19 March 2015

Seeds of change (Part 2) - Self portrait with happy face

In the deep freeze at the Seedbank installing some more light extrusions. In spite of the nice warm oranges and pinks in this shot its a nose blistering -22°c in here.

13 March 2015

Seeds of Change - (Part 1)

Getting ready for an upcoming exhibition with Steven Rhall at the CCP and HRAG. The exhibition will focus on the work of Australian Grains Genebank in Horsham and Ive been working with the students at Natimuk Primary to look at what they do and come up with a visual response to this.  After a trip into the Genebank and a visit from the team there to plant out some seeds, things are slowly congealing. The plan ultimately is to use a process of animated light extrusions to create the final work and the whole process has been another big learning curve.

Cooking up a head of wheat...

Light extrusion, like light paintings, but using a screen instead of a simple light source. A long exposure is taken of an animated sequence as the screen is moved through space over the course of the shot. The image one the screen is like a cross section of the final image object you're hoping to create

As the seeds the students plant have sprouted  we've been observing the differences between species as they develop and documenting this in a series of drawing.

These leaves shoots, flowers, seedpods, stems, tenrils and other elements that have been drawn are then are used as the ingredients (like a set of brushes almost) to recreate the plants.

This was an early video test.

Light Planting- Extruded Light Plants from dave jones on Vimeo.

Ive also been playing around with just using a simple light source to draw vegetation into a space.

Its taken a fair bit of faffing around with both of these to get the exposures right...still fine tuning in fact. Much of what has been done thus far is just experimentation but I'm pretty much ready now to go back into the Seed bank and create the final series of light extrusions in situ there.

Thanks to CCP, HRAG  for inviting me to be a part of this and Regional Arts Victoria for helping make it all happen.

More soon...

04 November 2014

Natimuk STT launch - the Verj - the Thing

Just quickly, here are some photos of the Thing doing its thing after dark. A camera in its "head" lets you do light painting by running around in the skate park with a head torch on (or waving your phone/lighter etc) whilst turning dials, pressing buttons, pedaling like fury all feed in to the mix, distorting and re-colouring the light paintings or adding generating new visuals to go along side the light painting.

I have video too...but it still needs a bit of an edit before its worth looking at.

17 October 2014

Nati STT

Eeeeee! So many things happening and so little blogging of it all.

Where does that time go?

Im just on the home straight now of the Natimuk Small town transformation project wherein lots of great stuff happens in the middle of town including the creation of a large scale kinetic sculpture by Sam Deal that is going to drive a bunch of visuals that will be projected from the sculpture up onto the freshly install shade sails above.
Scribbly sketch of mine inspired by the start Sam had already made on the sculpture (trying to work out how to manage the projector mounted in head concept)
Again its all part of this idea of making work that people really need to actively participate in rather than just sit there and consume it. Its something I spent a lot of time exploring during my fellowship last year...Something I hinted at with the Virtual Bike and Something's Afoot... at the the Nati Frinj last year and something that's probably going to be playing a much bigger part in at least the next few projects I'm involved in.

Heres a couple of stils of me experimenting with a kind of real-time light painting idea (these are screen grabs rather than long exposures). The idea is that a camera mounted high in the sculpture will allow people with lights (torches, phones, lighters, whatever)  to paint onto the shade sails by running around in the skate park. Meanwhile people operating the sculpture will be able to manipulate this raw material to create even more variety. The idea is that one person on their own should still be able to create something pretty interesting but that mutliple people working as a team will be able to take it to a whole different level.

And here are a coupel of shots of the sculpture slowly coming together in Sam's workshop.

 Between the solar panels on its head and the pedal power inputs the sculpture aims to generate enough power by day to keep the projections going at night (with the option to keep it topped up with the pedal power should it start running low).

 A host of big chunky knobs and dials all hooked up to electronic sensors provide the input that will drive the visuals.

the mirror on the back bounces the projections up and out to fill the shade sails (planetarium style)

So Ive been working on the visuals side of things, Sam's been working on the sculpture and this coming week it all comes together for the first time with a whopping 4 days to make it all work before the launch.

Exciting times...

17 February 2014

Captives of the City

A short compilation from the workshop I did with chamber Made Opera last year.

Captives of the City - Demo from dave jones on Vimeo.

Whether it makes the final show or not I think my favourite thing was the little pico projector getting towed along as JAcob manipulates the projected puppet. I think theres some great potential here for hand held battery powered projectors to get animation into some pretty interesting places.

There another workshop coming up in March so hopefully another chance to keep experimenting.

Firstly though I'm about to head up to APAM2014 to help unleash the MadeInNatimuk brand upon the world and see if we cant get any of the shows we've made remounted. Some of those projects were so much work to bring together it seems a shame not to give them a chance at another run.

So fingers crossed....and more in a bit.

27 December 2013

Art Pumping Action - Bike Tech

As I brace myself forthe onslaught of the Falls Festival in Lorne, Here's a hastily slapped down  breakdown of the bike powered computer game concept we launched at the Nati Frinj. There were 3 games made but they all hinged around the use  of  an arduino to forward a bunch of information capture off the bike via a range of sensors into  Unity which generated the visuals in response.  The Oculus Rift was a late but excellent addition to the setup. I had originally intended to build a little head sized projection booth so that only cyclist could see.
Compared to this though, a pair of goggles that responds to the orientation of the riders head and provides the visuals in 3D just takes it a step beyond the original concept. When we were building this rig the plan was that the entire power for the game be generated by the cyclist and the power consumtiption of the goggles beat out any comparable projection system (without even factoring n th nightmare of me trying to sculpt up a firbeglass projection  dome). I must be the only person ever to have bought an Oculus Rift for its relatively low power consumption.

The 3 bikes were placed radiating out from the central table so that we could get away with one of the riders throwing themselves off the bike without setting off a domino effect.  

You may snicker but I was genuinely surprised at how strong the compulsion was to throw oneself of a stationary bike whilst trying to lean into the corners.  The more experienced the cyclist was, the bigger the leaning issue. During the early test run Callum (who actually rigger these bikes) threw himself off and kicked in my favourite laptop screen (which would have been a complete disaster if I hadnt got some pretty good footage of him doing it).

So all the goodies, arduino etc are packaged up in the blue water bottle container there (genius idea courtesy of Callum)

The light mounted on the front of the bike and powered by the generator on the back wheel provided the load. By turning up and down the brightness of the light up and down then makes more work for the  rider.
 A hall effect sensor on the back wheel measures how fast the wheel is turning and sets the speed of the bike in the game.

 The  dial rubbing against the front steering fork (scavenged off an old oven) is stuck to a potentiometer and feeing back the steering info.
In the background, the screen is displaying the riders eye view. I hadn't intended to leave this here for the duration but it was such a crowd pleaser that I left it there the whole festival. It was great actually when the people queuing up to have a go were cheering on the rider.
In this particular game the goal was to round up sheep and flick them into the trailer you are towing (by running them down). The game was conceived by one of the students during a workshop at the local primary school.
In the background you can see the  Regulator and battery setup courtesy of Greer Allen of Magnificent Revolution. Does a great job of capturing an storing all the spare power generated by the bike. The Bike is more than capable of generating the power to run the laptop (35watts) and oculus (5 watts +  maybe some coming out of the computer USB???)

The generator sits up against the back wheel replacing the standard roller in one of those bike training stands. Having the adjustable height feature of the training stand was pretty convenient. In the background you can see the regulator (in the old ammo box) that could take the surplus power from all the bikes and feed it into the (yellow) deep cycle battery.

The bike when it was going hard was able to put out about 100 watts
The more electricity  the bikes had to produce the  hard it was to spin the generator.
This was hooked up to the gradient of the hills the rider had to climb in the game. The steeper the hill the brighter the light, the harder it was to pedal. The result was surprisingly convincing.
Just for good measure I wired up a bunch of bells and horns at the front that could be used to jump, fire or whatever. I didn't end up taking as much advantage of these as I thought I might have...the main reason being the oversight that when you've got the Oculus goggles on its actually pretty hard to find the bells.

Heading off in the morning to go down and install these beauties at the Falls Festival in Lorne over new years and, quite frankly, a little daunted about how they might hold up to the onslaught of 16,000 adrenaline-fueled youths over new years.

Perhaps this shall be my last post....