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Post #2296

Links from around the studio: paper computing, computer vision, simple and small

Matt J was busy running Papercamp last Saturday. One of my favourite things to emerge from the day was Basil Safwat’s Processing.A4. It’s computational cardboard; you follow the instructions on it to replicate the output of the Substrate Processing script.

Troika have launched their new artwork, Shoal, in Toronto.

Spanning across a 50 meter long corridor, 467 fish-like objects wrapped in iridescent colours and suspended from the ceiling rotate rhythmically around their own axis to display the movements and interdependency typical to school of fish.

Beautiful, though.

Niklas Roy’s My Little Piece of Privacy is a delightful computer-vision project:

My workshop is located in an old storefront with a big window facing towards the street. In an attempt to create more privacy inside, I’ve decided to install a small but smart curtain in that window. The curtain is smaller than the window, but an additional surveillance camera and an old laptop provide it with intelligence: The computer sees the pedestrians and locates them. With a motor attached, it positions the curtain exactly where the pedestrians are.

I really enjoyed his video of it – first, the project displayed-as-is, and then a detailed explanation of what the computer’s “seeing”. Through both parts, the hilarity of the little, jerkily moving curtain is not lost.

I’ve been enjoying dataists – a new blog about the science and interprtation of data – a great deal recently. Today’s post about What Data Visualisation Should Do is particularly good:

…yesterday I focused on three key things – I think – data visualization should do:
1. Make complex things simple
2. Extract small information from large data
3. Present truth, do not deceive

The emphasis is added to highlight the goal of all data visualization; to present an audience with simple small truth about whatever the data are measuring.

That felt like a nice addition to some of the topics covered in Matt J’s talk at citycamp and my own talk on data from a few weeks ago – but do read the whole post; it’s an insightful piece of writing.

Finally, some stop-motion animation. Our friends Timo Arnall and Matt Cottam recently linked to the videos some of their students at the Umeå Institue of Design produced during their week working on stop-motion techniques. They’re all charming; it’s hard to single any of them out – they’re all lovely – but the dancing radio (above) was a particular favourite.

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