Recent Projects

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Ten Thousand Cents is a digital artwork that creates a representation of a $100 bill. Using a custom drawing tool, thousands of individuals working in isolation from one another painted a tiny part of the bill without knowledge of the overall task. Workers were paid one cent each via Amazon's Mechanical Turk distributed labor tool. The total labor cost to create the bill, the artwork being created, and the reproductions available for purchase (to charity) are all $100. The work is presented as a video piece with all 10,000 parts being drawn simultaneously. The project explores the circumstances we live in, a new and uncharted combination of digital labor markets, "crowdsourcing," "virtual economies," and digital reproduction.

 

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Bringing back the WPA (Work Projects Administration), because the US Government won't.

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This project will examine where the production of contemporary electronic music engages with
informal economies and transnational distribution networks, with a specific focus on the Mexican
cumbia sonidera scene along the East Coast such as Passaic, NJ. Although thriving, with dozens of parties each month in the NYC area alone, this scene has been ignored by both English- and Spanish-language media. Its locally-produced music enters, almost immediately, into highly fluid global routes of circulation. At parties, for instance, crowds give the DJ handwritten notes and text messages to be read on top of the music; these contain shout-outs to distant family, friends, and lovers. Afterward, the DJs sell live recordings of the night, which attendees then purchase and mail across the border (or hold onto as personal souvenirs).

I'm particularly interested in how these practices touch on aspects of memory and tangibility in the
digital age, transmissions across public/private space, new American-ness, and an emerging border discourse, often within non-internet-mediated "offline" digital communities.

Multimedia documentation (mixtape CD, poster, bilingual blog, video, etc) will explore the "invisible" cultural production, from the extremely local (bedroom studios in Passaic, NJ) to the transnational (bootleg distribution networks, international soundsystem circulation, piracy, and more), in such a way as to be useful to the 'sonideros' themselves as well as curious newcomers looking to learn more.

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SADbot (The Seasonally Affected Drawing Robot) is a solar powered, interactive drawing machine for the Eyebeam window gallery in New York City. It uses two 18.5'' x 13'' solar panels to power two stepper motors which allow the control of a pen in two dimensions.

SADbot also takes input from people walking outside, by using a set of sensors which can tell how much light they're getting (photocells) and putting them up against the inside of the window, SADbot knows if someone is covering up one of the sensors, and can change its drawing behavior accordingly.

The window gallery doesn't get any direct sunlight, so we set up an array of mirrors on the roof of Eyebeam to direct sunlight to a fixed mirror hanging off the roof to reflect light down to the solar cells in the gallery window. The solars cells, in turn, power the motors to run the drawing machine.

Some of the components and techniques we're using will go into Dustyn's book, Making Things Move, and everything will be documented and made open to the public. We are using open source platforms as much as we can (Arduino, Processing, Sparkfun's EasyDriver motor boards), so anyone that wants to can make their own SADbot.

Support SADbot on Kickstarter until June 30th: http://kck.st/azlbFp.  SADbot was in Eyebeam's gallery from June 10th - July 24th 2010.

SADbot on flickr: here, here, and here (or just search for the tag: sadbot)

Full project documentation in this Instructable and in project 10-3 of the book.

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This photo booth was created for the “Olympiad” mixer that took place on March 12&13th, 2010. The following materials were used for the curling stone hat:

  • Red & Silver Pleather
  • Batting – to give the puffy look in the silver area
  • Cardboard – to stiffen the vertical part of the side of the stone, to give shape to the red top
  • Stiff wire – to stiffen handle part
  • Glue gun – to stick top to metal stone

A person gets under the stage, sticks his head through the hole, and wears the curling stone hat. The other people stand on the stage either releasing the stone, or brushing. Group photo is taken! More photos are here on flickr.

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The Hip-Hop Word Count (HHWC) is a searchable ethnographic database built from the lyrics of over 40,000 Hip-Hop songs from 1979 to present day. The database is the heart of an online analysis tool that generates textual and quantified reports on searched phrases, syntax, memes and socio-political ideas.

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Joseph DeLappe reenacted Mahatma Gandhi's famous 1930 Salt March over the course of 26 days, using a treadmill customized for cyberspace. The original 240-mile walk was made in protest of the British salt tax; his update of this seminal protest march took place at Eyebeam and in Second Life, the Internet-based virtual world. For this performance, he walked the entire 240 miles of the original march on a converted treadmill at Eyebeam in New York City and online in Second Life. His steps on the treadmill controlled the forward movement of his avatar, MGandhi Chakrabarti, enabling the live and virtual reenactment of the march.

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Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists is being published by McGraw-Hill and will hit the shelves in the fall of 2010.  The book sprouted from a class I teach at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) called Mechanisms and Things That Move.  The main goal is to guide non-engineers through the process of designing and making things that move using accessible software, tools, off the shelf parts, and digital fabrication techniques.

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Lafiya Watson will be teaching middle school students from the Institute for Collaborative Education(ICE).

"Everyone has had perceptions and labels placed upon them, and often those labels are wrong. It is especially frustrating to deal with false perceptions when one is still in the process of figuring out his/her identity." Through a series of web art projects using Flash (online animation software) and Photoshop, this class gave students a chance to address and debunk those perceptions placed upon them, as well as embrace and create their own true sense of identity.

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Teaching artist Mariam Ghani worked with sixth grade students from School of the Future for two months in 2005 to produce sound, image and web projects that take explorations of the girls' family histories as starting points for personal investigations of historical events.