Art & Research

  • Digital Crisis Digital Prepper Toolkit

    2020
    STATUS: Active
    COLLABORATORS: Rosa Menkman

    The Digital Crisis Toolkit offers a set of tools that promotes self-reliance and therefore self-authority and less dependence over top down, imposed platforms. The toolkit is an emergency first aid kit for dealing with times when online access is compromised, providing at minimum local connectivity over ideally peer-to-peer connections and including applications for staying in communication and sharing information.

    Practically, this requires us to ask which crises can we prepare for? What types of digital crises can we imagine, including government sponsored network outages, content filtering and site blocking, and network access restrictions. Is there a way to categorise these different types of digital crises, from those caused by natural and man-made accidents or power outages, to targeted hyper-surveillance, censorship, and even astroturfing?

  • Plague Rave 2020

    2020
    STATUS: Inactive

    To participate in the OPENCOIL roaming speed show, artists were asked to create web-based works to be deployed on Tier e-scooters around Berlin. Each scooter was discretely enhanced with a small web server and wireless access point that scooter riders could access with their phone, with one work installed per scooter.

    Plague Rave 2020 was developed as an interactive katamari style tour through the club scene of Berlin, complete with heavy soundtrack and pulsing beats. Check the rave on your mobile for maximum effect.

  • Radical Networks

    2015-2019
    STATUS: Active
    COLLABORATORS: Erica Kermani

    Created in 2015, Radical Networks offers a stage for non-commercial, grassroots activist, artistic, and experimental work in telecommunications, including the internet and world wide web. Our annual conference serves as a summit for investigators and instigators from all disciplines taking a critical look at the communications systems and networks upon which we depend.

    We are a community event which prioritizes and creates space for those whose stories are often left out, particularly people of color, women, the disabled, and LGBT communities.

    Radical Networks feature hands-on workshops, talks, an exhibition, live performances, interactive tours and discussion groups, all centered on understanding some facet of networked life. The public is invited to critically engage with the networks they participate in every day, from learning how to directly work with the technologies themselves to online safety and accessibility, internet policy, the untold histories of the internet, and techniques for resistance and creative expression.

  • LANscapes

    2019
    STATUS: Active
    COLLABORATORS: Danja Vasiliev
    LANscapes is an experiment in creating environmental sculpture which also function as network infrastructure. We will study landscapes and their features to understand how we can build network system components for moving messages from point A to point B, namely antennas, wave guides, and transmission lines which become a part of the natural landscape, as opposed to simply using it as a backdrop. Questions we will ask include: How can technology adapt to a given environment, and not the other way around? Specifically, in the realm of communications infrastructure, how do we design with intention and in partnership with nature?
  • Modeling Utopia with Slime Mould

    2019
    STATUS: Inactive
    Over the course of 10 days in the IXDM lab in Basel, Switzerland, I investigated whether the slime mould Physarum polycephalum could be used to model how resources are shared within a housing cooperative. A single-cell organism often found foraging for food on forest floors, slime moulds tend to organize themselves around food sources in a way which resembles a decentralized network. Therefore, could we gain any insights in how a coop would distribute their resources by observing how slime moulds distribute food "resources" within their cell walls? This is an ongoing project with weekly experiments, the results of which are still forthcoming.
  • Plant-to-Plant Protocols

    2019
    STATUS: Inactive
    Plant-to-Plant Protocols was a workshop taught over one week at the London College of Communication at the invitation of Supra Systems Studio. Using a garden as infrastructure, IR transmitters and receivers were carefully attached to plants, transmitting floral ASCII art as modulated pulses of light between plant nodes. A meditation on the fragility of communications networks, glitches were introduced to the data whenever the sun would come out from behind the clouds, or the stems would sway from the wind. The students learned how to create network infrastructure and develop a simple, low-level communications protocol with Arduino, IR sensors, and 2.4GHz radio modules.
  • QFM

    2016
    STATUS: Inactive
    COLLABORATORS: Danja Vasiliev
    QFM is a collection of FM transceivers embedded in cast cement cubes. Together they form a network of mini-radio devices for modeling network topologies and travel paths of data from one device to other. Each mini-radio device has an antenna, button, and LED. Each device has a push button to trigger packet transmission across the network and an LED to indicate when data has been received. Multiple network topologies, chain reactions and data avalanches can be explored and modeled using the set. It also suits well for teaching about the way networks work. Being created as part of StadtWerkStatt's RadioActive summer residency aboard the Eleonore in Linz, Austria.
  • Subnodes

    2012-current
    STATUS: Active
    Subnodes is an open source linux networking / node.js project that streamlines the process of setting up a wireless access point and web server for distributing content, media, and shared digital experiences. It was built with the goal of making it easier for limited-technical people to set up their own web server and and wireless network on a Raspberry Pi. Subnodes was developed as part of my residency at Eyebeam in 2012.
  • You Are Here

    2015-2016
    STATUS: Archived
    COLLABORATORS: Amelia Marzec, Dan Phiffer, Susan McGregor, Benjamen Walker
    "You Are Here" is an offline content distribution project, in the context of experimental journalism, created while a Tow Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia. The network consists of small, inexpensive, open source devices that host audio content tailored specifically for the site of installation. People can connect to the device's self-hosted wireless network and web server and listen to the curated audio stories and replies recorded by people who have previously connected to the network. Full report available here.
  • HouseFM

    2014
    STATUS: Archived
    COLLABORATORS: Hellyn Teng
    "HouseFM" is a networked audio installation, created for Eyebeam's Off-The-Grid exhibit. We installed a network of Raspberry Pis in a former officer's house on Governor's Island in NYC, each broadcasting on the same FM frequency a synthesized soundscape composed for its particular part of the house. As participants wander throughout the house wearing FM receiver headphones tuned to this frequency, they hear soundscapes fade in and out as they move towards and away individual devices on the network.
  • Felted Signal Processing (FSP)

    2008-2013
    STATUS: Archived
    COLLABORATORS: Lara Grant
    Felted Signal Processing is an arts and research collaboration between myself and my sister, Lara Grant. Through a variety of soft circuitry synthesizer experiments, we focused on soft interface design and sensor development.
  • Autojournal

    2007
    STATUS: Archived
    Keeping a journal is something I've always had a hard time doing due to a crippling self-consciousness that overtakes me whenever I try to sit down and reflect on my day via the written word. To address this, I developed a Java application that recorded my every key stroke and then ran it through a natural language algorithm to piece together a paragraph summarizing my day. To give myself a little more control, I included a filter to prevent the application from saving sensitive information that I did not want recorded. Every 24 hours, the compiled journal entry for the day was uploaded to my public blog.
  • Loom

    2006
    STATUS: Archived
    "Loom" is the result of combining two interests I had at the time - algorithmic composition and weaving. To experiment with sonifying the act of weaving, I built an 8' standing warp-weighted loom in the old Norse style and outfitted it with various sensors to record the actions of the shuttle, swaying warp and weft threads and the bar as i pulled it forward and let it drop back again. The sensor readings were sent to a Max/MSP patch which converted the values into a soundscape accompanying the weaving performance.
  • Nekobasu

    2006
    STATUS: Archived
    The NYC subway system is used by millions of people every day. I wanted to map the movements of the trains for each line according to its schedule in a 24 hour period, accompanied with an assigned pitch from the A minor scale, in order to hear what kinds of emergent rhythms and sonic textures might arise. I feel that this is one of the most compelling uses for sonifying / visualizing data for any system: as a method of observing the datascape across multiple time scales and therefore being able to conceptualize how a system generally behaves.
  • Playing With Food

    2006
    STATUS: Archived
    They always say you shouldn't play with your food. Well, what if your plate of food became a controller for a Max/MSP patch? In this project, I took advantage of the varying resistance of different food types and sent those values recorded between a wired up fork and knife back to Max/MSP for generating erratic compositions based on what I was eating from my plate.