Sunday, February 27, 2011

1st Round of the Chance Project (Indeterminacy)

For my project, I create a musical composition with the use of Mario Composer, a free, open-source program downloadable for the PC and Mac. The program derives from a Super Nintendo video game, Mario Paint, which was a graphics painting program, just like Microsoft's Paint. The program includes musical well-known sound effects from the Mario video games, but has extended features and new notes not seen in the original.

I did previous work on Mario Composer in my ART 412 class, where we created a musical piece about a specific domestic technology (e.g. bottled water, blender, eyelash curler, etc.). Here's a sample of my work:

Bottled Water

So here's the process that it took to create the musical composition:

I relied on an online random integer generator, which gives out random numbers according to how many random integers you request, considering the limit is from 1 to 10,000 and the values limit from 1 to 1,000,000. I could have found another random integer generator or paid a premium subscription to generate larger quantities, but I decided not to for budget purposes, since I'll only be using it for just this project.

Now here's a diagram of how many notes and the number of rows that the composer have (Note: The Notes will represent X; Lines (Row Number) will represent Y, as importance for coordination of numbers later on):

And here are some visual descriptions of the sets of numbers that were given to me and the sets that generated these random numbers:

[The number of notes that are going to be in the composition (From 50-100), divided by 10 to make an average of 77 notes.]

[What notes will be chosen according to its designated note number (From 1 to 19). Repeated 2 times to have three combinations of notes in a column. Notes chosen across, starting from left to right, from top to bottom.]

Combo #1 (X1)

Combo #2 (X2)

[The locations the notes will be, according to its designated numbered row on the sheet music (From 1 to 16). Repeated 2 times, combos are assisted according to what set of integers are listed. Placed notes will follow row number, starting across from left to right, starting from the top to bottom.]

Combo #1 (Y1)

Combo #2 (Y2)

[The average of the tempo number (from 98 to 1000) divided by 10, equaling 593.6, rounding up to 594.]

-The song will last for about 30 seconds or more, regardless whether it repeats itself many times or doesn't get through the whole singular composition.
-All combos are appropriated a coordinate system, where (X,Y), X representing the designated note number and Y being the designated row number. [(X1,Y1), (X2, Y2)]
-I had to write down which combo coordinates will be used to get a better visual of what notes and rows are put into place.

I eventually wrote down the coordinates appropriate to the sets:

Combo #1:

Combo #2

So here is my finished work:

You can also check out what my partner did for my project:

Conclusions and thoughts:
-I realized that both the process and execution of the chance project took a very long time to create.

-The program is at times wonky, meaning that there will be times when the program suddenly makes an error and the program has to force you to shut it down and I'm careful to frequently save my song. It also effects if you have other programs on your desktop cause it will react to any stroke on your keyboard or movements and clicks of your mouse.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Computer History Museum Has A Youtube Channel

Our class were suppose to go to The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, but we didn't cause of transportation issues and how as a class were going to travel in unison. But as a digital way to somewhat experience the museum, it also has a Youtube channel, hosting a number of videos of conferences, stories about people involved in the history of computers, and lectures.

As for me, I'll post this video of Will Wright of The Sims fame, lectures about the history of game design.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My experience in Conceptual Strategies I on video and soon-to-be on Laserdisc

I started to record video of my ART 410 class with approval from Paula and here is a video of my extended body work being observed by the class:

I'm a pretty shy person and I don't like to be on the spotlight most of the time if you watched the video of me trying to explain my art work and just letting people have their say of my piece. There's so much I would like to say verbally, but most of the time, I shy away from that either because I can't compose by words well by voice, that I feel that my thoughts have already been said by other people, I think I said something wrong and people look as me stupidly, and many others things that I can't think right now (you see what I mean?).

Do I still need to present my work to a group of people so that they can get an understanding of my work? Well of course, that's part of my class grade, but if it wasn't required, I would be happier, but I'd feel that my all of my thoughts and labor into my art work were entirely pointless to make. I think that's what challenging about this class for me and my other art classes, presenting my work through verbal communication so that others can get a synopsis on what the piece is about rather than mindlessly reading everyone's artists statement.

But anyway, if you wanna watch that video and much more, I made a playlist of videos of most of the people's work:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2nd art project: Indeterminancy

So for my initial art project working with chance, I'll be using Mario Composer, which is a music free, downloadable application by clicking this link. I've previously used Mario Composer in my ART 412 class with Andy Cox, where I also created a musical piece that evokes whatever technology we chosen and the connections to other technologies, like bottled water, which I chose for my piece and you can check out the video here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dada and chance

Untitled (Collage with Squares Arranged according to the Laws of Chance)

Dada was a cultural movement during the early 20th century and was started in Zurich, Switzerland in response to WWI. The movement challenged the way art was fashioned and challenged these notions of what art is by creating non-traditional and experimental ways of artistic creation. Dada artists were known to use chance for their works of art and this shows an example of a piece done by John (Hans) Arp, with the title of the piece beside the work, which he tore rectangular pieces of paper onto a sheet and let them fall onto the gray paper, then pasting them to where they fell. The idea of using chance in art work gets rid of the process control and order over the artist. This idea correlates to the response in how colonialism and the social class that controls the economy and political world, as root causes of WWI.

John Cage performing on 'I've got A Secret'

The links I have provided below is a video and a blog post about John Cage performing an experimental composition piece titled, Water Walk on the CBS panel game show, "I've Got A Secret" in 1960. The show consists of a guest and a celebrity panel trying to guess what the guests' secret is, whether it be unusual, amazing, embarrassing, or humorous. The studio audience and the viewers at home are informed about the guest's secret via text on screen, but for Cage's secret, it was told that he was going to perform one of his musical compositions, later on listing the "instruments" he will be using are:

A water pitcher, an iron pipe, a goose call, a bottle of wine, an electric mixer, a whistle, a sprinkling can, ice cubes, 2 cymbals, a mechanical fish, a quail call, a rubber duck, a tape recorder, a vase of roses, a seltzer siphon, 5 radios, a bathtub, and a grand piano.

Unfortunately, he couldn't use the radios in which he originally intended due to two unions disputing over who would plug in the radios. Instead, he consented to smack the radios on the top as a sign of turning them on and pushing them off the table as a way of turning them off.

As you watch the video at around five minutes, Cage prepares for his performance and the host tells the viewer that Cage has a stopwatch, giving Cage the precise time to sequence the sound of the objects at the right time, making in no way to be accidental.

I find it interesting that considering the "instruments" he uses in this performance, they are pretty much everyday objects you can find in a domestic home and could almost be said that any object that makes a sound can have music quality to it. Cage still uses the technique of having the items make the sounds he wants in an composed order, almost like making music and putting the notes onto a musical sheet. To the listener, the performance sounds ludicrous, if you listen to the audience laughing during the performance.

Although Cage's performance here seemed non-traditional, in a sense, if actual musical instruments were to be played with the same form of organization he used, it would have almost sounded less ludicrous and be taken more seriously. It challenges the listener to think about how everyday objects can be "musical" at all, rather than the standard way of thinking a violin, for example is defined as a musical instrument.

John Cage performs Water Walk

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Free passes to museums, if you have a Bank of America debit/credit card

So if you wanna get free passes to museums in San Francisco, check out the link below, where you can find details on what qualifying museums and dates where you can get free admission on certain museums.

Museums on Us


Monday, February 21, 2011

More about my Extended Body (Gecko Adhesion)

So here's a visual description of what the nano-split end hairs would do on a surface of glass.

Basically, as the nano fibers are dragged down the glass surface, it creates an adhesion. The way to remove the adhesion is to pull the adhesion sticker perpendicular to the surface.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scientists working with technology and the body/life

A biologist working at UC Berkeley who is studying and researching on the dynamics of the foot and is trying to build the perfect model of the distributed foot for the robots of the future.

The BDML members contain the faculty, a group of students ranging from PostDoc, PhD, graduate, and undergrad, and visitors work at Standford University's Center for Design Research, part of the department of Mechanical Engineering. As of now, they are working on human-safe robotics, in collaboration with the Artificial Intelligence Lab and members of BDML are in development of an arm structure and energy-absorbing artificial skin for a low-inertia, high-power manipulator (in terms, an android-like human-robotic arm).

Picture of Human-Safe Robotics Arm in Development

The Extended Body Project

What I have done to my body is that I modified my fingers on my hands (assuming both left and right hands) to have what gecko toes have on their footpads.

They have a special adaptation of walking or climbing on on almost any surface, whether it be wet, dry, smooth, rough, hard, or soft. Having these types of fingers could help me with climbing or falling by slipping, even I were to hold myself against a wall, for example. The adhesion is active when I put tension onto a surface, it activates the setae on my fingers, creating a van der Waals force between the surface and the seate itself. On the surface of the gecko's feet, there are about 14,000 hair-like seate on the pads of the gecko, giving it better contact and more weight to climbing onto surfaces.

The adhesion doesn't work like duct tape where the adhesion is based on stickiness, but rather, it's the nano-sized strands of split-end hairs on the gecko's feet onto a surface and van der Waals force that create this stick. When the geckos drag their feet onto a vertical surface, the microfibers of those hairs stick due to the wall of course the gecko is moving rapidly so that it would not lose its balance and possibly fall down.

One of the greatest advantages of having gecko-like setae hairs on your fingers is that you could climb up walls without the use of a ladder or if you're a rock climber, don't need to rely on the basic equipment like a rope, carabiner, or a harness for example. Of course, one of the problems is that in order to efficiently use my modified gecko-like hands, I would need to have good upper body strength in order to climb up, since the gravity on Earth is pushing me down to the ground. Even for rock climbers, especially when they are climbing on high walls, they would probably need a quick rest after climbing for so long, so you still need those climbing equipment.


Monday, February 7, 2011

In The Year 2076 (Or 65 years from now)

As We May Think by Vannear Bush

So after reading this article from around 1945 and hearing what Bush had in mind on what sort of techs he believe were to come in he later years, I'm suppose to write about my predictions on what sort of technologies there will be 65 years in my time. Of course, assuming that there is a possibility that a 2012 apocalypse like-scenario will happen and that Ronald Emmerich will be true to his words on not making another movie involving disasters, rest assured we can still create a few predictions on what sort of technologies will be bound in the year 2076.

*There will be exceptions where instead of predicting what sort of techs will be available in the far future, I will be predicting what our society will have in terms of social constructions and hoe life would be like as well.

1) Movies: Many of us have watched movies by going to a place where many friends and strangers congregate to watch a movie in a public building with the necessity of the room to be dark and with the use of a movie projector via projector screen, in which we call it a movie theater. Now with the creation of VHS/DVD, many people can watch movies from their living rooms or personal spaces for example. Even with the recent inclusion of watching movies with an Xbox 360 and Netflix streaming service, you can watch movies not just with friends in you living room, but they too can watch it in their own rooms without going to your place. [Reference]

What could be possible for the future is to have movie studios to release movies without making it exclusive to watch at the theater itself and instead let people download or digitally rent the movie for a certain time. Many online services like Netflix, PlayStation Network, Amazon Online, Comcast OnDemand have the ability to give the user access to movies right in their homes. With that, the percentage of movie theatergoing would dramatically drop, jobs in the theater business would plummet at an all time low, and possibly the price to actually view the newly released movie on to your television could be risen, since the idea of watching a new movie at your place, one could gather many people and they wouldn't have to foot the cost of the movie purchase.

It takes the idea of creating a public area to have an area that is an ideal stage for movies to be shown and compacting it to your television and media device.

2) Instant Gratification, Impulse Buying, Downward Depression: Today, we now have so many choices in life, like which car to buy or which video game to purchase, the almost unlimited choices can fatigue us and cause us to lose control of our lives, making ourselves spiral into depression. People will start to have no self control over themselves because now that there is so much to choose, there seems to be almost no value at all for anything in life.

I can feel the same way when I want to purchase a video game at a Gamestop and as I look around the aisle, I see a wide variety of games that I could pick and bring home with me. the problem is that in my mind, I would want to buy all of the games on the shelf, but I'm also on a budget, which means I can a limited amount of money to purchase a couple of cheap games that are months old or the new game which cost the same amount as all of the cheap games combined. Just trying to decipher on what to get makes me mentally fatigued and eventually I give up on what to buy by leaving the store.

Of course, with the wide selection of tech that we can choose to purchase, it gets difficult to choose on our own, so we rely on magazine or online reviews to conclude on what to purchase. Even so, having an overload of tech that we can choose that will either give us the same result.

3) Movement of the Anti-Tech: With the ever expanding of how digitals devices and technologies like the iPod, smartphone, internet, video games, and much more have taken part or taken over our lives. We have many technologies that can possibly give us a way to interact with someone else digitally with little or no physical interaction. Of course, there is a faction of people who are aware of the tech surrounding our lives and believing that society would collapse unless we stop creating new technologies, but the problem is that with the help of consumerism, we are now pushing ourselves to create more tech that is supposed to better our selves, whether that is junk technology or useful technology.

The Slingbox for example, is where you can plug in your cable box, connecting it to internet broadband and broadcast television to all of your other electronic devices like your computer monitor or Blackberry. Whether the argument for the device to be considered useless is up for question, but lets call it junk tech for now.

As for useful tech, like a Dialysis machine, which helps people provide an artificial replacement for their own kidney failure. Eventually, people will become unsettled by the fact that the U.S. has become overloaded with tech, a civil war will break out, but not with as much bloodshed and violence that defines what a civil war means. Instead, a faction of people will become isolated from the future, that it will be harder to communicate with them, now that most of the tech will be digital and less analog.

My Initial Plans for the Extended Body Project

Now I've been looking for some visual video that shows how Gecko's can stick up to walls, considering that it's not necessarily "sticking" in terms of gum or glue, but rather the nano split-ends of hairs, or setae, that a Gecko has on its feet and with the power of intermolecular forces (van der Waals forces), it can literally walk of walls of glass, rock, and so much more. Even in the near future, robots might have the chance to use this technology with the help of fixing Gecko tape they might be able to reach on top of cliffs or mountains, making it easier for landscaping or even rescuing lost or injured hikers.

Gecko Adhesive in action w/ Wheeled Climbing robot

Of course, what I would like to do for this project where I can choose what I would like to improve on myself in terms of extending the use of the body is to have hands that can adhere to most surfaces without the use of surface tension (e.g. sticky tape, super glue).