Fabrication Week #5 – Two Materials – Copper Pipe & Cellophane

I really wanted to work with copper pipes and chose to use iridescent cellophane, a material that contrasts it tough, industrial feel. I bought a 10 foot piece of pipe from the hardware store, street tees, and a pipe cutter. I used glue for the pipe connections and to attach the cellophane and also tape to keep the cellophane in a conical end so it tapers down.

When I cut the pipes I smushed the ends and then needed to hammer them back into place to fit into the street tees.

I’m interested in expanding on this and doing a maze like sculpture incorporating light and sound.

 

Fabrication Week #6 – Motors – Rotating Light

I initially wanted to work with a drone and hide it within a paper lantern so I bought a kit on Amazon. I was able to put it together so it worked but it was so tricky to control it, I decided to switch directions.

 

I found a motor in the junk shelf and decided to work with that:

At first I put the rubber cap on top because it fit snugly, but then realized anything I attached to it wouldn’t rotate. I tried to stick a piece of wire into a cork and glue that to the cap but that wasn’t successful, so I decided to stick the wire directly into the encasing.

Continue reading “Fabrication Week #6 – Motors – Rotating Light”

Whale Theremin Installation Final

placeholder://

The final test was a success!

Everything went smoothly but I made 2 changes in the final play test.

I made the light source for the photosensors candles instead of lamps which have a more focused light emanation and add to the overall sensory experience.

I tested 4 waterproof speakers and none of them sounded good enough so I’m using speakers outside the box. Visually I couldn’t make it look good with the speaker submerged this time around.

Schematics:

Whale Theremin Update (still drafting post) 12.10.17

My original idea has been transformed a few times over the past few weeks but has retained the original concept as far as working with organic material, sound and triggers that don’t involve direct touch to be activated.

I worked on the circuitry and code for the Whale Theremin to get the sound and effects triggering with 2 photosensors and a button.  Once the basic code and circuitry were working, I shifted my focus to trying to get the Adafruit Capacitive Touch Shield working to trigger organic materials that are conductive such as a fruit or plant.

2024-00

For some reason this proved to be very buggy and I spent too much time trying to make it work, it would sporadically read the sensors, I caught it when it momentarily worked below.

I then decided to try to get this to work longer wouldn’t be a wise use of my time and I decided to order the Adafruit Capacitive Touch break out instead, which was relatively smooth to set up and start a reading from.

sensors_1982iso_ORIG

I decided however that I really wanted to work with plants and midi, so it was more of a reading of the state of the plant’s microelectrical currents than just on and off.

I tried to model the galvonometer from MIDISprout’s circuitry. They have a more complex system that includes a potentiometer that effects specific parameters within MIDI and corresponding LED lights that I wasn’t interested in at this moment, my main objective was to show how plants electrically/energetically have reactions to touch / the environments around them and to have that translated into MIDI and then sound. http://support.midisprout.com/index.php?topic=8.0

At Tom Igoe’s advise, I attempted to replicate just the galvonometer aspect of the circuit and to make a more straightforward MIDI communication. I spent several days on this and was unable to get the galvonometer to work properly.  This is something I definitely want to revisit in the future and get to work.

I then chose to re-focus my attention onto the whale theremin coding and fabrication further and table both of the touch sensors until the theremin felt complete. There were a couple places that I had problems with my code and Jim, Chino and Mathura (*insert last names*) were very helpful in explaining certain hiccups in my code and/or offering help on how to execute certain functions successfully.  I expanded on the visuals in p5 including mapping the 3 color channels to the 2 light sensors. red is mapped to photosensor 1, green to photosensor 2 and blue to both of them. Leon (*insert last name*) helped me execute this properly.

FABRICATION & EXECUTION

There has been some challenges with the construction of the piece mainly since I chose to project on top of the water. Water is very heavy and obviously damaging around electronics. I envision this project to be at a larger scale projecting onto a larger body of water, but currently I’m using a 12 x 12 x 12 acrylic box for now. I’ve lined the seams with DAP Flexible Clear Sealant and have ordered a project box that will sit underneath the box where the arduino will be housed. The photosensors will be on either side of the box.

I found the best remedy for using photosensors and a light projection that requires a darker room is using 2 flashlights, also making the photosensor readings more accurate.

I might switch to distance sensors, as recommended by Tom, but my priorities now are getting the fabrication and execution running as smoothly as possible. I haven’t had that much difficulty with the photosensors because of the constraint function in the P5 code and the relative ease of calibrating according to the light level in a particular room as well.

AUDIO OUTs

I’ve done a lot of research with various waterproof speakers and have ordered 3 now, the smaller one works best so far but is not powerful enough for this amount of water. The most powerful one cuts out when it’s underwater for too long, so I have a 4th one on its way that is supposed to be very powerful and is aesthetically in line with the overall piece.

I figured out how to do a multi speaker out from a macbook and think I’d like to have an audio output inside the water and also outside the water for increased sonic immersion.

USER TESTING FEEDBACK & SPEAKER LOGISTICS

I had the plant present during user testing to see the feedback with it included and everyone suggested using the plant for another project. I’m still interested in triggering the plant through underwater sounds and vibrations but probably will not use whale sounds or imagery.

I was attempting to use my own projector for the playtesting but was unable to and the internet kept going out. For my ICM class in the afternoon I was able to successfully project the water onto the surface of a fish tank and have the theremin trigger the sounds and colors, unfortunately I don’t have documentation because i was making sure everything was running smoothly.

The main feedback I got was how to make the speaker could look good and not interfere with the whale projection, Fanchi suggested netting so it would look more aquatic and it wouldn’t muffle the sound. I purchased a white speaker, since I’ll be making the bottom of my box white for optimal projection, so it can blend in as much as possible. That speaker should be arriving tonight. Another Idea I have is to put a layer of white cotton material on top so the sound can go through but the projection still has a smooth white surface.  The speaker also needs to be weighted down so it stays at the bottom of the tank. I think I will be using rocks to do so.

THINGS LEFT TO DO:

  • wait for final fab materials to come in and make final construction: arduino box, lights for the photosensors, alternate waterproof speaker, netting for speaker,
  • include schematics
  • update blog further with work process
  • test out new speaker and multi speaker configuration
  • test water in box, make sure nothing is leaking
  • apply Maptastic to my p5 sketch so that it projects to the exact dimensions of water surface
  • test projection in new container with Maptastic applied

Alternate water holder if acrylic box doesn’t work:

This would need to be set up near the sink in the kitchen.

Whale Theremin – Playtesting


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/246055784″>Whale Theremin – Playtesting</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user2116950″>Nire</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/246146851″>Whale Theremin Playtest 2</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user2116950″>Nire</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Temporalia


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/245654112″>ORCHID LAVA 2a</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user2116950″>Nire</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

I chose to work with some of the orchids that mimic animals, insects and people for this After Effects animation.  I’m fascinated and have a great amount of respect for plant medicine and wisdom and feel as though these orchids provide a cosmic joke and secret if we look closely enough. All people worldwide originally had a strong relationship with nature and knowledge of what plants can do for people, that we’re now greatly severed from.  One idea / theme I’m interested in exploring more is the relationship of death and the dead in the US.  It’s very taboo and I think causes a certain type of neurosis in the culture.  This animation is a baby creation story and a small narrative of how living beings are temporal and constantly surrounded by their mortality and frequently a few degrees from death more than we care to think about, yet the orchids (beings) are able to have fun despite this.