Food Triad

This week we had to build a piece on our relationship to energy. The type of energy I focus on the most is food, mainly because I eat everyday and because I have a choice of what to eat. There are three main factors that come into play when I decide what to eat:

  1. How good does it taste?
  2. How healthy is it?
  3. How much does it cost?

There are also other factors, such as the time it takes to make/eat and whether or not it is good for the planet, but I don’t think about these as much, so it didn’t make sense to include them in my piece.

My idea was to build a food triad illustrating how my food “rates” against these three parameters. Each parameter is a slider that moves in one dimension on a scale, and by connecting each point, I end up with a triangle representative of what I am eating. The larger the triangle, the better the food is. I also wanted my piece to have a history, so that I could see my progression over time and whether or not I am making better decisions about what to eat.

I initially wanted to build a physical object I could put up on my wall. It consisted of a marking device and a scroll of paper, which I would unravel gradually as I added more entries. I unfortunately ran out of time coming up with the design so I built a prototype of what the marking device could look like.

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I still wanted to build a piece that would display a history, so I built the following sketch in Processing (use the left and right arrows to navigate).

Waste Log for the Past Week

Here is a log of all my waste for the past week. I wanted to keep it manageable, so I focused on physical things I actually throw out in the garbage (or recycling). I realize electricity is a big part of my consumables, but I left it aside as I had no way of quantifying it.

The list is a lot shorter than I had anticipated and it is mostly related to food.

  • Feb 18 2010
    • paper plate (2)
    • paper bag
    • beer can (3)
  • Feb 19 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • milk carton
    • juice carton
    • eggshell(2)
    • glass jar
    • plastic bag (3)
    • tea bag
    • apple core
    • paper (5)
    • toilet paper
  • Feb 20 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • banana peel
    • eggshell (2)
    • paper plate
    • wax paper sheet
    • napkin (2)
    • plastic bag (2)
    • plastic bottle
    • aluminium foil sheet
    • styrofoam packaging
    • plastic wrap sheet
    • toilet paper
  • Feb 21 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • paper bag (6)
    • plastic wrap sheet
    • glass bottle
    • paper sheet (2)
    • toilet paper
    • onion skin
  • Feb 22 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • grapefruit skin
    • cheese rind
    • plastic wrap sheet
    • apple core
    • plastic bag (2)
    • paper towel (3)
    • toilet paper
  • Feb 23 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • grapefruit skin
    • paper towel
    • paper tissue (2)
    • toilet paper
    • apple core
    • paper plate
    • aluminium foil container
    • napkin (3)
    • wax paper sheet
    • tea bag
    • toilet paper
    • paper sheet (3)
  • Feb 24 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • paper tissue (3)
    • grapefruit skin
    • banana peel
    • cardboard box
    • cheese rind
    • plastic bag (4)
    • fish skin
    • tea bag
    • toilet paper
    • garlic skin
    • onion skin
  • Feb 25 2010
    • coffee grounds
    • paper towel
    • grapefruit skin


As I was not fully satisfied with any of the ideas for thesis projects I have had so far, I have decided to move forward with an idea I have had for a while now: Scrape.

Scrape is an art piece that explores information privacy by focusing on the graphical data that is left behind on a computer. All computers store visual data. The graphics card is basically recording a history of all recent activity on the machine. The core of Scrape is a custom software that retrieves the data from a computer graphics card at regular intervals. This found data is interpreted and represented visually, creating a beautiful, abstract mosaic of sometimes chaotic and sometimes recognizable tiles of information. Continue reading ‘Scrape’

A Game

Our assignment for the Softness of Things was to create a system. My team (Lara Grant, Jelani John, Milena Selkirk, and myself) decided to make a game with specific inputs, goals, and rules, but with broad tasks and outputs.

The Input

  • Teams of four
  • A sheet of paper with words on it

The Rules

  • Each person in the team chooses a role
  • Everyone can only perform tasks associated with their role
  • Every teammate must participate to create the output

The Output

  • Three goals, each revealed after the roles have been established
  • You can change roles after each goal
  • You have three minutes to complete each goal

The Roles

  • Colorer: Color, black out
  • Word changer: Change any word on the sheet of paper
  • Cutter: Cut, shred, destroy
  • Attacher: Use paper clips, glue, stapler
  • Folder: Fold paper
  • Printer: Print paper with any content on it
  • Manager: Direct teammates who must follow your instructions
  • Gopher/Take a break: Fetch whatever teammates request or decide to take a break during the task

The Goals

  1. Make a duck
  2. Write a poem/story about your duck
  3. Exhibit your duck and poem/story

We are inviting the mind as a process itself.
Specific goals have a blur once put through the relative, interpretive mind of the human.
How many ways can you think of representing our goals with the items that are given to you?

A closed system verging on emergent.
It has a start and a finish, yet the flexibility to give different results. Such as the possible combinations of roles that can exist in each group. The team can have different capabilities which will result in different interpretations of the tasks.

The Results

P1040996 Lara, Jelani, Milena, Elie (Test Case)

Alex, Despina, Matt

P1050096 Sarah, Jill, Dimitris

Daniel, Marco, Elizabeth, Mike

Connections: Chatroulette Cock Map

I really enjoy going on Chatroulette and think it is a great idea. Unfortunately, anybody who has been on will tell you that the main problem is the huge number of people masturbating on camera. People do this because they think they are anonymous online and they cannot be tracked down. Those same people would never dare pull their pants down in public. If I made a connection between the virtual cocks and their actual geographical location, it would probably discourage these people from showing their genitals on Chatroulette.

In order to do this, I built the Chatroulette Cock Sniffer. It is a desktop application that you run while you are on Chatroulette. Whenever you see a cock, just hit the “Cock Watch” button and it will track down the IP of whoever you’re video chatting with at the time, get their geographical location, and save it in a database. The locations of all cocks found can then be seen on the Chatroulette Cock Map companion website. The sniffer app also copies the location to your clipboard, which you can paste in your chat window to notify whoever you are chatting with that you’ve tracked them, re-enforcing the connection.

iPhone Zoetrope

Another thesis idea I had last semester was to build something I called an “iPhone Power Ranger”. I didn’t have a specific idea, but I wanted to build an app that required multiple iPhones to work. It is really interesting to see how the iPhone is such a ubiquitous device in New York, especially at ITP. It is something I found quite shocking when I first moved to this city, especially given the fact that I hardly knew anyone who owned any type of smartphone back in Montreal. Many companies simply assume everyone has an iPhone and therefore only offer services only for that specific platform. I wanted to take this idea further and push it to a ridiculous level, expecting people to have not one, but many iPhones in order to use my app.

I revisited this concept and combined it with the 3D zoetrope. I was thinking about some comments I got in class, specifically on how some people were interested in creating their own animations, and others were concerned that the same 12 frame animation would get old really fast. I started exploring the idea of using small LCD screens to hold the content so that it could be easily updatable. This seemed like a huge hassle because they need to be powered, receive content, look good, not get tangled up as they spin, etc. Then it hit me: The iPhone has a high-resolution screen, is battery-powered, has wireless networking capabilities, and can be programmed to do almost anything. It is perfect for my needs.


The idea is to create a disc that has placeholders for 8 iPhones. The disc is the same size as a 12″ record and can fit on any conventional turntable. These 8 devices are running an app which allows them to be directed by a 9th controller iPhone. The controller is used to draw frames, send them to the other phones, and keep the whole system in sync. The system is therefore not limited by a specific number of frames, as the 8 screens can queue up images and draw them in sequence.


I am pretty excited about this idea, a lot more than I have been about the other thesis ideas I have had so far, but there are still many concerns to be addressed:

  1. I have to learn a new programming language, Objective-C, to write software for the iPhone. I am also going to have to dive into lots of networking code, which is notoriously always a struggle.
  2. I must build a record that is light enough to be driven by the turntable, but solid enough to keep all the phones in place.
  3. I need 9 iPhones. It won’t be too hard to find 8 people who can lend me their phones for a bit, but it will be more difficult to find 8 people who will let me install software on their phone and lend it to me for an extended period of time.
  4. I have to make sure I can get a decent animation framerate from the system. The fastest my turntable can spin is 72rpm. At 8 screens per rotation, I get a little less than 10fps, which is not ideal.

Connector Photo Montage

Connector Photo Montage are a bunch of interesting connectors I found while walking around in the city.

Stereoscopic Updates

It looks like both thesis ideas on stereoscopic vision are going down the drain.

I lost interest in the 3D camera rig idea because I met 3 people in the last week who are working on very similar projects, and that pretty much turned me off.

In regards to the anaglyph drawing machine, I was a little worried about the technology as I have not seen red/blue 3D glasses in ages; most 3D experiences now use polarized glasses. After doing a little research, I found out that the red/blue glasses technique is out-dated as it doesn’t work super well, causes eyestrain, gives headaches, and doesn’t represent true colors. I found someone online named Sylvain Arnoux who worked on a similar idea and confirmed all this over an e-mail exchange. I do not really want to work on something that is already deprecated, so I am leaning away from this idea.

Animation Module

This week’s assignment was to make a module so I made an animation sequence that begins and ends with the same frame: a simple circle.

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If the sequence is repeated, it creates a seamless loop. Another module can also be created and it will follow this one seamlessly as long as it begins and ends with the circle frame.

Stories Through Pictures

Here are two sets of images taken last week in order to visualize some data about my life. For Breakfast, I took a picture of my breakfast every morning. For WakeFromSleep, I took a screen shot of my desktop every time I would open my computer, revealing what I was working on before turning it off.