Archive for 2013

Pillow Process

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Hwaryoung suggested that I practice sewing to gain experience for my proposed project. I was asked to sew and stuff two objects of different materials.  

After experimenting with two different materials, I decided to try my hand at the sewing machine. Brian Smith was gracious enough to not only teach me how to use the machine, but to also let me borrow his over the short break. 

Here is my first fleece pillow: 




I made a total of 8 pillows; 7 different materials. I decided to ask my fellow students to touch and rank the pillows: best to worst.

It was suggested to me that I do not give the students more information on how to rank them. This way, it is more of an intuitive decision and they subconsciously consider physical texture, look, and feel.

Students often hugged, petted, and rubbed their cheeks against the pillows. They mainly focused on the texture, but some considered visuals in their ranking.

"I'd sleep with this"

"I wouldn't put my head on this"

Informal Test Results:

A: 4 4 4 1 1 5 2 4 5 5 5 2 1 = 43
B: 7 7 7 7 5 2 6 7 1 8 1 7 4 = 69
C: 3 6 1 2 7 7 7 3 7 2 3 1 3 = 52
D: 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 6 7 8 8 8 = 101
E: 2 1 3 3 2 6 1 1 2 3 2 4 5 = 35
F: 1 2 2 6 6 1 5 2 8 1 4 3 2 = 42
G: 5 3 6 4 3 4 4 6 4 6 6 5 7 = 63
H: 6 5 5 5 4 3 3 5 3 4 7 6 6 = 62

Overall Ranking:

1: E
2: F
3: A
4: C
5: H
6: G
7: B
8: D
Comments about pillows:


- soft
- nice density of texture
- feels like bath mat


- rough
- animal resemblance (dog)
- base of texture too stiff


- soft
- animal resemblance (dog)
- pillows or plushies with same material


- animal resemblance
- creepy
- interesting
- not comforting 

- very soft
- appealing pattern
- unappealing pattern


- very soft
- holds cool temperature well
- interesting texture

- fleece
- soft
- cute pattern

- fleece
- soft
- cute pattern

Oxytocin Research

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10 unusual ways to release Oxytocin

  • give away money
  • hugging someone
  • using facebook
  • laughter
  • take a walk
  • shoot guns
  • call someone
  • being trusted
  • listening to soothing music

Exhibition Ideas

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3D Musical Grid, aka "Sound Architecture" or "Architectural Sound"

Because I was not satisfied or content with the idea I presented last week, I spent the weekend talking amongst my musical friends hoping to spawn an improved approach. After much discussion and inspiration, I have decided to choose a concept Laura and Cameron helped suggest - a 3D version of the musical grid:

Essentially, there will be multiple 3D cubes on a flat, plain surface. The user will be able to not only interact with the cubes, but help create their own unique composition. Each cube will be assigned its own position. There are various ways this piece could be implemented or formed, but here are two that I am curious to explore:

1) The user will have the freedom to orient the cubes anywhere on the flat surface, and can even stack one on top of each other. With the use of a camera (kinect), it will gather the cubes' positions, and using software such as MAX, it will output notes. I would like to add a visual component to the cubes, such as LEDs for self illumination.

2) The cubes will be oriented more in a grid like fashion, similar to the musical grid. The user will be able to play specific melodies after discovering how the piece works. Time is the x direction, the Octave in the y direction, and Pitch in the z direction. This option is more structured and logical in a musical sense, but still allows the user to experiement. 

kinect - camera for depth video/information
cubes - experiment with different physical materials
software - MAX or Unity

Art as Research

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Art as Research

"Art as Research", by Stephen Wilson, a professor of conceptual design at San Francisco State University. As a researcher and artist, Wilson is advocating artists to participate in the scientific field with research. He mentions that it is a rather subjective matter determining which research receives the support, limiting new advances in technology. These potential ideas perceive to be unmarketable and are left neglected. Wilson trusts artists can fill the research role for those ideas discarded by the commercial and scientific worlds using their unique perspective and social commentary.

In preparation for artists to enter the research world, Wilson suggests that artists become familiar with current research, art materials, obtain knowledge on technical and scientific topics through online resources, and develop connections with research organizations. Artists and researchers have the opportunity to enhance each other's experience and thought process.  He also states that artists can assist with new questions pertaining to research, inquire eccentric angles on outcomes, and communicate the findings in unique manners. 

Wilson encourages artists to branch out from digital and traditional media when considering new work. A way to advance amongst fellow artists is to discover the new research trends. Several areas of research include new biology, extra-sensory phenomena, animal consciousness, brain physiology, artificial intelligence, and more. In no way will the artist become the researcher; there is still much needed experimentation and time for integration. Society still needs artists' interesting statements and subjective eye to advance knowledge and wonder.

(Due: 10pm, Monday, Sep.2)