Just a quick update on the MnstriOSCTools plugin for Quartz Composer. Should not conflict anymore with any other plugin or application that uses the VVOSC framework. So should also fix any issues people were having with VDMX and the Animata Plugins.
Here is the first step of a new project I’m working on.
I often teach electronics to people who have no previous experience and there are always the same problems. How do you explain how electricity works so that it’s understandable, but also so that you don’t simplify it too much? How to get the people to understand the way you need to connect different parts? How does the breadboard work?
I personally think that starting with schematics is not a good way. Especially when teaching people who are not very technically oriented. It’s important to eventually get to schematic symbols and understanding them, but it is challenging enough to get these tiny components in your hands and trying to get to know what they do without the level of abstraction that schematics bring. That is why I like to start with the actual components and real wires. And that is why I like to use Fritzing. I can draw a pretty clear picture of the circuit we are working on and show it to everyone without messing around with document cameras or similar setups.
Fritzing has its limitations also. It’s a 2d image and something more complicated than the picture above might get very messy and hard to read. Doing the same thing on a real breadboard is also not ideal since electronic components are very small and a dozen or so people trying to see what you are doing is not going to work so well.
So this got me thinking the other day: “What if I just make the breadboard much bigger?”
I fired up the laser cutter at Aalto Fablab and this is what came out of it. It’s not actually working yet, but I’ll probably make the metal strips for it next week. I have some ideas how to do that, but I’ll need to revise the designs a bit more. And I’ll also make supersized versions of all basic components. Here are some quick tests that I cut at the same time as the board.
I haven’t actually used these yet in teaching, but I will the next time. I’m hoping that larger scale 3d version of the breadboard should clarify things.
I also have another use for this same idea, but more on that later.
I will be doing a QC workshop as a part of the Creative Coding for Live Visuals workshops during the AAVE/Pixelache Festival in April. See more information and the call for participation from the Pixelache website.
VISUAL PROGRAMMING USING QUARTZ COMPOSER, SYPHON
When: 12 – 13.04.2013 (Friday, Saturday)
Time: 16:00-21:00, 10:00-15:00
Where: Aalto FabLab
In addition to my QC workshop, there will be two other creative coding workshops:
- AVVX – VISUAL MUSIC WITH VECTOR GRAPHICS by Nuno Correia
- GENERATIVE GRAPHICS USING CINDER AND SYPHON by Krisjanis Rijnieks
A big thank you to Irina for making this happen.
Rupriikki Media Museum opened their new exhibition Jokapäiväinen mediamme (Our Daily Media) on October 4, 2012. For the past year, I’ve been working on three interactive installations for the exhibition. The approach for designing the installations was Media Archaeological or Interface Archaeological. We used old technologies and interfaces – such as the telegraph, analog photography, rotary dial telephones – as the interfaces for providing digital content and user experiences for the visitors.
I would like to thank the staff of Rupriikki for inviting me to work on this project. The whole process was a collaboration with the museum. I would especially like to thank researchers Niklas Nylund and Outi Penninkangas, and exhibiton designer Elina Rantasaari. And of course the construction and technical crew who built the exhibition.
Pimiö [The Darkroom]
The first installation I would like to talk about is the Darkroom. Film photography and darkrooms are far from obsolete, but still the whole process of developing you photographs in a darkroom might be quite unfamiliar for the generation that has only used digital cameras. This installation uses the gestures and artefacts found in a real darkroom as the way to interact with the installation.
The visitor places an empty photograph paper into the developing tray and a picture appears on the paper. The picture then turns into a slideshow of other photographs of the same theme. There are currently five different papers and each paper is going to display different photographs from the Photo Archives of Tampere Museums.
The whole interaction experience is not very accurate compared to all the steps you need to do in a real darkroom, but is enough to trigger the memories of a real darkroom for anyone who has ever worked in one. Or it could inspire someone to get into analog photography. It also does what it is meant to do, which is to serve as an interface for browsing historical photographs.
Technical stuff: Each paper has an RFID tagembedded into it and the RFID reader under the developing tray recognizes each paper and displays the correct content. The reader is attached to an Arduino Uno board and Quartz Composer is used to display the projected images.
Sähkötyschat [Telegraph Chat]
There are two telegraph keys in different locations in the exhibition. The visitors can send messages from one location to the other with morse code. The display shows the message that you are writing and also the incoming telegram sent from someone from the other side of the room.
I started working on this in January 2012. A couple of weeks after that, I saw the Tworse Key project by Martin Kaltenbrunner. (Other Telegraph + Arduino projects exist too). Since he had done the work of converting morse code to text on the Arduino and released the source with a CC license, I decided to not reinvent the wheel and based my code on that. In accordance with the license (cc-by-sa), I will release the source as soon as I clean it up a bit.
Technical stuff: Arduino + Quartz Composer. One Mac Mini controlled both of the locations.
The third installation is a simple phone that allows the visitor to call various numbers from the past and present, such as Neiti Aika (Miss Time/Speaking Clock service) or Juho Holmstén-Heiniö, an inventor from Tampere.
Another installation still running this week! Vieraat jutut was made with Pasi Rauhala as a project for the Art Goes Kapakka festival. It’s an interactive installation where we set up two old rotary phones in different tables of the restaurant. You pick up one phone and the other starts ringing, and then you just wait for a stranger to answer your call.
More information: http://artgoeskapakka.fi/event/matti-niinimaki-pasi-rauhala
Still running for two days:
Fri 24/8 10:00 – 03:00
Sat 25/8 10:00 – 03:00
Race Code is running this week at the Lasipalatsi Square in Helsinki (projection on the wall next to the mbar terrace). It’s part of the Media Facades program at Helsingin Juhlaviikot. More information here: http://www.helsinginjuhlaviikot.fi/en/tapahtuma/media-facades-3/
The opening was yesterday at the Night of the Arts. Forgot my camera so no pics except a crappy iPhone shot in the dark.
I’ll probably be there every night to set it up around 21:30. So come and say hi, if you feel like it.
Fri 24/8 – Sun 26/8
21:30 – 01:00
Äänimuseo [Sound Museum] is an interactive sound installation that was created for the Koukkuniemi Home for the Elderly in spring 2011. It is a tool that allows the people living in Koukkuniemi to reminisce and share their memories with the help of auditory and haptic cues.
All photographs on this page are by Antti Sompinmäki
There are different kinds of objects laid out on the table and each object has its corresponding sound. The sound starts playing when the object is placed on the elevated area in the middle of the table. More complex soundscapes can be created by placing multiple objects on the table at the same time. The objects and their sounds are divided into four different categories: Tampere, nature, work and leisure.
The team working on the project:
- Production: Rupriikki Media Museum (as a part of the Kulttuurikaari project)
- Producer & Designer: Niklas Nylund
- Programming & Interaction Design: Matti Niinimäki
- Sound Design: Mikko Koskinen
- Models: Lauri Karskela
I haven’t updated the site in a looong time. Not sure if anyone is reading this anymore… A lot of things have happened both professionally and personally and I’ll try to post something more as soon as possible.
Most importantly, I wanted to post something about The Race Code. An installation I made together with Timo Wright. It is currently on display at Kluuvin galleria in Helsinki as a part of Timo’s exhibition If You Tolerate This…
Timo Wright: IF YOU TOLERATE THIS…
February 17 to March 4, 2012
Unioninkatu 28 B
(4th floor, courtyard)
The Race Code
The Race Code is an installation that comments on the growing atmosphere of racism in Finland. The visitor enters the exhibition space where a large grid of portrait pictures of the previous visitors are displayed. The visitor can then enter a photo booth where they can have their picture taken. The software analyzes the facial features of the person and compares those features to a certain ‘ideal face’. The picture is then added to the grid. The closer the facial features are to that ideal, the higher the picture is placed on the grid, arranging the visitors into ‘higher and lower races’.
I will write about this more in detail when we have some video documentation
The original concept is by Timo Wright. Programming and visual design by me.
The Long Journey Home
The other work in the exhibition is called The Long Journey Home. A very powerful sound installation. I highly recommend listening to the stories carefully (if you understand Finnish). I wasn’t really officially involved in this project, but I helped Aki Päivärinne and Janne Koivula with the programming and electronics.
The Long Journey Home is a sound installation in which the experiences of today’s refugees’, the Finnish war children’s’ and the Karelian refugees’ are combined into a single touching experience.
I was messing around with Quartz Composer and Kinect yesterday. I started to make a drum machine, but something went horribly wrong and this came out. Evil Super Snakes are attacking the world (or perhaps a plane?) and you must try to destroy them.
Now you can get your daily Arduino and sensor fix from me, your friendly neighborhood pusher man!
Månsteri Store is a place where you can get Arduino boards in its many varieties, sensors, basic electronic components, prototyping tools and much much more for your interactive art projects. Currently, I have distribution agreements with Arduino and SparkFun, but there might be some others in the near future. I try to only stock items that I have personally used and found to be useful in my own projects, but feel free to send me an email if you would like to get some specific stuff that is not on the website.
I already thought about doing this back in 2007 when I first started messing with the Arduino. Back then there were no Finnish Arduino distributors around and not so many elsewhere in Europe either. I couldn’t do it then, but the idea was stuck in my head.
Fast forward to 2011 and suddenly I have the resources to do it, so I thought: “Why not? It’s not like I’m working part-time at the university, doing dozens of art and design projects and trying to finish my MA studies at the same time. I have plenty of time to run an online store!”
For those who don’t know me personally, that is exactly what I’m doing + trying to have an actual life on top of that. Sometimes my stupidity surprises me…
Anyway, it’s been fun for the first few days since the store opened and the feedback has been great. A big thank you to all those supporting me! So head over to http://store.mansteri.com/ and shop til your voltage drops.