pComp Week 2

Here’s my simple application of a switch LED.


  1. Why would you want a series setup over a parallel? I understand why you would want a parallel for a setup similar to a kitchen where you wouldn’t want a lightbulb to go out that would make it so you couldn’t use your microwave.
  2. When do you want to use amps vs volts on the multimeter?
  3. Does it matter which side of a resistor is plugged into the breadboard? (does the gold band have to be on a specific side?)

I really like this quote from the reading this week:

“Good design means that beauty and usability are in balance. An object that is beautiful to the core is no better than one that is only pretty if they both lack usability.”

I also was able to make to LED’s light up individually on the board based on a parallel grid with two systems.


Week 2 – Signage

Unsuccessful Signage:

Above we can see an example of a sign that does not clearly state what the name of the store is, what it sells, and what the sign even says! The lettering used makes it pretty much impossible to decipher what the last word is especially.

When I take a closer look, the sign says “Love Pink Posh” with a heart as the “o” in “Posh.” It’s a horrible design because it doesn’t give the viewer any clue about what the store is selling. The first two words feature an upper case first letter but then the last word is in all caps. It’s just a mess! In very small black lettering underneath the last letter of the sign it says “boutique” in all caps but it’s very easy to miss, in fact, I didn’t notice it until I zoomed in on the picture above.

To fix the image, I made the text much clearer to read. I incorporated the heart in as the “o” in love and made the words “Boutique” legible so that you can clearly understand what the store sells. I’m inclined to say the last image would be the best for the store because it simplifies it and makes it easy to take in. The first image would also work, but for some reason it still seems really wordy. If it were my store, (I would rename it entirely!), I would take a few words out to make it a simpler design.

Now, upon second thought, I think the above picture would be best to redesign the sign. It incorporates the word pink in the color of the text and image, and love in the symbol of the heart around the text. The only word I left in was Posh, and added below it “Boutique.” I think provides a clear example of what the store is selling and incorporates aspects of the original wording of the sign.

Here is another example of signage that is misleading — it happened when I was watching a program with limited commercials but it would flash before you for only 3 or 5 seconds and every time I saw it I would read it as “you are reduced to watching commercials” instead of what it actually says. I just thought that was interesting. I would design it differently by taking out “with” and putting “commercial” below “reduced” to allow your eye to follow the wording nicely.

And here is another since the one before that was found inside and I was having trouble uploading photos to the blog due to a dreamhost HTTP error… The white lettering was a poor choice because you can’t read what it says well.


Here are some examples of great signage!

You can’t really see it here because I took the picture when it was dark out but it’s a really nice sign for a tequila bar.

Here’s another sign for “Rosario’s Fish Shack” also taken at night but it’s really beautiful and plays with color to create a summer vibe.

Both examples are to the point, accurate about what the restaurant offers, and really aesthetically pleasing.


ICM – Week 2

Answers to Quiz 2:

  1. When trying to make the rectangle in the center of the screen without using any hard-coded numbers I ran into a little trouble. My rectangle appeared off the screen.

Then I figured out that I forgot to add rectMode(CENTER) which solved that problem!

2. Moving a circle from the middle of the screen to the right:

Then by taking my little monster from last week and updating it to include dots in the background I added some variables that set the values of a spot that will appear on the canvas every time the script is run and the color of the spots on an RGB scale:

var spot = {
x: 100,
y: 50

var col = {
r : 255,
g : 0,
b : 0,

Which made it look like this:

After adding the dots I made the head of the monster go to the right of the screen. (I changed all my var’s to let’s). First I added let x; and a few defined variables under setup: (I kept seeing an http error when trying to upload an image of the code and preview so I had to separate the images — not sure how to resolve that) Then I took out the coded numbers for ellipse under //head and put x and y for the first two digits.

This placed the head in the center of the screen, which I wasn’t expecting but I’ll go with it…perhaps it’s because I set x and y equal to half of the width and height of the canvas which would place it in the center.

Next, I added x++ below the ellipse (x,y,125,125); and got the following:

Then, to make the body rectangle move when the mouse is moved I replaced the first value of rect in //body and replaced it with mouseX.


The final code looks like this:

let x;
let spot = {
x: 100,
y: 50
let col = {
r : 255,
g : 0,
b : 0,
function setup() {
createCanvas(500, 500);
x = width/2
y = height/2
function draw() {
//dots on screen
spot.x = random(0, width);
spot.y = random(0, height);
col.r = random(100,175);
col.g = 0;
col.b = random(100,200);
fill(col.r, col.g, col.b);
ellipse(spot.x, spot.y,25,25);

Here’s a link to the completed version: http://alpha.editor.p5js.org/marcowylie/sketches/SkPVHTY9-



Reading and Viewing Responses

The Ecstasy of Influence

Cryptomnesia is a very interesting concept. It implies that we might plagiarize without being aware of it because of a kind of memory glitch that makes us unable to recall an original memory. I had this happen to me as a kid when I thought I wrote the song “Happy Together” by the Turtles.

The whole idea of not knowing you’re stealing something is very interesting. What is the difference between taking from inspiration and plagiarism? Perhaps it depends on how aware a person is of this inspiration and the knowledge that we hold on to from what we take in as observers in this world….

The article ties in nicely with the sound walk I took. Gentrification can in a sense be compared to plagiarizing or appropriating someone else’s culture. Since someone’s culture is a part of a person’s identity, appropriating aspects of someone’s heritage that doesn’t belong to you is, in a way, stealing it from them.

Being a musician, I’m well aware of the concept of “borrowing” and “stealing” musical notation. We may derive a tune from something we heard in passing on the radio without fulling thinking about it. But the end product will only speak to originality if it gets away with and thoughtfully pays homage to the source of inspiration.

Embrace The Remix

This Ted Talk implies that everything that exists comes from something that has already existed. What makes something new and interesting is putting your own personality into it.

As a side note: there’s one example here that reminded me of another song they didn’t mention when they brought up “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons” by Paul Clayton. It sounds a lot of Cat Power’s cover of “Sea of Love.”

The Allergy to Originality

This was a hilarious animation with a similar message that “Embrace The Remix” had. It goes a step further to explain that unoriginality originates from ancient times.

On The Rights Of Molotov Man

This article made me think of what permission Facebook and Instagram need in order to repost or own the property rights to private photo’s uploaded to their webpages.

It’s incredible how many times the Molotov Man was reproduced and the drawn out legal dialogue it created. It reminded me of the Banksy image below:

Image result for banksy flower throw

In conclusion, it seems that the right thing to do is to try and be aware of where your influence comes from and to give them credit! Nothing seems to be completely original.

Video & Sound – Week Uno – Sound Walk

I took the Southside Stories walk down in Williamsburg. It was easy to follow the route because I walked at the pace of the audio guide, Shannon Carroll’s, footsteps. Having lived in this neighborhood in Brooklyn for the past 10 years, I was very familiar with the scenery and the many ways it’s changed over the years. Gentrification has been very obvious in this part of the city and unfortunately, I do realize that I’ve played a role by moving here. The sound walk was a trip down memory lane, however, because I happened to move to N1st and Berry with my girlfriend, now wife, to my second apartment in the area. We would always pass by the open parking lot with “Coco” and we even met Louie when he was still alive. I treasured the vibe “old’ Williamsburg had, but I know that the former neighborhood to me was not the same place as it used to be in the 80’s, 90’s, and even early 2000’s.

The tour starts at the Dunkin’ Donuts which used to be Northside Pharmacy. As we walked down Bedford Avenue, most of the locations mentioned have already been replaced by newer, more commercialized buildings. It was strange because all the places she mentioned I knew about, but they were gone and some of them replaced twice over since the recording.

The first place we stopped at, Verb Cafe, had already been replaced a few years ago. It happened to be one of the cafe’s I frequented when I first moved to the neighborhood. They mentioned the Mini Mart that has also been renovated since.

Then we walked to Metropolitan Pool. Where my roommate used to tell me stories about frequenting the gym and seeing all the Hasidic women go into the pool area.

The senior center across the street really got me reminiscing because I had no idea the parking lot with stuffed animals had anything to do with the woman living on the second floor. It was a treat to find out information about Carmen who eventually took over the lot for Louie when he died, and dressed the animals for passers by to look at.

I always wondered what happened to Louie. Now that I know he passed away, it makes sense that the amount of theatrical animal installments have boiled down to only three main actors.

The bakery the audio guide spoke of was gone and turned into an overly expensive restaurant.

The church was no longer boarded up as it had been the whole time I have lived here. It is also now an overly expensive restaurant.

I didn’t see the mailman when going to 300 Bedford Ave. but that’s probably because it was too late.

Bedford Realty happened to be one of the few buildings that was still standing – in fact, I went there to sign a lease on one of the apartments I lived in.

Building 155 used to be a drug den. The violence in the neighborhood that is described during these couple of blocks reminds me of what my mother said when I first told her I was moving to Williamsburg. She said, “Oh no you’re not.” My mother comes from a Brooklyn Italian family and knew this part of the city as a dangerous place. It reminded me of old New York City. The city I grew up in. She would also say how cheap it was to buy a building on Sealy St. or Vanderbilt Ave. and how expensive it is now just like Angel, the former drug lord of this area, spoke about.

Ironically, El Regresso, a rehabilitation center lives right down the block from 155.

The garden down the block still exists, but it wasn’t open so I couldn’t converse with anyone there.

Finally I arrived at The Caribbean Club, 244 Grand St. An unassuming place, a hidden treasure.

Where I met Maria! The lovely woman behind the last Puerto Rican Social Club in Williamsburg – and I had a $2 (it went up to $3 since the recording) corona in the back while eating home cooked, delicious rice and beans.

The audio tour was a blast from the past and a humbling experience for me. I really enjoyed the interviews and revisiting areas of the neighborhood I haven’t seen in a while. Ending up at The Caribbean Club made me realize just how different this part of Williamsburg used to be. I felt like an outsider being there, which is what I imagine they must feel like now having the area taken over by gentrification. It left me feeling guilty and respectful. I never would have found myself in that bar if not for this sound walk and for that, I’m very grateful.


pComp – Week 1 – What is interaction?

Interaction must involve at least two participants who partake in a variety of sub-actions that can be passive or assertive and determine the quality of the interaction itself.

Crawford suggests we do not know what interactivity is by showing us an image of kids playing on an “interactive” children’s rug. A rug that you place toy cars on to play with. But this isn’t the true definition of interactive. The rug doesn’t play on it’s own and doesn’t do anything but lie on the floor. He also give us two more examples of the incorrect usage of the word.

Image from book

He goes on to plainly define interaction as “a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.” (source) But that is not to say that you are interacting with a closet by opening the door and the light turning on inside. The closet light turning on is not an interactive action. Crawford uses a similar analogy – the “Nintendo refrigerator.” It is argued that the fridge, just like the closet, is just a reaction.

But the fridge does, in a sense, interact with us but only at a low level. There are many degrees to interactivity and they depend on the quality of three subtasks: listening, thinking, and speaking. All of which require the same things: to have a good conversation, both or all parties must be participating intellectually in an approachable way and paying attention. So to have a successful interaction, you must obtain all three of these attributes.

I have to say that I disagree with Crawford when he suggests plays are extremely low on the interactive scale. Immersive theater today has shown that audience participation is key and crucial to the execution of the plays’ endeavor. While certain experiences have the audience simply view the performance while on the same stage as the actors, more complex staging requires the audience members to use their free will to employ actions like responding to the actors’ questions and using props to demonstrate their response to certain actions. Crawford does go on to say he believes interactivity is greater than any other form of human expression which leads me to believe he would appreciate some of the immersive theater that exists today. I think he may have been speaking of theater in the same way he was implying that movies are non-interactive.

To apply Crawford’s definition of interactivity to computer science, we have to optimize the user experience to ensure the user will communicate effectively with the given interface. An interactivity designer will hopefully consider the embodied software as a function and the interface as a form, creating a complete form with the combination of both. A user interface designer, however, will focus on the interface itself – being more attuned to the mathematic and scientific side to the infrastructure. The most important thing to understand from this is that user interface design has existed for as long as computers have, but that is not to say that the interactivity of these machines allowed the user to communicate effectively solely based upon that design. Interactivity design is key to bridging the gap between, for example, a computer that is capable of the hardest computational skills but does not create a friendly basis for communication with the user.

In the “Vision Of The Future” video, you can clearly see where interactivity design comes into play. Every swipe action the user partakes in has a direct effect on what happens within the interface. The augmented images that jump out from the screen allows the user to interact with the functionality of the program. There is a conversation between the user and the devices that people connect with and the nature of the connection is similar to a conversation that would occur between two humans. Although, there are certain actions that the user employs in this video that initiates a response similar to that of the “Nintendo fridge” in that the response is really just a basic computational function that is devoid portraying any complex human intellectual capability. And so, a truly interactive device would have to give us the same qualities and sensational results that an interaction with a human being would, both physical and emotional.


Visual Language – Week Uno

For this weeks assignment I chose a poster of Barak Obama used for his 2008 presidential campaign. It was designed by the artist Shepard Fairey and became an iconic portrayal of “hope.” The layout of the poster is very straight forward. There is a clear image of Obama looking up and out into the distance with a thoughtful and headstrong look on his face. The word “hope” is clearly written is bold typeface underneath his portrait with a small logo that could be considered a lapel pin above the “e.” The poster is now considered a cultural phenomenon. There is an interesting article about how it became such a success that you can find here.

You can see here that the print is divided into 4 spacial elements. Starting from the top the first three portions of the photo are all the same width apart. At the bottom, where “hope” begins, there is less space used to amplify the emotion that the viewer is supposed to feel when seeing the poster. The emphasis is therefore placed on the portrait of Obama rather than the text, although, the bold font forces the audience to feel hope when seeing the image as a whole.

The color selection plays off of red, white, and blue using an orangish red, a muted pale yellow/beige, and a navy and light muted blue. The lighter colors are meant to portray the light that is hitting his face, as well as the white shirt he’s wearing. The red is used as a darker contrast color while the blues are there to outline his face and suit. It’s interesting that the creator of this image chose blue and red to contrast each other since it implies a centrist party affiliation (blue for democrats, red for republicans).

When trying to find the font used in this poster, whatthefont.com couldn’t locate it so I did a simple google search and found another article (here) that identified it as Gotham. This font was created by Tobias Frere-Jones in 2000, first becoming well known as the go-to font for Esquire magazine’s cover. It has since become the official font for Twitter feeds and the most popular choice for movie trailers. Gotham used in this poster is set to a very bold and capitalized typeface that emphasizes the meaning of the word in a simple and effective manner.

ICM – Week Uno

I’ve never written code in my life…I’m a little scared…. Although I’ve managed to complete the quiz with relative ease, it took me quite some time to really understand what I was doing. I ran into the following problems when trying to complete my little monster:

I’m trying to add a yellow background color to my script and I keep getting this error:

Here is what my script currently looks like:

It is my understanding that the background color should be listed under function setup, and it appears that I have it in the right place. Now that I’m looking at the error code again it refers to an “unexpected token” in line 6, column 14 so I’m assuming one of the numbers is incorrect. What is even more distressing is that I tried editing this from a previously correct example named “Zoog” so when I refer to that one and correct it, my error still pops up! I have to admit, I gave up on the problem and started to watch the instructional videos which gave me some confidence to create a monster from scratch.

As a side note, I should mention that when creating the reproduced olive I ran into a problem making the line red. This was because I was putting “fill” instead of “stroke” (see below) Now I understand that order is very important.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Just from playing around with Javascript for the first time, I’m starting to realize it’s massive functionality. The possibilities seem endless and it is both exciting and overwhelming. Although I’ve only scratched the surface of p5.js, I can already tell that it will enable me to create interactive webpages, the likes of which I never knew I could code myself! Having a creative website to illustrate the work I will do in this program will certainly help my endeavors. I can see how javascript will make it possible to have a unique online presence.