Conductor (2011) by Alexander Chen. Video capture. View live at: mta.me
Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA's actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli's 1972 diagram.
Lost Boys (an Interactive Agency) invited me to do something for their agency Christmas card.
We took this as an opportunity to reinterpret the Christmas tree and its role as the traditional focal point for a communal space. 'Mobile Mobile' is a six metre circumference interactive sculpture, and signature piece for the entrance of the Lost Boys London Brick Lane studio.
To cut a long story short, after a company-wide upgrade the agency had a lot of old mobiles gathering dust. We took these, built and hoisted a gigantic interactive chandelier/mobile that plays Christmas jingles in their reception.
To add a little xmas spice to the mix, anyone could go online, compose and play their own jingle (and enjoy annoying the hell out of people waiting around in the reception). This was achieved by playing the thing live, using your computer keyboard from a web browser.
Mobile Mobile has been made as a semi-permanent hanging (exhibition) space. In January the mobiles will be replaced with another hanging media, then updated month in, month out.
Mobile Mobile is just one in a line of many great lo-fi art/build concepts; from the Design Museum's Aquarium, Digital By Design, Troika and The Cloud, the Printer Bleeping Thingy (I can't remember who did it), all the great work by W+K, and of course, AKQA's wonderful microwaves from last Christmas.
Looking forward to many more to come.
Good Cause: One of the largest problems facing the developing world is a lack of trained physicians. MoCa, is a health screening system for developing countries using mobile (cell)phones and open source technologies. See mocamobile.org
Please note: ISS Tronized is now part of a spectacular ISS Documentary: "ISS Image Frontier - making the invisible visible" - with Dr. Don Pettit / NASA Astronaut! vimeo.com/61083440!
--- Do you remember 1982's "TRON" movie? The plot: A computer programmer (epic: Jeff Bridges) is digitized inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out. I loved the light cycle races and strange solar wind ships...
Back in the real word the ISS is in a way one of these solar ships, constantly rotating around us. A tiny white spot, as it can be seen racing over the sky from time to time, when illuminated by the sunset (and sunrise ;).
This Video was achived by "stacking" image sequences provided by NASA from the Crew at International Space Station (see also fragileoasis.org/blog/2012/3/on-the-trails-of-stars/). These "stacks" create the Star Trails, but furthermore make interesting patterns visible. For example lightning corridors within clouds, but they also show occasional satellite tracks (or Iridium Flashes) as well as meteors - patterns that interrupt the main Star Trails, and thus are immediately visible.
The many oversaturated hot pixels in some of the scenes are the inevitable result of ultrahigh ISO settings the Nikon D3s in ISS-use are pushed to for keeping exposure times short by all means (owed to the dramatic speed the ISS travels). As there are no dark frames or RAW data currently available, hot pixels are not easy to remove.
After the initial stacking, all images have been sequenced with Apple Motion and the Video cut and edited with Final Cut Pro X. Stacking done with StarStaX, get it here: markus-enzweiler.de/software/software.html
Finally, please also be aware of the growing issue of light pollution (plightwithlight.org/index.php?id=49&L=1) one can see in many of these scenes! Support IDA (darksky.org) on their challenge to preserve the night sky for us and our children, on reducing energy waste! And don't forget, it is your tax money that lights up the sky!
Oh, and visit my friends at the UNESCO Project TWAN (twanight.org) for some of the coolest nightsky images and videos on our planet! One people, one sky!
Always believe in your dreams and make it possible!
All the best,
PS: At about 1:42 you see Comet "Lovejoy" rising...