Posted tagged ‘practical’

Practical solutions

March 3, 2010

I don’t think I realised how worried I was becoming about the need to learn a load of electronics, using the Arduino, Processing and connecting up all the potential sensors, not until I realised how relieved I was at hearing of alternatives that might work just as good if not better.

I attended Leon’s electronics workshop and spoke to a previous student a day before about my aims and they both suggested Video tracking as a solution. This sounds perfect! The potential is huuge.

Also, I got a quote back from a company about a matrix array sensor – guess how much…$3000 – $4000!!!! lolol yeh I know.

Ok so back to the solution, I found some really cool examples of video tracking in conjunction with Flash which is how Leon suggested it be used. The ones on this page are more like games but with a bit of editing could do the trick: http://www.discombo.co.uk/cam-experiments.htm

Also because it uses ActionScripting (which I at least recognise) it might be more realistic for me to pick up in practice.  As this practical prep is taking up much of my time I find myself blogging less. However, there’s a lot going on in this brain of mine (only some of it daydreaming) so here’s hoping it comes together soon so that I can go back to the aesthetics of the work and spend a good amount of time on that again.

Another idea

January 16, 2009

I’ve been thinking about how I can take my experimentation and pattern-making to the next level. I have my mid-point review coming up in March and need to start making some significant progress otherwise I won’t be making the most of it. Plus the way I see it, the more work I do now the more I can develop my ideas and learn from my mistakes and early prototyping which should then lead to something much stronger at the end.

In the next few weeks I’m planning to make a small interactive installation which basically consists of a circuit of lights (LEDs) on a grid where the user can switch them on and off to then produce a pattern. The control of the lights would be through another grid of buttons that correspond with the lights on the other board. Each button would control the corresponding lights – turning them on or off.

I was trying to imagine how the user would react to this piece. Would they know what to do with the buttons/lights? Or would they need to be told. Then I realised that the user is not going to have a clue what this grid of lights is and will just start playing with it. What if they create any type of image out of the lights, random doodles, shapes, anything? Why would they assume it had anything to do with patterns? And how would I restrict their use of the device and therefore make it related to my actual subject of Islamic patterns?

Well, whilst discussing the practicalities of making the piece with Kenji (full time student) who knows a bit about electronics, I realised there was a way to not only restrict the user from doing something completely of their own accord, but also make them aware of some characteristics that make up an Islamic pattern. I don’t want to give the game away just yet though as I want my fellow students to figure it out for themselves when it comes to the mid-point review. I’m hoping to have this ready by then.

I’m really looking forward to this! Let’s just hope that it actually works when the time comes!

Reprimand

January 4, 2009

I’ve had 3 weeks off from uni and most of my fellow students (from what I hear) have been using this time well – it’s had the opposite affect on me. I said to myself I would do loads of research and practical work in those three weeks. But no, I have done nothing!

I do actually have a good excuse – we’ve had builders in the house for the last two months and yes they are still here and all my stuff is in boxes or bags and nothing is easily accessible except for my laptop and food of course. That excuse aside I could have done loads of online research instead. So I’m not going to let myself off.

I started 3 new posts and they are still in draft mode. One was about Arabic Calligraphy – but a brief explanation of this is not enough and so I started doing deeper research and now I’m not sure where to cut it off.

Another post was supposed to be a general overview of what Islamic Art is – a sort of definition and redefinition. Personally I don’t think Islamic Art is perceived as it should be. This post wasn’t finished due to the fact that I once again couldn’t make it a brief or even remotely healthy sized and decided that before I could start on such a heavy topic I’d have to explain the general perception first and then my own in probably two separate posts.

The third post was just a random rant about how one of my ideas for creating a lampshade (with laser cut patterns) isn’t original at all (visit to B&Q very much confirmed this). I decided not to post this even though it was quite finished – because I later felt it sounded lame. I’m still in two minds about it. Is any idea ever original? (Giant debate opens up with the post flooded with opposing views) – Hence better to leave it be?

I think I need to set short term goals for myself. My next step is to do some more experimental patterns using the traditional compass and straight edge (circles around circles grid) approach. I won’t let myself do another post until that is done and that post has to show what I’ve done so far. If I break this pledge to myself someone better tell me off.