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The Room with a Bird

Inside the room, there is a bird.

Nobody knows where the bird came from.

The bird might not find a way out of the room,

or maybe, the bird really wants to stay in the room – we never know.


In fact, the room is empty, and the bird is invisible.

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Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, instructions were posted where users were asked to describe how they would draw Leeroy, a self-portrait character I designed.  After receiving the responses, I then posted them back onto Mechanical Turk asking people to draw the character based on the description.  The results vary greatly, but all resemble the original Leeroy interpreted through language.

Here are the textual descriptions, and some of the resulting images:

Draw a large oval first. Then draw two small circles in the center of the oval one on the right and the other on the left side of the oval. On the bottom of the oval draw two long legs with human feet. Also on the bottom of the oval draw two arms with a human hand between each leg and eye.

Draw a big black circle for the body.
Draw 2 smaller white circles for the eyes.
On the right side of the body, use thick lines to draw 1 arm and 1 leg.
Use thin lines to draw fingers for the arm.
Use Smaller circle shapes to shape heel, foot and toes.
Use Paintbrush to fill in gaps on the foot.
Use pencil to color in white toes.
Copy the arm and the leg, paste and flip to the other side of the body.

Draw a circular body first, then add two legs, then the arms next to the legs. Next, I draw two eyes (which are just plain circles inside the circle) and then color it all in black.

First, draw a square, and split it in half and use a curve to do the corners on half of the square. Next add an arm to that same half and then a leg and foot. Then flip the half drawing and match it to the other side.

Draw a circle by hand since it’s not a perfect circle.
Then use a very little button for each eye and draw around the button since the eyes do look like perfect circles.
Use a large magic marker to fill in the circle leaving out the eyes.
Using free hand use the thick magic marker drawing a line for each arm.
For the hands use a thin magic marker or pencil by free hand.
Draw the legs with a pencil all the way down to the feet and then fill in with a black magic marker making sure to not fill in the toes.

Start by drawing a big black circle for the head.
Then put two smaller circles on the left and the right towards the middle to represent the eyes.
Then draw four thin lines for the arms and legs.

1. Create a large circle
2. Create two small circles on the left and right sides of the large circle
4. Draw two lines coming out of the left side and sloping downwards.
5. Reflect these two lines on the right side.
6. On the outer most lines, draw five lines radiating out at the end.
7. On the inner most lines, draw a foot shape.

The original:

The completed assignments:

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circuitI began with the Lilypad Arduino connecting it to two metal plates. When tapped with power, the plates each transmit a different beat. If they are crossed, the rhythm becomes garbled. Using coded beats was too limiting. The Lilypad was ditched for this simple circuit. That main piece you see mounted on the board is a digital IC (integrated circuit). I attached it to 3v power, ground and had it feedback onto itself. The xylophone plates were filed and sewn on with conductive thread to make them conductive. Wire coming from the IC were soldered around the thread (very carefully b/c the thread isn’t strong enough to withstand solder)… more process photos/descriptions soon!

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Disembodied sensing with a head mounted display with a camera has been tried as in the following video.

disembodied sensing experiment video here

The sensation was strange especially when camera is pointed to look at the subject-self. View from a robot mounted camera has also been tried, which is simulating telepresence. This piece needs be polished in terms of showing. Since this kind of disembodied sensing has been tried ever since 1960’s, there’s no much room for creativeness from the methodology, rather it could be used as a artistic tool with respect to how it is shown and what is emphasized and illustrated.

Rather than developing in this direction, a figure sculptural piece is introduced. The head mounted display is a useful tool to look at something in an interesting way. It offers a sense of immersiveness. The figure sculpture has been casted out of myself. The head mounted display has been mounted on the eyes of the sculpture so that the looking at the display would generate a feeling that the audience looks inside the eyes of the sculpture thus the inside the head of it. 


A proximity sensor (capacitive sensor) will be mounted inside the face of the sculpture so that the approaching of an audience is detected and the video displayed is articulated. A video camera will be installed inside the head and will look to the front. There will be play of video of some seconds before. This hopefully would generate a sense related time and space as well as liveliness of the sculpture.

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Here are links to resources on Max/MSP, Pure Data, etc, if you want to take further what we looked at today during the software workshop:

Cycling ’74: company selling Max/MSP
Max/MSP tutorials
Pure Data (Pd) downloads: use the version of Pd-extended adapted to your computer
Original Pd documentation: by Miller Puckette
Pd tutorials
Arduino2Pd vs Pduino: control Pd with Arduino and vice versa
Arduino2Max vs Maxduino: control Max/MSP with Arduino and vice versa
Python S60 tutorials, incl. Max+Python: control Max patch with your mobile phone
Inaudible computing instructable: how to use sensor input in audio format (high resolution, cross platform, simple and cheap! works even with iPhones!)
Inaudible computing video: See Jo demo

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Big thanks to Evan for bringing all these awesome toys today!
If one of you would like to have one of them, you can pass by my office.

Here’s a link about circuit bending from its inventor Reed Ghazala, with more info on how to go about with it: http://www.anti-theory.com/soundart/circuitbend/

And here is Bent festival, a big annual and international gathering of circuit – benders: http://www.bentfestival.org/

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Great DIY article on how to make your own mario clouds:


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The Culture Lab is a unique research environment and facility for interdisciplinary research and practice, at New Castle University, UK. This monday 13th April, three members of the Culture Lab will be visiting Brown and RISD: Atau Tanaka, Jo Kazuhiro and Jamie Allen

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I made a blog of my own to track my progress making my table. it’s not very exciting, but if you’re interested :



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