Working on now, coming soon!
Welcome, and most recent... :)
Newly updated and especially mobile friendly! Check out the new Cryptographic Tarot Flowers on tarotflowers.com for a quick bit of cool fun for free :)
Things have been their usual chaotic self at the Floating Bear studio. Some recent fun includes experiments with cyber bug hotels - part of the 'What if Robots Made Nests?' train of thought. Also a little erratic exploration generating algorithmic flower forms using a subverted audio mixer, drawing them with a drawing robot on the one hand, or turning them into 3D printed ink stamps on the other. In either case, to be augmented by human hand. (Idea approx: human machine collaboration :) ) All in the company of the very fine people of C2C Artists in Residence and the Hope Center Northampton.
Another little quirky something involved creating some super high efficiency tech for Fermynwoods Contemporary Art to play sound out in a field (which is to say Brixworth Country Park) for three months. One piece involved putting a ticking sound into a tree (tree by Heywood & Condie ) plus a chime that played when it received text message informing it of another tree somewhere being chopped down. A related device had to sit inside a hollow wooden post, play a selection of sound art pieces, and survive the three months on the twelve calories of energy it could take with it. That's better energy efficiency than a hibernating snake! (Fermynwoods have a little write-up about it here... :) )
The Oak, Heywood & Condie, 2023. Photo Elizabeth Blackie
Counterpoint, various artists, 2023. Photo Elizabeth Blackie
(This little device worked for three months on just twelve calories...)
And an honorable mention to a little bit of AI tech to help interpret sleep cycle data as part of the Child Mind Institutes work on childrens mental health. The challenge was to take movement sensor data from a smart watch and use it to understand childrens sleep patterns (turns out people definitely do not stay still when they're asleep!) The solution was a synthetic equivalent of a tactile sensor, like a fingertip, or maybe a whisker, to stroke along the dataset and feel the change in texture. Just without physicality - a data creature with data senses in a data world. Part of the cybernetic and/or completely abstract organisms train of thought... :)
Not much to look at, admittedly, but this little synthetic creature can tell when you're asleep by the change in data texture.
Other Stuff... :)
3D printed sculpture installed at Delepre Abbey. Part algorithmic, created from mathematical distributions found in nature. Part created by teenagers that couldnt be in school due to prolonged illness.
Some basically unsorted stuff - organisation on its way!..
The 3D printer's been working hard making pieces for a drawing machine.
...which all seems to make endless clutter somehow. Or do I just like it that way?
A lot of the ideas are very abstract so this machine is trying to represent some of them with motors and bricks. ToDo list includes putting some paper in it...
Ah, there we go. Pretty much what its supposed to do :)
Next: the other thing a CD player's for... (take the laser out if you're going to do this!)
Little Robot Heartbeats.
Little Robot Heartbeats
Many thanks to everyone that took part in Little Robot Heartbeats. I had a most excellent time! :) The event was an interactive experience with online and physical components facilitated by the magic of Sending Stuff Out In The Post(tm). All about the overlap between the Natural and Digital worlds. Also about dimensionality, the roots of vision, and making noises into stethoscopes...
Some hardware that was part of the workshop experience - a cyber stethoscope and a device that allows you to see like a snail. Its a kind of 1D vision with no image that I think shows seeing is really feeling at a distance. Contrasting this low dimensional vision, an experiment in taking an image, placing it on a 2D plane then tilting it in 500 dimensional space. Thats how I think of it anyway... :)
'The most fun you can have in an afternoon' - Little Robot Heartbeats participant
Education is an utterly key issue. If you're here because I'm pitching at you for a gig, then please go and listen to me brag some more over the the Education page! :)
A few Random Highlights (tm)
I'm working hard to link in versions of the experiences so many will be accessible at any time via the web - at least in some form! Until then, a few clips and clues... :)
The Sound Of The Space You Displace
Some more details on this interactive installation.
Award winning dontchaknow :)
A multichannel sound installation finding microtonal harmonies in nature.
Bonkers sound interactivity reviewed as
"A runaway success of the program".
A little bit about my workshops and educational work.
A recent set of projects have involved animal inspired machine vision including interpretations of the eyes of a clam, a fly, a crab and a snail...
3D Printed Landscapes of Heartbeats in a Phone box (!)
Physical interpretations of maps by James Steventon that combine physical place and human heartbeat in Fermynwoods Phone Box Gallery
Many Hands Make Light Work
Working with Sara Gillet. Rockingham Castle - Past, Present and Imagined in an interactive Minecraft style. This one caught the attention of the Arts Council newsletter! :)
The Sound of the Space You Displace
An award winning (I'm very happy to say!) installation that interprets unavoidable aspects of your presence into sound. Made from AI, sticky tape, bricks, tinfoil, etc... :)
Part of a series of online pieces - turning the Fermynwoods website into an AI driven Interactive Thingy (lots of little figures dance around in their web page world).
Another part of the Toggler project was a series of workshops with excluded teenagers. Here they created with noise, light, a drawing robot and the Will To Dominate (tm).
A Sound Flower
Part of current investigations into capturing human and organic qualities and expressing them via machine. Here innate organic properties as found in the sound of a breath are combined with an algorithm process. Which is to say,looking for the person in the machine and the machine in the person. Or something like that :)
A hybrid workshop where we got computers to lie to other computers to have various kinds of bonkers and sometimes etch-a-sketch inspired creative fun.
Making Robots That Make Pictures
A project in a mainstream school where we made some machines that moved like drunk Muppets. Now that really was a lot of fun :)
(as soon as I get around to it. Best get some detail into this stuff first!.. :) )