Education · Human-ities · Performativity · Photographics · Science · Vital-Edible-Health


Medical Simulation is Jim Johnston’s recent work shot at The Bristol Medical Simulation Centre, a training facility in West England. This center provides medical students and clinicians the opportunity to rehearse and perfect procedures on Human Patient Simulators (HPS’s)—fullscale and fully interactive human body simulators—in efforts to improve competency and reduce the 1-5% of accidental deaths that occur in hospitals due to human error.

Bio · Design · Games/Play · Projects · Public Space · Vital-Edible-Health

The Universal Tea Machine

“Universal Tea Machine” is a gargantuan cross between a tea-making device, a primitive computer and a pinball machine. As tall as a giraffe, as long as a double-decker bus and as colourful as a fun fair, the UTM is a playful new way to engage with London’s rich and vibrant history.

The UTM is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. By pulling a sequence of handles, you release a series of balls from their caddies at the top of the UTM. Through a simple set of commands, engaging the binary calculation of an adding machine, you then instruct the making of your ideal cuppa.

Silly and serious, interactive and spectacular, modern and historic, calculating and fantastical, the UTM encourages kids of all ages – from 1 to 100 – to engage with London’s dynamic history of trade, calculation and tea-drinking.

Text and Images via The Bartlett School of Architecture

Bio · Digital Media · Performativity · Sonic/Musical · Technology

BOTANICUS INTERACTICUS: Interactive Plant Technology

As Disney Research explains: “This instrumentation of living plants is simple, non-invasive, and does not damage the plants: it requires only a single wire placed anywhere in the plant soil. Botanicus Interacticus allows for rich and expressive interaction with plants. It allows to use such gestures as sliding fingers on the stem of the orchid, detecting touch and grasp location, tracking proximity between human and a plant, and estimating the amount of touch contact, among others.

In Botanicus Interacticus we also deconstruct the electrical properties of plants and replicate them using standard electrical components. This allows the design of a broad variety of biologically inspired artificial plants that behave nearly the same as their biological counterparts. From the point of view of our technology there is no difference between real and artificial.

Botanicus Interacticus technology can be used to design highly interactive responsive environments based on plants, developing new forms of organic, living interaction devices as well as creating organic ambient and pervasive interfaces.”

Text and Image via Disney Research

Digital Media · Sonic/Musical · Technology

Gocen: A Handwritten Notation Interface for Musical Performance and Learning Music

Since the 1960s, Optical Music Recognition (OMR) has become a mature technology. But there have been only a few studies of hand-written notation and interactive systems for OMR. This project combines notation with performance to make music more intuitive easier to learn.

With Gocen’s unique, intuitive interaction, users can enjoy writing musical notation and playing instruments at the same time. They can make sounds by passing the green bar on the computer display through simplified notes while pressing the “manual play” button. The system detects the size of the musical notation and interprets it as the control note velocity. While playing a note, users can change the pitch of the note by moving the device vertically to simulate a vibrato. They can change instruments by selecting text that designates instrument names: pf(piano), bs(bass), gt(guitar), dr(drums), etc. Users can also record audio events in a timeline by pressing the “recording” button. Each recorded note is set in the quantized timeline.

Text via Siggraph

Digital Media · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Photographics

Interactive 360° Panorama of Curiosity’s Landing Site on Mars

A high-resolution interactive 360 panorama of Curiosity’s landing site stitched by EDS Systems. See it HERE

Digital Media · Human-ities · Technology

I’m wired, therefore I exist

Today if you are not often wired, you do not exist. Like radio and television in other times, the internet has become not only an indispensable tool but also a vital component of our life. It has become so useful, significant, and meaningful for variety of administrative, cultural, and political reasons that a life without it seems unimaginable in the twenty-first century. But the ownership of this interactive life is troubled: when you start seeing interesting advertising on your Gmail banner, personalised ads aimed just at you, your existence has begun to belong to others.

At last count, there are now 2,267,233,742 users of the internet, that is, 32.7 per cent of the world population. While these numbers refer primarily to North America, Asia, and Europe, in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East its use is growing rapidly. However, there is a big difference between being online and being wired. This is not a simple semantic difference, but rather an existential distinction that determines our roles, tasks, and possibilities in the world today. Without suggesting a return to twentieth century existentialism (which arose as a reaction against scientific systems threatening humans beings uniqueness) philosophy must stress the vital danger that being wired can pose for our lives.

Excerpt of an article written by Santiago Zabala, New Statesman. Continue HERE

Digital Media · Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Technology

0,1: Turn the light off by blinking.

An interactive installation based on Arduino.

The lights in the gallery are temporarily turned off whenever the person wearing the glasses blinks.

It all happens so fast that the person wearing the glasses does not even notice the change.

Via Michal Kohút

Architectonic · Human-ities · Projects · Social/Politics · Sonic/Musical

The Musical Geography of Auschwitz Concentration Camp

This project maps the spaces where music was played or sung in Auschwitz- Main Camp and Auschwitz- Birkenau. You can explore these interactive maps and listen to clips of the songs which were heard there.

Music is not typically associated with the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, but, as these maps display, there was a vibrant musical culture in the camps throughout the war. The music of Auschwitz ranged from institutionally sanctioned performances, like the concerts performed by the 80-member prisoner orchestra in the main camp, to secret resistance music that was hummed or whistled, like Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Thoughts Are Free). In between lie pieces like Alexander’s Ragtime Band, which was officially prohibited but performed at the request of SS officers in need of relaxation. Or Wiazanka z Effektenkammer (Medley from the Effects Depot), a subtly subversive set of songs written by a prisoner and performed as a cabaret in the barracks in the last months of the war. On a methodological level, several issues were unavoidable and ought to be mentioned. First of all, this is a small selection of the thousands of songs which were heard in Auschwitz, and while the selection we chose is hopefully representational of larger patterns, it is not a complete picture. The quality of the music is also not an accurate representation- most of it is far too polished. To ameliorate this, we used unprofessional recordings when available and tried to find arrangements with approximately the same instrumentation as the memoirs and testimony describe.

Written and Coded by Melissa Kagen and Jacob Melrose. See it HERE

Design · Digital Media · Technology

Automatypewriter: Interacting with fiction

The Automatypewriter is a typewriter that can type on its own, as well as detect what you type on it. By reading what it types to you and responding, it can be used interactively to play a game or participate in a story (in this case, Zork).

Text via Up, not North

Digital Media · Games/Play · Performativity · Technology · Videos


Photo/Nykto is an experimental game conceived by Annelore Schneider and Douglas Edric Stanley as part of the « Unterplay » project at the Master Media Design —HEAD, Genève. It is a game for nyktophobes and photophobes. It is played by switching on and off the lights in order to avoid reaching the edge of the screen. The score increases exponentially near the edges, and speeds up with each change from light to dark and back.

Design · Digital Media · Performativity · Sonic/Musical

Mogees: Gesture Recognition With Contact-Microphones

Designed by Bruno Zamborlin. Mogees is a project that uses microphones to turn any surface into an interactive board, which associates different gestures with different sounds. This means that desktop drummers could transform their finger taps and hand slaps into the sound of a marimba or xylophone.

Users plug any contact microphone onto a surface — be it a tree, a cupboard, a piece of glass or even a balloon. They can then record several different types of touch using their hands or any objects that cause a sound — so one sound could be a hand slap, another could be a finger tap and another could be hitting the surface with a drumstick. Users can train the system to detect new types of touch recording them just once.

The different gestures can then be associated with different sounds. Then when the user wants to perform, the Mogees software will recognize which of these types of touch is closest to the one that the user is doing and then enable the corresponding sound engine or synthesizer. The tone of the synthesized sound is influenced by the actual sound picked up on the microphone. So you could use the same gesture — for example a tap — in different places on the surface and it would create the sound in a different key.

currently uses two audio synthesis techniques — the first is physical modelling, which consists of generating the sound by simulating the propagation of the sound wave through different physical materials such as strings, membranes, or tubes using a piece of software called Modalys. The second technique is mosaicing, where the user loads a sound folder and then the audio coming form the contact microphone is analyzed and the software looks for the closest segment within the sound folder. So if a sound folder of voices is loaded, touching the surface gently would provoke a whispering while scratching it will cause a sound similar to screaming voices.

The idea of using contact microphones comes from the desire to turn ordinary objects into percussive instruments. The goal is to allow musicians and performers to take full advantage of electronic music without losing the feeling of touching a real surface.

Text by Bruno Zamborlin. See project HERE