Friday, October 5, 2007

Nuit Blanche

Not much to say watch the video's.

video 1

video 2

Textile Arduino

After being inspired by various Arduino projects I have decided to make a wearable LED based art piece, by incorporating traditional textiles used through antiquity, leather, AVR, and LED's. Leah Buechley's work with Textile based micro-controllers is a great inspiration to me. Her line of textile Arduino's called LillyPads have just been released through SparkFun Electronics.

Here are two images of my ATmega168 connected to leather. The horrible solder job is actually deliberate and is intended to act as a stop for the conductive threads attached to the pins of the integrated circuit. After stitching towards the IC come up with the needle from under the IC, wrap the conductive thread around the pin with the solder bead then make a knot. The hold is very secure. (I will post a drawing of how I tie my knots). I chose leather because of its thickness and rigidity. The likelihood of the leather folding over is also minimal which reduces short outs between traces. It is harder to work with and you need special needles, however, these are often inexpensive
and readily available in most art supply stores (ie. Micheal's). The use of an IC socket is recommended for two reasons, first, you can remove your AVR from your project to reflash it using an ISP programmer. Second, you will need to bend some of the sockets pins and use the other unused pins to secure the IC socket to the leather. On the reverse side of the leather you will bend the remaining IC pins. Use an exacto knife to puncture holes through the leather, this will allow for easy socketing of the IC socket onto the leather.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Desktop Modificationous

After a full days work and five hours in the studio what better way is there to kill time than modifying your desktop. The thing I love about Mac's are the endless modifications you can do to them. I mean full GUI modifications. Simple tools like Unsanity's Shapeshifter, X Labels, and Fruity Menus allow you to do a complete overhaul on Apples beloved Aqua theme. I chose a theme called Kuro, which is handy for someone who produces art, edits photos, and makes music for extended periods of time like me. Combine this with Icons from Interfacelift and you have a winning theme suitable for the next OS distribution.

To continue a shift towards the dark colour of composite plastics I also changed the look of Firefox with a handy tool called Stylish. This add-on allows you to skin web-pages , site by site, change your Google search, Skin your GMail. The possibilities are endless. The thing I enjoy most about this add-on is the ability to avoid horrid, banal and unchanging web-pages. Google come on, its been what 5 years and your still using the white background. I guess unlike objects in the real world digital white is much easier to keep clean.