Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bill's Brain

Talk about looking deeply inside yourself for answers, or what is the other one? it's good to be introspective? Bill Moorier's coded this interactive brain scan explorer to take a look at his own brain. I am sure our friend Twyla will enjoy this. Maybe an idea to implement in her site? You can play with Bill's brain here

As for my interest in interactivity and storytelling I see lot's of possibilities...hmmm. I can see googoles of data served by every microlayer, now, if I can only remember where I left my glasses...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Eye Writer


We live in interesting times, no question about that. Plague, famine, kids killing people in remote villages from their drone playstations in Las Vegas, sipping RedBull. It is quite difficult to know how we can provide an ounce of balance to a ton of misery, so that ounce must be something really special to rescue our impossibly damaged spirit.

The influx of very damaged very young humans, the broken byproduct of that biggest business which is war, ends up in the landfills of society, the eternal superfund from which some people pick up the pieces and try to put things back together, albeit in a very different way. A leg here, an arm there, an eye or two, perhaps a brain? Can we pull us back together?
I will call him Luis

While searching for an appropriate picture to help me cut through the fog I had trouble finding one of the millions of miserable children which survive doing such a thing, because Corbis Corporation, the photo "service" owns most of them. I wonder, do those children get a percentage directly deposited to their pig accounts?

I guess you get the point. What triggered all this diatribe was me thinking about what we do on a daily basis, our "job" in other words. Do we really do something useful, something that tips the balance and creates a positive change? I think one of the reasons that the Open Source movement is so important is that it is a sort of groundswell, difficult to perceive because it is so pervasive and widespread.

But this movement, so dangerous to the monopolists of the world will tumble the most arrogant of them. There is no corporation, not even the most technically sophisticated that can evolve as rapidly as thousands or millions of people working together for a common cause.

As a little sample, I offer this movie about such an endeavour, one that ends with a call to hackers all over the world to collaborate, in this and any other way that might become the glue that binds us together again, into our cyborgian future.

The Eyewriter from Evan Roth on Vimeo.

Open Frameworks, F.A.T., Graffiti Research Lab, graffiti legend Tempt1 and of course EyeWriter got together to produce that ounce of energy for each and everyone of us...

Here is the how to and all the good monopoly-breaking stuff for those DIY's among us. Keep on DIYing...!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shamar's Machinima Video

Hello all. I cannot upload my machinima video here because it is too big but I'll go ahead and say a little bit about it anyways.

Originally, I had wanted to take files from Second Life and upload them to Isadora to make a three-screen Machinima movie. However, I had many problems with the footage I filmed in Second Life. After spending many, many hours capturing footage of my character dancing everywhere from ghettos to sacred sites and dance clubs, I found that many of the files would not open correctly. I don't know if there was a bug or what, but for some reason most of the footage I shot became unusable. So, I learned from this that in the future I should work in segments..capture a little, test it, work with it and then move on to capturing more. That way I will find out if there are problems that need to be worked out before I invest a ton of time in one stage of the process.

I took some of the files that DID work and uploaded them to Isadora where I began to play around with altering the footage, even to the extent that it became totally abstract. I think many fantastic opportunities still await in using Second Life with Isadora.

This Machinima is the first try at bringing Second Life and Isadora together. I put images together that showed some of the different processes I had gone through. I also used sound files from freesound.org. So, the end result is really just a collage of sorts.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The End of the Semester

I wanted to write a little bit of a summary of what I have done this semester in case some of you wish to visit what I've build in Second Life. I think we'll be illustrating these things on Thursday as well. I have tried to illustrate the process of radiation therapy, since this is what I do full time when I'm not pretending to be a student so it is what I'm most familiar with.

There are four different areas, an Introductory area with a quick video clip of the facility where I work. There are several posters with links with some helpful information. The Intro Room is the area where a patient will get "simulated" for their treatment. This used to mean using a machine similar to the radiation delivery machine which was called a simulator. With the advent of digital media and computers that could handle the huge data sets there is no need to use an actual machine as a simulator, a "virtual patient" is created from the CT images of the patient and all of the simulations is then done in a computer, along with a bunch of calculations. This is all performed in the Treatment Planning area which in Second Life is not so cool since it is all about working on computers and there are many VR types of tools already in existence to assist with this (Vertual). The final room is the Linac Room where the radiation delivery machine is in place. There are several posters explaining the process.

While the idea of radiation can be scary to some, or even controversial to others, it serves as a means of cancer cure for many. It's technology is expensive, but in some cases it is used as a substitute for surgery because of the reduced side effects and risk. I hope none of you have to experience this process in real life and it could become and only virtual process!

Hope you have all been able to get something out of this class, I know I have learned a lot mostly as a paradigm shift about how I approach the use of digital media, it has made me think of news ways to illustrate concepts and ideas, and I love some of the ubiquitous ideas (especially with the handhelds). I know I have barely scraped the surface on what can be done with digital media in education and in medicine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Growing A ToonLoop Animation

In answer to Nick's slip-n-slide posting, here is the one I came up with in class. ToonLoop was a pleasure to use because of its simplicity. Since I am interested in heuristic learning, it makes sense to me that now that I have been able to produce something that I had fun with on my first pass, I am that much more motivated to try another more involved stop motion project. If I had hit a technological wall or steep learning curve the first time, that impression might have colored my idea of stop motion animation forever after. Thank you to the ToonLoop programmers for understanding that sometimes less is more.