Monthly archives: May 2008

Stormtroopers v. London cops

On Kiku’s Tumblr page, this photo of Stormtroopers and London cops uneasily eyeing up one another.


(via Wonderland)

Originally from Boing Boing
by Cory Doctorow

reBlogged by InterAccess to Cultural Artifacts

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Botanical Otology

Alex Metcalf’s Tree Listening Installation is a small electronic listening device built for eavesdropping on the inner acoustics of trees.

[Image: "Peach Tree in Flower in Orchard" by J.E. Fee].

How does it work? The device is placed on the trunk of a given tree and then connected to as many as ten sets of headphones, which hang down from the tree’s canopy. Botany becomes your iPod.
“This allows the public to listen ‘live’ to the sound of water being pulled up from the roots to the leaves through the xylem tube,” Metcalf writes.
As he explained in an interview with the Guardian last week: “The technology for this is usually invasive. You bore into the tree and take away a section, then seal in a listening device. The thing about my device is that you don’t have to cause any damage, and you can listen to any tree, anywhere, any time – plus you can do it long term. Cutting a hole in a tree means you are wounding and infecting it, which will affect the recording.”
The “device” in question is a small and somewhat unassuming metal cone that looks more like an 18th-century otological device. You hold it up against the side of the tree – like an FBI roving wiretap on the natural world – and listen in…
But could you broadcast this? A pirate radio station pops up one evening after dinner time in the distant suburbs of west London – and it turns out that an eccentric old couple living on a large plot of land near Windsor Great Park have begun broadcasting their trees. It’s soon an international sensation, and a great hit with cover bands; you go down to the Cafe du Nord one night to hear live music, but the band, visibly drunk, gets lost in a three-hour rendition, using only acoustic guitars, of the sound of young sessile oak trees.
Oddly, you’re the only one there who enjoys it – legs crossed, beer in hand, listening intently.

Originally from BLDGBLOG
by (Geoff Manaugh)

reBlogged by InterAccess to Art – Global Events

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Fresh Links!

GAP Artist Editions T-Shirts – May 13th | nitro:licious – fashion, trends, h&m, shopping, sneakers & lifestyle…who’s got flava?
Made in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of Art, the Gap introduces artist editions T-Shirts. It’s an impressive list which will probably result in a purchase at some point. What does Rirkrit Tiravanija’s shirt look [...]

Originally from Art Fag City
by Art Fag City

reBlogged by InterAccess to Cultural Artifacts

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audio lucida…


recording booth

“what the photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially”.
roland barthes, camera lucida 1980

home recording discs are like snapshots. they are small records recorded in a record booth (see photo above); or at home, with smaller portable units that looked a bit like record players. in most cases a minute or two of sound was recorded onto a plastic covered cardboard ‘blank’.

when i was 5 or 6 i remember recording two sides in a booth in an arcade down in san pedro. on one disc i did a howard cosell impersonation calling a fight between muhammad ali and joe frazier. on the other i sang an unaccompanied version of bad bad leroy brown….(yes, i still have these, no i won’t post them…)

like digging through mountains of mediocre snapshots and seldom finding a nugget, the majority of home recorded discs are pretty dull. an audio letter telling a son in the army about on what’s going on at home, or worse, a recording of a big band song off the radio (an early attempt at killing music with home recording). once in awhile, like the hunting story filled disc i posted a few months ago, you get a gem, and over the last year or so, i’ve been fortunate to find a number of pretty great little discs.

there’s something about an honest amateur that works. i believe it is the feeling that the folks speaking, singing, or making, are sincere in their attempt. if they miss the mark, there’s generally a level of innocence that can be pretty powerful, and at times, more so than a schooled approach. it’s not a question of better, but of having access to the presence of a person in a state of absolute vulnerability and humanness. like standing in front of a camera, there’s the potential for either a “ham” or absolute awkwardness when confronted with a microphone for the first time.

like the photograph in barthes camera lucida, an audio recording also stops time and allows for numerous repetitions of a moment that in ‘real life’ was never repeated. the difference, i think, is that listening to someone’s voice is more intimate as an experience than looking at a picture, and connects one more vividly back to a specific moment. listening with eyes closed, one is transported to another time, where voices are heard beneath a surface of noise, almost as they were in life. unlike the complex flattening of life onto a small piece of paper called a photograph, sound can still project from a speaker out into space as it might have when originally spoken from mouths. certainly it is detached from faces and original rooms, but in terms of the voice still being a voice, it remains relatively intact.

unlike fading in a photo, where information is subtracted, the distance of time in a disc recording is generally felt through addition. photographic images evaporate, recordings get covered in noise. handling and material disintegration fuels a mountain of defects that eventually renders the original voice mute in favor of the voice of the object’s tactile surface. images evaporate, but audio get buried alive…

click here to listen to one of my favorite recent finds…

Originally from airform archives
by (sroden)

reBlogged by InterAccess to Geekery – Audio

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XY fabric interface

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[Maurin Donneaud], the giant fabric keyboard builder, has also been working on the XYinteraction tactile interface. XYinteraction is made of two sheets of fabric stretched across a square frame with the conductive threads of each sheet running in opposite directions. When the user touches one of the sheets, it makes contact with the other sheet, relaying x-y coordinates to a computer via a LilyPad Arduino. More details after the break.

This diagram illustrates how the XYinterface works.

In one version, a design was rendered onto the translucent textile surface for composer [Marco Marini]. It shows the location of different notes and audio samples. The team has written a software suite to handle zone, gesture, and angular detection, as well as software to handle the sound libraries in use. The detection software is available for Pure Data, Processing, and Python.

Since the XYinteraction is not an instrument in and of itself, rather an input interface, it can be used for other things. With the conductive sheets left blank, it can be used in conjunction with a projector to create this simple touch display. Though the technology is simple, it can be used in many innovative ways. You can see more photos at [Donneaud['s Flickr stream, or read up on more specs at the XYinteraction site.

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Originally from Hack a Day
by Juan Aguilar

reBlogged by InterAccess to Geekery – Physical Computing

Posted in Audio, Geekery, Jobs, Physical Computing | Leave a comment

One spot left in the Photovoltaics workshop tomorrow!

We’ve got one space left in the Photovoltaics workshop tomorrow! Hurry up and get your name in, you won’t be sorry!

Photovoltaic Workshop
Co-Presented with the Subtle Technologies Festival and FoAM
Instructor: Bart Vandeput (Bartaku)
Venue: InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre
Date: May 29, 2008, 2-6 pm
In the PhoEf workshop participants will explore the interdepending relationship between people, photovoltaics and light as a primary resource.

(image by Flickr user kitseeborg, used under Creative Commons license. )

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  • Upcoming Workshops and Events

    • Events on April 23, 2014
      • Open Studio
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: April 23, 2014 - 10:00 pm
        Location: 9 Ossington Ave, Toronto ON
        Description: Hang out with some like-minded artists, technicians, and nerds. Bring projects and share them, or get help with problems.
    • Events on April 24, 2014
      • Motors
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: April 24, 2014 - 10:00 pm
        Description: Register here:

        In this, the second of two workshops based on different types of motors, we'll work with stepper motors. Steppers are powerful motors that provide precision control over the rotation speed or exact position of the motor shaft; they also require electronic circuits or microcontrollers to operate them. We'll talk about how to choose the right stepper motor for the job. We'll build a control circuit based on a 555 timer and a special power driver, connect our motor and start playing. We'll also discuss how to use the Arduino microcontroller to control speed and direction of DC motors, servomotors and stepper motors and look at some alternative Arduino-compatible motor controller boards.

        This workshop costs more than our regular offerings because we give you some awesome and useful stuff to take home with you. Your registration fee includes the cost of:
        A stepper motor
        A stepper motor driver circuit, breadboard-ready
        Assorted electronic breadboard components

        About the Instructor:
        Bill Gentles has worked for the past 30 years as a Biomedical Engineer. He has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto. He has recently been shifting careers as he has discovered that what he really wanted to be when he grew up was an artist. He previously presented the motors workshop at Interaccess in 2013.

        Refund and Cancellation Policy:

        Refund requests are granted if received 10 business days or more prior to the workshop date. Exceptions to this policy will be clearly stated.
    • Events on April 30, 2014
      • Open Studio
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: April 30, 2014 - 10:00 pm
        Location: 9 Ossington Ave, Toronto ON
        Description: Hang out with some like-minded artists, technicians, and nerds. Bring projects and share them, or get help with problems.
    • Events on May 1, 2014
      • Intro to 3D modelling with Rhino
        Starts: 7:00 pm
        Ends: May 1, 2014 - 10:00 pm
        Description: Register here:

        Rhino is the ideal 3D modelling software for artists and designers due to its versatility, low cost, and ability to handle a variety of different types of jobs and export to numerous file formats.

        Like lots of other software, Rhino is adept creating 3D renderings with one of its many powerful rendering plugins available. However, this versatile software is also useful for artists creating files for 3D printing, CNC milling, machining and laser cutting. Rhino has also become increasingly popular among designers for its Grasshopper plugin, a parametric modeller that we'll cover in the next workshop.

        In this workshop we'll learn the basic principles of 3D modelling in general, and the Rhino software in particular, by creating our own model. After that, we'll learn how to use the VRay rendering plugin and create a finished CG image.

        MORE INFO:
        What prior experience do I need?
        None! If you've never done 3D modelling before, that's fine. And if you are familiar with another 3d modelling software like SketchUp, then you'll be ahead of the curve learning Rhino, which interfaces a lot differently. And you will probably really like Rhino.
        Do I get to go home with something cool?
        Yes! You'll have made a well-modelled and well-rendered digital image. Hang it on your fridge!
        What do I need to bring?
        Bring your laptop, and have a trial version of Rhino pre-installed. You can download the trial version here: . Please note that the trial version only allows you to save 25 times before asking you to pony up for the real version, so don't go too crazy before the workshop date. Also... if you're planning on taking next week's workshop on parametric modelling with the Grasshopper plug-in, then be especially stringy with that CTRL-S! If you can't bring a laptop, no worries--just e-mail me beforehand and I'll get you a loaner.
        Is it OK to have a PC or Mac?
        Rhino is native to PCs, so you're all good a PC user. If you're on Mac, you're also in luck... the OSX version of Rhino is still in beta, so it's free, and it won't be much different from the PC version that the instructor will be teaching on. You'll just have to send McNeel your e-mail address to get a download link, and you 'll be part of their "beta testing" team. Woo-hoo! Bad news for Mac users: next week's Grasshopper workshop won't run on Macs, so if you have a choice between Mac and PC, choose PC.

        Mani Mani (B.Arch. S. + MArch.) is a Toronto based interdisciplinary designer. Mani is the founder and the director of Fishtnk Design Factory- a design and manufacturing studio focused on innovative design processes in architecture, furniture and architectural products.
        Mani's work covers a wide range of disciplines from fashion design to urban planning and has consulted international firms and design organizations. Mani has been an active member of Toronto’s design community since 2007 and he has worked and collaborated with a number of influential local architects.
        Mani's latest research is focuses on responsive architecture and physical computation in built environments.
        Mani is currently a sessional lecturer at Ryerson University, Department of Architectural Sciences and in the past he has taught workshops and been an invited critic at University of Toronto, Waterloo University and the polytechnique University of Timisuara.

        Refund and Cancellation Policy:
        Refund requests are granted if received 10 business days or more prior to the workshop date. Exceptions to this policy will be clearly stated.
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