ITP BLOG

LOST

Assignment: 

Collect sounds for a 3-5 minute sound walk to a specific location inside of 721 Broadway. 

Our group decided to record different door sounds throughout the building and met later in the week to discuss placement of the recordings.  Unfortunately, we ran into minor trouble because we had a bunch of content without intent. We were so excited to compile audio using the Z00m recorder that we completely neglected the purpose of the soundwalk- the storyline! The group made a decision after much deliberation, we agreed to use the sound of doors as a representation of uncertainty; the idea of being lost and not knowing what’s behind any given door. Different sound effects were also added to intensify  the feeling of fear and anxiety — this all aligned well with our title, “Lost”.  Ultimately, our approach worked out well and our narrative arc fell right into place. The idea is to create a unique experience each time the listener enters the elevator and exists on a random floor to complete the walk. The sounds mirror events, activities and randomness related to each floor. Creating an unknown outcome was completely intentional. 

We also created an infographic guide in two different flavors – text and Braille, to ensure an interactive and inclusive experience for everyone in the class. 

 

guide w/o graphics
braille side of guide

 

design 2 – guide with graphics

 

Final design

Sidebar: The title “Lost” was created from a real experience! We were actually lost for almost 20 minutes during the soundwalk. We inspected every floor in the building collecting content and completely lost track of direction in the process. We found our way back to ITP only after we asked security. Honestly, I really enjoyed being lost with my group and I believe it was the initial framework for our story!  

In the end, our group created a fun, interactive, creepy and playful soundwalk.

BEWARE and Enjoy! 

mmm hmmm har har har (spooky laugh?)

 

Switches and LED circuits – C2

I spent a lot of time thinking about a simple switch application. Danny covered a great amount of material in class and I was inspired to run home and build. My first idea was to recreate a painting of a Baby’s Breath flower on canvas I made several months ago. I thought of replacing the blooms with LED’s but it was complex and outside of the scope of what I’ve learned so far. I also tried using graphite as a conductor but that didn’t work either. I reached out to one of our resourceful residents,  Ari who helped me create a simple switch using copper foil tape (thanks Ari!)

 

See circuit below:

I cannot draw. No seriously, I can’t draw. So what do you think came to mind for this assignment? Drawing, of course! I’m not sure why I like to torture myself, but I’m a firm believer in learning from mistakes and failures. It strengthens your character and frankly, there is a great lesson in “can’t” and it is CAN. Can’t is such a vile word – it limits our true potential. CAN’T shouldn’t exist… especially when Google is accessible for most people.

 

So that’s what I did. I Googled, “How to Draw a Lamppost” and found a step-by step guide for drawing my first lamppost. I don’t mean to boast but its pretty decent for a novice!

 

I installed an LED in the lamppost head and ran two copper tape strips down the back of the drawing to activate the lights. This didn’t work so I replaced the tape with aluminum foil and it was a success! Check it out below.

 

Sound Walk

I decided to listen to Janet Cardiff’s  Her Long Black Hair, sound walk for my first A&V assignment. I’ve never listened to a sound walk in Central Park before and I was quite fascinated.  It was interesting to experience objects the author pointed out in real-time. I used a professional pair of noise cancelling headphones and I felt engaged and completely present in Janet Cardiff’s story. Overall, it was a partially good experience; I’m glad I visited the park during daylight. The story was somewhat eerie and I found myself looking around during certain moments. I also wanted to understand more about the long black hair character and why Janet choose to retrace the places she visited in the photos – (I figured this out midway into the story). For me, the authors behavior and tone felt obsessive but I was completely in character and acquiescent to her instructions. There were also interesting sub-stories that worked well in the park.

I got lost trying to find the Arch. I’m sure I inadvertently made a wrong turn.  It wasn’t a huge deal, I just paused the audio and googled my way back to the path. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience the end of the walk. Ralph Lauren hosted a show by the Angels (Track 5) for Fashion Week — police officers blocked everything north of Rumsey Playfield. Also, I wasn’t dressed for the event (or invited) so I decided to head home. 

Lastly… my group and I created sound files for our audio walk. The unedited files are here.

 

 

Final – Kendrick of Oz

Final work: I followed Gabe’s suggestion and manipulated the video live, using several effects in Max. This worked out well because I was able to create a new perspective each time! I also attempted to apply a cool video transition showing my keypad skills but…

 I’m certain I’ll get better with Premiere in time   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Both videos flow seamlessly and seem to show the artist in the present moment while simultaneously reflecting on his past. I chose Kendrick because  I truly appreciate his work as an artist; he’s not afraid to address societal issues and problems brown people face living in America.

The audio is also significant because it darkens the perception of the video you’re about to view.  This is about perception and creating your own story based on what you see right in front of you – and how “easy” it is to change it.

 

Final Patcher

 

Live :

Screen capture without effects:

Takeaways:

  • I’d love to also manipulate the audio in real-time, I think it would have a dramatic impact overall.
  • Transitions could flow better.
  •  More effects.
  • Better use of keypad and/or external component.
  • More videos of Kung Fu Kenny!

 

Interactive Video — Kendrick of OZ

I believe there are many stories told through song. Some are easily identifiable and others are cryptic — and only truly relatable – let me rephrase – only truly understood through familiarity. I can personally attest to this because I’ve done it plenty myself. I’ve always been able to naturally express raw emotion through music. For me, sound is a comforting refuge, almost like a blank canvas for thoughts and experiences.

For my video installation project, I decided to use 5 Kendrick Lamar videos, one for every major project released. I really appreciate Kendrick Lamar’s artistry; he is a creative mastermind constantly pushing you to think deeper and realistically. A lot of his work addresses societal issues and hardships of our present day. He is the voice of reason, promise and answer. Kendrick Lamar is a hip hop messiah, this is not debatable, FYI.

My inspiration for this project was Civilization (Heaven and Hell) by Marco Brambilla. Brambilla, combined collages from different movie clips to create a moving landscape depicting the ascension from hell to heaven – basically an entirely new installation based on existing works. I muted the audio from the videos and looped “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland as the background audio.

I recently watched The Wizard of Oz as an adult and I had a totally different experience. As a child, the movie was symbolic of  hopes and dreams but as an adult it was different. The song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” was particularly eerie. I couldn’t understand why, but I felt uncomfortable and uneasy watching  the teenage actor perform the song. I did a little research and  learned Garland was allegedly sexually abused during the film and  given adrenaline shots and pep pills to stay awake to maintain performance on set. Consequently, Garland was addicted to drugs and alcohol by the age of 16 and died of an overdose later in life. My intuition understood the significance of the song in that moment, way before I even intended to process it…

My idea was to create a mashup of Lamar’s videos much like Civilization and loop “Somewhere over the rainbow” to juxtapose both bodies of work.  Interestingly, the audio aligned well with the videos . The depth of emotion, passion and promise of the song and video were encapsulated into one idea.

Max 7 was used for the content. I added an esc toggle to output a separate full-screen and a numbers command to select each video.

 

 

Issues:

 

  • User unable to change video on key press, only works with mouse slider.
  • One mash up of videos should play, not single videos.

I’d like to add a distortion feature where the user interacts with something physical that completely changes/distorts the video content.

Work in progress…

 

 

 

Augmented reality — Dance Off!!!

Software: Unity, Adobe Mixamo, Adobe Fuse.

Idea:

  • Dance off between two animations.
  • Taunting character chat during movements.
  • Loser blows up at the end.

Issues:

  • Unable to make transition to change dance movements.
  • Objects looks 2D.
  • Characters don’t really scale on target image.

 

I used a Keith Haring piece as the target image for my animations because I’m a huge fan of Haring’s work and figured the design would work well as a target. I had huge problems with scaling and balance for both characters. Additionally, I FINALLY realized the dance movements weren’t transitioning because I only looped the movement one way! Unity is a steep learning curve but practice makes it easier each time. Both characters were created in Adobe Fuse and exported to Adobe Mixamo for rigging and animation.

Video Mapping — “All in my head”

I thought about how often I stare out of windows, namely from one of my windows at home that streams very little sunlight. I wouldn’t call this window completely useless (it’s across from another apartment building) because I often allow my mind to drift off into different spaces. Often times, I envision myself on a warm beach listening to waves form as they furiously crash against its shore. This recurring experience gave me an instant idea for my next assignment. In the interest of saving time, I purchased a wooden frame from Blick Art and used double-sided tape to create four identical boxes similar to a standard sized window.

I collected a few of my favorite tropical videos on YouTube and used Adobe Premier to edit the audio and video placement. I ran into issues rending a single video in four different partitions using MadMapper.

Attempting to troubleshoot this took a significant amount of time so I decided to remove the double-sided tape and go with the “picture style” window frame – a one pane glass effect.  

Mad mapping without frosted plexiglass
Mad mapping with frosted plexiglass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PlexiGlasssss

The video projected much cleaner and easier on the picture style frame during initial testing; mapping was also now less time-consuming and straightforward. I used plexiglass as the front glass but removed it because it affected the quality of the video. 

Challenges:

  • I’m an absolute novice with Adobe Premier and found myself spending a lot of time researching basic functions. In the end, it was extremely helpful and useful; however, I’d like to spend more time building on features and functionality. 
  • Fade out black. I want the end of the video to quickly fade out black with the audio still playing. 
  • Masking. I was able to mask out the logo on the left bottom of the video but this wasn’t useful once the frame changed and a new image appeared in the same video.

Concept:

I used Morning Mood by Edvard Grieg as background audio for “All in my head” because it evokes a feeling of peace and serenity, at least for me. In the end, the audio is abruptly interrupted at the climax of the piece by my own reality – the ever so impatient, NYC. Move or be moved, that’s the motto. 

Final iteration:

I’d like to expand this project into a social experiment by allowing the user to interact more with the video. I would place a timer on each location and monitor the length of time spent before a user disconnects from the image and manually changes the scene. In the end, I think it would be interesting to record how long it takes for one to become uninterested/impatient in the now or perhaps interested/anxious in what lies ahead. Is patience/impatience influenced by our current surroundings ? I don’t know, maybe its all in my head… 

Light — Let there be light! — Chakra 2050

I collaborated with classmates to build on a light sculpture/light installation piece. We agreed on a critical environmental issue, water pollution. The data is actually terrifying; “our drinkable water sources are finite: Less than 1 percent of the earth’s freshwater is actually accessible to us.” Water is essential to human life, I can’t believe preservation is even debatable – its baffling! For our first assignment, we used a fish tank, sand, water and props to represent the ocean and added trash to emulate pollution. For light, we used chakra elements to represent each light as a form of energy; there are 7 chakra colors and 7 pieces of trash in the tank . Each piece of trash represents an element of energy by way of the chakra color spectrum. Starting at the bottom or root is the color red, followed by orange, yellow, green, blue indigo and violet. Each color has a unique purpose and specific energy properties.

Early prototyping…

 

 

 

 

 

 

We used a glowing jellyfish to represent marine life and instructed our fellow classmates to remove the trash from the fish tank. The side LED light corresponds with the chakra points and changed during trash removal.

 

Final installation