G.I. -5

May 18, 2010 · Posted in Documentation · Comment 

I’m able to re-purpose a children’s desk and an eight foot plank I got at MFTA  to make a prototype seesaw.  Trying to find the proper length for the board and the height of the fulcrum off the floor is a problem. The other problem is that I can’t bolt the seesaw into the floor so it needs to be weighted and freestanding. Since the desk is made of two-inch composition board covered in maple veneer it’s heavy enough to function as a weighted base.  I build the seesaw and test it. I start by having the fulcrum 18 inches off the floor.  This is chair height but it’s not enough to give a good visceral experience. The board is also too short.  I decide to use it as a test so that I can proceed with the sensor interface. The iCubeX tiltOn sensor is not quite right so I purchase a potentiometer and wire it up.  I then glue some rubber strip onto the turn dial to make a friction contact to the fulcrum of the seesaw. This works rather well.  I now have a freestanding seesaw with a sensor that communicates via wifi to the PD program triggering the projection.  The set up is that when tilted to the left, the top screen is on and the bottom off, when tilted to the right the bottom is on and the top is off, in the center they are both on.

LMCC makes arrangements for a studio visit for all the residents.  The two curators are looking to organize an exhibition for the fall in the G.I. gallery. I decide it’s a good time to test the full set-up.  I get my studio speakers and Mackie preamp and borrow a projector to take out to the island.   One of the tests is the screen resolution, and the look of the gem window when it’s projected.  It’s often a shock to develop a video project on one monitor and then discover it doesn’t scale or fit properly when projected.  In this case the gem window scales up pretty well but there is a slight grey band on the top and bottom as well as the sides. I despair because it means tinkering with the code and this is the day of the studio visit. I’d like to have crisp lines that really show off the projection as floating on the white wall.  I start experimenting with a physical mask. I remember being in projection booths and seeing the light throw through a rectangular aperture.  I cut out a rectangle in paper. I tape it to the projector and it creates a crisp mask.

Meanwhile the curators show up and try out the seesaw.  Everything seems to be working fine and we talk about the work. I also mention the radio piece with the embedded mp3 player I’m working on.  They are quite taken with that idea as well.

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