Don Relyea 
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Don Relyea's Blog

I like to write about interesting art projects, so give me a heads up if you have new project and I'll write about it.

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Thu, 16 Aug 2007

Siggraph 2007 part II Jacket Antics and Animalia Chordata
I went to the Siggraph Chapters party on Monday and got to see the Unravel fashion show. It was pretty cool with some innovative fashion statements indeed, my favorite was Jacket Antics below. The signs synchronize when the two hold hands, how sweet =)

Led Jackets
Jacket Antics by Barbara Layne/Studio subTela (quicktime video150k)

Jacket Antics feature unique texts and designs scrolling through the LED array on each of the backs. Traditional black linen yarns are hand woven alongside light emitting diodes, micro controllers and sensors. When the wearers hold hands, the LED arrays presents a third, synchronous message that scrolls from one to the other, presenting a new pattern of communication. When the wearers release hands, the message reverts back to the individual themes. The capacity for interactivity in the animated cloth displays extend the narrative qualities of cloth and provide new possibilities for dynamic social interaction.

Animalia chordata
Animalia Chordata by Gabriel Barcia-Colombo a student at NYU (Quicktime Video 1mb)

One of my other favorite pieces was actually a student work, Animalia Chordata by Gabriel Barcia-Colombo a student at NYU . It is not to technically complex or groundbreaking but it is clever and well done. It is a projection of little people in jars, the people are trapped and interacting with the walls of the jars. Nice work!

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Mon, 13 Aug 2007

Siggraph 2007 favorites from the Art Gallery

This year's Siggraph was big and overwhelming as usual. There was so much to see and I was exhausted by the time it was over. I spent a lot of time in the Guerilla Studio and checking out the Art Gallery and emerging technology exhibits. I also got to hang out with Joe Nalven of the Digital Art Guild, also a contributing artist. It was nice to meet Joe since I have seen him online for some time. I was also able to meet most of the artists mentioned below except Ingo Günther.

Since I didn't have a press pass I was not able to take many pictures. Below are some of my favorites, for some reason most of my favorites were installations this year. One of my favorites not shown in this post was a student work which I will post when I find the video transfer cable for my phone.

rostros adrian goya faces adrian goya
Faces / Rostros by Adrian Goya
Projection over Mirror programmed in PureData/GEM

Every day we look in a mirror and its always the same face, the Self. This interactive video installation tries to briefly change that everyday experience.

When looking into the mirror, the viewer discovers other faces watching him, faces that get mixed up between them and the viewers reflected image. The Self encounters itself face-to-face with the Other, previously a stranger. Inside the viewers own reflected image lies a small ever changing sample of the Infinite Otherness.

scaleable city
The Scaleable City by Sheldon Brown
Collaborators: Alex Dragulescu, Mike Caloud, Erik Hill, Carl Burton, Joey Hammer

Scalable City creates an urban/suburban/rural environment via a data visualization pipeline. Each step in this pipeline builds upon the previous, amplifying exaggerations, artifacts and the patterns of algorithmic process. The results of this are experiences such as prints, video installations and interactive multi-user games and virtual environments.

Throughout these artworks, a variety of computer concept buzzwords take on physical form. Wallowing in them provides equal measures of delight and foreboding, creating a vision of cultured forms that we are rapidly creating. The project neither indicates or embraces this future, but offers an extrapolation of its algorithmic tendencies, heightening one's awareness of the aesthetics of the underlying logic as it becomes the determinate of much of our cultured existence.

Scalable City is a project by Sheldon Brown and the Experimental Game Lab.


Worldprocessor by Ingo Günther

Worldprocessor is a series of internally lit globes mapping data of all sorts from terrorism and corporate empires to population. This installation of handmade globes was very nice and interesting.

dreaming of fingertip conversation
Dreaming a Fingertip Conversation with You _ tactuaL [si:gak] series
by Haemin Kim and Junghyun Ahn

Artist Statement
Dreaming a Fingertip Conversation with You _ tactuaL [si:gak] series
is about presenting an approach through the view-point of this generation's visually handicapped, and their perception of the world.

This project was inspired by the issue of finding the meaning of true extension of the human senses in the area of New Media Art called grafting between the digital technique and art. By utilizing the interactivity of digital media, this project aims at the experience of the visually disabled to spectators in a new type of communicational method.

By touching the tactile dots of the installation through one's finger tips, spectators can read a sentence that appears on the computational handling hardware. Those who have never experienced visually handicapped conditions will communicate with this artwork in a different way. Through this interactive process, people (generally called the public) can understand the visually handicapped.

Dreaming a Fingertip Conversation with You _ tactuaL [si:gak] series is an art experiment that was created at the point where the boundaries dividing art from science and design disappear due to technological development. We tried to make a new communicational method, using a technique called physical computing in the area of design. It is an attempt to get out of the traditional methods of the visual processing of information.

Co-working between crafts and design, we tried to find the possibility of advancing the qualitative finish of the material surface. Also we did our best to announce a message for a united society as a pioneering field of culture. And we hope that it is not only a technical experiment, but also aesthetically engaging.

Technical Statement
Dreaming a Fingertip Conversation with You _ tactuaL [si:gak] series
is visual-touch communicating device that permutes time delay in touch sense out-put in Braille reading into visual images which enables people who communicate through general visual images to understand its meaning.

The hardware consists of three parts; the input section, which is touch sensor connected to object, Wiring I/O board, which mediates signals in between, and the output section of Display and Sound output.

This work consists of 3 parts in display:
1. tactuaLight [text] : LED display panel
2. tactuaLight [image] : LED display panel
3. tactuaListening [sound] : Sound output & Projected display panel

These installations use the software, the Processing Language that implements dynamic graphics on display panel and the Wiring, a hardware-controlling program contained inside of the Wiring I/O board.

The input signal from the touch sensor, which senses the static electricity of fingertips, can transform into LED power control output signal or Sound output signal in Wiring.

Also in Processing, signal from serial port gives direct affect on elements of constituent changes. In the interaction process, audience can communicate with the work that implements into dynamic image, sound and text contain message.

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Sun, 05 Aug 2007

See a Hairy Bush at Siggraph 2007

hairy bush siggraph 2007
Big Hairy Bush a generative portrait of President George Dubya Bush by Don Relyea(click to enlarge)

Small version of Hairy Bush (188k shockwave animated drawing)!

August 2007 Events
Big Hairy Bush, a print from my hair particle drawing project, was accepted into the Sigraph 2007 Art Gallery in San Diego! August 5-9th in San Diego CA. See it in person there!

Hair Particle drawing algorithm

The hair particle drawing project is a drawing engine based around a particle fx engine I wrote for a game. I modified the particles to behave like growing hair. Hair growing in darker areas grows longer, thicker and maintains a tighter curl. This is to preserve some of the detail that would get overgrown otherwise. Hair will continue to grow over time. This portrait of President Bush was grown over a weekend.

I write my own software to create generative art and video.

The hair particle drawing project was originally intended to be and still is a component of a larger ongoing project. It is based around a particle fx engine I wrote for a game some time ago. I altered the particles to behave like growing hair. In the early stages of development the particles rendered long and flowing hair with loose curls. For the Big Hairy Bush application hair with a tighter more erratic curl was required. In general, hair growing in darker areas grows longer, thicker and maintains a tighter curl. This is to preserve some of the detail that would get overgrown otherwise. Hair will continue to grow over time. This portrait of President Bush was grown over a weekend.

Big Hairy Bush is intended to be non-partisan and humorous. It is my belief that all career politicians have something unattractive that they hide. Intentional or not the nature of their careers require compromise and back door dealing. President Bush was a convenient subject for this exercise but it is certainly possible to replace Bush with any career politician from either political party.

The beauty industry and the advertising industry have conditioned us to hide or cover up so called "unwanted hair" such as back hair, pubic hair, arm pit hair and leg hair. We cover it up, shave it and wax it off. With the proliferation of mass media it is desirable to white wash the unattractive traits of politicians. Using hair as a metaphor for that which is undesirable, what would politicians look like if they did not cover up their unwanted hair?

Technical Brief:
The Big Hairy Bush print was generated by a custom particle fx application written in image lingo within Adobe Director.

A small gif thumbnail of the President was downloaded and is used by the application for reference. The gif is parsed by the application at runtime grayscale index color values are stored in a lookup table. A particle manager was coded to prevent the application from overloading. The particle manager references the lookup table and based on the lookup table data it assigns a group of hair particles to various locations in the canvas area and initializes them.

Once a particle has been initialized it begins to draw itself maintaining a variety of vectors including, scale, opacity, mutators, growth direction and life span. Mutators are passed to the particles to cause them to grow gray or more kinky. When a particle has reached the end of its life span it disposes of itself and messages the particle manager that it is done drawing.

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Akiyoshi KITAOKA illusion pages

Akiyoshi's illusion pages

Akiyoshi's illusion pages
I found this page a while back and forgot to post about it. It is a page with images that give the illusion of movement. You really need to see the large versions on his site, they are pretty amazing. Work by Akiyoshi KITAOKA, Professor, Department of Psychology, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan

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