Recent Projects

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Sound and The City

Students from the 2005-06 New Media Collaborative (NMC) Program explored their everyday environments and collected sounds that define the borders and cracks of our personal and collective experiences. By asking the questions, "What is sound? What is a city? What does your New York sound like?" Students from the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex led by teaching artist Daniel Perlin, created unique audio self-portraits and mapped shared experiences. They learned to make digital recordings and pieces detailing their impressions and perceptions of The City, as well how to put these recordings online. Along the way, they acquired skills for recording sound for film, radio and public broadcast, as well as digital editing and mixing.

 

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Generative Graffiti, 2006

An collaboration between Theo Watson and the Graffiti Research Lab, a particle based drawing system that spawns particles from the lit up windows of the Maritime Hotel. The particles are attracted to one another but will repel away from the non-lit windows.
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This project details a small & simple, but very powerful USB charger for your mp3 player, camera, cell phone, and just about any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge. It is designed to be a beginner's kit, a project that people will want to build (because of its functionality) and will learn about electronics, soldering, and basic power supply design. By directing people towards constructing their own gadgets, we can turn the American consumer cycle (desire-purchase-discard) into a more personalized experience (desire-purchase-build-learn): one which hopefully does not end with another piece of plastic in landfills.

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MidiSense is a simple, yet extensible sensor interface system for artists, musicians and others interested in experimenting with sensors. The MIDIsense boards provide a simple way to integrate various common sensors with existing software such as Max/MSP, Ableton Live, etc. or directly to a synthesizer/sequencer with a MIDI in jack. Interface boards are available as kits and (possibly) assembled. Graphical configuration/calibration software is written in wx/Python and will be available for Windows/Linux/Mac OS X. While there are other projects with similar functionality, this will be (by far) the most technically advanced, flexible & inexpensive

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The Art of De-Touch explores the manipulation of images related to the human form. Drawing photographs from existing online portfolio sites of professional re-touch artists this application allows a user to explore precisely how the images have been altered. Using Processing, an open source programming language and environment, before and after images are compared algorithmically pixel by pixel to generate visualizations of the alterations.

 

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Baltimore is a three-channel, DVD video installation that presents blaxploitation cinema as the provocative, controversial, culturally complex, and often humorous phenomena that it was, while critically commenting on it as a genre that continues to influence music and film.

The project originated while Julien was researching and teaching a film course in the African American studies department at Harvard. He subsequently produced a one-hour documentary about the 70's blaxploitation film phenomenon for the Independent Film Channel. However, he still wanted to create an installation that would take a more fictional and impressionistic approach to blaxploitation themes, and uses two characters: one to represent a 1970's analog world (Melvin Van Peebles, Director of Sweet Sweet Back's Baadasssss Song) and the other, the future of digital technology (Vanessa Myrie).

The installation consists of two environments. The first places the viewer in a documentary context: blaxploitation as cultural phenomena. The voices of director Quentin Tarantino, actresses Gloria Hendry and Pam Grier, and actor Fred Williamson stream from speakers in each of the room's four corners, bearing witness to the movement through stories of their own personal experiences. The second environment presents blaxploitation as critical commentary. A video tryptich portrays Vanessa Myrie, the character representing the future, entering the contrasting cultural/historical environments of Baltimore's Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the Walters Arts Museum, shadowed by the Van Peebles character, who represents the past. In the Wax Museum, Myrie passes the political and cultural icons of African American history, feeling the weight of what they represent. She then enters the Walters, haunted by the power of the paintings depicting the slave trade, feeling she is being pursued by an unknown assailant, or perhaps only a shadow of history, as she struggles to move into an independent future.

Baltimore marks Julien's first venture into creating digital effects for his work. After shooting on film and transferring his images to digital video, he worked closely with MID staff to create animated and composited special effects for his technologically mediated characters and backgrounds.

Baltimore was exhibited at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), in Liverpool, England in March 2003; it will also be presented in Eyebeam's 9,000 square-foot chelsea gallery space. The project was co-commissioned by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; Eyebeam; the Foundation for Art and Technology, Liverpool; and the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; in association with The Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Baltimore.

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As digital technologies become more embedded in everyday life, the line between the virtual and real is increasingly blurred. Delicate Boundaries imagines a space in which the worlds inside our digital devices can move into the physical world. Small bugs made of light, crawl out of the computer screen onto the human bodies that make contact with them. The system explores the subtle boundaries that exist between foreign systems and what it might mean to cross them.

This work was created with the support of Medialab Prado, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, and Hangar.

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Trevor Paglen's “The Other Night Sky” is a project to track and photograph classified American satellites in Earth orbit, a total of 189 covert spacecraft. To develop the body of work, Paglen was assisted by observational data produced by an international network of amateur “satellite observers.”

To translate the observational data into a useable form, Paglen worked with Fellows in the Eyebeam Production Lab, to develop a software model to describe the orbital motion of classified spacecraft.

With these tools, he is able to calculate the position and timing of overhead reconnaissance satellite transits and photograph them with telescopes and large-format cameras using a computer-guided mechanical mount. The resultant skyscapes are marked by trails of sunlight reflected from the hulls of obscure spacecraft hurtling through the night.

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Bill Dolson's Reentry Series uses multiple synthetic meteors to produce luminous, ephemeral drawings in the upper atmosphere. These drawings will persist for only seconds, at most minutes. The behavior of individual synthetic meteors will be similar to naturally occurring meteors. However, their composition and configuration will be controlled and intentional, exhibiting various elementary geometric relationships which will be obviously premeditated and systematic to any observer. The fact that these are deliberate drawings will be inescapable. The Reentry Series is one of several proposed series of dynamic environmental works which involve the synthesis and plastic use of otherwise naturally occurring, very large scale, time dependent visual phenomena.

The Reentry Series includes components of new media, conceptual and land art. Dolson's residency will be used to create a series of studies and visualizations for large scale works creating highly charged dynamic geophysical events including synthetic meteor showers, artificial cloud formations and large-scale fires. With some of the works meant to be viewed from above responding to the urban landscape, Dolson explores environmental processes or structures already modified by humans and manipulates those processes or structures in a fashion which makes recognition of our impact on the environment unmistakable.