Tag Archives: art installation

Exploded Hardware Wall Art

via Hack a Day» hardware

explodedHardwareWall

The gang at Bolt.io realized that the walls in their office deserved some special attention, and they got it by mounting exploded hardware throughout the space. They sourced the used devices from eBay, then carefully broken them down into their components and mounted each on its own sheet of PETG. The result: exploded views of some of their favorite hardware, including a MacBook Pro, a Roomba, a Dyson Air Multiplier, and more.

Is it a hack? Eh, maybe. This is the first example we’ve seen of a collection of devices on display in this fashion. Regardless, it’s worth a mention considering what happened in the office as a result of the installation. Though the original purpose was simply to decorate the walls, it seems employees have been staring at them regularly, learning more about the designs, the plastics, and the component choices. Think of it as still life—depicting that moment you cracked open a device to inspect its guts—frozen in permanence and on display for both inspiration and convenience.

[via reddit | Thanks Buddy]


Filed under: hardware, teardown

‘conus’ mixes media, math and mollusks

via Hack a Day» hardware

conusCA

We love art installations that use technology in ways probably never before considered, and Moscow media artist [Dimitry Morozov] has done just that with ‘conus’, which reads the surface of mollusk shells and translates the data into real-time audio and video. These shells are unique; their pigmentation generates natural cellular automata. (If you’ve never heard of cellular automata, Conway’s Game of Life is a good example, where a rule set determines whether a cell lives, dies, or regenerates.

[Dimitry's] installation uses homemade digital microscopes to scan the naturally-created cellular automata of several shells, each rotating on its own disc. As the shell spins, the scans from the microscopes are fed into an algorithm which transforms the signals into data for multiple audio channels and three video monitors. You can watch the mathematical translation of the biologically-formed patterns in a video after the break.

Check out the MSP430 game of life shield for another example of cellular automata.


Filed under: hardware, misc hacks

This is your brain on Pi

via Raspberry Pi

We’ve only just spotted Mens Amplio, an Indiegogo project which met its target last month. It’s now being put together for the Burning Man festival, where it’ll be displayed in a couple of weeks. Mens Amplio is a fifteen-foot tall, Pi-controlled sculpture: a part-buried, giant human head made from an enormous mesh of steel. And inside, there’s a brain packed full of Endlighten acrylic rods for its neuron branches, which diffuse light from LEDs along their length.

Those lights are controlled by the brainwaves of a test subject volunteer wearing an EEG headset, changing shape and colour depending on the user’s thoughts, as interpreted by the Raspberry Pi; the eventual result is being engineered to mirror what you’d see on an MRI scan. You can read more about the work they’re doing to light up that giant brain on the Mens Amplio blog (it’s worth digging deep; this is a really interesting build), and keep up with the current state of the code they’re using on Github.

Braaaaaains.

Flames, also controlled by the Raspberry Pi, will be shooting out of the top of the thing.

The Mens Amplio team is made up of people from all the backgrounds you’d need for this sort of thing: doctors, welders, graphic designers, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s researchers, electronics engineers, brain imaging specialists, kinetic fire artists – here they are, in the video produced for their (now completed) Indiegogo fundraiser.

If you see Mens Amplio at Burning Man this year, be sure to take some video and send it to us. Best of luck to the ladies and gents of the Mens Amplio crew – we hope you have a blast on the Playa!

Know about an art project using a Pi that you think we’d be interested in?

Please tell us about it: while the hacker community is never backwards about coming forward, we’ve found that artists are curiously shy about approaching us when they’re using a Raspberry Pi, and we often learn about the Pi component of art projects like Mens Amplio too late to put the word out about fundraising or exhibitions. Rachel, our Artist in Residence, is busy doing artist and kids outreach, and we’ve got projects running with the UK Arts Council to introduce the Pi to young artists. We know there’s much, much more out there, but we need you to tell us about it. If you’ve seen something you think we should blog about, you can reach me at the usual address.

Lincoln University’s digital garden, and its gold medal

via Raspberry Pi

At this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, Lincoln University’s digital garden, which changed the way it looked depending on what people tweeted, sent messages back to people interacting with it, and did all kinds of interesting things with twenty servo motors and a lot of hinges, won a gold medal.

See if you can guess what was powering it.

We were sent some BBC news coverage, which, sadly, doesn’t actually mention the Pi behind the scenes (although it is beyond delightful for us to see Ringo Starr looking interestedly at it) – but you can read more about the Pi’s involvement, and the philosophy behind the garden, over at the Times Educational Supplement. It’s a nice reminder, though, that a single Raspberry Pi can be used to drive enormous projects like this garden as well as little things like the pile of toy cars and robots that are currently piled up on the desk I’m sitting at now.

Well done, Lincoln techno-botanists. We loved the project, and we wish we’d been able to see it in person!

Introducing our Artist in Residence, Rachel Rayns!

via Raspberry Pi

Liz: We talk a lot here about making, designing, and how computing is just as much a creative discipline as it is a technical one.

What’s this? Read on to find out…

There’s a weird dividing line in many people’s heads between creativity and technology. I hope that the projects we show you on this website demonstrate that there shouldn’t be. That dividing line puts the idea in the heads of many tech-oriented people that they aren’t any good at being creative; and vice-versa, it gives many creative people the impression that technology is not for them. This isn’t good for anyone, and it’s something we’re working to address, from school level right up to proper grown-ups.

On Tuesday I found myself in a meeting with Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, talking about the Pi’s potential as a tool for artists. We’re seeing more and more artists using the Pi in installations; it’s ideal for this sort of use, given all the exposed GPIO which can be used to sense things, drive things and make objects in the real world interactive, as well as its ability to drive 1080p HD displays. And, of course, it’s cheap: being able to buy a Pi for $25 means that adding computing to an installation is suddenly brought within the budgets of even garret-dwellers. At school level, we’re trying to make it clear that computing is creative – when it comes down to it, it’s all about making things, whether they be programs or robots. Without design-focused digital creatives we’d have no games industry, no CGI, no graphical user interfaces and a very boring computing environment. If I could, I’d rebrand the Computing GCSE as a GCSE in building robots, installations and wearables, and writing games. Takeup would increase tenfold overnight.

Rachel (who was presenting at that Arts Council meeting on Tuesday) has been with us for a couple of months now, but we’d been unable to announce her arrival until she’d finished work on a separate project. That’s all done now, and we thought you’d like to learn a bit more about her and why she’s with us: over to you, Rach! (We are introducing Rachel with a self-portrait-with-pie from one of her recent photography projects. Serendipitous, no?)

Rachel: Hey everyone!

I’m Rachel Rayns. I’m an artist and maker based in Norfolk, UK.

I am not a traditional artist – I can’t draw or paint (much to my annoyance). Within my work I like to investigate how we use and react to technology; I mostly make films and machines!

At university I developed a specialisation in really technically complex films – I would use a 16mm camera and shoot one alternate frames and then CAREFULLY rewind the film and shoot on the frames I hadn’t done first time round. I had my artworks and films shown at the Whitechapel Gallery, the London Short Film Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival and many other galleries and events.

16mm Films, Rachel Rayns

While I was at university, I collected film cameras and made online tutorials for developing your own colour celluloid film (one of which compared developing film to making a pie – which is where the picture at the top comes from!)

After I graduated I founded Soup Lab, a not-for-profit art organisation which focused on how new and old technologies could work together.

Soup Lab ran a space in Norwich from Dec 2011 to March 2013 with a full darkroom, editing suite, motion picture film lab, gallery and offices. I directed the space and curated the programme.

The ceiling-mounted stop-animation camera rig for Rachel’s film 2D Dreams, which was chosen to open the Straight 8 Festival and proves that duct tape is the force that holds the universe together.

Making-of shots from 2D Dreams

I had heard of Arduino, I had even owned one, but I never really did anything with it. Then I heard about the Raspberry Pi and like lots of you, pre-ordered one. It sat on the shelf for a while while I thought about what to do with it, and eventually I decided to make a super-duper hydroponic gardening system, that panics and tweets when she needs water and hosts her own site, showing off photos of her flowers when they bloom. Zoe is a robot in a romantic relationship with her garden: when she and the garden are happy (when the garden is growing healthily and the plants are watered) she posts pictures of their connubial bliss, but when the soil is drying out she takes to social media to ask questions about how to improve her relationship with the plants. Now I have built most of the mechanics of the machine – but I will be asking for your help later on to make it go!

Zoe Star’s innards. Note Pi.

So, now I’m working on more Zoe Star machines with different functions: humorous devices from alternate realities!

I am all about getting people to start doing things. I love running workshops which involve using materials people haven’t tried before. In the past I’ve run workshops at Tate Modern and Brighton Photo Fringe. I have also give talks and sit on panels discussing makers, artists and technology – last weekend I was at the Victoria and Albert Museum talking about Pi, art and creative tech, and talking at the Elephant and Castle’s first Maker Faire with Tim Hunkin – eep!

Rachel’s most recent interactive workshop/exhibition at Tate Modern, where attendees hacked celluloid film.

So, what’s an artist-in-residence, you’re asking? An artist-in-residence is usually invited into an organisation to create art which responds to the work the organisation does, the physical space they’re working in, or even a particular project.

I will be working on the Zoe Star series and exhibiting Raspberry Pi projects in a number of places (including some room the guys have freed up especially for display at Pi Towers), but I’ll also be creating tutorials for this site, and setting you some challenges for you guys! I’ll be working on documentation aimed at artists in helping them getting started with technology in their practice, seeking out artists already using the Raspberry Pi in their work and making sure you guys know about it; and I’ll be representing the Raspberry Pi Foundation at art events and helping the rest of the team run workshops whenever needed!

We sent Rachel to represent us and talk about the Raspberry Pi at the Athens Video Art Festival 2013 earlier this year – she mailed me this to prove she was really there…

I’m currently working on a bunch of projects, including preparing for an awesome new Minecraft project with the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology and PrintCraft - I’ll have more news on that soon. I’m also running a three-session workshop programme to make your own Zoe Star machine with my help at the Victoria and Albert Museum in late November and early December – so keep an eye out for that! And I will be working lots on more Zoe Star projects with some lovely folk at Norwich Arts CentreWriters’ Centre Norwich and Cambridge MakeSpace.

This is Rachel’s bike, with its handmade, laser-cut basket. You can see why we thought she’d be right at home with the Foundation.

When people ask me what I’d like to do when I grow up, I say I would love a little studio – somewhere to be making all day, where I could also run workshops and have chats with interesting people. So, actually, I am already exactly where I want to be! I had never thought of becoming an engineer before spending time around Raspberry Pi and hackerspaces – when I was at school my appetite for hacking and making was seen by teachers as a suggestion that I should be studying art. Engineering was never on the table – and I don’t want to drop the gender bomb, but I do wonder if it’d have been the same if I’d been a boy with the same skills. I wish I’d had the opportunity when I was choosing my first degree, and if I return to university I’d love to study on the Innovation Design Engineering course at the Royal College of Art.

I am super happy to be here. If you have any questions let me know and I’ll try and answer them!

Liz: thanks Rach! If you live in or near London and you’d like to meet Rachel, learn more about Zoe Star and talk to her about what she’s doing with us, she’ll be at the Internet of Things Meetup in EC2 on July 16 (that’s next Tuesday). She’ll also be answering your questions in the comments here: so get commenting!

Voyage: an interactive art installation

via Raspberry Pi

If you’re at BETT this week, come over to Stand B240 to meet one of the Robs, Clive and a bunch of impaled Jelly Babies.

So here’s a little change of pace after yesterday’s excitement. We’ve noticed a lot of artists working Raspberry Pis into their installations; we’re still very proud that the new Tanks space at Tate Modern had a couple of Pis driving one of their very first exhibits. It makes good sense; the Raspberry Pi’s a lot cheaper and smaller, and a lot less power hungry than the laptops or PC towers that people used to use for this sort of task.

Still in London, we discovered last week that this flotilla of paper boats, which doubles as an array of LEDs and can be controlled by the mobile phones of passers-by, was being exhibited at Canary Wharf. There’s a Raspberry Pi acting as a DHCP and web server as part of the control mechanism, and we find ourselves surprisingly touched at finding a Pi in something so beautiful.

Voyage is an installation from Aether Hemera; you can read more about the setup at their website. I’m not sure how long it’s there for (or even if it’s still in place; we were a little late finding out about this); have any of you London readers had a chance to see it?

There are more pictures of Voyage at Design Boom; they’re well worth a look.