Archive for April, 2008

Painting Machine; Gestural Compositions

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The painting machine is working! Although its a little sensitive right now and am working on the algorithm that will make it paint better (or more realistic I should say.) So far I am getting images like this:

Sky Gazer

Monday, April 28th, 2008


Sky Gazer is an installation whose purpose is to bring awareness to the surveillance trend around the world and an increase of a self-surveillance culture often called Sousveillance.

The installation consists of a sculptural character (“SkyGazer”) that is forever gazing at the sky (or ceiling if it’s indoors.) This is taking the meaning of Sousveillance literary which is watching from below or “inverse surveillance.”

Changing the perspective from which people are used to seeing themselves is a key goal of this project. Making the installation public gives people around the installation a good topic to start a conversation about surveillance.

The Public Installation of SkyGazer was a study to see what the public reaction was to sousveillance or the surveillance of public space for personal reasons. SkyGazer was placed underneath a surveillance camera in Washington Square Park, New York City. The placement of the installation was influenced by The Surveillance Camera Players. who view video surveillance as an opportunity perform a scripted play to entertain those who view the surveillance footage. In my case I viewed the surveillance camera as a medium to show, the people behind the camera, my beautiful sculpture.

skygazer surveillance


The footage collected by SkyGazer was not the greatest quality. The image is blurred by the plastic semi-sphere that was used for the eye. This effect captured an interesting esthetic which I plan to build upon, since it captures this gritty voyeuristic-like footage which I found very artistically inspiring.


I found the image of a girl looking into the camera very interesting. Her posture/ body language was one of curiosity and intrigue. I decided to use this image to make a couple of compositions by rendering the image with simple shapes replacing the pixels. This is the original image with lots of contrast added:


These are the compositions is inspired.

Trashy Slut:

Angry Girl:

Soft Porn:

New Star:

Sky Gazer update

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Sky Gazer will be a clay doll that will look up at you from the ground.
It will have a camera attached to its eye which will sent the video feed to a projector pointing to the ceiling.

I made sure that the body of the doll was hollow so that I can fit the video camera and the wiring.
This is what the doll looks like fully exposed:


This is what sky watcher will look like with out any clothes looking up at you:



More updates coming up.

HelioHopper- Solar Helicopter

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


Meet the HelioHopper, a concept that came out of a collaborative group at ITP. The HelioHopper is a little flying machine that uses the sun to power its engines.

For this experiment, we used a Micro Mosquito Helicopter from Radioshack to prove if the concept will work or not. This prototype will prove that solar power flight in the form of a helicopter is possible. The first step was to deconstruct the toy and hack into its control system and power system to use solar cells as battery chargers. The original circuit was left untouched for now. At a later point, we may scrap the remote control system to make the aircraft lighter.

For the powering of the 3.7V battery, we are using four 4.5V, 22mA flexible solar cells. Our observations show that the once hooked up to the circuit. The four cells in parallel can deliver around 5V at 30mA-40mA depending on the sun. Our calculations show that if the battery is charged for 10 min. the resulting power collected will make the motors run for 14 seconds at full throttle. These where good results for our HeliosHopper. We will be working on the solar cell placement and landing gear in the next few days.



ITP Spring Show 2008

Monday, April 14th, 2008


The Spring Show is on!
It will take place on:
Monday, May 12 and May 13
from 5pm – 9pm

Interactive Telecommunications Program
Tisch School of the Arts | New York University
721 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003 212-998-1880

Painting Machine, Update

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

The code is working. There will be two cameras; one pointing at the subject to be painted and the other will be tracking the movement of the mobile arm. The image below illustrates what the computer will be seeing. The white dot on my eyebrow is not a mistake. That is the illustration of the tracking software that will be analyzing the location of the moving arm and determine weather the arm should paint or not. If the computer sees that the location of the arm is over an area that should be painted black, it will send an impulse to the robotic arm allowing it to begin the painting.


I also worked on the mechanics of the arm that will be responsible for drawing. I am using two servo motors that allow for accurate movement. The mobil unit has a container for the paint and a paintbrush. The messy tape job is due to my quick prototyping theory. As it can be seen, the mechanics are working properly and the car is running around as planned. check out the two videos below.

Mobil unit roaming around:

Arm test:

Painting Machine Concept

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

An other Project I will be working on is the development of a painting machine.

I will be making a little mobil unit that will travel around a canvas and paint the portrait of a person. The little mobil unit will be assisted by a computer which will be the eyes and brains running the mechanism.

This is a simple drawing of what I have in mind:

The mobil unit will have an arm with a paint brush that will be controlled with impulses that make servo motors turn in a precisely calculated manner.

The computer will be analyzing and two video feeds that will be used to track the subject being painted and the position of the mobil unit on the canvas. This is a screen shot of the beginning stages of the video tracking:


Stayed tuned for more on the painting machine.

Surveil your self.

Friday, April 4th, 2008

I will be putting together a project called Tommy the sky gazer… Or something along those lines. The installation will involve a doll about two feet tall, a video camera and a screen.

The concept is that Tommy (the doll) will be made so that his eyes are always looking up at whatever walks by him. The footage gathered from Tommy’s eyes (video camera) will be fed to a screen, 3-5 feet away from Tommy. The screen will be installed 3-4 feet from the ground (around waist height) and tilted in a way that is not visible to a viewer standing up right. The only way to see the screen is if the viewer bends over and positions them self in an angle to see the screen’s content. The positioning of the viewer will be such that, it is inevitable to bend over an obstruct Tommy’s gaze. The viewer then discovers that they are looking at their self and feel a little violated from seeing their own gluteus maximus with out their permission. The irony is that they will be the only ones able to view the footage due to space constraints.

An alternative idea to displaying the footage, which I find more exposing, is to project the video feed on to the ceiling. This projection will give people the perspective of the doll and will make the doll-video connection more apparent.

My personal curiosity of people’s actions and reactions triggered by self surveillance is something that I would like to explore. In a way its like putting a toddler or a pet in front of a mirror to see what their reaction will be, withe the difference that I can actually gather data by asking questions afterwards.


“Synthetic Oasis” 2008

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

A Helios Power Tree was used in an installaton at ITP. Blue carpet and some grass-like foam pieces where used in “Synthetic Oasis.” The overall form was achieved by omitting symmetry, leading to an organic feel, that captures a sense of life; not mentioning the Helios’ inner pulse that mimics a heart. It appears as though the branches where made using a random system, something reminiscent of fractal formations.

The composition shows an inevitable symbiotic relationship between human beings, technology and the environment. “Synthetic Oasis” functions by collecting ambient energy in the form of light and stores it as potential energy in at its base. The energy is then used to illuminate the installation at night and to power the gadgets of the public lounging at the helios’ shade in the day time.

The word “oasis” implies the presence of water and vegetation in an isolated area in the desert. This applies to the Helios installation, since the Solar Tree can collect electricity anywhere the sun shines. The pool of electricity can then give “life” to electronics who’s batteries are dying in an area isolated from the power grid.

The blue foam is an ironic choice of color and material which contrasts that of plants yet it is the Helios that is producing the energy that would otherwise be produced by burning ancient plant matter such as coal. It is this blue hue that allows for a “Post-apocalyptic” feel to the installation in the day time and a tranquil, soothing glow which is accompanied by ambient cricket sound at night.

This new body of work is aimed to allow for a system where people can benefit in a quantitative manner as well as capturing the ideal form of entities in our environment such as trees.

Synthetic Oasis