Category Archives: Physical Computing

Historical Contusion: an Interactive Durational Performance

IMG_6102_2

CONCEPT:

Historical Contusion is a durational performance and installation in which users are invited to participate in a witness against the neglect of history.  The audience can engage by reading a primary historical text that contains difficult/troubling content (a problematic editorial by Bret Harte describing a massacre that occurred in Northern California in 1860).

_MG_2832

“Our Indian troubles have reached a crisis. Today we record acts of Indian aggression and white retaliation. It is a humiliating fact that the parties who may be supposed to represent white civilization have committed the greater barbarity.”  

Continue reading Historical Contusion: an Interactive Durational Performance

PComp Final Project Process: Update 2

IMG_5916_2

Continuing from where we left off in the last post on my Physical Computing Final Project, once I obtained a real axe I began testing with my motor to see what speeds I could reach with the added load.  It was immediately clear that while the motor could handle the weight, doing it at a speed that would represent human chopping was optimistic.

Continue reading PComp Final Project Process: Update 2

PComp Final Project Process: Update 1

IMG_5869

Having received the parts and materials I ordered, and attempting to take strides on my final project for Physical Computing  (as outlined in my last post on planning) I built a basic circuit with a Sparkfun Easy Driver, a breakout board designed to streamline the process of controlling stepper motors (note that with the Easy Driver only four wires are needed even thought this a Unipolar Motor with a total of 6).  To be honest I was worried that I made some soldering errors, but when I hooked up the Arduino and the motor, my fears were allayed.

Continue reading PComp Final Project Process: Update 1

Tangible History: PComp Final Project Planning

Continuing with this notion of the Difficult Conversation that I laid out in my Final Project Proposal, and how to facilitate a space where users/audience are willing to continue engaging over a sustained period of time even if the subject is challenging and their first impulse be to turn away, this post goes into my more formal project planning.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.11.01 AM

Continue reading Tangible History: PComp Final Project Planning

Illuminating the Story: Playtesting my PComp Final Project

IMG_5829

 

Mock-up diorama with digital image standing in for 3D models.

Today in Physical Computing, we explored some basic UX design questions through playtesting of our Final Project concepts.  I drew up a rough sequence or system diagram for myself to understand what I see as the flow of the interaction.

IMG_5840

Continue reading Illuminating the Story: Playtesting my PComp Final Project

Difficult Conversations: PComp Final Project Concept

Fort.Humboldt

One of the foundational metaphors of interaction design is Chris Crawford’s description of good conversation, from The Art of Interaction Design (I discussed this book in a previous post).  When I began to consider what I wanted to do for my final project for Physical Computing, I asked myself, “What is the conversation I most want to have right now?”  The response? A difficult one.

Continue reading Difficult Conversations: PComp Final Project Concept

Stormchestra: PComp Midterm, Part 2

 photoOur working prototype, as of a few days ago.

In my last post I outlined the details of the Physical Computing Midterm project Rebecca and I have been working on.  We started by exploring the properties of three sensors: a piezo, a basic electret (from Radioshack), and a more complex electret (from Adafruit).

all 3 sensors

We found the first two sensors gave readings that were more erratic than we were prepared to deal with for this current task, so we proceeded with the Adafruit component. Rebecca began to look at ways to get smooth, workable values .

Continue reading Stormchestra: PComp Midterm, Part 2

A Tempest: Our PComp Midterm, Part 1

adafruit_mic

Adafruit Electret Mic.

Rebecca and I have been thinking about breath.  We decided that we wanted our midterm project for Physical Computing at ITP, which needed to involve Serial Communication, to use a sensor that would transduce breath into electrical information.

Our first test, upon recommendation, was to use a Piezo component.

piezo_circuit

We found that it did transmit serial data that could be read by Processing, but the data was erratic, the user experience was annoying (you have to put your mouth right up to the hole in the Piezo), and there was a lot of unwanted noise created by the body of the component.

Continue reading A Tempest: Our PComp Midterm, Part 1