Aftermath of Material Connexion

We went on a class trip to Material Connexion.
I found this combination of laminated glass and resin to be a very pure canvas. I had a slight interest in suspending objects in resin but never pursued it.

I like art pieces, so I think working with a material like this can be very rewarding. There’s a timeless aesthetic caused with it being still life, but also the beauty of it being a engineered transparent rectangle .

This is definitely a stiff material. The manufacturer is Livinglass. They also seem to handle the distribution portion, or so it appears so from their website.

This may be out of range price wise, but I would be interested in tackling this on my own if needed. I don’t have a subject as yet so I will need to think about what I would do with these blocks.

Irregular Box Assignment

For this assignment, my inspiration was the limited methods I had to construct an irregular box.
I decided to approach this project in Softimage with extruded polygons.  This works well because the methods we have available to fabricate also depends on flat surfaces with a uniform thickness. Or so I thought…
Softimage has no real world base unit to modify (as far as I could tell). The designer has to keep in mind 1 unit in XSI is 1 inch, for example.

I exported my model as 10 objects. Then imported them into 123D. That process was okay but not so obvious for beginners. I made a critical mistake which would come back to haunt me. For some reason the scaling feature is automatically enabled. When I exported the Vector cuts they were not proportional to my other pieces.
I converted the EPS files into the AI formats that the laser print driver natively reads. The actual laser cutting process isn’t too complicated once you’ve gone through it a few times.
I knew prototyping is very important but due to unexpected constraints I went with acrylic and learned an expensive hard lesson. Next time around I know what to expect from this process and will be sure to prototype.

Thoughts on “Technologically Mediated Artisanal Production”

This was an interesting read. The writer was aware of some of the issues that stems from the “maker” movement. It’s a strange thing to digest as it still depends heavily on the exports of 3rd world countries to succeed. As $19 cups of coffee take over Brooklyn, what does the end of maker cities look like?

Looking forward to the class discussion.


I see music as history. It is a old message to be received by someone who doesn’t exist yet. In the future I would like the music I create to have hands in the realm of analog and digital music. I want to incorporate my background and personal experiences into the songs I create.

In the future I see music as less and less constrained to a particular medium. To get the full performance to the user, the music should be packaged with other sensory media that play concurrently.

I want to have my own brand or genre that I am easily associated with. My music should be chaotic in a controlled format. I want words in my songs, because ironically wordless songs get repetitive to me. I think it’s important to collaborate. So I would like to record with other like minded musicians as well.

I don’t see my music as being mainstream, at least that is not my goal.  I do want to reach a lot of people.  But I want them to influence me as much as I influence them.

Final Project Update

Melissa and I ran some more tests with lasers and water streams at school and individually at home. Unfortunately we are still fine tuning our alternative light and sensor interface that will trigger the MIDI notes.

This is our first attempt at a MIDI output circuit.

This is us using the stock MIDI code from Arduino’s site. We are running the Arduino through a MIDI jack to a MIDI/USB converter and then into a soft synth.

This is one of our laser tests. I think it’s a cool effect but if we do use it, it will be more for aesthetic purposes.

We met again yesterday to test out our pump and PVC pipes for the fabrication part of the project. I think we are in a good place but we still have to catch up on the deliverables. Luckily I took off next week to focus on getting this completed.

DELIVERABLES (in progress):

Concept & Brainstorming (DRAFT)

Melissa and I decided to work together for the final project. We are working on creating a water instrument. The main interface will be a water fall or water sheet.20161110_111227

I am thinking about the pros and cons or it being a midi controller versus a function generator.

+Post Final Project Concept discussion (11/12/16):
We had a very productive demonstration of our water synth project. Here is a video of how we simulated our concept.

We received a lot of great feedback from our classmates and of course our Instructor Benedetta. After the testing we knew we had a good idea to proceed with and were confident that it would be something we could pursue.

After the demo we met to test our idea. We wanted to have several lasers travel through a waterfall. Unfortunately that is not easy to do and the results were not promising. We were able to get the laser to travel along a stream but it became increasingly difficult to get a projection the higher we went.


Proposals for Final Project

I enjoy listening to and playing synthesizers. These days most synthesizers are digital. That’s great because it allows them to be cheaper and reach a greater amount of people while offering a greater flexibility with sound. However there’s a limit to the resolution of digital synthesizers. We also lose a lot from circuits that simulate or model an analog synth. Analog synths are expensive, they’re messy, heavy etc.

1- One idea for a final is to bring analog qualities back into sampled and function generated wave forms. Usually water and synthesizers don’t mix. But if I can run a MIDI controller through a circuit that uses a water height sensor, I think I would be able to add back analog elements into the sounds being played. Also maybe the water can be the expression interface for the instrument itself. I can use other physical qualities of water to manipulate sound and modulation.


2- A second idea I had was to detect position along a RGB plane and have that affect color output among other things. There are already MIDI controllers that allow sound modulation along track pad axis. However this could be an interesting project if there is a unique application for it.