Voice as Performance Technology 11/14
Capturing sound from a microphone placed up against my throat and cheeks at different points.
Voice as Performance Technology 11/14
Capturing sound from a microphone placed up against my throat and cheeks at different points.
The architecture of a museum should compliment the content of what’s inside of it. With that in mind, Duomo Di Firenze is the most beautiful building I have ever seen. And I’m not relgious – my gravitation to this structure has nothing to do with faith. A couple of years ago, I visited Florence for the first time. Walking across the Piazza and up to the Duomo had me feeling spiritual in a way I’ve never experienced before. Perhaps it was the incredibly blue sky that day, or the contrast of the pink and light green residential houses alongside the narrow side streets and accordian music that made the Duomo seem especially immense. I know one thing for sure, when I walked back to the church at night, it was one statue in particular that brought me to tears as I stared at it’s face looking down on me. The expression had me transfixed. How could anyone create such human emotion out of stone? I felt in one moment incredible spirituality and in the next, terrible sadness for a time I’ve never experienced. I searched through my pictures from that night in March, 2015 and was pleased to rediscover it.
The exterior of the Duomo would be a very intense backdrop and location for an exhibit for all the art that has made an impact on me. In the incredible situation where that could happen, I would fill outlines of the Piazza with easles for the paintings and photographs, and the statues and sculptures would be grouped, centered by the easles.
Yves Klien, a French artist known best for his paintings, was the subject and artistic director for the photo “Leap Into The Void” (1960) When I first saw this image it was not in a museum, it was in the magazine AdBusters and immediately researched it, tore it out and it’s been on my wall for 7 years now. Carefully coreographed, just like his paintings, this photo was the result of a montage. The original contained two of his friends holding something to catch him with.
Music has been an integral part of my life since I was very young, so it would be a shame not to incorporate some aspect of how important music has been to me in an exhibit of my own curation of memory. Since 2011, I’ve been collecting “Songs of the Month” that are a list of songs associated with each month of the year, sometimes two at once, that were stuck in my head or my wife’s head at the time. It’s served as a way of remember what was going on that year during that specific month in time. And it’s incredible what the power of music can do to your memory. It’s also interesting to see what songs reappear years later, sometimes near the same month. I would include this part of the exhibit as an interactive jukebox. Sort of like the one I’ve set up above, but physical. Although some of the song choices were not my favorite song, I was true to what song was stuck in our heads for most of the month, even if it was a song I didn’t like that much.
Another piece of art that brings back a lot of memories is the Alice and Wonderland statue in Central Park. I remember playing on the huge mushroom and grabbing at the bronze facial features, noticing the smell it left on my hand like pennies. While it’s not the prettiest sculpture I’ve ever seen, actually I find it to be a little terrifying when you look at the faces, it will always remind me of childhood, playing at the park and feeling lonely.
Back in the shop for the last time for this class, I set up the 4 Axis to make the final pieces only this time I edited the support height and width to be bigger in order to cut down my milling time.
I got it down to 3 hours of roughing and half an hour of finishing,
and made sure not to tighten the bolt too much like I did with my previous piece that ended up with lines all over the top of the face.
While the delrin was being milled I got out the vinyl cutter to make the eyes.
I sketched out a few eyes with the paintbrush tool and proceeded to watch instructional videos about how to set up the cutter properly.
Then, after exporting the file in the proper format I opened up Silhouette Studio and imported my file.
Everything looked ok to go…or so I thought.
But what came out was a mess and I struggled to figure out how to outline the lines I had drawn in Illustrator.
The paper wasn’t being fed correctly through the cutter but I couldn’t figure out how to move the chassis so that it could feed it straight through. Unfortunately, I just had to give up and rely on printing the eyes at home due to time constraints.
While the rest of the delrin was milling I played around with how I wanted the sticker to look. Creating slits on the side and cutting different parts out from the original print to place them dilligently on the toy’s face.
I didn’t want to cover up all the work I had done on the mouth so cutting the sticker in half lengthwise seemed to make sense.
Once I had the three remaining white pieces I dyed them using the same technique as the first one and for the same amount of time to ensure the color would match.
They came out nicely.
I took the Illustrator file I tried cutting with and printed it out on printable vinyl sticker.
The eyes needed to be a little bigger to hide the puckering underneath from putting a flat sticker on a curved surface.
And after printing out several labels, I had a lot of cutting to do. But first, I wanted to spray paint the inside of each mouth flat black.
This was a scary process because there was no room for error and I had spent the last 10 minutes scouring google for tips on how to apply paint to delrin. Not a lot of people had luck with spray paint and this freaked me out.
It took a long, long time to place tape all around the mouth correctly.
Getting the angles required putting tiny pieces of the flat edge of the tape along the mouth and pressing hard to ensure no paint would seep through.
I was very happy to be done with that part, but nervous to begin spray painting!
At first, I did one at a time — mostly out of fear of something going wrong.
But after the first round dried I got more comfortable with the process and added two pieces at once.
And eventually four at a time.
The result was pretty good but I was cautious about taking the tape off, not to rip some of the paint off with it.
Despite my careful taping, some of the paint got on the lips of the piece.
But it was surprisingly easy to take off with my fingernail, which kindof worried me about the paintjob lasting a long time.
I wanted a crisp, to the point sticker to put on the bottle head, and cutting a circle proved to be very challanging.
Made a tongue too to try and lighten up the mouth a little, and then I used Gorilla Glue 5 minute epoxy to secure the caps on the body and let it dry for an hour to be safe.
To my dismay, the epoxy did not hold at all so I had to rush to find whatever I had at home to put the two pieces together securely enough.
I found some heavy duty 3M double sided thick tape and doubled up on it and stuck ’em on and it kindof gave the effect of having the bottle closed but the child’s lock preventing you from opening it.
In conclusion, I really solidified my work flow on the 4 axis making these toys and my VectorWorks skills increased as well. While I don’t enjoy cutting or printing stickers at all, creating the Illustrator files was fun and I’m now more comfortable using Photoshop too. I don’t think I’ll ever want to peel another sticker again in my life, and I wish I had tiny scissors at home instead of the kitchen ones I used to cut everything with. If I had more time in this class, I would have loved to make 3D printed pills with faces on them to either put inside the mouth of each toy or find a way of putting them under the cap, sticking out. Clearly, I would have liked to find a different way of incorporating a sticker into my design that didn’t require dealing with puckering but I’m glad I used the stickers in the end because I worked hard on them.
Walking with my wife Sadie and dog Tony into the subway station.
In 2014, I was in a hotel bathtub in Venice Italy conjuring up what I wanted to say and what song I wanted to play while proposing to my girlfriend. It was October 29 and NYC was in the midst of being hit by Hurricane Sandy which we were following closely. The smell of the fresh bath soap will always remind me of this particular memory but I’ll always remember the date because of it’s unfortunate connection to the storm. The day after Venice flooded badly and we had to cancel our plans to visit Croatia next but we happily stayed Venice for a few more days.
Having succumbed to the perils of destruction from global warming, planet earth in 2118 is completely inhabitable. Some of my family was lucky enough to have their consciousness uploaded to a major server thrust into earth’s orbit, and we now live subconsciously through networks maintained by the International Space Station, but others weren’t as lucky. The graduate school program I completed in 2019 called ITP formed an environmental guerilla group, set up by its residents and faculty to organize a way of managing the inevitable collapse of society under worldwide authoritarianism. Countries no longer exist because the land on Earth is now under water and there are no known species that have outlived the multiple natural disasters that began shortly after Trump became re-elected for his second term in 2020.
Museums in 2118 are visited through certain designated ports on the network controlled human consiousness servers and are experienced as though you are walking through the buildings in augmented reality. Since people are no longer able to reproduce because we are no longer connected to any temporary, flesh-bound bodies, we are left with the avatars we created of the 3D scanned imprints that keep us the age we were at the time of the collapse of human life on earth. Our families now consist of friends and neighbors too and we rely on localized networks within the international space station that allows us to live on but in a dysphoric repetitive way that only enables us to explore an open world that we have to struggle to maintain because it’s controlled in part by a secret company Elon Musk created shortly after the 2020 elections in the States. In our idle condition, we are simply roaming an endless lobby of ports waiting in line to plug into the next virtual experience.
As we slowly work together recreate human life in a post planet atmosphere, the need for museums become essential to learning about human life on Earth. There is a massive sense of longing for places on the network where people can revisit famous landmarks and great cities. One of the most popular exhibits PWP’s (post-world people) love revisiting is The Bodies exhibit that popularly traveled the word in the early 2000’s. The families who decided to upload their children wearily port their “selves” into these exhibits and use it to inform their loved ones of the bodies they once had and the world they once lived in. It is sad for these parents, however, because their children still hold on to life on Earth and are increasingly confused by their unaging virtual selves incapable of enjoying Earthly delicacies like eating and sleeping.
ITP’s guerilla group has been trying to instantiate museums of the senses that came out of a class called Cabinets of Wonder which I was lucky enough to be a part of in 2018. Creative coders discovered a way of allowing people to experience smell again through neural networking and are on their way to developing a version of ITP so other’s can learn new ways of experiencing what it was like to be human. I decided to take my uploaded blood-related and newly found family to ITP’s Museum of Smells in 2018 to revisit an exhibit we did in class. I told them about proposing to my wife Sadie while we were in Venice but and the smell of the bathtub soap I used in the hotel while deciding where to take her to propose. She was visibly sad and shaken up while I was telling this story and I couldn’t avoid mentioning that on that day, October 29, 2014, the first of many destructive hurricanes hit NYC — Hurricane Sandy. Despite the strange way we visit museums today, children are still unable to keep full attention in this virtual museum and they long for swing sets, candy, and grassy plains to run across. For now, it’s the adults that use museums to engage their unfulfilled nostalgia. In fact, most museums are now referred to as Places of Earth’s Nostalgia.
I searched my neighborhood far and wide for the right kind of packaging I wanted. Specifically, I was looking for a slim white bag with minimal logo’s so I could easily cover it up with a vinyl sticker.
Then, using Illustrator and a free Walgreens font, I created a simple sticker design.
But realized an oval shape wasn’t going to cover the existing logo completely.
So I took the oval away and made it very simple and it turned out clean.
I printed a very small version for the top of the bottle as well and got back into the shop to make the 2nd bottle.
Unfortunately, I tightened the delrin too hard on the 4 Axis and it resulted in the front of the bottle having ripples.
Back at home I started playing around with sticker placement after printing out a few more labels.
I think I definitely need to darken the mouth and I may want to tuck the sticker inside of the mouth first to emphasise the shape.
I decided to go with Delrin for the final product because I wanted to revisit the 4-Axis machine and because I wasn’t very happy with the quality a 3D print puts out. So, starting with a 3″ by 6″ piece of white delrin, I took the first VectorWorks CAD model I created because the mouth was bigger and the bend in the bottle shape was more what I was looking for.
In Roland I added supports and made the size bigger to avoid a long milling time.
I had to position one of them so that it wouldn’t cut into the bottom angle of the piece, making it hard to sand it down.
In preview mode it looked good to go so I started the process. 3.1 hrs.
Made a center hole.
And loaded the Delrin,
Set the X axis.
And the Y at the center of rotation,
And started milling.
I forgot how much the 4 axis spits out on the first go.
Roughing took a majority of the time.
Finishing only took about 20 minutes.
Once it was done it took roughly 4 hours and I was happy with the results.
Even though the mouth couldn’t cut a thin agle at the corners, the gradient it created sort of looked like the inside cheeks of a dogs mouth and I was fine with it.
I chopped off the supports on the band saw and got out my multiple grades of sandpaper to smooth it down.
Then it was dye time. Using Jacquard Fabric Dye (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O5QKG8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and a cheap pot and strainer, I brought a pot of water to a boiling point.
Then, added the color intensifier and stirred thoroughly.
Then the color packet.
Stirring until thoroughly combined.
It was the weirdest smelling sauce I ever made.
Plopped the milled Delrin into the boiling dye keeping it from hitting the bottom of the pot with a strainer.
Set a timer for 30 minutes and stirred frequently.
After half an hour I took out the piece and washed it under warm water.
The result was pretty orange but not as orange as I wanted.
It wasn’t very sturdy on the table so I sanded it down a little more,
so that I could get rid of the tiny bulge at the bottom that was preventing it from sitting up straight.
Back in the pot, to a boiling point for half an hour more.
Every now and then I needed to add water to the pot to maintain coverage of the Delrin.
Half an hour more proved to be a great idea.
I got a nice Nickelodeon orange and the cap from a real pill bottle fit perfectly.
Then it was time to print out the sticker label I created in Photoshop.
Borrowing many pieces from a real Walgreen’s label,
the sticker printed with low ink, unfortunately, and smudged easily the first time around.
So I printed another one with different printer settings and with the absence of color ink the print out needed to be dried and probably wasn’t going to get much better than this without more ink, different settings or a divergent approach.
I have to wait until the morning for it to dry.
Upon further thought, I want to explore transfer stickers because I’m worried about how I’m going to create an attractive bend in the vinyl sticker over the mouth to create teeth. I also don’t know if it needs teeth. It may be torn strategically at the mouth.
An hour later I took another look at the printed stickers and tried peeling it off only to realize I had printed on the wrong side!
So I printed out a sticker and cut out a mouth,
and even though I had low ink, it printed pretty well and got a good idea of where I want to go from here.
POSSIBLE UPDATES / ADDITIONS
I will update this to make it viewable on my blog. But for now it can be downloaded to view!
Pinocchio Window – gets bigger when people text a lie, smaller when they tell the truth. (Created by Jiyao)
Mechanical Arm Game – use an interface to pick out who you would want to work with you on a team. To portray gender bias. (Created by Hau)
Psychic / Fortune Teller Window – press hands to have your palms read (Created by Nathier) several mockups below.