Monday, February 22, 2010

Project II Statement | JD Pirtle

I have altered my project significantly, as follows:

My new proposal is this:

First, to model an abstract eye and an ear in Maya, import into Pepakura, unfold and then produce papercraft version of each. [Both would be either sitting on the floor, on two plinths or any flat surface. Even possibly hanging.]

In the ear, I would put a small microphone component attached to a small laser (the $5.00 650nm variety) attached to a small audio output transformer, all powered by a 9v battery. This laser would be focused out of a hole in the side of the ear, pointing toward the side of the eye. The transformer will modulate the light of the laser based on the mic input.

The eye will contain a photocell resistor connected to a 9v battery and a blue superbrite LED. The laser light will enter the eye through a hole in the side. The eye will be open in the iris area, and there will be a diffuse material inside the eye (or iris) to turn the focused laser light into an overall glow (possibly diffraction grating material). The photocell will take in the modulated laser light and cause the LED to change in brightness accordingly. The goal is the have red and blue light combine in varying ways inside the eye, making the iris area appear in various hues.

The overall effect will be that viewers can speak into the ear and have their words turned into light in the eye, which is seen by other viewers. This project uses more democratic and cheap components, and fulfills my desire to combine those components with delicate sculptures. It retains many of the original thematic elements of my previous proposal, only really lacking the community fire aspect (which I would like to explore in a different piece).


  1. Great idea jd. I was going to use something similar in my project as to provide a focal point for the silence. Inspired after i watched this video:
    The Joshua Light Show - Liquid Loops (1969)

    I think that there is a great deal of potential in this proposal not only as a means to visualize social interaction but also the aspect of share experience even in silence. I am not completely sold on the idea of using the mobile as i think it would feasible to explore a simple electronics kit to make the conchella completely self contained.

  2. Much like my own project, I am worried about the accessibility of this kit to a wider audience of people. Though most people have mobile phones, surprisingly a vast majority of people do not use/own a PDA smartphones, Androids, or iPhones (just like in my project, a large majority of people do not have arduinos—I bet 90% of people in Lima, Ohio don’t even know that something like an Arduino exists), with that being said I feel like this might be limiting to the type of people sharing the experience of seeing their conversation converted to abstract projections. The only people allowed to "sit around the fire" are the ones with the tools to start it. Often with projects like this I think we assume that everyone uses these technologies because we are constantly surrounded by them. I guess by using these tools we are just choosing an audience that excludes a certain type of majority.

    However, I think that a really strong part of this proposal is the kit's ability to be accessible to any language and the possibility of it to eliminate language barriers. It sounds like a fantastic tool to bring multiple cultures together in a fun and visually interesting way.

  3. I like this because it uses the anatomy of the inner ear for the shape. I was wondering what material you were using to make the cochlea. I think you told me paper which would be interesting to see, such a light material holding a volume of water. It compares to sound volume and the delicate parts of our ears.


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