s a start. This interactive program is written in Processing and uses various online patent databases.
Currently it allows several interesting group selection operations including tag cloud generation, date, inventor and class-based organization.
An abstract I recently coauthored was submitted to the 2007 Computational and Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) conference. Much of the research I contributed was carried out at the CNL while I was working on my Masters of Biomedical Engineering at the BML with my brilliant advisor, Peter Steinmetz.
Title: Separate image durations activate distinct neuronal populations in the human medial temporal lobe Authors: Eve Isham, Christopher Baker, Chris Thorp, William Banks, Peter Steinmetz
After developing much of my SMS-to-thought-bubbles-eminating-from-windows-on-public-facades-project, I did a little research to see what other artists were doing with SMSes.
As has happened before, I found an artist who has a well-developed, lovely version of my idea. In fact, the similarity was uncanny. Apparently, I’m about 10 months behind on this one. The project is called TXTual healing. Beautiful work Paul Notzold. I’ll toast you by linking to you!
So, is there something about contemporary technologies that lead people to similar artistic expressions? Is the expressive potential of technology simply limited by “features”, resulting in similar ideas — or is our socio-technological imagination “in-sync” in some way? We certainly have no problem adopting tech-speak to describe out thoughts, patterns, interactions and bodily processes.
I’ve encountered this coincidence of ideas many times during my first year studying art. My science and engineering background left me with the impression that novelty is the greatest of all expressive achievements. Is novelty the highest achievement in art? I hope not.
As preparation for some upcoming projects that employ SMS as a mode of interaction, I looked around for other artists who have used SMS technology. Here is a short list. Know of any others? These categories are very loose.
For a current project, I would like to be able to receive SMS messages, email messages, and voice messages in Processing (or other Java applications). So here’s the solution I’ve got. First of all, it is very easy to send an SMS message from one’s computer to a cell phone for free (e.g. Google’s Free SMS Service). Unfortunately, it is cheaper to give than to receive. So, since I use T-Mobile, I have decided to sign up for an unlimited SMS package, which will cost $14.99/month. They offer several other plans, such as 400 messages for $4.99 or 1000 messages for $9.99. But, since there is a bit of grant money available, a couple months of unlimited SMS doesn’t seem so bad.
So, in order to get the messages in and out of Processing, I will use the SMSLib for Java. It looks like a simple solution [edit: It’s not!]. One can connect to the phone via Bluetooth and send and receieve SMSes as needed. Luckily I have access to an old Sony T610 and a new Nokia 6103. One of the two should work. Ideally, I would like to parse and route the messages straight into a MySQL database for archival and use in multiple applications.