« Posts tagged electronics

Solar Singers Return

I was awarded a Scholarly and Creative Activities seed grant of $2000 to support the production of up to 300 autonomous units that I talked about in my research in a post from 2010.We will be able to produce a wide number and range of these units which would are stable enough to withstand normal climate changes. I want to install the work in outdoor locations for extended periods of time.  The grant is going to really help with the costs of this project; I am most excited about hiring research assistants from my advanced students.

I wasn’t sure why I wanted to install these in the natural setting until I had a few more experiences living with the work. I was living amongst a limited number (ten or so) of the autonomous singers and I began to notice some interesting phenomena.

The song from ten of these units was really complex. It shifts through alignment and interference of the signals and create a complex set of rhythms. An electronic musician was visiting the studio one night and we had a very interesting discussion about the how work exhibits the basics of emergence theory . My second observation is that throughout the day the chirps emitted change as the angle of the sun/shade, clouds, etc. would move by. This emergent chorus shifts with the environment; the changes create a soundscape that is directly tracking the movement of time and really resonated on physical level. It is an ecosystem of input and response emerging. It is very strange and wondrous, you can feel this deeply and intuitively.

touchstone on the Bosphorus

my collaborator, James Stone and I are back from the trip to present touchstone at the ISEA2011 in Istanbul. the trip was incredible as you might imagine.

At the workshop, we taught the participants skills in a a hands on workshop to build a wearable audio technology, Touchstone. The Touchstone is a mobile and tactical media broadcast platform worn on the hands of performers and activists. Touchstone is a strategy for contesting the urban/performance landscape rather than a product.

The technology of Touchstone is built upon audio exciter circuits embedded in gloves which transform the hands of an agent into broadcast transmitters. Touchstone agents activate objects as temporary/ad-hoc public address systems, by simply pressing their palms against it. Touchstone is a discrete technology platform: (1) it is virtually invisible on the garb of a performer/agent and (2) it is light and flexible; agents or performers can easily move (or escape).

the community in Istanbul and ISEA were a bit reticent in organizing as a group to go out on the streets, so we took the rigs on a ISEA cruise of the Bosphorus and demonstrated the idea.


I attended 2010 ZERO1 SJ Biennial as a visitor and spectator. I decided to try to capture as much as possible to bring back to Pensacola. In order to foster this I tried to design a set of mobile broadcast tools in order to record the events and interviews. I purchased a new mobile camera built into a ear worn bluetooth module called Looxcie. I also designed and built a shoulder mounted remote controlled tilt-pan web cam the shouldercam. this is an wearable adaptation of accelerometer controlled pan-tilt unit.

the first design was to build a shoulder pad—sort of like a piece of armor, but I found it too complicated trying to quickly design a harness.

I then realized I could build it into the shoulder strp of my backpack that I would undoubtably wear when I was out.