Lasercutter

America In A Disposable - Unity

America In A Disposable

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During the summer of 2017 I embarked on a cross country of the United States, beginning in Vancouver, BC Canada and finishing back home in New York. Along the way, I documented my trip on multiple disposable cameras, the beginning of my journey with film photography.

I have always found it difficult to decide what I should do with the photos I have taken. Other than putting them on Instagram or my website, how could I utilize them?

With my final for my Video Sculpture class, I decided I wanted to build a piece that could display the photos that I took in an interactive and stimulating way. The AR camera detects an image target, in this case being a logo I designed to signify an area from along the trip where photos were taking. Once recognized, the photos from that respective area are displayed in Augmented Reality around the logo. 

Process

I started building the concept with the idea of using my images on a physical map, and then displaying information around the photos. After getting some advice and comments on it, I decided to change to a more streamlined version of using the locations as targets and displaying the photos from there. I built an entire route inside of Google MyMaps, from there downloading a KMZ file and converting that into a PDF, and then taking that into Illustrator. 

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My goal was to design the entire route onto a map of the USA, and then laser cut all that on a single piece of wood. This was simplified into only cutting the logos and drawing out the outline of the state.

I underestimated the amount of time the designing of the locations would take, as I was struggling to make the logos into usable AR camera activator targets for Vuforia. This cut into the amount of time I gave myself for adding more interactions into the AR aspect of the piece; like activating the photos by tapping on the targets within the app, and other information being displayed about the locations.

Thoughts

Ideally, the entire route I drove would be displayed as the user views the installation. I view this as the first version of this piece, as I consider incorporating an actual physical map, having the AR targets being the actual locations on the map. Other interactions could include activating the targets by touch on the AR device, information on the locations, and more.

Light Sculpture - Live Underneath

Live Underneath

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Live Underneath is an emotive light sculpture that reacts to stimulus. As a person approaches the piece, the sculpture’s light will pulse at a faster and faster rate.

Process

I worked on this project with my partner Chengchao. We began brainstorming on ideas, and the first idea that came to our minds was “What if there was something in the corner that reacted to you?” 

From there, we built on that, getting to a whole in the ground that reacted to you getting closer to it. Since we weren’t going to cut a whole in the ITP floor, we figured we would have to build something to deceive the viewer into thinking that they are looking at the floor.

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We understood that we wanted to use Arduino to light up the sculpture and have it react to stimulus, so we needed the piece to be at least one or two inches tall. When designing the whole and crack that the light would spill out of, we realized that having smoke billow out of the piece would help to bring out the light as well as add an ambience to the piece. From there we found a smoke machine on Amazon, and decided to build the sculpture to fit the machine inside. This brought the heigh of the piece to about 6 inches.

We used the table saw to size up the sides of the sculpture, and laser cut the design.  

Chengchao wrote the code for the Arduino to have the sculpture react to someone approaching it by using an Ultra Sonic Proximity Sensor. The code is here. We used MadMapper to fit a photo of the exact spot that we were covering on the floor, working much better than I expected. Once we installed the sculpture for the class comments and critique, Gabe commented that we couldn’t use the smoke machine as it could cause the fire alarms to go off, and subsequently destroy all the electronics in that area. So for that demonstration we did not use the smoke machine.

Thoughts

My final thoughts on this project are of a piece of work that I am immensely proud of. It is my first project to come out of my graduate degree at ITP, and I couldn’t be happier with it at this current stage. If I was in a space that I could use the smoke machine, then I would happily keep it at this height. But if I was to totally remove the smoke machine then I would shorten the height of the sculpture considerably, nearly to the shortest height possible. 

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