A week of Dawgs

ASSIGNMENT 2: Dear Data


About the Data:  I tracked the number of dogs I spotted for a week and it was pretty fascinating.  Collecting the data was exciting at first —  I spoke with the owners to learn more about  their dogs. Eventually, it became exhausting and I decided to take pictures and guess the breed or search online for a match using what-dog.net . What Dog classifies dog breeds using machine learning. Most of the photos I uploaded were  close-ups and the site returned  pretty accurate results for  each photo. I began tracking by using an application on my phone but there were too many steps involved and it was distracting so I decided to track with a notepad and pen. I recorded the breed type, color and size of each dog during my commute to and from Brooklyn and Manhattan each day/night. I transferred the data from my notepad to excel and  calculated the total count for the week along with the total count of different colors and the total count based on dog size. The data viz starts from the top of the postcard (day 1) and ends at day 5, the last day of tracking. I stayed in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but managed to spot a dog while looking out of my living room window .  My excitement is clear and obvious in the first few days of data collecting; I started on the morning of Tuesday, Feb 5th and ran around the city like a mad person looking for data (dogs). By Thursday night, I only recorded dogs within walking distance or close enough to determine the breed. Here are the final numbers:

Total # of Dogs: 53

Tuesday: 15

Wednesday: 27

Thursday: 9

Friday: 1

Saturday: 1

Side note: I forgot to include my dog!!!, Magic Voilà Reggler (He’s the last dog on this page — sorry Magic!)

Any thoughts about how your self-tracking ideas might be refined as you gain more exposure to the discussions about self-tracking…

I learn something new with each self-tracking/tracking assignment, particularly getting into the habit of paying closer attention and  making a deliberate effort to change my perspective to see more around me.

Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project prompt revised

I changed my original idea for something more tactile. I was inspired by the video below:

 

Musical user Path:

I’d like to design a wearable MIDI based instrument that works with standard controls and allows the performer  to create an interactive live experience. This instrument will be designed for and used by a close friend who is an artist and nudist. She’s deeply into yoga and body movement;  ideally, the wearable will be a form-fitting body suit allowing her use her entire body as a musical instrument while moving freely and expressively to create sound.

Aural mood board:

I used the  track “cool like dat” because it has a lot of the musical elements I’m interested in using for the body suit.

 

Cluster Analysis

Song – “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly & Maze

 

Oblique Strategy “Cluster Analysis”

Group the rhythm, chordal and melodic elements

Body movement

 

Scene: Prospect Park – Barbecue area

As users move about the space, they hear different clusters of the song “Before I Let Go”. Each musical element is tied to their corresponding barbecue counterpart. Different musical elements begin to play as they walk throughout the designated area.

For example, users are instructed to walk towards the main component, the BBQ grill as they enter the space. The lead vocals start at 0:00, followed by the next attribute until all instruments are played harmoniously.

 

Instruments:

the barbecue (grill) – Lead vocals
sprinkler – high hats
kids playing / women laughing – tambourine
birds chirping – multiple synthesizers
dogs barking – background vocals
Utensils, plates napkins – Drums (kick, snare, toms, high hat, cymbals)
picnic table – rhodes keyboard
old men playing cards – bass
trees, grass – rhythm guitar / electric guitar
red cups – hand claps
tupperware – bongos

A1.1: Personal Data Download

WEEK 1

My Data Double

Tracking down the digital breadcrumbs of my life.

WhatsApp

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Available Feb 5th
  • Notes: My secondary messaging app
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • Photos
    • Conversations
    • Frequency and time messages were sent and received

Yelp

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Yes
  • Notes: I use Yelp from a browser often and rarely from my personal account
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • My reviews
    • Places I’ve checked in
    • Bookmarked places – places to visit

Youtube – Search & watch history

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Yes
  • Notes: I YouTube everything. Diseases and cures, horoscopes,  fitness, hobbies, fashion, advice, self-help. Everything.
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • What I care about
    • Most watched videos
    • Search history

Instagram

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Yes
  • Notes: I spend a substantial amount of time on Instagram. I use  an iPhone feature called screentime for alerts when I reach my daily limit.
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • Photos shared
    • Content I’ve posted
    • Tone of content / Identify mood and emotions
    • Photos I like

UBER

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Yes
  • Notes: Primary car service
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • Times and locations of trips
    • How often I use this service
    • Fares

AMAZOn

  • Requested: ✅
  • Downloaded: Yes
  • Notes: I’m an online shopper
  • Some notable features or things worth exploring include:
    • Purchases
    • Shopping frequency

A1.3: Reflection

Week 1

I don’t have much of a relationship with self-tracking. I tend to stay away from tools and applications used for tracking activity. I guess I’m uncomfortable with the amount of information accessible and readily available online. My Facebook account has been inactive for almost 3 years and I try to limit the amount of information I share on other social media platforms. However, I’m not against the quantified self movement and encourage people to use the tools available to increase self-awareness and make constructive life adjustments.

I have a completely open mind for this course and I’m willing to test some self-tracking tools with limitations. I’m interested in emotion tracking, specifically how music impacts my mood and concentration. I’d like to know what music makes me happy/sad, how my mood evolves throughout the duration of a particular song, what part of the song triggers emotions, my productivity levels while listening to music, and how the data could be used for better decisions. At this point, I’m not entirely sure how I plan to track the variables of interest and I expect to face challenges with consistency.

Other topics to discover:

Pain management and food consumption: How my body reacts to certain foods . Why does my X hurt on X day? What foods trigger symptoms?

Sleep patterns and mood

Relationships – my connections with family and friends

I got a Fitbit as a birthday gift a few years ago and it collected dust after only a few weeks. The data was always inaccurate  and I was discouraged after a few bad readings. I’d like to take a different approach with activity tracking this time around and have patience for possible glitches and data inaccuracies.

A1.2: Self-Tracking Projects Review

Week 1

Review of a few projects relating to self-tracking and the quantified self

Rocio Chongtay: “Quantified Brain and Music for Self-Tuning”

Description: While studying for a Masters in Artificial Intelligence, Rocio Chongtay noticed she had trouble concentrating with background noise , total silence or music with lyrics or catchy beats playing. She also realized specific music helped her focus and cancelled out background distraction. Chongtay experimented different types of music while quantifying her levels of concentration and relaxation using  a BCI (brain computer interface) visualizer by Neurosky.  The EEG (electroencephalography) sensor  monitors 8 different brain waves and integrates with iTunes to measure brain electrical activity while listening to different music. After quantifying her own brain, Chongtay was able to identify high productivity levels and create an ideal playlist based on self-tuning.

Source for graphic: Vimeo 1:00

Broader Significance: Music can be used as a tool for motivation and inspiration. Research suggests that pleasurable music releases dopamine in the brain.  Playlist could be  created and used specifically for depression and productivity.

Why it’s interesting to me: Music is a huge part of my life and I usually try to integrate it into everything I do.  I also have concentration issues based on the type of music playing, similar to Rocio Chongtay. “Self-tuning” would be a great tool to find and monitor motivators while listening to different music.

Peter Torelli: “The Quickening. Narratives Hidden in 20 Years of Personal Financial Data”

Description: Peter Torelli tracked his financial data for 20 years, starting with manually logging transactions in Quattro Pro spreadsheets and  saving the data on floppy disks to data residing on Quicken servers. Torelli’s spending trends revealed more than his financial transactions; the data also displayed visceral memories and pivotal moments in his life.

Source for graphic: hidden-stories-20-years-financial-data

Source for graphic: Vimeo 4:48

Broader Significance: Collecting financial data is a representation of spending habits but data also has the potential to show specific patterns and highlight changes in habits caused by life events. This could be helpful for making decisions indirectly related to spending.

Why it’s interesting to me: In a perfect world, I would track my spending, monitor my habits and make better decisions based on data available. Torelli ‘s story is instructive and motivates me to become more conscious of my spending decisions.

Steven Jonas: Spaced Listening

Description: Steven Jonas has a short attention span for listening to albums the first time around. He believes his brain rejects unfamiliar music and prevents him from listening a second time. Jonas developed a “spaced listening” system using a tool called Anki to remind him to play new music and google forms to track his listening experience. The tools helped him appreciate new music and overcome rejection of novelty.

 

Source for graphic: Steven Jonas: Spaced Listening

Broader Significance: Opens up a listeners ability to experience and appreciate  different genres of music.

Why it’s interesting to me: I love late 90’s hip hop so naturally I tend to listen to music from that era the most. Jonas provides great suggestions and ways to broaden my musical palette.

 

Project Promt

Honestly, I haven’t really thought much about a  project. I have so many ideas, but I’d like the core of my project to produce some sort of data output. It took me a long time to call myself an artist, particularly because I’ve had writers block for some time now — a few years (more than I’d like to admit). But  I AM an artist  and if I were active, I’d personally find a device that could potentially break writers block extremely useful. A system/tool enabling an artist to input  lyrics and receive returned rhyming output would be pretty amazing.

I completed an excellent Python programming class (Reading and Writing Electronic Text) with Allison Parrish a few semesters ago. We had a session dedicated to sound symbolism and pronouncing. I was really interested in the  rhymes function. I’d like to possibly integrate this function into my project – if possible.

Make America Great [Again]- Spider Bae

Quick note: This isn’t an attack on Kanye West, I appreciate and admire him as a human and artist. One of the things I love most about him is the passion and love he puts into his work and what he believes in. He doesn’t conform and I highly respect that. However, he needs to understand the power of his platform; it’s impactful and people are listening, particularly children. Kanye’s recent rants in the media makes my head feel like it could literally explode. Honestly, I’m returning the favor.

 

Midterm and process below:


 

Here’s the code:

I used a JPEG image online and converted it to .PNG (thanks FenFen).  I also modified a few sound files in Adobe Premier to use as background audio in the web editor. Initially, I ran into trouble getting the potentiometer to communicate with P5. Danny and Ari also helped me figure out a few coding errors.  There are still minor issues but its pretty functional for the most part.

 

Things I would change:

  • Find a way to make spider bae more interactive. The potentiometer was a great tool for P5 and Arduino connectivity but user interaction was limited after the explosion.
  • Functional in full screen mode – I had issues rendering the P5 sketch in full mode.

No auto save. Gaming in the 90’s

 

I was a hard-core gamer once. I had every popular game as a kid and would play well into the morning on weekends (of course) until completion. I’m talking about the hard-core gamer here –  blow into the system and game cartridge gamer. No auto save, you only have two options: game paused or game over gamer. Yeah, hard-core.

I’m not bragging here, I actually can’t believe there wasn’t an option to save console games until The Legend of Zelda in 1987. The cartridge had an internal battery that powered a RAM chip which allowed players to save their progress. The NES was a good console but I have to say, the SNES changed my LIFE.

I get nostalgic when I see micro-controllers. I think of gadgets, game consoles and anything electronic from my childhood. For my Raspberry Pi assignment I wanted to use Sonic Pi to create a few sounds from an old school game. I ran into trouble during set up because I wasn’t able to find the /opt/sonic-pi/etc/samples folder with all the .flac sample sound files. I downloaded several .wav sounds from Freesound.com as a workaround and wired four push buttons to a breadboard and Raspberry Pi to create a GPIO box.

Check it out:

Sounds:

Next steps: Turn .wav sounds into a rhythmic flow and pattern. Make music!

I’m actually really interested in Sonic Pi in general and I’d LOVE to eventually make an entire album using Sonic Pi and live coding.

Stay tuned…

Also, I found this cool website for 8 bit sounds after I completed the GPIO box…

https://themushroomkingdom.net/media/smb/wav

I added another button and include a game over wav file.

I. had. to.