Design · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Film/Video/New Media · Public Space


For Antony Turner, pictures make a story come alive—and in the climate change story, one of the main characters is invisible. In 2009, together with artist/scientist Adam Nieman, he founded Carbon Visuals to help people “see” the carbon dioxide that’s trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Their strategy: Transform the mass (tons and gigatons) of carbon dioxide emissions we hear about so much into volumetric representations and then show them as 3-D shapes in familiar landscapes. Carbon Visuals has worked with governments, schools, corporations, and others to help them make sense of carbon footprints, comparisons, and sequestration targets. Changing the trajectory of the climate story, Turner believes, starts with getting the antagonist in our sights.

Via Conservation Magazine

Digital Media · Education · Sonic/Musical · Technology · Videos

Sound Made Visible: Piano notes made visible on the CymaScope

For the first time in history individual piano notes have been made visible using the CymaScope instrument. The piano notes were painstakingly recorded by Evy King and then fed into the CymaScope one by one and the results recorded in high definition video. Click HERE to see sound.

Shannon Novak, a New Zealand-born fine artist, commissioned us to image 12 piano notes as inspiration for a series of 12 musical canvases. We decided to image the notes in video mode because when we observed the ‘A1’ note we discovered, surprisingly, that the energy envelope changes over time as the string’s harmonics mix in the piano’s wooden bridge. Instead of the envelope being fairly stable, as we had imagined, the harmonics actually cause the CymaGlyphs to be wonderfully dynamic. Our ears can easily detect the changes in the harmonics and the CymaScope now reveals them–probably a first in acoustic physics.

Capturing the dynamics was only possible with HD video but taming the dynamics of the piano’s first strike, followed by the short plateau and long decay phase, was tricky. We achieved the result with the help of a professional audio compressor operating in real time.

The Cymascope is an instrument that makes sound or music visible, creating detailed 3D impressions of sound or music vibrations. Here the rapidly expanding sphere is captured in a frozen moment. The interior reveals a beautiful and complex structure representing the rich harmonic nature of violin music.

All text and images via Cymascope

Design · Sculpt/Install · Sonic/Musical

Microsonic Landscapes

An algorithmic exploration of the music by Realitat. 3D-Printed music visualizations of modern albums. Using Processing, each album’s soundwave was analysed and created a unique visual form. The albums are: Jewels by Einstürzende Neubauten, Another World by Antony and the Johnsons, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Third by Portishead, and the composition “Für Alina” by Arvo Pärt.

Via Realitat

Bio · Design · Digital Media · Science · Technology

Connectograms and Circos Visualization Tool

Connectograms are circular representations introduced by LONI researchers in their NeuroImage article “Circular representation of human cortical networks for subject and population-level connectomic visualization:

“This article introduces an innovative framework for the depiction of human connectomics by employing a circular visualization method which is highly suitable to the exploration of central nervous system architecture. This type of representation, which we name a ‘connectogram’, has the capability of classifying neuroconnectivity relationships intuitively and elegantly.”

Details of the graphic are explained in the PLoS article. The outermost ring shows the various brain regions by lobe (fr – frontal, ins – insula etc.). The left (right) half of the connectogram figure represents the left (right) hemisphere of the brain and the brain stem is at the bottom, 6 o’clock position of the graph.

Phineas Gage Skull with reconstructed steel rod pathway and damage (Source: PLoS ONE). Based upon this geospatial model of the damaged brain overlaid against the typical brain connectogram from the healthy population they created another connectogram indicating the connections between brain regions lost or damaged in the accident.

Excerpts of an article via Visualign


i-Map: Interactive Map on Migration by ICMPD

At the end of 2006, the ICMPD, Europol and Frontex developed an interactive instrument at the service of MTM partner states for the purpose of exchanging information on the migratory situation in states around the Mediterranean and supporting the development and implementation of cooperation initiatives. The MTM i-Map provides both a visualization of the situation along with a presentation of the threats and risks faced by the MTM Arab and European partner states. It also shows past, present and future evolutions of migratory flows and routes.

At the event “MTM Launching Conference of the ICMPD-Europol-Frontex Project Towards a Comprehensive Response to Mixed Migration Flows” from 13 – 14 November 2006 in Porto, the MTM partner agencies introduced the i-Map and informed the participants of its availability online as a secured website.

On 31 January 2007, the i-Map was officially launched with restricted access to users having a password and a username. In January 2008, after a successful test phase, MTM partner agencies presented an upgraded version of this information-exchange and analysis instrument at the “Geneva Project Closing Conference”. Among many improvements, a customer-oriented approach, a three-level analysis of migration information (local, national and regional) and access in the three languages of the MTM (Arabic, English and French), represent the most significant upgrades.

The 2008 version presented was forseen to include a public interface that would allow access to a larger public. This public interface would only allow for visual information to be displayed and with detailed migration analysis and other features remaining under strict restricted access. This version is not yet online. The aim of the “Project Closing Conference” was to present the future possible evolution of the i-Map and generate interest with concerned parties, namely with regards to funding.

The current online version of the 2007 i-Map represents a starting point in the development of this comprehensive information-sharing and analysis instrument. The Secretariat of the MTM is currently exploring the development of an i-Map covering both the MTM Pillar I (migration security) and the MTM Pillar II (migration development). A comprehensive interactive map in the three languages of the Dialogue (Arabic, English and French) will be elaborated pending adequate resources.

Only partner states and partner organizations can have access to the i-Map. Persons who wish to obtain a password and a username, should send a formal request to the MTM Secretariat.

Text via i-Map

Digital Media · Film/Video/New Media · Motion Graphics · Performativity

Golan Levin’s AMA Video Uses Experimental 3D Cinema

Golan Levin is a creator, performer, innovator, engineer and MIT graduate whose work has been seen around the world, and FITC gave you the opportunity to ask him anything via Reddit. Golan has answered your questions in the video below, which was created by James George (@obviousjim) and Jonathan Minard (@deepspeedmedia), artists-in-residence at Golan’s lab who are researching new forms of experimental 3D cinema.

The work of James George and Jonathan Minard explores the notion of “re-photography”, in which otherwise frozen moments in time may be visualized from new points of view. Despite the sometimes wildly moving camera, the video was in fact shot with a stationary Kinect-like depth sensor coupled to a digital SLR video camera. To compose their shots, the filmmakers developed custom openFrameworks software that aligns and combines color video and depth data into a dynamic sculptural relief.

In a process of “virtual cinematography”, James and Jonathan rephotographed Golan’s 3D likeness — selecting new angles, dollying, and zooming — to compose new perspectives on the data as if playing a video game. Fixed camerawork is thus transformed into a malleable and negotiable post-process, in which shots can be carefully recomposed to highlight and inflect different latent meanings.

This experiment developed out of concepts and collaborations born at Art && Code, a conference on 3D sensing and visualization organized by Golan’s laboratory, the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. Artist-hackers assembled to explore the artistic, technical, tactical and cultural potentials of low-cost depth sensors, such as the Kinect. As an outcome of the conference, James George, a creative coder interested in cinema, and Jonathan Minard, a documentary filmmaker interested in new-media technology, are now collaborating on the development of open-source tools and techniques for augmenting high-resolution video with depth information.