"Bounce Announce" Visualization Element

I've decided to take the Bounce Announce project and add visualization to it utilizing piezo sensors and processing. Every instrument will have a piezo trigger attached to it, that will be processed by Arduino and fed to a Processing visualization sketch.

On a projected backdrop, the effect should appear to be differently colored expanding concentric circles that originate from each impact point.

bounce announce visualization

Hooking an Electric Fence into an LCD Monitor

I found this half-dismantled LCD monitor o the junk shelf, and grabbed it because it looked pretty. After reading up on LCDs a bit, I had the notion that sending voltage through it might make for some interesting effects.

Since I've moved out of the country and don't have any use for my electric fence controller anymore, I hooked the thing up to the LCD and backlit. Just look at the trippy results.

"What's New at ITP" at the 10th annual Dust or Magic Conference

I had such a great time at Dust or Magic this year, and was so glad to be able to show the attendees what is being done at ITP in the field of Children's Interactive Media. A video of my talk is below.

My Thoughts About Facebook (For the Naysayers)

I've gotten rewarding freelance work through facebook referrals. I learned about, and conversed with, my future classmates over the summer before graduate school began this past September. Facebook gives me a way (and a reason) to communicate in a casual manner with folks I wouldn't otherwise keep in touch with. It's a great way to warm up a prospective client without resorting to a "pitch letter".

Facebook is a "take it or leave it" communication network. If I receive an unwanted email from someone I know, I'll either feel obligated to respond to it (which wastes everyone's time) or ignore it (which causes resentment). Facebook transfers the power from the sender to the receiver, making everyone benefit. If a status update starts an interesting thread, then YAY! If not, no big deal.

Facebook helps me realize which social groups are interested in what things. For instance, if I post an update about food, there's a nearly universal response. If I post about hacking my 1st gen Macintosh mouse to accept USB, I'll probably get comments mostly from other people in my (super geeky) graduate and a smattering of other friends.

Facebook creates connections I didn't know existed, and organizes my contacts into a system that makes sense. I've always been amazed at the handful of times when I've discovered that friends from completely different social circles have a friend in common with each other. You know, the whole "six degrees, small world after all" stuff. It's great!

Eventually, Facebook will no doubt become a historic "document" with countless future benefits. I can imagine retiring someday and going through the archives for source material when writing my memoirs or biography. All sorts of other applications will surely coalesce - ethnographies, trend-tracking...all kinds of stuff.

I (and quite a few other people) probably update my status around once every other day. Imagine if you started emailing everyone in your address book every other day. You'd be labeled a spammer so quickly your head would spin.

Facebook serves a purpose, however flawed it may be (500,000,000 is a lot to manage).

It's a series of tubes.

Test Audio/Video for the "Bounce Announce" Audio Installation

I'll soon be building a sound installation consisting of several hundred (ping pong?) balls in a series of hopper assemblages. At the bottom of each hopper will be a feed tube with solenoids at the end. The solenoids will be triggered by Arduino, and pop out the ping pong balls at prescribed times.

The ping pong balls will bounce sequentially onto carefully placed musical instruments on the floor below, before finally coming to a rest in a cushioned collection area.

The Arduino will be communicating via midi on the computer, and following instructions from a pre-conceived score written specifically for the installation.

Video below is of balls bouncing onto different combinations of instruments, to give an idea of the "Bounce Announce" setup.

Below this is audio I captured from the above video, in layered form, to give an idea of the possibilities of the installation. The final product will hopefully be much wider in scope, with perhaps a dozen solenoids with corresponding instrument arrays.

Bounce Announce Test 1 by PushTheOtherButton