Listening to the elements

A sound installation consisting of quantities of the elements of nature on display, each with a speaker playing the sound spectrum consisting of the light spectrum of the element transposed into audible frequencies.

For example, we could use a simple transformation of light wavelength (measured in nanometers) transposed into sound frequency (measured in Hz). Then the element sodium would consist of a dual-tone sound from 588.9950 and 589.5924 nanometers (approx 589 and 589.6 nm) into (589 and 589.6 Hz). The beat frequency would be too low to hear in this case. The sound itself would be slightly sharper than a

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The three-body problem

A famous problem in the field of classical mechanics is the three-body problem: what are the motions of three objects under the influence of gravity? For example, what is the motion of the Sun, Earth, and Moon system? It turns out that the three-body problem can’t be solved analytically except in special cases so has to be simulated. Here I present a glitch op-art piece based on the mechanics of the three-body problem.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.49.43 AM

This project uses a very simple simulator of motion (written in Processing)

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Weight exchanger

When we lose body weight from fat, we lose it primarily by exhaling carbon dioxide. ( The weight exchanger is a device that the user blows into and which collects the carbon dioxide from the exhalation, thereby increasing in weight by the amount that the user decreased. The collection is done via a carbon scrubber. The flow rate could be measured to estimate the weight of carbon dioxide transferred and a cumulative total displayed. Or the weight of the scrubber can be measured to see it increase with each exhalation.

Possible components:

Activated carbon for scrubber (

Milligram scale (

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Science space as gallery space

The basic idea is to treat an operating scientific workspace (offices and labs, for example) as if it were a gallery space with the people and items in it labeled as if they were either artworks (for objects) or specimens (for people). There would be a whole series of small placards just like in a gallery, including details of the work and an informational statement about the artwork/object, specimen/person.

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Neutrino flux update

Updates to the “Neutrino flux” proposal.

The suspended acrylic rods will no longer have messages engraved on the sides as they turned out to just not be sufficiently visible. Instead, there will now be a sound component to the piece. As the piece is activated (by a person approaching or touching a rod), along with the light display, a sound will be triggered. The sound will be randomly selected from about 100 different options including many messages about neutrinos, and sounds of ice cracking and refreezing.

Some of the possible messages are:

“One trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second.”

“A neutrino

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Atomic exchange

An outline of a body is drawn on a table, not as in a crime scene but as in a body lying calmly on its back. Placed within the outline are the ephemera of existence that a body typically carries. This might include coins, handkerchiefs, train tickets, pocket fluff, a necktie, and just about anything found inside a wallet, purse, or handbag.

On a small pedestal next to the body outline is a pile of business-size cards that read: “This certifies the accompanying object as part of the piece ‘Atomic exchange’ exhibited at ”.” Also on the pedestal is an instruction

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Cyborg metaphysics and the integration of science and art

Thoughts from my class “Recent Methods and Approaches” in the Digital Arts and New Media program.

In response to Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” essay.

For some decades, the STS (Science and Technology Studies) community, and to some extent the arts community, has been at odds with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) community, as most (in)famously exemplified by C.P. Snow’s “Two Cultures” 1956 lecture.

Donna Haraway takes to task this separation in her “Cyborg Manifesto” essay, writing: “taking responsibility for the social relations of science and technology means refusing an anti-science metaphysics, a demonology of technology, and so means embracing the skilful

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Facebook as the ultimate 21st century social media panopticon

Thoughts from my class “Recent Methods and Approaches” in the Digital Arts and New Media program.

A response to Michel Foucault’s, “Panopticism” in Discipline and Punish.


Foucault’s “Panopticism” essay can be read as a recipe for creating a successful social media network such as Facebook. By following the recipe, “entrepreneurs” could create an “innovation” such as Facebook with a structure that assumes power through the enforcement of relationship-forming and expression in a particular way.

Although Facebook supporters might argue that Facebook is merely a tool that can be used or not used in any way a “user” desires, the Facebook Panopticon

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