Googe Boutiques

In case you somehow managed to miss the internet fashion uproar over Google's new Boutique site, head over and check it out!

yeah, yeah, having your own store/being able to pursue the style of your favorite idol is ridiculously cool, but the actually intriguing part is the new search engine they've come up with (but what else can you expect from a project by Google?). Here's a link to mine, and photo below

Combining "fashion and computer geeks", Boutiques uses computer vision/learning algorithms to actually mine data from the physical images you are attracted to, rather than just browsing keywords. I've been playing around with it, and while the selection is fairly limited at the start -- my typecast of "edgy" after taking the style quiz limited my selections to mostly drapy black numbers with sprinklings of studs, it does seem to learn after some aggressive Loving/Hating. So after about an hour doing Chloe - LOVE, Bebe HATE, Ann Demulemeester - LOVE, Lanvin - LOVE, BCBG - LOVE, anything camo - HATE, etc. it does seem to pick up on your general preferences.

The specifics for the loving/hating process, namely sihlouette+pattern, color, brand, and price, were a bit frustrating to me at first, inadequate adjectives for harnessing my utter lust and devotion / visceral hatred, they make complete sense from a computer vision standpoint. Especially with that many images to process I imagine they are just analyzing general outlines (made especially easy by fashion photography's stereotypical white backgrounds) and basic color/pattern from inside the image.

My love for quizzes and the vanity boost of possessing something whose sole purpose is to cater to my every whim asides, I quite like it. Impressions?

Also should come in quite handy for holiday shopping (wink, wink)


Wind Interaction :: Part Four - Finished!

Here are the photos of the finished turbine. The LED's brightness directly relates to the speed of the wind. It makes a beautiful dimming, brightening, dimming, sort of breathing pattern when in use. I originally wanted to make a bigger more extravagant diffuser than the little bird, but it was so cute, and it works very well for its purpose.

Materials :  PVC, an old 2x4, old case fan, laser cut acrylic, a couple diodes and capacitor, rice paper, 1" and 1.25" electrical conduit tubing.

The steel tubing attached to the wood mount slides inside this much longer one so the turbine can freely pivot to always stay in the wind. Laser cut a small square of acrylic to serve as a tail/guide.

Little bird diffuser cut out of some extra rice paper I had in my studio. Neatly covers a 10mm LED connected to the motor.

The turbine only generates 2 volts at max speed so it powers exactly one 10mm LED. I do love the rather simple form. Beautiful, but so little energy for the labor! I tried to get some footage of it in action, but of course as soon as you build a wind generator you will be faced with a series of days devoid of any breeze. Right now I only have two finished, but ideally I could make dozens and stake them in series on a hill. Especially in the dark all you will see are the birds fading in and out of existence with the whirring of the fans.


Wind Interaction :: Part Three - Making the Blades

Super tired, so here's just some quick photo documentation of the finished fan blades/bases. Blades were cut from 3" PVC in order to get a beautiful curve. I'm a bit concerned they will be too heavy for the tiny motor, but blades cut from plastic bottles seemed so flimsy in comparison.


Wind Interaction :: Part Two :: Prepping the Motors

Documentation of  the wind generators I'm working on to power an installation. Made from an old case fan, PVC, scrap wood, and some steel tubing. (mentioned previously here)

I just clipped off the wires from the actual fan and resodered them onto the correct coils to convert the fan from receiving energy to outputting it.

Testing the motor with another LED scrapped from the same computer as the fans

Wind Interaction :: Part One

So I'm currently operating under a set of "obstructions". After viewing my entire body of work the class collectively came up with a series of things I was prohibited from doing in my next art piece. These were....

1.) The piece has to be collaborative
2.) It also must be impulsive/respond to real world events
3.) No Computers

ha.ha.ha. No more visualizers. So I started thinking about computer art and what I believe it is. Essentially you are taking a set of data, ANY data, unrecognizable, mundane, profound, and using it to create something that has never existed before. The beauty of the medium is the responsiveness, the interaction. Static data is boring, once computers are introduced, the art can be constantly changing, reacting, and reinventing itself.

I decided to take some tangible data, wind speed, and turn it into light. Instead of passing through the some magic function, its a simple input changed directly to output. Next few posts document my process of creating the wind turbines out of recycled parts. Ideally when finished, I'll have a light installation that "breathes" with the wind, fading in and out of existence with the speed and power.