Future Realism: a manifesto

1. We offer a future, in the form of art.
2. We do not predict the future but offer plausible forecasts.
3. In time, our work will look like documentation in other fields, not art.
4. Ignorance of a field is no excuse for dismissing it as subject matter.
5. Art has the responsibility to influence other fields, not just draw on them.
6. Our work appropriates form from other fields as necessary.
7. Success is to be invisible as art, but with potential as future.
8. Details matter.

(This is a draft of the future.)

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Breath tree

As part of the inaugural Science Art Hackathon held at ISEA2015, we built a device that allows you blow life into an animation of a tree. A carbon dioxide sensor picks up your exhalations and “grows” the tree, as seen in the video below. As time passes the tree then dies off again.

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Truly random

Gerhard Richter painted a series of pieces that includes swatches of apparently random colors. However, any process developed by the human mind is likely to be non-random as the human brain is particularly bad at either generating or recognizing truly random sequences. Even most computer generated sequences are only pseudo-random. This piece “Random Richter 1” is generated by one of the few truly random processes in nature–that of quantum mechanical noise. The physics behind the experimental apparatus that generates the random colors is described in the paper

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Solar wind flares

This is a collaborative project with Zach Corse, Adam Fischer, Andre Marquetti, Sean Pace, and Steven Trimmer.

Solar wind flares uses a mirrored acrylic tank to visualize the data collected by a NASA solar wind probe. The data is presented as waves via the coupling of a speaker along with corner actuators creating other types of waves, as a way of visualizing the solar wind data.

Here is an early prototype being shown at Maker Faire Bay Area 2015.

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Mural drone

This is a project done in collaboration with Sean Pace and Zach Corse.

The mural drone is a tethered drone capable of painting murals or graffiti. The version in progress will aim to paint pixellated images in one color but then expand to a four-color version.

The idea of the tethers is to provide precise location control that can’t be achieved otherwise. The tethers are reeled in and out by stepper motors from three base stations. In flight tests we have been able to achieve centimeter precision of positioning for the drone.

Unfortunately, the compass on our drone failed during tests and we

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TV recaptioner

This project uses the nootropic Video Experimenter shield for Arduino to help decode the closed captions of a TV feed. Then it changes the captions in various ways and redisplays them.

This video shows the first run of the experiment. More changes to come!


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