Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Here is a video of "Tether," a collaboration with artist Josh Cajinarobleto (first half of video):

My previous blog entries described it, but for those who dislike scrolling...we are both wearing boxes covered by these latex "organs." Each box has a spindle, with the cord connecting the two organs. We can crank the spindle, and that pushes a button. Also in the box is an Arduino, which counts the button pushes and maps that onto a tempo for the beeps. We each have an accelerometer as well - one axis controls frequency, the other controls duration. The sound is PWM output from the Arduinos (Arduini?), amplified and sent to two small speakers (which were also decorated with latex to resemble some kind of biomechanical growth).

It was a very hectic few days leading up to this performance, so this is actually the first time we ever performed, besides simple "yay! the accelerometer works!" tests. So we basically chose four actions and decided to perform them very slowly. First, we start close together and pull apart. Next, I pull Josh toward me. Then he wraps the cable around me. I escape, we pull apart, and he ends up on the floor. During the performance I decided to eventually hit the floor as well. We both like improvising so it ended up working fairly well.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Arduino/performance project

I am taking a transdisciplinary seminar with students from the digital media and sculpture departments. The class is hit or miss - there are a few people doing interesting work and thoughts, and a few people who don't seem to know much and like everything uncritically.

Anyway, our final projects are looming. I am doing a performance with another guy in the class. We are building some wearable contraptions and will be hooked together by a cable. We're still figuring out exactly how this will take shape.

I am handling most of the programming side, getting reacquainted with the Arduino microcontroller and language. The photo above is my almost-finished circuit. The potentiometer at the bottom currently controls the "tempo," but this is going to be replaced by two buttons. As we move closer and apart from each other, we are going to unspool and rewind the cable connecting our little "proton packs" (actually they are going to be some kind of Cronenbergian "growth"). The spool will hit a momentary switch to act as a counter, while a locking button will tell the processor what direction to count.

The controls are mainly drawn from the Arduino site's great tutorials, with some modifications. Much of what you see at the bottom of the breadboard is an amp circuit that I built from the schematic and photos on this site. I had been hoping to get back into Arduino, so this has been fun, and a good review of programming and schematic reading.