Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Travel Application

Before I take off to England, I wanted to say that if anyone has any questions about my project feel free to comment to this post and I'll reply to your questions. I should have Internet access as soon as I get there. If for some reason, the presentation doesn't work tomorrow, I'll be happy to post some of my work up here for everyone to see. Good luck to everyone on their presentations.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Casual posting and a little economics

I just realized that last week I have inverted my postings so I posted here what should have been posted in the visualization blog. Well that might say how stressed and tired I am at the end of the semester. And I am still finishing up the long list of presentations I have for next week!

I came across a site that helps visualize economics but particularly a web site dedicated to data visualization of government data.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Travel Application

I just realized that I forgot to post an update on my project last week. I tried contact the Swedish destination marketing organization, but they never got back to me about getting authorization to use images. I ended up using images mainly from their Web site. If or when I put my application on Facebook I'll probably have to remove this content unfortunately. The images on Flickr for Sweden that were classified as creative commons tended to be not be very informative or visually interesting. I'm currently putting the final touches on my project and preparing my presentation. The thing about projects like this is there is always something that can be added or improved. I really am happy that I have been able to maintain the clean design while adding large amounts of content. I'm just trying to get everything to the point to where I'm highly satisfied.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Avant dernier poste du semestre

I have been putting together 2 more movies for my presentation, that makes 3 in all. I am wondering how long will everyone have to present? (in terms of maximum and minimum) - I also invited Dr. Miriam Zech, professor of music from the Music Department here at UF.

I really liked the presentation of Scot McCloud on Understanding Comics. I put the link to it on top by the title. What I liked the most about his ideas is the one where the cartoonist has the reader (viewer) see the panels, within the panels, and then imagine in between the panels. So between the panels there is nothing to see but there is a space to imagine. I like very much this idea. Music rests (in French "silences = 1 beat - pause = 2 beats) corresponds to this idea visually, because it is in the silent moments between sounds that you can most hear (by guessing, sensing) what's coming next.

Best wishes to Arturo and Anton in the Conference, we've been missing you guys today. I hope someone gets to record you and we can get to see the presentation too...

eComm in San Francisco

I hope all of you are doing great and your projects are in the final stretch without too much stress (a little is OK:-)
The conference is great, lots of good speakers and ideas. We are ready for ours tomorrow...
But for all of you here is a premiere peek:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Board game

Here is the final board game. I am in the process of finalizing the rules and touching up my presentation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Updated site

Hi everyone!

My project site is updated. I have added in the "artsourcing" projects that others have made. Check it out and see what people have been working on.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Share is an experiment in designing a networked programming tool for distributed communities of practice.
It is an IDE that automatically shares all the code you write with everyone else that is using Share, and keeps track of how that code is used. Thus allowing you to see the network that grows around code you contribute to, borrow from, or just happen to be interested in.
Share is built upon processing!

powerpoint hell

I think that we have all sat through presentations like this. I thought with our final project date looming we could all use some levity.

Quck Project Update

I wanted to post what my homepage for my application looks like. If anyone wants to give me feedback on the layout, I'd appreciate it. Also, last class Arturo showed me Google Gadgets. I'm going to use some of these within my application. I'm planning on having most of the page layouts done by the end of this week.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Freedom of speech and Freedom of press

The idea of social networking is powerfully summarized by Linton C. Freeman’s article in how Cartoons have been visualizing, or focused visualization on social networking ideas such as “rumors”, “diffusion”, “connections”, “word of mouth”, etc. Caricatures and Cartoon figures, besides the comic humoristic side, have their own powerful visual speech and that’s what makes them so attractive to be read. In few words, a whole philosophical concept is summarized, visualized, radicalized, and in some extent, widely spread. I believe this joins Tufte’s idea of “confections”. Freeman’s article: See you in the Funny Papers: Cartoons and the Social Networks shows very well the relationship between a concept as such, and its visualization. The visualization of a concept makes this concept familiar and popular at the same time. In a way, this is, as I understand it, the root and the fruit of any culture. If a culture does not stand the test of visualization through media, humor, cartoons, etc. it is not worth being called a culture. Laughter is healthy in cartoons not because it ridicules the matter that it’s treating, but because it’s bringing it to light. And light purifies, and clarifies. The laughter that cartoons stimulate in us is one of sharing and caring. It is not the negative mocking part that it is about, but rather the positive learning healthy part. To say my thought plainly, countries who do not allow freedom of speech, freedom of press, do not allow cartoons or illustrations; and their only cultural concern is to censure, to restrict, to forbid, and to silent their artists and authors.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Parcipatory culture

Thursday during the game class, we had the visit of Dr Liza Potts that is specialized in parcipatory culture. She is working on the use of social software during times of disaster. She had us do an exercise that I think should be call visualizing the usability because not only it can help see the target audience but can allow one to see the relationship between the participants and the dynamics between a core concept and the participants. It appears to be a simple exercise but it can be difficult if the scope of one's project is big or there are many targeted audiences. If you want to learn more about her work you can check this site out: or click on the title of my post

Thursday, April 8, 2010



Another quick update. In this class I have really thought a lot about the nature of artistic visualization. My theory is that it is almost viral. Movements spread and catch on as fast as people can see them. What better way to track something like this than by using code?

I have been reaching out to the processing community and sharing code with them. My idea is to mutate the sketches I generate by letting these become more of a collaboration. 

Tomorrow I will post the first of these experiments.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Website Online

I just put my solar position calculator online:

Before you view it make sure you have the Unity web player plugin installed from:

Also, to walk around the house in first person view, press "1" then use the "wasd" keys and mouse to move - like in a video game :)

Continuing quest

It's late and I'm tired. Here is most recent shots of progress on radio TX and Arduino RX . This is more for my game project for the locating device but the things i have learned working on it apply to the mood broadcaster that I am working on as well. I modified another example I read in which the person used a 555 timer and potentiometer to blink an LED w/o an MCU or any other device. It was my hope that instead of the output timer of the 555 timer leading to an anode of an LED i would instead hook it to the data pin of the TX. I could than theoretically use the potentiometer to input values to the 555 and continually "blink" or broadcast that specific value out. The arduino with the FM receiver hooked to the RX or 0 pin of the microcontoller could than be told to listen for and return only that value or above that is being broadcast from the independent TX circuit.When the value was detected it could turn on the LED (and later scroll text in an LCD), hooked to pin 13 and ground of the MCU. This is my theory or method thus far. SO far i am not sure if its responding correctly or not. RIght now my hunch is that something is still amiss. I believe i need to test it with a 100k ohm Potentiometer as right now I am only using a 10kohm pot.

Monday, April 5, 2010

UGC/Citizen Journalism and Quick Project Update

National Geographic is asking it's readers to share their "stories of close encounters with volcanic power." I really find it interesting the idea of citizen journalists. Also, the pictures of Iceland's erupting volcano are truly spectacular.

Also, I wanted to include a quick project update. For my project, I have worked on several page layouts as well as researching the data necessary to fill these layouts for full mock ups. I may just have mock ups for the final project with a description of how I would proceed if I were to make this a running Facebook Application.

The Emerging Brain

The reading of Comment Flow, the visualization tool created by Dietmar Offenhuber and Judith Donath established, in my own synapses, a neural connection with memories that as a result are now closer, perhaps fixated in a longer term, or simply transported along a Network Path to a more focused state where I can observe it in more detail. Does any of this make sense to you?

As early as in the 1930's, Jacob Moreno laid down the foundation of the discipline of social network analysis, which is I believe, the basis for Dietmar and Judith study of huge social networks, perhaps never envisioned by Moreno.

One phrase in the study really called my attention:... it is the differences among the people (nodes) and their relationships (links) that create the specific structure of each network and that determine the strength and significance of the ties (p.2). Of course it is common to compare the internet with the human brain, and I do that all the time. The similarities are obvious to me. The strength of a neural connection happens pretty much (albeit chemically) in the same way as the above phrase implies.

Perhaps the internet, the social networks as neural clusters and other yet unknown developments that we cannot even imagine are still in a larvae stage, but the speed at which it grows and the way it interconnects with our own brains, which reinforce the connections, suggest to me that the Singularity proposed by Ray Kurzweil is indeed in track. I hope I get to see the emergence of our evolved brain.

Lovely Place

I think the article Visualizing Email Content: Portraying Relationships from Conversational Histories is very interesting.
The point I like the most is the one made about the keywords used to allow visualization of email archives.
Of course Chapeau! The project is worth admiration, though it needs further development.
I believe one of the best things at MIT and Harvard are the social components, and the spirit of group or team work. I went to Cambridge, Boston, last summer to accompany my daughter in her first week summer internship at Harvard, and I was impressed by this social dimension over there. You feel the same kind of human warmth in Paris. There are musicians playing and singing in the streets... and you can sense the close relationship between artists and civilization or urbanization. You can listen to an interesting TV interview with Judith Donath here

Congratulations to Irvika for her website. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Project update

Here is the original configuration I chose for the kaleidoscope- a composition of six triangles. The triangles are going to be made out colored plexi and encased with mirrors.

As you can see, the mirrors do not intersect to allow light to permeate from the sides only.

These are two colored plexi of the triangular prisms I have made so far:

And here are some of its effects when they were placed in the mirror case:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My website

I finally got the site running properly meaning that even my link on the first page is working. It might be not a big deal for a professional but when you are new to web designing, things never seem to work as you want.

When you click on the second page just click on the button then click "ok" for all the warnings. I need to add the markers for this page now and I will be done (for now)

Here is the link or you can simply click on the title of this post and you will go to the website.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

other types of tools for artists/designers

Hi everyone. As you all know, my work in class is all done in Processing. I thought it would be good to also mention other tools designers can use in somewhat similar ways to Processing. Maybe these are tools you would want to check out for the future? This will also be on my processing blog in greater detail - I thought that people interested in Processing would also want to know what else is out there. I haven't found a good source that lists them all together in a clear way. 

openFrameworks (oF) - I have  not yet made anything with openFrameworks but it seems like the openFrameworks library and the Processing library have many similarities. Just as Processing is built upon Java, openFrameworks is built upon C++.  Unlike Processing, openFrameworks does not have an IDE built in.

pure data (pd) - Pure data was introduced to me by Pat Pagano. He's worked with it forever and uses it to create immersive visuals, control lighting, and create interactive art. I have done a little work in pure data. Pure data is a graphical programming language - the programs you create look like flow charts rather than lines of text.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zwinky follow up

Finally, this took more than 24 hours.
Funny the adventures we go through until something digital can be finally visualized.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Comment Flow: Visualizing communication along a network path

The article gets to the heart of the major weakness of social networking sites to actually replicate a real life social circle in that as the article states social networking sites treat "All friend links are equal, and usually equally visible to public. The information is not very reliable - extra information
is required to acknowledge the highly differentiated nature of human relationships."
The article than goes on to propose plausible solutions to this problem. Through examination of major social networking platforms the author concludes that to apply algorithims to more accurately and organically represent people you are truly friends with is through comment analysis. That a system could crawl the people you converse with and comment with the most could represent those people as closer friends.

Get Your Walk Score

Enter your address at and you can view the 'walkability' of your house based on nearby amenities. You get a score, a map of amenities, and a percentage of residents with a higher walk score than yours - mine is 62.

Defeating the Dark Side of Social Media

I came across this article in Business Week, which I found interesting about social media and companies. Even though, social media has been around for many years now, companies are still struggling with the expanded reach of users-generating content. It seems that companies are always slower to catch up then consumers. While I was looking for inspiration for my project on user-generated content and tourism, I was really surprised how far behind some companies are. The companies seem to either do it poorly or just pretend it doesn't exist. Although, I think as social media increases more companies will be unable to ignore it.

Customizable Cartoon

This customizable cartoon is from Zwinky. You can create cartoon characters, cloth them with all kinds of accessories, give them whatever skin color you wish, chose their hair type, their gender, etc.

I don't why the picture does not show. Perhaps the security settings of the computer.

I'll show you tomorrow in class.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Visualizing the newspaper of the future...

After listening to Arielle Emmett's presentation yesterday I started wondering what role, if any newspapers will play in the future. I don't think they will exist. It seems like so many times I hear journalists talk about the future of media they seem like a bunch of suits running scared of an obvious regime change.

Emmett mentioned that losing newspapers could be a threat to our very democracy. I highly doubt it. Isn't blogging the most democratic form of news? I think the news media has to resign themeselves with the fact that they can't compete with some kid with a camera phone.  Plus, they need to recognize that good writing can come from anywhere and not all of these staff writers are publishing anything worth reading.
The second performance by Kseniya Simonova:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fibonacci Spiral

Arturo I know you're a fan of the golden ratio, thought you might like this iteration of it for your collection:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

See You in the Funny Papers: Cartoons and Social Networks

This reading resonates in me. Social networks have completely change my life. Before hi5 and facebook I was simply a shy person thriving to make new friends. Well, I had my colleagues from my years at the university but most of the time we had different interests. Figure 3 shows a cartoons that made me smile: Because of networking sites I needed a new address book. One interesting thing is when you meet someone in the street and you both stare at each other until you remember that this is one of these "new" friends.

At the same time, I think that these relationships created by networking on the web can create a toll on "real" relationship. For instance, the more people I meet that are more like me the more I lean towards them instead of getting closer to my non-virtual friends. If it was food, I would say that networking satisfies soul's craving. And I think that the cartoons on p 6 portray that perfectly! And the sky (sorry), the world wide web is the limit!

One other great thing that i like about networks is that it offers the opportunity to truly know the other person. Don't need years to figure out who that person is truly; the history of a wall on Facebook tells all.

Besides networking is great when one is working on a project. I usually simply update my status and ask for help. I have FB friends that have more than five thousands friends thus I will ask them to borrow their status for 2 hours when I need feedback; and people are usually eager to help. Figure 18 totally shows how circular network connections are.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Project Update

As I do not have a whole lot new to show at this point I'll just give a brief update. I'm using Unity for my solar visualizer as it is capable of creating a 3d environment that is interactive allowing me to link actions to objects such as a sun, which is linked to a position calculator that updates continuously... and it's free. Also, I am using a book from my solar engineering course I had last semester to help me calculate things like solar flux on an inclined surface which leads to power output, collector area, ext.

Visualization paper

Hi everyone. As the resident painter in the class, my Visualization paper is about contemporary art and the use of Photoshop. I am writing a longer paper because I hope to submit it to a few journals. So I don't think I will have it completely done by tomorrow, though it is getting quite long. The artists I am focusing on mainly are Cory Arcangel and Julie Mehretu.  David Hockney and Kevin Appel's work will also be mentioned to a lesser degree. I was wondering if the class had any insight on other artists that could be mentioned to compare or contrast? They do not have to necessarily present their work digitally but they do have to maybe illustrate or demonstate something to do with Photoshop. For example, I'm using an article about Leonardo's presentation drawings to support some of my research. I know our class thinks very out of the box so I hope someone can give me insight for a new angle!

Good example of strong Visual Design

Check out this site I found it accidentally, It's by an artist named Peter Stanick. The site is an artwork in itself. Try clicking through it I could never get it to repeat. The sites strength as an artwork lies in its cohesion in its design as well as its depth of execution.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Geo-positionning across the years

In order to revise my visualization paper, I have been reading about geo-positionning. I found and interesting article quite old but that I think is a good summary. It is when reading such articles and comparing to what is feasible today (remember the video on bing's maps) that we can see how technology is evolving very fast. Many expectations have been realized such as the 3D visualization, the improvement on the quality of the pixels etc.

The references sections also list some helpful websites.
Read it Here

processing progress

For this class I am working on presenting all of my Processing sketches in one place. The most user-friendly way to do this was to create a blog that also functions as an interactive portfolio. Plus, I plan to continue working in Processing and updating the blog portion with information as well as great resources.  Blogger seemed like an obvious choice and something I could upgrade as much or as little as I would like - wordpress was another option but seems to reject a lot of simple html editing as well as not displaying the java applets correctly.* I'm still working on how everything looks but please check out . These sketches will also be on because I hope to work collaboratively in the future with other artists.

*It seems like a lot of people have had similar problems with wordpress from what I have looked at online. Will blog more on that later.

Visualizing Culture and Those Who Are Different From a Communication Perspective

For my paper, I focused on Visualizing Culture and Those Who Are Different From a Communication Perspective. While writing my paper, I came across a really interesting project/application from National Geographic called The Genographic Project. The Atlas of the Human Journey section shows how cultures have spread. This might be interesting for those interested in tracing their ancestry. Hope everyone finds this as interesting as I did.

Project Talk and Call For Help

"You sick little monkey!" 

If you speak the exclamatory sentence written above, you will find there are certain words that will be stressed and some will be spoken as if 'gliding" through. When this feature is measured along time, we call it the rhythm of speech.  The remark- "You sick little monkey!", possibly expressed with some surprise, may also have elements of amusement in it, in which case one will use pitch variation (intonation) to highlight that emotion. These elements of stress, rhythm, intonation constitute the prosody which among other things, defines the emotional mood of the speaker and rhetorical aspects like sarcasm, humor, irony etc.

I am hoping to annoy few linguists here with my very crude understanding of language,speech and the whole deal! If you are annoyed, please help me understand the concepts better.

So how does one study these elements rigorously? Researchers have found few features of speech which can be mapped to various prosodic elements.

I will try to explain in plain english what I have understood so far from various research papers.

Generally taken as units larger than phonemes, when these features/elements are studied rigorously as global statistics, they are studied as contours of mean value, standard deviation of fundamental frequency, energy distribution, and temporal changes in spectral coefficients like jitter and tremors, and sometimes when studied locally- pitch and energy contours.

So where does emotion fit in the above gobbledygook?? 

It has been found that sadness has been associated with low standard deviation of pitch and slow speaking rate, while anger implies higher pitch deviation and rate. But by just studying pitch deviation and speaking rate, one is most likely to fall in a trap of prosodic confusion  rather than discern emotional qualities from it. For example, an interrogative sentence will most likely have wider pitch contour than affirmative sentence, which mean interrogative sentences will have higher standard deviation, which has nothing to do with emotional content!

So these measures of deviations and statistics are necessary conditions- but not sufficient conditions!

Therefore, researchers are toying with something called Hidden Markov Models(HMM), which works with state transitions. To study temporal behaviours of speech, not as stationary statistics but as concatenation of states of local feature statistics.

So far, people have experimented with different features of speech, running one or more HMM on one emotion, short time, semi continuous models and various kinds of mathematical frameworks.

Frankly, for this class project, I would be happy to just use someone's software just like a text to speech conversion software. But I cannot find any ready-to-use software for emotion recognition.  Therefore, I am hoping to implement one such model before the end of the semester. But so far, no work to show!

Arturo suggested that I look from the eye of an artist or better yet; "hear from the ear of an artist", rather than work with obscure statistics and mathematical models. Or at least that's what I understood from that inspiring talk with Arturo! :)

I would request people to suggest ideas on different perspective to this problem of emotion recognition. People with music background? Sound engineers? theatre? Linguists? Psychics?!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

but what is it going to look like?

Hi everyone.

My drawing tools in Processing are coming along slowly but I realize now that I haven't addressed something just as important as doing research and putting in the time to learn - I haven't discussed how this will be presented! If their is one thing I have learned from Tufte, how you display everything is key to effective communication. I mean, I could just show everyone some lines of code but that's not exactly the goals of this project. I want to show the research as well as the tools I am developing.

The beauty of Processing is that it is java based so it's perfect for the web. So I have decided to make a website/blog that is easily updatable and easy for others to use. Processing sketches can easily be displayed as applets on blogs. Wordpress has some very simple clean templates that I can adapt to what I want so I think that this is where I'm going to put my work. Eventually I would like to buy my own domain and transfer all of my work there. I haven't decided if I am going to go the paid route, it seems like with the amount of data for this one project I would not have to. Plus, I have used blogger for several years and I would like to see if their is any difference.

Uploading failed again

Processing failed again this week, even though my clip was in video, and not just sound (mp3) like last week. This week it was in Windows Movie Maker, which does not allow you to save in other extensions than the .MSWMM one. I wonder if Premiere allows to save in MP4?
So the issue is compatibility in file formats, if I'm understanding correctly. I do not believe there should be any other issue.
The question I have to resolve now is the conversion question: How to convert from Microsoft Windows Movie Maker MSWMM extension to MP4 extension?
I guess if Google Blogger allows MP4 uploads to process (which I hope I will do next week sans faute) then NING also does, as well as most Internet sites. Am I right?
But just for the sake of my effort this week, does anybody know of an Internet site that would let me upload my .MSWMM file extension? It is not very big, I could send it to myself through email successfully, I know when the file is too big the email prompts you that it is bigger than 10 MB and therefore you would have to switch to a paying version of the email, which would give you allowance for sending bigger size files.

Apart from this congratulations to Jeremiah Stanley for his award winning movie, and good luck to everyone.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Project update

So, after completing the CSV matrix for my grocery store, I handed it over to Anton who quickly generated a map from the data. This method is much more useful compared to using a graphic of a map because it allows the information to be more flexible.

The "0" represents space that can be walked through and the 'x' represents space that cannot. If you'll notice the layout goes:

item x item 0 item x item

the '0' would be the actual 'aisle'

We had a bit of a problem with the spacing of the matrix because the default for each 10 pixels, so I went back and sent the parameters for slightly smaller in areas. Hopefully, this will solve the spacing issue. I also put RGB values on all the categories to color code everything. Then next step is setting the algorithm...we'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Multimedia message

Steampunk work in progress

GUI for Processing

In response to Francesca's post here is a little sample of a GUI that can control x parameters by simply feeding the value of the sliders into whatever you need to change. Thanks Anton for integrating Zoog with Handles:-)
For now only the first two slides do something (change the size of the head) but you can download the source, open it in Processing and assign the other sliders to change color, position or whatever you want in your project. For example in the code:
ellipse(300,70, handles[0].length * 2, handles[1].length *2); handles[0] (the first handle) changes the size of the head in the X dimension and handles[1] in the Y
The reason it is multiplied by 2 is simply to extend the range since in the original code the handles are only giving values from 0 to 89 which was too small a change for the head. Experiment with that. Enjoy

This browser does not have a Java Plug-in.

Get the latest Java Plug-in here.

Source code: Handles_Control

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fragile Bones

I just recently finished a new multimedia piece. This project won a university-wide competition at UF last week and it is now in a national competition against 160 other universities.

I'm hoping to get some feedback from you guys. So, when you watch it, think about if it makes sense. Like, what questions do you have? What did the piece not answer? and what do you want to know more about? Was it for a reason? Thanks everyone!

For better viewing, click on "vimeo" on the bottom right-hand corner and follow the link.

Fragile Bones from Jeremiah Stanley.

project update

I have been exploring making my own drawing tools within Processing that are similar to certain imaging editing programs but more custom to what I want to do. The following compositions were made very simply using the mouse and is less than a page of code. The idea is similar to an example on the Processing website. The actual drawing tool is a flower with five petals. I would like to add a GUI that would allow me to simply change the size of the ellipses and the range of colors. Any help would be appreciated.

Project Status Update

This is my project description and update:

A lot of people maintain a daily journal. Although emotion can be inferred from the journal text, it still remains indirect.  Moreover, the trend in emotional change over a period of time remains hidden in the words and cannot be recognized.
 We don't really  keep track of our emotions directly. We keep track of events, problems, people, desires, dissapointments, etc wherein emotion is implicit.
For example, if one decides to be happy for a month, there is no objective way to test it.  Compounding the problem is the fact that we are ourself deluded about our own emotional state at times.
This tool will help by directly monitoring the emotional state in the speech while the user records his/her journal.

This is the workflow of my project

And every week, month a trend report will be generated highlighting the shift in emotion for the period concerned. A weekly report will look something like this:

This is work in progress. I am able to record voice, and convert speech to text after adaptation of speech grammar for a particular user. There is a shortage of good quality speaker independent speech recognition software in open source community, therefore my software will not be speaker independent. And there would be a training time for each user to properly convert speech to text.
The part of speech emotion recognition is still incomplete because I am waiting for my other class to cover some of the tools I will need for it!
I am using C++ on linux to code the software and GNUPlot to plot the trend graphs. Luscher test is going to be an optional feature for the project unless I get the book with color plates to implement it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My project - Learning java script

A large part of my project is using script in a Web site. I've spent a lot of time lately trying to learn this. At the beginning of the semester Arturo said to pick a project using something you're already familiar with and expanding it with something you're not familiar with. I chose to build a Web site, which I'm familiar with HTML and CSS, and then expand my knowledge by learning to script as well.

I bought a Web site for my daughter (she's 4) to keep the family updated with new stuff as well as give her her own Web site she might need for whatever one day. I played around with some javascript and made a gallery of images using it. I'll be using some of this same script for my project. So, I just wanted to show the class some of what I've been working on lately as far as my project goes.

Art in Images

Like most of us in the class, art is an important part of my life. Also like most of us in the class, imagery is often the centerpiece of that art. I generally do photojournalistic/documentary photography which is generally less "arty" (except for following the basic principles of composition, lighting, framing etc.), but as a hobby I dabble in the art photo world which allows for much more manipulation.

I found this video that I really liked a lot. Not only does it show a cool way of physically manipulating photos, but it does it without verbally saying one word. There is some text, but the majority of information comes from imagery itself. I just thought the class would appreciate it.


I have been working on my matrix for my grocery store to create the algorithm for the navigation and shortest/quickest route. It's too big to post. I created it in excel and it's about 13 pages long. The grid is 25x90. I used a "0" for spaces that one can walk through and an "x" for blocked paths.
The other fields have the name of the categories (dairy, produce, beer, wine, etc.) This is just a general layout of the store. Just to see if we can get it up and running. Later I will add the specific items and hopefully the entire inventory. I believe I now need to put it in csv form. I'm working on that now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I wanted to post the MIDI version of Hymn to Joy, and MP3, of the same, after I added the Harmony part to it. But I don't know if and/or when it's going to process or successfully upload. So far it's processing... if it does, I will post it. Otherwise, I'll bring my computer with me Tuesday, and perhaps I can get help as to uploading this.
Is it possible to upload PDF file? If so, how?
I'm thinking of computers as making your life so simple when everything works, but so frustrating when it doesn't! So if you don't see or rather hear my post before Tuesday, it will mean I misearbly failed... But I will be proud at least that I tried!

A question

Hey everyone, I'm working on a part of my solar visualization that I may need some help with - I want to input an address and receive latitude and longitude for the location. I know you can do this with google maps and I will need some sort of API, but before I messed with it too much I thought I would ask as I saw a few other projects that already had something similar. Maby it's too complicated to explain on here but I thought I'd ask anyway.

This site shows how to get lat and long from google maps:

Friday, March 12, 2010

the 250 dollar cube that I can make for less than 50

I was on the internet trying to see if I can get my plexi cut somewhere... and to my surprise I found this Ralph Lauren Puzzle cube, which is basically almost exactly what I intended to do in the beginning. I don't know if you guys remember the wooden cube I made as a prototype, and I explained to Arturo that it was going to be out of plexi... Well here it is. I was so mad when I saw it because I changed my project thinking that It was too simple, and now I see it online for 250 dollar. I can literary make this for less than 50 dollars - 30 dollar max.


The colors I am planning to use for the project are yellow, green, blue, and red.
Unfortunately, I was not counting that Magnum Wood, the supply store, was going to be close for the break, so I can't provide you with an image of the colors I am going to be working with. But here is an image of colored plexi I got from google:
To glue plexi together, you need to sand the edges till they are straight and smooth to create a better bond. If the pieces you are gluing together are already smooth and when put together make perfect contact, you don't have to sand it. Then with a syringe or a weld-on applicator, apply weld-on 3 (liquid) r weld-on 16 (gel). I particular like the liquid one because, if carefully done, the joint is seamless. The gel one is easier to use but it leaves a very rough joint. I usually use a mask to apply the weld-0n, since is quite toxic. Gloves are also recommended.
weld-on applicator

To cut plexi I use an Olfa plexi cutter (I don't know any other tool that can be used by hand). Make sure to cut the plexi on top of a cutting mat or a surface that you don't care damiging. Also, use a straight ruler all the time while cutting. This is very important because if you free hand the cut, the Olfa is most likely to slide and you can seriously cut your hand.
Plexi cutter

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beethoven's Hymn to Joy-visualization of single melody score

This is the second attempt. If it duplicates, excuse the repetition. I've turned around so many programs to get to be able to display this in its current format.
What I have here is the visual component of the single melody score. Now I will be so grateful if anyone could tell me how to insert the sound as well, knowing that I will have it available as MP3 format.
Of course for this and other music scores visualizations on my website it's going to be much clearer than here, for I will have to only go from TIFF to Photoshop, whereas this blog does not accept TIFF so I had to go from TIFF to Power Point, from Power Point to JPEG... and last from JPEG to this blog!
I enjoyed the reading of all posts, I found especially funny the one with the social interactions clothing, this is hilarious... Good luck to everyone with your projects and Happy Spring Break. A la prochaine!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When organisms sing...

Did you know that hydrogen emits a sound? So does oxygen and other elements that I can't spell. This video is about bringing art, science, and engineering into a new age of math, science and art. I am impressed! I really like the fact that by using such technology it could help advancing medicine.

My Site Map

This is my site map. I meant to post it earlier, but kept forgetting. Please leave me feedback. I have started my mock ups, which further explain some of the details a site map cannot.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Smile. You are in...Pain!

Although this is really a pain in the butt (OK, in the nape!) there is a lot of truth in the fact that training a depressed person to smile has great benefits for both the affected individual and those that must interact with him/her. See for yourself.

Tools for Improved Social Interacting from Lauren McCarthy on Vimeo.

ConceptDraw and Need a drawing program for Mac

ConceptDraw (specifically the MindMap component) is the software I'm using to design my site map. You can download a free 30 day trial here.

Does anyone know of an easy to use drawing program for Mac? It can either be open source or something with a trial.


I have found a video on TED that is related to this week's reading! Personally every time I think about simplicity, I think about IKEA (the furniture store). Even the assembly sheet to put together the furniture are simple, without any words allowing young children to be able to complete the task. If the technology world could learn from them to make all the gadgets really simple to use that would be great. I usually go for the simpler alternative every time that it is available. I think that simplicity is important particularly that perception is a factor that varies for each individual but I do think that there is a common ground.

To Rise Above Yourself

Ever since Juan Sebastian Elcano from 1519-1522 circumnavigated the world for the first time, humans have taken the challenge of sailing, flying and even walking (David Kunst) around the earth. Bertrand Piccard talk about his next project is, I think, a great inspiration that we can all put to use in our own personal endeavors. I think his metaphors are accurate and what I like most about them is that they don't stay in that realm but are actually acted upon to become realities and shape history, the way all circumnavigators have done before.

Quick Project Update

I'm just going to write a quick project update. I put together a site map for my Facebook application that is in the spoke wheel layout.

I was looking at Yelp to get some ideas of things I maybe missing as well as seeing how they lay things out. Yelp is a Web site where consumers can generate content from restaurants to religious organizations. The content is usually reviews, but images can be posted as well.

From looking at Yelp's Web site, I realized I need to add a few categories to my application. For example, under arts and entertainment they have the following categories: Arcades, Art Galleries, Botanical Gardens, Casinos, Cinema, Jazz & Blues, Museums, Music Venues, Performing Arts, Professional Sports Teams, Psychics & Astrologers, Social Clubs, Stadiums & Arenas, and Wineries. I'm not sure I need to add such an extensive list, but I definitely am going to need to expand some of the areas of the Facebook application and the site map accordingly.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fractions of a Second: An Olympic Musical

It is interesting how even the New York Times, prodded by falling number of subscribers looks to present data in a way that can truly add to your experience. In this very simple "audiolization" they convert time data in a fun way that our senses can clearly understand. It is apparent from this forage into creative data visualization that the makeup of their work force is actually being renewed. Click on the title of the post to go to the permalink.

Benjamin Rusnak

I first spoke with Rusnak before a tip to Guatemala last year while I was doing a story on sanitary water with the poor, in a city called Zacapa. He works for an organization called Food for the Poor. A christian-based international charity out of south Florida that works in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The charity uses his images to help fundraise and raise support. He doesn't get paid much. In fact, he shoots weddings on the weekends to supplement his income. But he does it because he wants to make a difference in the world. He wants to do something good with his talents. He's one of the best in the world at what he does and his images of poverty are very real and honest. Anyway, here's a few of his images. Click to his site to see more.

First version of the UVisual

Hello. I deployed the first version of my project (universal visualizer) on the web. Currently it has limited functionality, yet it is possible to use it to fetch images from the flickr and organize them in a sequence of "items".
The page is divided on three sections: top-left, top-right, and bottom-center.
Top-left block has a table of items that can be sorted. Every item may be considered as a "point" in the presentation. When you click the item, the editor of the properties for this item will be open in the top-right block. You can make changes and save them by clicking "update" button. Additionally, in the top-left block you can press the "preview" button to start the "visualization" of the currently selected item. The visualization takes place in the bottom-center block. In the final version there will be an option to run the presentation in the "production" mode, so the user will see only the "visualization" itself - without editors.
Comments and questions are appreciated.

Choreography or the dance in the mind

(As my other post finally appeared, I am copying what I tried to post here)

The reading about choreography was interesting. The images that come with it simply marvelous. I always consider dancing as one of the most beautiful forms of art. I find the work of the choreographer between similar the the one of a maestro. But the difference that I usually acknowledge is that the choreographer needs to visualize the art in the mind. Then I think that even the dancers need to be able to represent what the choreographer has in mind and be able to work as a group to demonstrate it. While musicians can simply play together it is rarely possible for dancers to deliver a beautiful results without knowing each other then having a visual conception of the rendering.

One of my favorite dance is Haitian folklore. It is a dance through which what is the true Haitian culture shows in force. Choreographers need to be detailed as many type of Haitian folkore can be differentiated by some movements. I have posted a video of one of our famous choreographer Jean Guy Saintus.

A Robot solo piano player improviser?

I am wondering if, like AARON, an artificial intelligence software that would be programmed to improvise acoustic piano solo, which I love, could do a similar task on playing music. I mean composing music with obeying and understanding orders such as minor = sad, slow, calm, etc... or program it on major that would be equal to joyful, fast, exciting, etc... No doubt if this does not exist yet, someone will invent it pretty soon. The unique factor, however, that would render it similar to AARON is that everytime it plays it would play a new piece, a new improvisation, so you would never hear the same tune twice. And on the other hand, doing this would be of any value in music? In visual painting, renewing is valuable for it stays, you can actually take a picture of every new production.
Just thoughts...
This AARON thing was so inspiring... Plus 30 years working on such a project, that's like the biggest challenge ever!...

Another post on Future of Digital Studies Conference

I also attended the Futures of Digital Studies Conference with Francesca over this past weekend. As you have probably already read the conference was maligned by some technical problems, though from what I could tell not the fault of Digital Worlds, and in true new media theorist fashion the conference goers quickly re-appropriated these technical issues as grounds for further theorization.

As much as I enjoy the lofty discussions and theorization on what all this "digital stuff" means to us as a culture, in tongue and cheek, I came to the realization that anyone could write a critical discourse on new media by following this simple formula. 1)combine antithetical statements with 2) made up words and 3) sprinkle with digi- or techno- prefixes and suffixes.

To cope with the reverberating feedback coming over the speakers Francesca and I took turns adding words to a page to write our first discourse on New Media. Here it is:

We incorporate the incorporeal personal meta-verse through electro-plate tectonics with bipartisan unilateral machinic politics in order to augment dematerialized techno-cultural
holons. Technopaganism cross-polinates Norse-Luddism to create hypertextualility in
context of finitely disembodied passively proactive emotional cyber conversion. Ipso facto
digital genitalia converges stationary nomadism's radically pro-viral paleo-conservative
agenda with pseudo-Foucaultian phallic decentering.

Hope you all enjoy it and keep adding to it in the comments!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Future of Digital Studies Conference

I attended the Future of Digital Studies Conference at Digital Worlds on Saturday. Speakers included Lev Manovich and Janet H. Murray. These things depend on interaction and accessibility. I feel like the immersive environment of the screen is not being used creatively enough. The format of a conference like this is no more inventive than the video conferences of the 90s. Why not have more creative visualizations? Why not have users or conference attendants submit a few questions or statements electronically beforehand?

The conference itself had some technical issues. But I was more struck by how abstract all of the thinking and statements were. These theorists seemed more afraid of the implications of technology than really even wanting to understand it. I was wondering if they could benefit from some more solid grounding on how computers work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Question of Art

Aaron, with Decorative Panel, 1992

"AARON would always need to know what it was doing, and the key to what it would be able to do would always be constrained by the ways it would represent, internally, what it had already done. "

For those of you unfamiliar with the work of AARON, let me first show you some examples of the work, and ask yourself this often asked question: but is it ART?

Meeting on Gauguin's Beach, 1988

Liberty and Friends, 1985

Theo, 1992

(Detail) One of the Young Ladies Grew Up ans Moved to Washington. 1980

When you feel that you have satisfactorily responded to your own question go ahead and meet AARON.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

visualization tool - need feedback

Hi everyone!

After today's class I realize that I might need more feedback from others to complete my short paper and to tweak my project. Since I am actually creating a tool, I want to know what you guys see as problems with image editing programs. Are the options in them too varied? Does the machine ultimately have too much control of your image? Are you an author or a co-author?

I have a problem with how image editing programs work. Most of them seem to revolve around editing photos, not creating new works of art. While, I use Photoshop to present and "clean up" finished drawings, I rarely use it as a tool for creating compositions. Does anyone else have this problem? It does not really serve me as an artist. It seems like you have to adapt to them, rather than they suit your needs. I am creating a program/software/application that can organize and reconfigure my own artwork, sort of like a new collage tool. Simplicity is key for me. I want to create new work from my own sketches.

I want it to be more intuitive and easy to use, Perhaps one day another artist would want to work this way with their own artwork. Or, I could easily collaborate with other artists by combining my artwork with theirs. What would you like to be able to do?

Organizing form and functionality

I am beginning to design the kaleidoscope digitally (Rhino and 3DMax), and after making various iterations and compositions with triangles, this is the composition I chose.

Of course this six triangles can rearrange differently. You can also rotate them

Color Bounce

I am making a kaleidoscope out of reflective, translucent, and colorful surfaces. After experimenting with reflection (previous post), I wanted to manipulate the color, so i made various sketch models. Only one of the surfaces has color, the rest is actually its reflection mixing with other colors.