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Participants pilot a feathered vessel (more commonly known as a pigeon) by gently turning their faces in the direction in which they’d like to travel. Feathered Vessel creates an odd intersection between the militaristic concept of surveillance drones and the more mystic concept of becoming/taking control of an animal.

This project was made with Processing, developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas; and FaceOSC, developed by Kyle McDonald.

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Above is a significantly scaled down image of Feathered Vessel‘s map. It’s a composite of a bunch of satellite photos taken from 500 feet up. The map is 10,000 pixels by 10,000 with a DPI of 72. Initially, I thought I’d need to split the map into tiles and load them depending on where the view screen was, but Processing was able to handle the strain of re-positioning the entire image every frame.

FaceOSC was used to sense the x and y rotations of participant’s faces. As FaceOSC is unable to sense faces in profile, I had to spend a lot of time making sure that side-to-side movement covered enough distance to prevent participants from turning their heads too far in an attempt to move further in a particular direction. I’ve come to appreciate the fine line between gimmicky controls and sleek movement.

In its current iteration, Feathered Vessel tracks face position, the map’s position, and time. If I were to build upon this project, I would try to implement a more complex event system where crossing certain thresholds causes various animated occurrences to happen, such as a car that speeds down a road or a field that caches on fire.

As I worked on this project for both Concept Studio: Space & Time and Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity, a near identical post about Feathered Vessel can be found by clicking here.

A Planet Without A Moon (final)002

A Planet Without A Moon is a graphic exploration of a metaphor for asexuality. It is intended to convey a sense of serenity and peaceful solitude within a broader environment, and to get people thinking about what it means to be happy being single in a culture intensely focused on partnership. The title and incorporated text relate to the notion of a human without sexual attraction (that is, an asexual). The image is 7″ square on a 9″ square paper, painted with gouache. I chose to paint this image rather than compose it digitally (which some people suggested to me) because I feel the intimate, personal experience  of painting by hand and the resulting uniqueness of the piece give the piece more value and relate to the personal and unusual material I wished to convey.

A zoetrope creates the illusion of motion by displaying a sequence of progressive images and using rotation to blend the images into a looping animation.

I wanted to create a digital zoetrope that functions primarily through the same rotational mechanisms as a physical zoetrope, but with a couple of extra touches specific of the digital medium.

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Above is the image that is being rotated in the video to create the illusion that each of the 12 runners are running. To create this image, each frame of the runners’ animation was placed around a circle at 30-degree intervals. The intervals are 30 degrees because 360(the number of degrees in a circle) divided by 12(the number of frames in the running animation) is 30, thus allowing the runners to be evenly spaced.

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The falling animation is a bit different from the running animation. Because the runners fall in unison, the zoetropes used for the falling animation only contain one pose at a time, and are switched out for every frame of the falling animation. This is the digital trick that would not be possible in a physical zoetrope.

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