lunedì 20 dicembre 2010

A new project upcoming: Drops

Drops is a project standing in the drawer since last year because of the economical difficulties for the production. Is the idea that borns from the question of water on the planet. Is the idea of making a space where humankind can investigate the power she has on nature, and so how many power has mankind to control nature moving in a certain way in the space. I thought that the best way to let think human about nature, in a special "unifying" way, was to put us in front of the basic component of what we call life. Below a little description of the concept and of the technical operating system that further explain what already exposed.


Drops






An aquatic sound environment where the spectator is able to control a water fall with her body never coming in touch with the drops of rain.

The spectator enters an environment where the range of freedom is amplified: the water flow is controlled by the body moving in the space.

Humankind has the power to control nature when nature becomes the unicum of the objects surrounding. Overcome the dualism of human and natural environment as separate entities means to look at reality as complexity and to nature as the unique overall flow of the multiple facets of the same reality.

Water is the basic element of life in nature.

Water is the millenary matter and map of the flux of humanity and is the first component of all the known forms of life. Is the duality of the molecules composing it and the power of the link between these.

Availability of water is the primary issue of humankind. The human community aim concerns controlling the environment to keep the harmony of life floating.

System description

A transparent cube is made by plastic and plexiglass transparent pipes and components each side of the entire structure measuring 3 meters. A floor structure of intersected circles on the ground gather the water flowing from the ceiling.

The water is pumped continuously from the container under the floor (20cm high) where four electric pumps connected to a computer are hided.

From the four poles composing the structure a series of pipes arrives to feed water continuously to a grid of 100 to 300 solenoid electrovalves (the ones common used in washing machines). Water falls continuously from the ceiling.

The electric water valves are connected to a computer that translates in real time the position of any form of life under the ceiling into a video matrix. The water doesn’t fall in the real time position covered by any form of life passing through the installation.

Any movement in the water falls environment produces real time changes in a sound environment generative and produced by the water drops in the container under the floor.

Four speakers are hided into the structure.





giovedì 16 dicembre 2010

MOHRLime: Schoolplein van de eenentwintigste eeuw

MOHRLime: Schoolplein van de eenentwintigste eeuw: "Stort je vol overgave in de futuristische schoolpleingames of ontdek hoe schoolpleinen in de loop der jaren veranderd zijn.Info Locatie:Foru..."

venerdì 19 novembre 2010

Painteractive 2.0





Painteractive 2.0 is the last interactive work created for the project "Verhalen van het Schoolplein" (en. "Tales from the schoolyard") in Forum Images, Groningen (NL). The event’s organizers asked to create futuristic games for kids from 8 to 12 years old.

Four aims where the choice of the field of interest of the game and I decided to exploit “Creativiteit” (creativity) to create a new version of Painteractive! (link) which would allow to video-painting and play sound and videographies with the body.

Painteractive 2.0 is a VJ/DJ platform with which is besides possible to add own tags or graffiti sketches with a "real" spray-can.

The iconographic choice for the projects refers to a life cycle.



The triptic of the previous three icons: the hand with the finger up (the come to life marking own presence and questioning); the feet (the steps through the walking paths); the notes (the research of the harmony in the surrounding).


The little collection of photographs below explains a bit about the process of production for Painteractive 2.0, a project realized in two weeks that now includes 3 devices and the software (opening post photo).




The first public tryout of the prototype was on 6 of november in occasion of the theatre premiere show linked to Schoolplein project in Theatre Citadel, Groningen. The project is now working at Groninger Forum togheter with other interactive games made by artists from Frank Mohr Instituut.


The photo that opens the post illustrates the software interface for the interactive system.

Soon I will publish on this blog the MaxMSP patch that you can download and try yourself with your own DIY system.


Painteractive 2.0 collects the tools of Painteractive! in a unique spray-can hacked into an electronic device that allows to paint, choose colors, erase and choose video graphics to be inspired with pressing few buttons.


Three tools compose the system: two wooden boards and a color spray-can (revisited).

The system I made for this first experimental platform will be developed soon into applications like virtual environments gestured in real time by body balance and motion through the space, VJ/DJ multilevel platforms for disco-club performance.



giovedì 4 novembre 2010

#news

A new interactive audio/video installation with realtime news from newspapers and social media.
The noise of the web application and database is near...




lunedì 11 ottobre 2010

video

giovedì 7 ottobre 2010

@01















































@01 is my new work about the world of information.
Next exhibition in ArtVerona 2010, Aletti Prize, Verona, 14-18 october 2010.

Many thanks to Vincent Brujin, Jan Klug, Hsien Yu Cheng, Eidos-Immagini Contemporanee.

domenica 4 luglio 2010

ARCHITECHNOBRAIN




Abstract: Architechnobrain is an interactive bio-sensing installation. Imaginary sketches recombine elements of an indecip
herable design composing a complex architecture, similar to the “city of the mind”.

Keywords: Interactive Multimedia Design, Mind Architectures, Brain’s Activity, BCI, Generative audio-video contents, Invisible Cities, Technobrain.


Architechnobrain creates imaginary thin cities composing random architectures based on mind’s activity in a virtual audio-visual environment.
The audience dresses a friendly device similar to common headphones. This brain computer interface connected via bluetooth with the computer will interact with the brain’s activity of the user measured in levels of attention and meditation. Thus composing in real time the 3D environment of sketched virtual spaces (in the following pictures) and an electronic sound environment generated by the intensity of the mind’s activity of the audience.
Architechnobrain is the experimental research on hacking technologies crossing the widest range of media to find the evolutionary path which will bring towards technological singularity.


Technical description:
The interactive system is composed by Neurosky Mindset (Brain Computer Interface) connected via bluetooth to the computer. Two artisanal softwares made by APIs are used to generate the interactive audio-visual environment.


sabato 3 luglio 2010

TICK ~ Telecom Italia Culture Killer

In 2005, the italian technological pride IDII, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, got to close because the Telecom Italia ownership decided not to renew the founding.
IDII was the graduate school researching and prototyping in the field of Interaction Design, operating in the town of Ivrea, in Italy.
The Master program in Interaction Design operated from 2001 being involved in many projects that later became base-structures for the development of interactive multimedia art and interaction design.
The caliber and the carry of IDII's research signed a relevant revolution in the field of digital and electronic media and devices. Wiring and Arduino, the micro-controllers used nowadays by a wide number of people and artists and designers through all over the world were prototyped properly in Ivrea.
Processing, the graphic software prototyping environment (project started at MIT of Boston), that today is developing in a gorgeous web community sharing tons of code, was developed in the IDII.
Other interesting projects came out from IDII are, for instance, CICCIO or the Curiously Inflated Computer Controlled Interactive Object and the Interaction Design Primer design manual.
A so interesting center for digital and electronic culture was properly killed by Telecom Italia that invest money on later discovered dirty business in the Stock Exchange.
Erase a so wide potential of culture means to erase the future innovation of a Country. Thanks to a nefarious conduct of the political entourage both-sided, acting most of times through the shadows of corruption and personal interests, Italian Government cuts the feed and the financing of Culture, tracking the soil for a cultural desert which will be more and more difficult to transform back in a "flowered field".
There's still an "oasis" on the web where is possible to appreciate the "beauty" of a project such as IDII: http://interactionivrea.org/it/index.asp
To watch that website crystallized on a 2006 capture, with no "life" anymore, represents a waste of energies and "virtualities" that maybe will not be recovered for ever.
Interaction Design Institute Ivrea alumni have set up, after the experience in Ivrea, the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, an excellence center for research in new media technologies, obviously well founded by the Danish Ministry of Culture and other private companies.
Italian Ministry of Culture instead decided , less then one month ago, the cut to Culture financing giving the blame to the international economical crisis.
Different ways of thinking and acting.
This document would be the wish for the re-found Culture in Italy, the only way to solve then all the other social problems this Country is meeting under a literally anti-democratic government.



martedì 25 maggio 2010

Performing Media Lab in Monferrato


I'm now participating in the events organized by Performing Media Lab/Monferrato, a ten days of workshops, interactive installations, "radio raid" theatrical performances, open discussing about the territorial innovation, glocal emotional maps and performing media. I'll present the last projects about interactive bio-sensing (in the context of the research T.A.I. quoted in previous posts on this blog) contextualized on the themes of the territorial innovation of the area of Monferrato in Piemonte region. "Neural Byte Beat" and "Beat's My Map" will be enriched by new contents of videoart realized particularly for the Urban Experience event in Monferrato. Here's the links:



and on Facebook, Twitter...others sn.

And here's something about the amazing, cultural, active village of Casale Monferrato:



Wine, Krumiri biscuits, theatre and performing media.
Come & enjoy!

mercoledì 12 maggio 2010

Back on blog with some news... already old...

Last period was a very busy one. And when I look at this blog and at the date of the last post I realize more about that...
In the last 2 months I produced a dive into programming processing logic and a research about mind processing and technological singularity.
The most recent work, in exposition at Planet Art - Singularity expo #2 in Amsterdam is about the concept of mind uploading and brain manipulation.
Referring to the recent discoveries on brain computerized models (on
e already tested by the Blue Brain research - http://brain.mada.org.il/tools-e.html -) I decided to create an environment, suitable as virtual scenography or audiovisual environment, where to expl
oit technology to catalyze reflection, more then manipulation of a so delicate flow, the thought, the mind.
I produced an idea with which I like to represent a neural network networking, being manipulated by people.
What came out is a sensory environment where the human electrical capacitance, and so the electrical charge each of our body carries on, creates a generative real time sound environment and a visual aesthetic representing one tridimensional neural network that changes into a brain model.


For this project I challenged a technology I never exploited before, CapSense. This nice discovery shared by Paul Badger on Arduino Playground (http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/CapSense) uses human electrical capacitance to manage useful data for creative creations.

I created as prototype five neurons with aluminum paper for kitchen and isolating tape, some wires, Arduino, MaxMSP, Ableton Live.
With MaxMSP I communicate with arduino from which I get data from the neurons. On the same API I arranged a software, one-click startup, executable in Max Runtime and so without needing a license for using it. MaxMSP communicates with Ableton Live and each neuron produces different sounds and beat patterns.
Here's the MaxMSP patch you can copy and paste into your API:
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domenica 28 febbraio 2010

Selfscape

Next lines I'm going to present the new project for artistic research in the field of the technological singularity and the relative transhuman reflections. This project born from the idea by Francesco Grillo, visual artist, who proposed to me to create a multimedia sensitive environment developing one of his oil paintings theme: the shell.Thus, after around two months of specific research about neural networks and cross connecting relationships of signification among parts, I decided to develop an interaction system based on two principle:
  • sound amplification of the human body
  • brain-computer interface for environmental reaction to human emotion
The following lines describes in a summary, and then in details, the planning about the next months research and practice in physical computing and BCI for the creation of Selfscape, the new interactive installation project by Visualpaco and Francesco Grillo.



Selfscape
summary

Selfscape is the “mind landscape” real time generated by audience.
A short dark passage divides the guest from the “mind land”...small particle symbolic lights and their sounds will guide the “crosser” in a fluxus along the corridor, till she faces a translucent
door, osmotic mambrane between this world
and her Self world she’s going to explore...
The presence of the guest in front of the door creates an evanescent “mirror” image of the guest herself, shown from behind...she’s invited to enter.
A chair is enlightened at the center of the dark room. On it two tools, the last technologic
exoskeleton to wear before to allow the experience of the world of ideas, neat thoughts, emotions, Selfscapes.
The guest sits on the chair, the light dims.
The rythm of the blood flowing inside her body begins to fill the room with a progressive composing, real-time generated, sound environment.
Mind reactions to this event, captured by the wearing tools, will produce the generation of moving images of landscapes and skylines and seas in front of the guest. After a while she will choose, with her mind energies, the shape of the nature's element that better represents her Self.
Selfscape is the attempt to investigate the transhumanism and technological singularity themes, among the others, from the profound and sensitive point of view of art and aesthetic sensitive perception. Is the cross-connection between the ancestral and archetypal human media
and the future technologies about neural networks networking.


Fig. F. Grillo, sketch of the space for Selfscape



Selfscape
Concept and poetics

Selfscape is the metaphoric unknown landscape of our Selves. It is the virtual, crossmedia, environment, where our emotional and mental status generates the space surronunding, interacting with it.
It is a room, a real room with a real chair standing enlightened at its center. On the chair lie
two technological instruments, strictly linked to life primary organs, brain and heart. These sophisticated instruments, stolen from the proper fields of medical check up, become the
“signals” to activate mind engines (compare “Consciousness” in “The society of mind”, Marvin Minsky). To wear them will become a sort of ritual as the ones the sorceres of older times used to cast their spells. Wearing these technologies the guest will be able then to transform the environment surrounding: her own “life engines” will start to exploit physical computing
technologies to generate a poetic space as contamination of visual art, oil paintings, video art,
experimental live music. A space where to “enter” own body and mind experiencing it as emotional aesthetical perception. A reflective space where to think about our “shells”, that paradoxical image of a central Self inside the self. Our mental processes often seem to flow as a “stream of consciousness”, a collection of thoughts flowing controlled by the single Self. Selfscapes invites to look at the Self, at the shell, as what avoid us to explore the hidden inside. To think the Self as a central engine for single lives is a confortable way of representing our thinking in practical life: we feel confortable thinking ourselves as personal identities,
individual identities. We feel confortable inside the shell of our Self, the same we are not able to explore because so much of our minds do is hidden from the parts of us that are involved in verbal consciousness. Our remote control. Our trait. Our shape. Or maybe mind is that “cloud”
of networks of relationships presented by some scientist that will bring to posthuman predictions about “singularity”, about the point of transiction for human kind as we know to become pure thought flowing through a neural network after the process of “mind uploading”, as in the predictions about next future by R. Kurzweil.
Thus, the “mainframe” is represented by the shell, the “archetypical” natural element.
A shell is an exoskeleton, a protective outer layer created by a sea creature that usually lacks of backbones, an invertebrate.
Shells have been admired, studied and used by huma
ns for many different purposes throughout
history and pre-history. The most ancient shells belongs to cephalopods, widely regarded as the most intelligent of the invertebrates, the same sea creatures fvourite by studies in neurophysiology. The shells of the most ancient cephalopods are fossils belonging to ancient creatures of species survived till nowadays thanks to a complex nervous system and to their social cohabitation.
Taking inspiration from the “shell theme” (fig. 1) in various paintings by Francesco Grillo (francescogrillo.com) the project Selfscape wants to show the shell as our minds protective outer layer, the layer that had been built by the istitutions of law, religion, philosophy, that adopted specific, authority-schematized, to answers to

Fig. 1 Francesco Grillo, Proiezione 1


“circular questions”. Selfscape wants to open a cleft in emotional human reasoning and thinking about the yet unknown “complex” we call Mind, that sort of “green flash” enarrated by Jules Verne.
Yet, the shell, referred to an operating system in informatics computing, is a program that allows the user to communicate with the system itself. To better understand, shells provide a graphical user interface, the GUI we use each time we sit or stand in front of a computer machine. Even in the world of the machine code the shell represents the last border dividing the “mind” of the machine from its peripherical human-recognizable interfaces.


Selfscape
Space and experience

Selfscape is an installation composed by two spaces: one corridor, one room. It is thought for a traveler at time.
A black veil at the beginning of the corridor provides access to the first empty, dark space. Once inside a series of particles of lights in form of letters and codes, “sparkling” amniotic sounds, begin to appear on our body and then move into space as a fluxus that wants to direct us to the next space. Following the light “arrow” we face a sort of membrane on which will appear the body of ourself seen from behind, in a sort of “back-mirror”. We are invited to enter the new space. It is a dark space as well, but in the middle of the room a perpendicular light is
enlightening a chair. Everything around is dark. On the chair two objects. We already know how to wear them because of their familiar shapes. When we sit on the chair the light dims. Everything is dark now. We begin to hear a sound, and then a rythm. It’s our heart pulsing. The rythm changes in a melodic stream. A far landscape begins to appear in front of us. It’s coming through us and with it a sky. At the same time the sensor we are wearing on the forehead it’s reading our brainwaves and translate them in visual effect and color chainging.
A shell will appear in the middle of the landscape. Our brain waves will decide the shape of it basing on our real time emotional psychology. We are looking at ourSelf shape...

Selfscape
Techniques and technologies (the interactive system)

There are several technologies and techniques involved in designing the interactive system for Selfscape.
The first interaction the audience will face is the particles system of light-letters and codes appearing on the body of the audience and moving into the space to direct the guest towards the mirror-door. Audio effects real time modifyed by the position in the corridor To arrange
that is needed to face with computer vision technology and to build one or more specific softwares using APIs such as MaxMSP Jitter, Processing, Quartz Composer. The source code of the software builded for the interactions in the next room (the source code of the central engine of Selfscape) will be the collection of light-letters seen by the guest in the corridor. This first interactive system exploits: infrared video camera; video projector; computer; sound speakers.
The second interaction is represented by the “mirror-door.” This kind of membrane that divides the guest by the other side is a passage. It will be built using transparent PVC films designed as a traversable veil. Standing in front of this veil (in a range-distance of about 50 cm.) the guest will see appearing her own video image on the door itself. A camera is shooting her from behind and a video projector is beaming from inside the room of Selfscape. Passing the door to enter the room the mirror image will disappear. To arrange such an interaction it’s needed to build a specific software using platfoms for physical computing such as Arduino, and APIs such as MaxMSP Jitter. This interactive system exploits: web cam; infrared distance sensor; computer; video projector; IC for physical computing (Arduino).
The third interaction occurs in the room, the main space of Selfscape. The passage through the mirror-door activates the diffusion of a spot light enlightening the chair in the middle of the room. This is allowed thanks to the infrared sensors installed at the entrance of the room
which data will be transmitted to the computer that will activate the next event, as in a domino inductive effect managed by the audience. The light dims to complete dark when the audience sits on the chair. In this case a small pressure sensor will be hidden in the middle of the sitting table of the wood chair. Physical computing and a small software are needed to control this interaction. Instruments: infrared passive sensor; spot light; computer; Arduino IC.
The mainframe of Selfscape is represented by the interactive tools lying on the chair that the
guest is invited to wear and from their communication with the computer.
The first one has familiar ergonomics, identical to wireless headphones to listen to music. It is a brain-computer interface technology product. Neurosky Mindset (fig. 2), after several researches about EEG, non-invasive, medical instruments, shows the features that are needed to obtain the goals for Selfscape. The exploitation of this technology is grounded in medical research. Neurosciences are developing complex systems to understand and interpret the energy emitted by the brain. Brainwave patterns of varying frequencies combine to form electrical signals detectable on the scalp. The technology exploited by Neurosky ThinkGear senses these analog brainwaves and processes them into digital signals that are translated in specific data by a chip. Raw brain signals are amplified and processed by algorithms—delivering concise input to the device with which the user is interfacing. Algorithms come from both
NeuroSky as well as research institutions and


universities, and are grounded in decades of clinical research. They currently include the mind status of “attention”, “meditation,” and physical eyeblinks. Many new algorithms are in development by neuroscientists and programmers to improve the emotional EEG (Electroencephalography). Receiving wireless data from brainwaves and interpreting the frequencies on the right range of mind status, will be possible with Application Programming Interfaces such as MaxMSP Jitter, Processing, Quartz Composer, to activate video generative effects and the video graphical reconstruction of the landscapes and of the shells (for more details about brain computer interfaces compare wikipedia).
The second interactive tool is represented by a non-invasive intstrument, handmade with electronics and specific-use builded, that exploits the technology of sphygmomanometers for the measurement and auscultatory of human heart’s palpitations. Several types of mediacal instruments are available in commerce that can be “hacked” and exploited for the goals of Selfscapes. This heart beat amplifyer will represent the generative engine for the sound environment that will be created in real time by the blood pressure itself. It will be exploited as protocol music signal for a digital software synthesizer that will fill the space with the audience’s body rythmics and sounds.
The signals coming from such instruments are processed by the computer. Specific softwares will be built and tested for the specific scopes. It’s needed the exploitation of physical computing for the heart beat data transferring. Either the instruments communicates with the computer via bluetooth, sending radio frequencies to the receiver inside the computer. Here platforms like MaxMSP Jitter, Processing, VVVV, Quatz Composer, will be tested for the best commnunicating protocol with the wireless tools. Ableton Live, appliction interface for live generative music, will be interfaced with the physical computing system for the heart beat.
This interactive system needs the development of research on the following technologies, brain-computer interface, computer graphics, body sound amplifying.
It exploits: video projector, BCI, handmade electronic sphygmomanometer, pressure sensor, sound speakers.


About singularity and direct brain-computer interfaces: