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Digital Blur: Stories from the Edge of Creative Design Practice
Edited by Paul Rodgers and Michael Smyth
This book brings together ten of the world’s leading practitioners and thinkers from the fields of art, architecture and design who all share a common desire to exploit the latest computing technologies in their creative practice. The book reveals, for the first time, the working processes of these major practitioners’ work that breaks down traditional creative disciplinary boundaries. Digital Blur provides a rich picture, both visually and textually, of the following ten leaders in the field – Jason Bruges Studio, Lucy Bullivant, Greyworld, HeHe, Crispin Jones, the Owl Project, the Pooch (BigDog Interactive), Bengt Sjolen, Troika, and Moritz Waldemeyer.
This book aims to inspire and inform any reader with an interest in design, architecture, art and/or technology and provides essential reading for any practitioner, researcher, educator, and/or other stakeholders involved in the creative arts and industries. The book provides a detailed insight into the techniques of these ten significant creative individuals and how they exploit the latest computing technologies in their work and the impact this will have for creative practice in the future.
• paperback
• ISBN: 978 1 904750 69 7
• 264pp
• 264 x 196mm
• £24.95
• Publication date: September 2009
• Middlesex University Press

nandtfacshow

‘Nora & Torvald’
By rootoftwo (John Marshall and Cezanne Charles)
Birch plywood, Arduino micro-controllers, sensors, speakers, audio.
‘Nora & Torvald’ embeds sensor-controlled digital media in custom-designed pieces of furniture. The starting point of this work is a re-reading of Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House” (1879) to explore user-object relationships.

There is a photocell embedded in the seat of the armchair ‘Torvald’. This sends a message when it registers darkness (i.e. when someone sits down). This triggers a randomly selected line of dialogue (one of ten) from the play to be played as audio. There is an accelerometer in the rocking stool ‘Nora’. When she is rocked this triggers a randomly selected line of her dialogue (also one of ten) to be played as audio.

A&D 5th Annual Faculty Exhibition, Slusser Gallery, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd. 1st floor.

‘Nora’ and ‘Torvald’ both use the Adafruit Wave Shield for Arduino Kit.

Sample dialogue (when 2 people are sitting):

T: This time I needn’t sit here and be dull all alone. You have just come at a fortunate moment.
N: It’s wonderful! Wonderful things don’t happen every day. Take this armchair; I will sit here in the rocking-chair.
T: Has anyone been here?
N: What a thoughtless creature I am, chattering away like this.
T: You can depend on me.
N: It will make me so happy to be of some use to you.
T: Don’t disturb me. Look straight at me.
N: I am in a silly mood today. Come and sit down here, and I will show you something.
T: How unreasonable and how ungrateful you are. What sort of madness is this! Can you not understand your place in your own home?
N: What do you want of me? Have you been sitting here waiting for me?
T: I may as well tell you plainly, we were once on very intimate terms with one another.
N: You don’t understand me, and I have never understood you either.
T: Explain yourself better. I don’t understand you. Can I never be anything more than a stranger to you?
N: You must simply listen to what I say. I have existed merely to perform tricks for you.
T: You are right, it has affected us both. Something ugly has come between us. Where are you going?
N: Isn’t there one thing that strikes you as strange in our sitting here like this.
T: Here you shall stay and give me an explanation.
N: Does it not occur to you that this is the first time we two… have had a serious conversation?
T: On the contrary, I feel extraordinarily lively. And you? You really look both tired and sleepy.

Call for papers and artworks – ACM SIGGRAPH 2009/Leonardo
Leonardo/ACM SIGGRAPH
2009 Special Issue Featuring SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Papers and Juried Art Gallery
Guest Editor: Jacquelyn Martino

We are now accepting submissions for a forthcoming special issue of Leonardo. The issue will feature SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Papers and the SIGGRAPH 2009 Juried Art Gallery, “Biologic: A Natural History of Digital Life.”

SIGGRAPH Art Papers present work that illuminates and explores the process of making art and its place in society, helping people understand the changing roles of artists and art-making in our increasingly computerized, networked, multi-sensory, online world. The papers present challenging ideas in accessible ways. They inform artistic disciplines, set standards and stimulate future trends. In addition to the core topics of the digital arts and interactive techniques, Art Papers explore the theme of SIGGRAPH 2009’s juried art gallery, BioLogic Art.

The BioLogic exhibition, chaired by Elona Van Gent, will showcase work by artists who engage technology and the natural world in their creative processes. The artworks and installations chosen for the exhibition will demonstrate, celebrate, critique and conjecture about the flux of natural and technological forces. Plants and animals, insects and even the weather have long served as subjects of study and as metaphors for human experience. Technological gadgetry and digital code are amplifying our understanding of organic processes and enhancing our innate capabilities. Grafting these together–things occurring naturally with those altered or modified—offers opportunities for novel expressions of life as we know it or imagine it to be.

BioLogic will focus on projects that graft together biological forms and systems with mechanical equipment, electronic instruments, robotic devices and digital code and networks that amplify our understanding of organic processes and enhance our natural capacities, allowing us to explore expressions of life as we know it or imagine it to be. Artworks selected for the Juried Art Gallery will also appear in the special issue.

Publication of the special issue, Leonardo Volume 42, Issue 4 (August 2009), will coincide with the SIGGRAPH 2009 conference in New Orleans (3-7 August 2009). Submission deadlines are at 22:00 UTC/GMT Art Papers, Thursday, 8 January 2009

BioLogic Art, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Submission details available online: http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/sessions/art_papers/index.php http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/submissions/art_papers/index.php http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/galleries_experiences/biologic_art/index.php http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/submissions/art_gallery/index.php
Contact information: http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/contact/index.php

‘Fire’ is no more. There was some will for it to become permanent. However, this was not to be. On reflection, mounting subwoofers on the underside of the office of the building’s namesake was unlikely to result in permanence. Karl has installed the ‘cones’ in his backyard. He’s calling this piece ‘Ice’.


I am just back from a week in Kyoto, Japan. I went there to begin the process of producing an exhibition for The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto in 2010. While there I visited OMRON, who will be providing sensing and control technologies for the project. I also met with faculty from Kyoto City University of Arts.

I met many people and saw some amazing things, but I think this roller coaster (below) in Osaka was one of the most striking things I saw.

Photo by Earl Carlson.

The ‘Fire’ project was featured in the gallery at the Behance Network site. 666 people have viewed it since yesterday. We have been asked to keep it on site until February and there is talk of making it permanent. We have no idea what the impact of the Michigan weather will be on it. It was never intended to be there that long. So far it has survived the rain and snow…

A selection from our v1b3 project is playing at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design and on Michigan Television (PBS, WFUM) and Michigan Channel. See http://playgallery.org/


et dukkehjem from John Marshall on Vimeo.

There is a little photocell embedded in the seat of the armchair ‘Torvald‘. This sends a message when it registers darkness. The webcam then takes an image. There is an accelerometer in the rocking stool ‘Nora‘. When she is rocked this triggers a randomly selected line of her dialogue to be played as audio. A line of text from the play is also uploaded to the website via Twitter. There is a passive infrared sensor on the underside of the table ‘Krogstad‘. As the table is approached the sensor triggers a randomly selected line of his dialogue to be played as audio. And the lamp ‘Mrs. Linde‘ changes color from white to red.

Thanks to PLY Architecture and Metropolitan Architecture Practice for collaborating with us and designing ‘Mrs. Linde’ and ‘Krogstad’. Thanks also to Michael Rodemer and Sherman Finch for help with coding and electronics. We are also grateful to Trust for Mutual Understanding for supporting our travel to Macedonia and everyone at Line in Skopje for all the help.


‘Fire’ from John Marshall on Vimeo.

The ‘Fire‘ project is going well. It survived the rain. Apparently there is some will to make it permanent. There are some great photos of it on Earl Carlson’s site.