Wednesday, July 30, 2008

peaceful --> drama

Saturday, July 26, 2008

sort of a slow week

After a big burst of energy in the first two weeks here I sort of came to a plateau this week. It's been increasingly difficult to get to work on some of my priorities while here. I can blame the poor weather and general homesickness but I won't. No excuses, I have to keep working harder as this will be the only opportunity to get a lot done before I get back to the Peg. When I get home I have to move both my studio and apartment into a rental house so September will be no art making month.

Friday night I finally got on to a job that's been lagging lately, the update of my website links page. Basically it focuses on electronic resources for artists interested in electronic art research and production. I can put more new stuff in there about some of my other interests but I think I'll keep the focus as it is. Another edit was to my top page using a sequence of pictures I took with my cheap digital camera. It has a multi exposure feature that snaps 16 pics in a sequence with one shutter actuation. Here's the link. top page I still have to make some new pages yet , so still lagging behind.

A bit of surprise this week was the discovery that my name and website is linked on Cycling74's users page. I've been using Max since about 1992 and although I use it a lot with my artwork and occasionally give workshops, I don't think of myself as a power user or an expert. There are 1000's of talented folks using MAX/MSP/Jitter to create wonderful performances and artworks. It's an honor to be included with the other folks listed and hope everyone else gets listed some time too.

This week I am giving a demo/workshop of Max/MSP/Jitter at Struts Gallery as part of the residency program I am participating in. Here's the blurb.

Thursday, July 31
2 PM - 5 PM
Creative Lab: Introductory MAX/MSP demo
Facilitated by Ken Gregory
Struts Gallery
Seven Lorne Street
Sackville New Brunswick

Open Studio Artist-in-Residence Ken Gregory will demonstrate the versatile audio/video processing software MAX/MSP. In use for over 20 years by musicians, artists, scientists and students, MAX presents infinite possibilities and variables for affecting analog audio and video signals through the computer based interface. MAX is an ideal tool for artists and musicians looking to explore audio/video possibilities for installation and performance. Ken's demo will focus on his artist practice and the various applications he incorporates into his diverse practice.

I'm also giving the first workshop I have ever done regarding the making and flying of kites. This is my fifth year with kiting and am a bit nervous about branching off from sharing my usual skill sets of electronics, audio recording, sensors and Max and so on.

Tuesday, July 29
2 PM - 5 PM
Creative Lab: Kite-making workshop
Facilitated by Ken Gregory
Struts Gallery
Seven Lorne Street
Sackville New Brunswick

Open Studio Artist-in-Residence Ken Gregory will lead workshop participants through the process of building a simple kite out of everyday materials. Ken will provide an introduction to basic aerodynamics and participants will have the opportunity to craft and fly their own simple kite. This workshop is open to adults and children.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Week 2 random images

Three photos from the last recording session with the aeolian kite.

Rebuilt anemometer using a magnet and a Hall-effect sensor for measuring wind speed.

Kite tails.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday morning

Sunday, July 13, 2008

circuits and mosquitos

Saturday was spent getting my sensor array circuit working well and communicating via wireless serial packets to the iBook. I wrote a Max patch, tweaked the protocol and fooled around with a translation of the accelerometer data into something that can animate a 3D open GL object until my eyes were going to pop out of my head. There's some math I am having trouble with. Otherwise the whole thing works and now I have to try and package it up into something I can use in the field.

Saturday night I took the Hazmat kite out as the wind speed had dropped enough that there was a chance it might fly. As the wind dropped the mosquitos started up with their nightly blood feast. I managed to have a short flight in almost 0 km wind which was really satisfying but as night fell was rapidly packing my stuff up to get out of the field. Winnipeg gets lots of press regarding the mosquito problem but they are ever present here in Sackville. Today I picked up some non-toxic repellant.

Today was spent in the field again testing one of the kites that I rebuilt after taking it apart to ship. I also brought along some recording gear in hopes of getting a good aeolian string recording. I just got the portable Zoom digital audio recorder and wanted to see and hear how it might work out with this project. I'm pretty sure I got sunstroke as I worked through the afternoon so before it got bad, packed up and got inside to some drinks and lunch. I still have a little bit of a headache. I'll be looking for a nice sun hat this week and pick up some sunscreen too.

For those who are just becoming knowledgeable about what I am doing, basically I am trying to record the wind induced vibrations of the kites towline by amplifying them with the guitar body and recording them with a contact or regular microphone. This project title is Against the Wind and the technique and process is known as the Aeolian Kite Instrument. Check this; wind instruments , for more information.

Here is a link to a sound file in mp3 format which I have previously recorded. Kite Song 1

Saturday, July 12, 2008

no title today as I can't think of one...

My stuff from Winnipeg arrived on Thursday evening, a big relief as the woman on the phone at the bus station said it could take 7 to 14 days for it to arrive. I've never had anything take that long to ship, so in a moment of panic tried to think up a plan B if this would happen. Luckily I don't need a plan B. So I am happy now with all my favorite and current studio stuff set up around me. I have already started resurrecting the wireless sensor array board I started building a few months ago. Good thing I got started on Thursday night as Friday was a busy day. At Struts there was an afternoon BBQ, a couple friends passing through town on a road trip visited , there was an opening and at dusk a film screening in the parking lot.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

slow culture

Sackville was designated a Cultural Capital of Canada for 2008 . It's easy to see why, just look at Struts calender of activities! In addition to that, the town has tons of events going on. My participation in the residency at Struts is a small part of of the big picture. For six weeks I'll be here with my kite lab, researching, building and flying kites with a focus on sound based kite instruments and electronic/kite hybrids(crazy talk). I'll be giving some workshops and an artist talk while I am here too.

Things are going a bit slow at the moment here as my shipment of tools and materials has not arrived. So I've been hacking away at with whatever I can find here at the gallery. Or hunt down in town. Sackville is a small town so finding anything I can use in the lab is rather difficult. Making do is part of my art making process though so some things are happening. Most of the things I made are already broken, usually during the first test. Here's something that flew well until it crashed, tearing the newspaper sail up.

I've since rebuilt it, because it was so much fun to fly.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sackville New Brunswick

My home for the next six weeks. There's a nice apartment above the gallery that I am staying in.

Struts Gallery

Evidence of prior kite activity.

The studio with a newly made and already broken kite being repaired.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Hope and I participated in the Element Sircus held in Market Square June 21 2008 with our video installation/performance Sliver City Cinema