I know what you are thinking. “I come to this blog to learn about making things blink, not get bummed out by health, politics, and economics.” And that’s fine. Writing this is maybe more an exercise for me than you. But my background and interests are pretty eclectic, and I’m using this as a chance to exercise parts of my brain that are directly relevant to the things that I am doing in class.
It’s been the better part of two years since I last wrote a post for this site. The reason for this travesty is that I took a job for an abusive employer. I was working 80 hours a week, often including weekends. The breaking point was when I caught my employer stealing leave.
As my experiences withing my chosen field of chemistry have been mostly negative, and since there is little opportunity for chemists in Austin, TX anyways, I have chosen to pursue a career in Data Science. After all, I already have a good handle on the math and the concepts. Might as well learn the code. And since most of the data science world works in Python, I can use that to sharpen my skills in TouchDesigner.
Continue reading “It’s Been a While. . . .”
I am writing this piece in response to a recent article on Glasstire.com. For those of you who are not aware of obscure websites that offer information and critique on the Texas art scene, Glasstire offers information and reviews of art openings, galleries, museums, and events within and adjacent to Texas.
The article, titled “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Meow Wolf,” is a scathing critique on the world of interactive art, focusing on Meow Wolf in particular, but extending itself to include Burning Man, festivals, and art fairs. The argument, essentially, is that Meow Wolf in particular, and interactive art in general, is not Art with a capital A, and that such installations are merely entertainment: “It’s fine. It works. It’s not art.” Continue reading “Is Interactive Art Actually Art?”
TouchDesigner is an extremely powerful and versatile tool for media and interactive art. I was introduced to this program by Tavia Morra, and got my first lessons in it from a workshop done by Daniel Schaeffer. More and more, I find myself gravitating towards making my interactive projects with it, particularly since it allows for just about any kind of trigger, and you can control huge numbers of LEDs via Artnet. Theoretically, you can control over 5.5 million LEDs via Artnet!
Continue reading “A Few Words on TouchDesigner”
So last post I gave a bit of an overview of how the FireFlower worked. Today, we’ll go into a little more depth about how it was made. Newsflash – I am terrible about documenting the things I work on, and so I will endeavor to do that better on future projects! The code for the two Arduinos will be posted to GitHub presently, and I will link them in an update soon, I promise!
Continue reading “The FireFlower: Some Technical Details”
The FireFlower represents my second fully self-designed interactive art project. It incorporates LEDs, color theory, propane flame effects, and an interactive puzzle game to trigger the effects. The project is made of steel and wood, uses a 30 gallon air compressor tank as a vapor accumulator, and is driven by two arduinos and a custom microprocessor. It debuted at Burning Flipside in 2016, and made an appearance at Burning Man the same year.
Continue reading “The FireFlower”
This thing was so much fun to work on! This was easily the most technologically advanced project I have had a hand in. Animations and effect triggering were handled on a laptop using TouchDesigner, with code developed by Tavia Morra and myself, and animations primarily designed by Tavia. Effects were triggered by a game called “Duck Duck Boosh” created by Tim Alexander. The flame effect physical layer was built by Tim, and the LED physical layer was built by me. Continue reading “The Quacken: Overview”