Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Social Space - DIY KIT - idea

Disposable / Junk Camera - Slave Flash Trigger

Idea originally arose from watching "Mythbusters" try to beat a traffic cam by placing interference lens between the plat and the camera. My idea was to create a flash license plate frame to overexpose the traffic camera… myth confirmed?

Actually, I think I may have had this idea before watching "Mythbusters" when I worked in a museum gallery and made paintings. We are all most likely aware that flash photography is not allowed in most museum galleries… if photography is allowed at all. This is the true origin of the flash frame… to create works of art that are un-photographable when a flash is used. I also like the idea that my work would have to be separated from others in the museum gallery because of its potential damaging effects. The work would demand for themselves Rothko esque room of there own.

Since this time the idea has grown, as a reference to lightning for my "Black Cloud" installation, as a public intervention related to Julius Von Bismarck's Image-Fulgrator, and as a linear mass chain reaction. If this project can become sufficiently simple and inexpensive a series of "Flash Triggers" could be placed down a road / walkway / path and cause a seemingly infinite flash domino event.

Tweet at your place

It is impressive how easy is to connect with people through online platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Nowadays we broadcast our lives to the world through microblogging or status messages. Of course the global village presents endless beautiful consequences, but at the same time, the more interconnected we are while using these platforms, the less connected we are to the people that surrounds us in our everyday life.

Some decades ago, people lives were interrelated with their neighbors, while now our cell phones, as well as our online platforms create the paradox or being more strongly connected with more distant people. The proposed DIY project pretends to blend beautiful things from both worlds.

Tweet at your place is a DIY kit to allows us to microbolg (like we do on Twitter) in the facades of our homes.

We live in neighborhoods that are composed not only by houses, but also by people. Nevertheless our relation to them is nearly non-existent. The paradox of being easier to broadcast a status message about us to the whole world through tweeter as opposed to the difficulty of expressing our ideas to the people that literally surrounds us is at stake.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Geocache-A-Forest Kit

The kit will include:

1. A geocache (personally designed and fabricated-2 different designs)
2. A journal/log
3. Ziploc bags with a variety of seeds that are made trackable items
4. Marker
5. Labels/Stickers for seeds

The Geocache-A-Forest kit will enable the planting of a tree at one geocached location. This in turn prompts other adventurers in the geocaching community to contribute by taking the seed with them and creating another geocache in a location
of their choice. The location where the geocache is hidden, is first logged in the site. Then the seekers get to it, read the information posted.

The activity of replanting seeds in different areas is part of the optional tasks the geocacher can do once the cache has been found.

From the site:

“Caches that Solicit

Solicitations are off-limits. For example, caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted. Geocaching is supposed to be a light, fun activity, not a platform for an agenda.”


So, the replanting of seeds is optional just to make sure this is not a social agenda but a light social activity. But, once the cache is found, the seeds have to be traded with the ones in the cache. The seeds have to be planted in another site and the information should be logged. If the seeds are planted, there could be another geocache hidden in that spot to mark the tree’s location, to track the age of the cache and also a fun activity of tracking the places the seeds travel to.

People now trade seeds with each other and log it in the site. The kit involves adventurous activity, the excitement of the future for the cache and how the seeds travel places, changes hands and of trees that are logged, geocached and grown by a community of nature loving and fun seeking adventurers.

A possible path the geocaching activity might take:

Step 1: The Geocache is placed at a location where a seed is planted.
Step 2: A geocacher comes in, visits the location, logs it takes a Ziploc bag with a geotag on it.
Step 3: He logs the traveling geotag & Ziploc bag with seeds in it.
Step 4: He may or may not plant the seeds in a different location and start another geotag.
Step 5: The tree grows as the geocache gets older and starts becoming a marker of how old the cache is.

The geocache has an instruction sheet with it, that allows the geocachers to get information about the activity:


Congratulations, you've found it! Intentionally or not!

What is this hidden container sitting here for? What the heck is this thing doing here with all these things in it?

It is part of a worldwide game dedicated to GPS (Global Positioning System) users, called Geocaching. The game basically involves a GPS user hiding "treasure" (this container and its contents), and publishing the exact coordinates so other GPS users can come on a "treasure hunt" to find it. The only rules are: if you take something from the geocache, you must leave something in the geocache, and you must write about your visit in the logbook. Hopefully, the person that hid this container found a good spot that is on public property and is not easily found by uninterested parties. Sometimes, a good spot turns out to be a bad spot, though.


Great! You are welcome to join us! We ask only that you:

� Please do not move or vandalize the container. The real treasure is just finding the container and sharing your thoughts with everyone else who finds it.
� If you wish, go ahead and take something. But please also leave something of your own for others to find, and write it in the logbook.
� If possible, let us know that you found it, by visiting the website listed below.

Geocaching is open to everyone with a GPS and a sense of adventure. There are similar sites all over the world. Currently, the organization has it's home on the Internet. Visit our website if you want to learn more, or have any comments:

If this container happens to be sitting on private property and you wish it removed, please let us know. We apologize, and will be happy to move it.


Rules of this cache

1. Please take a bag of seeds & replace with one of your own (if trading).
2. Optional: Plant the seed in a location of your choice and hide a geocache along with it.
3. Please log your name and location where the seeds are headed.
4. Optional: If you plant the seeds provided, please log the location of the previous geocache when you hide the next.


Sketches of Design of the Cache

Geospatial Environment Algorithm Application and Instrumentation Kit (Just for Men Kit)

Geospatial Environment Algorithm Application and Instrumentation Kit (Just for Men Kit)

DIY kit creates custom smart decision list algorithms for periodic environmental maintenance tasks

Kit includes:

dwelling information software
executive decision list manager
power tools and hardware daemon
smart agent user interface calibration tool
geospatial 3D surface mapping database
special projects rootkit

Men are asked questions about their private dwelling place using a simple software-based survey. Information on rooms, hallways, cabinets, closets and other areas of a dwelling complex are used to create custom decision lists. Men identify power tools and other hardware supplies available for environmental antibacterial and other microbiological control tasks. Inventory of laundry studio, kitchen laboratory, bathrooms and other work areas allow for instrumentation and application of decremented granular functions. Custom decision lists are instrumented to task completion for efficient sorting and prioritization. The smart agent user interface tool calibrates strategic, tactical and operational functions with power tools and hardware daemons. Relational flowcharts guide men to interactive global hypermedia tuned for technical environmental awareness. Geospatial 3D surface mapping database allows efficient control of pollutant contamination for every room in the dwelling complex. Special projects rootkit retains periodicity of routine tasks while enabling generative household hacking.

Example granulated survey categories:
bathroom sink, shower drain, microwave oven, dishwasher, pots and pans storage cabinet, refrigerator, broom storage, vacuum cleaner attachments, oven cleaning, paper towel resupply, small houseplants, large houseplants, bathroom floor, wall to wall carpeting, linens, kitchen based power tools, long term rug care, toaster maintenance, countertops, light switches, dishwasher operation.

Example decision list algorithm and flowchart:
is garbage can especially stinky or full?
take out kitchen garbage
locate antibacterial storage
is antibacterial resupply adequate? if no, add to shopping list
apply antibacterial to garbage can surfaces
aerate and dry garbage can
locate garbage can liner storage
is garbage can liner storage adequate? if no, add to shopping list
replace garbage can liner
test garbage can

geospatial 3D surface mapping database

Geospatial Environment Algorithm Application and Instrumentation Kit (Just for Men Kit) is a stand-alone application that generates paper checklists. A web version is also available. Computer and printer required.

update 3/2/2010
[additional images/sketches]



pHloat is a DIY kit that is made for use in conjunction with a pre-owned / pre-existing arduino microcontroller. Its purpose is to test the pH levels in local rivers, lakes, and streams due to the influx of air and water pollution often caused by acid rain. It is specifically designed to be used in areas that are home to refineries, chemical plants, and manufacturing industries that are causing environmental damage. However, it can be used in any body of water to test acidity levels.

pHloat has the option to be made from several recycled materials including but not limited to, plastic water bottles, scrap wood, aluminum containers, rope, and paper. If these materials cannot be found they can be purchased along with the necessary electrical components for approximately $25. pHloat functions through the modification of a simple garden moisture and pH sensor that can be purchased at any home improvement store. It acts as both an environmental measurement tool and a floating sculpture, borrowing inspiration from Japanese floating paper lanterns and a DIY buoy design found on As the pHloat navigates down a stream it is taking a constant pH reading that is being translated by the arduino to produce a variation of colored light (produced by a low energy and cost superbright RGB LED). The different colors of light indicate the level of acidity in the body of water. For example, a normal pH reading would result in the emission of green light while a high pH reading would result in the emission of blue light. The light is housed on the top of the pHloat and is illuminated under a paper origami shade. As to not further contribute to environmental pollution, a rope (not pictured in the 3d models) should be attached to each pHloat so it can easily be retrieved from the water (this allows for the pHloats to also be affixed to a particular area measuring passing water).

pHloat is designed to create a social awareness of pollution in local rivers, streams, and lakes. It also functions as visual expression of concern for the emission of dangerous chemicals into our atmosphere. pHloats are designed to be released together to ultimately create floating mobile sculptures. Thus initiating a social space that engages locals living in the midst of these manufacturing industries to begin a dialogue about their environmental conditions.

I personally intend to create several of these to test the waters in my hometown of Lima, Ohio. Lima is home to a multitude of manufacturing plants including, Husky Oil Refinery, Procter & Gamble, The Lima Tank Plant, Ford Engine Plant, The Dana Corporation, and Superior metal. All of which emit some form of pollution (though not admittedly) into the local environment. The largest local park, where many of the track and cross-country teams practice, is also located adjacent to the oil refinery and the air quality is often unbearable. Though the concern for acid rain pollution has somewhat diminished, I am interested in finding out if it is still a viable problem in areas that have a high level of toxic waste emission.

EPA Information about Acid Rain:

Design inspiration from Buoy Instructable:


Leads of pH sensor

pHloat with origami shade

Example Shade

Example Shade

Due 3/2/10 at 5pm: 5 Scanned Fabrication Plans

Materials List and Partial Fabrication Plans PDF (click to open)

Due 3/10/10 Phase 1: Constructions

First completed pHloat

First completed pHloat. Rope to be attached to weight (rock) so it stays in place in water.

Detail of the top and circuit board.

Side view with pH sensor

Temporary shade / protection attachment

Green for save pH level

Blue for higher than normal pH level

Red for very high pH levels.

Beginning phase of kit construction. Plastic bottles are to be found/recycled and are not included. Enclosure made from recycled cardboard.

Arduino Code:

int LED = 13;//output pin is #13 for normal acidity level
int LED1 = 12;//output pin is #12 for middle acidity level
int LED2 = 8;//output pin is #8 for high acidity level
int sensorValue = 0;//"place" to store the incoming analog values to be read
int sensor = 1;//sensor input attached pin #1

void setup() {
pinMode(LED1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(LED2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(sensor, INPUT);//you don't have to declare "INPUT" since arduino seta all pins as input. I do it for remembering...
Serial.begin(9600);//get ready for serial communication

void loop() {
sensorValue =analogRead(sensor);//read the sensor and put the value in the sensorValue "place"
Serial.println(sensorValue);//pint out on the serial monitor...
if(sensorValue >= 15)//should turn on the red LED because the pH sensor reading is greater than or equal to 15 meaning that the acidity level is dangerously high.
digitalWrite(LED2, HIGH);//turn on the red LED
digitalWrite(8,LOW);//should turn on the red LED because the pH sensor reading is greater than or equal to 15 meaning that the acidity level is dangerously high.
if(sensorValue >= 4 && sensorValue <=14)//should turn on the blue LED because the pH sensor reading is greater than or equal to 4 and less than or equal to 14 meaning that the acidity level is dangerously high.
digitalWrite(LED1, HIGH);//turn on the blue LED
digitalWrite(12,LOW);//should turn on the blue LED because the pH sensor reading is greater than or equal to 4 or less than or equal to 14 meaning that the acidity level is higher than normal.

if(sensorValue <= 3)//should turn on the green LED because the pH sensor reading is less than or equal to 3 meaning that the acidity level is normal.
digitalWrite(LED, HIGH);//turn on the green LED
digitalWrite(13,LOW);//the green LED will continuously stay on because it includes the value of 0 (less than or equal to 3)


Awkward Silence

Awkward Silence

Silence is a rare pleasure which is hard to come by in the today's fast paced world. The ubiquity of mobile computing, communications and technology have brought us to a point where silence has become somewhat unnerving. It is what we are not used to that makes us uneasy.

This project aims to compete with not only the mobile phone chatter but also with interpersonal physical chatter and extra-ambient noise that we create as “social” individuals. This is an attempt to establish a perimeter of relative silence through the vehicle of annoyance. Imagine a waiting room filled with the chatter of voices, crying of babes and rustling of movement. "Awkward Silence"(AS) sets out to respond to noise by creating a series of annoying shrieks in order to fill any empty silence spectrum in an area. When persons in close proximity disturb the silence enveloping AS, it kindly returns the favor by disturbing them. It sets out in doing so using high pitched sounds so that the sound becomes a penetrating weapon that may be picked up by mobile phone microphones thereby rendering them less useful for communication.

The hope is that when silence is granted AS becomes a focal point for thought. Silence is beautiful and through it an immediate community is created. Perhaps it is through the disdain for AS or possibly because of the awkwardness of silence among a group or even oneself. AS’s goal is to interrupt through silence.

The technical basis of this project stems from the electronic “cricket kit” which may be found at various retailers such as amazon here:

While this cricket kit is light sensitive the goal is to modify it to be acoustically sensitive. The kit may be found for less than $8 online and may be cheaper if self assembled. The remaining cost will be used for the enclosure of “AS” which will consider manufacturing processes, materials and acoustics. A possible prototype sketch would have it consist of a number of stacked hollow disks in an attempt to create volume and amplify the shrill cries. Should the budget allow LEDs may be integrated which activate when silence is encountered to create even more focus on the object itself.

The Story Hat, Joe Pankowski

Within The Story Hat project, I would like to create a portable conversation starter in the form of a wearable zoetrope. A zeotrope is an old fashion stop motion viewing machine, that I would like to conceal inside of a hat. The wearer could draw out short stories in an animation then play them in this hat at social gatherings, with friends, or strangers out in public. It would give a chance for the viewer to be creative in inventing new animations and ways to interpret a story or idea, while allowing them to start up conversations and meet new people.
I have always liked old technologies like the zeotrope. These technologies have a certain feel of Victorian novelty, so much time was put in to building them to be elegant and decorative just for the sake of entertainment. These things were also built for leisurely time and were experienced by groups of people. There was also manual labor involved to start these machines; a crank here a pedal there. Now a days we have machines that are more complex bringing us an experience right away without any work. In the case of an i-pod these new technologies may also isolate us in our leisure time rather than bring us together. We put on our head phones and bury our face into that little screen leaving the world around us. The Story Hat is the exact opposite of this experience there is work for the wearer to draw the animations and to crank them to view. The wearer is also not cranking the animation for themselves but for others creating an experience for a group and not the individual.
I envision the end product of this kit being a hat (preferably stove top), with a small hand crank coming out of the side to run the animation, and a two inch wide one inch tall rectangular whole in the hat to view the animation. The animation would be drawn on a strip of paper the length of the interior circumference of the hat. The strip would then be placed into a ring inside the hat that could be rotated with a gear attached to the hand crank. The moving animation could be viewed from the viewing whole back lit by a battery powered led light, hung from the top of the interior of the hat.
I think to distribute this kit I believe I would create a instructional video of me building and describing the piece. Then I would show it being used in a storytelling situation. I could also create printable plans and put them on my website.
The builder of the kit after finishing his or her zeotrope hat could go out into the world as a traveling storyteller. They would be able to switch out different animations with each story they told endlessly changing or adapting their animated tales.

Legal Walking

Legal Walking address the fact of becoming an illegal alien and therefore tries to create "legal space" within US borders. For that purpose a device will be designed for "attaching" Argentinean embassy ground (or any other country) to any type of shoe and thus be always walking, standing and touching Argentinean ground.
The project functions more as a gesture than as a real solution to the problem since embassy ground is defined by perimeter. The other more serious problem is that if illegal aliens such as myself use this devices they will be easily identified by the authorities and therefore the hole purpose of the project will be reverted. This could be fixed by designing the device with a "Stealth" approach (unlike this sketch).

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).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baldwin Project 2

My intent is to satisfy the requirements “Design and Fabricate a production-ready, DIY Kit that is based on the theme of creating a Social Space.” While all the conditions listed on the seminar site will be given equal footing, special consideration will be given to cost, and reflectiveness of user/audience/self.

The community this kit is intended for is people interested in visual entertainment as a social conversation. So the experience is on the nexus of both private and public use, which is to say that the internalized experience is private - but as a social conversation it becomes public, or semi private, between the people that share the experience.

I’m currently thinking about zoetrope constructions. Either as an camera obscura type addition to a mobile device, that projects a sequence of images playing on the device (see page 2) -- or as a traditional stand alone put-together project (see page 3).

After considering the two constructions mentioned, I researched and found:

Using this project as a point of departure I hope to create an efficient costing device that will project from a mobile device. The kit should be made from a sturdy cardboard and I would consider bellows, or something similar, to create a focusing apparatus.

A couple of strategies I’m thinking of in regards to “not just passively transform the space in which it is implemented... but serve as a genuine attempt to create a sense of new or transformed social space” is:

Multiple users projecting content over the same space.
Users creating tactical media videos and projecting them into suitable spaces (ie graffiti).
Public access public art exhibits. Enables artists to exhibit content in galleries they’re not in.

For the first strategy, users would be given access to a still or stock footage which they could use as a backdrop for their own content. When multiple users project their new creation the multiple backgrounds would gain strength and new interesting combinations of story and entertainment would be created.

For the second strategy, users wishing to make public statements of defiance could do so without damaging property. A theatrical non-marking graffiti. In the comfort of a studio video footage could be shot of the graffiti, and then projected onto sites where the message is relevant.

For the third strategy, users could project paintings, photos, videos, etc onto spaces they may not normally have access to, like an MCA or Art Institute.

(other image on pdf of this document in class folder)