I’m running with a workshop tomorrow at the RCA School of Communications Work in Progress show, with fellow IED student Francesco Tacchini (@RuffNuff). We’re going to be setting up some interesting loops, systems and technologies of transformation and then messing with them in playful ways. Should be fun - it’s open to anyone and everyone.

Here’s the official blurb:

Computational Rube Goldberg Encoder

Sat 25 Jan 1-3pm in the Work in Progress show.

Part workshop and part performance this is an exercise in creating (and disrupting) a sensor ⁄ signal loop.

Drawing from the idea of feedback loop and Rube Goldberg machine, we will be transcoding data from one platform to another, in a journey from digital signal to physical outputand vice versa. There is no beginning or end but rather different platforms through which data can be input in the form of sound, colour, materials, lights, physical movements and so forth…

Anybody can and should intervene at any point to disrupt thetranscoding of the signal and foster new serendipitous outcomes. Feel free to bring images, photos, instruments or just yourself.


Designer and Educator Ben Hooker gave a talk about his work last night. He focussed on two pieces of unfinished work, each of which he referred to as “a project to find a project”, an interesting way of producing work that seems to create worthwhile, iterative outcomes. He did, however, express a desire for a project such as “designing a shopping bag” to have a concrete outcome for his work, outlining the facets of his working process as taking this form:

Conceptual <—> Experimental <—> Applied

Whereby each type of work could spin work of one of the other types.

You can see his work on his website.

A team from the University of Tokyo and Nagoya Institute of Technology have developed the technique of using a standing ultrasound wave to levitate and manipulate small objects in three dimensions. From the write up:

In the present study, we considered extended acoustic manipulation whereby millimetre-sized particles were levitated and moved three-dimensionally by localised ultrasonic standing waves, which were generated by ultrasonic phased arrays. Our manipulation system has two original features. One is the direction of the ultrasound beam, which is arbitrary because the force acting toward its centre is also utilised. The other is the manipulation principle by which a localised standing wave is generated at an arbitrary position and moved three-dimensionally by opposed and ultrasonic phased arrays. We experimentally confirmed that various materials could be manipulated by our proposed method.

The video shows a fairly large range of objects being moved around, the most impressive being the water droplets & bubbles held suspended in the wave.

Three-Dimensional Mid-Air Acoustic Manipulation (2013-)

[via: Creative Applications]

From 1999, a proposal for the far-future Year 10000 Problem. How to deal with the storage and encoding of dates with 5+ digit years.

It proposes a solution, but identifies a few potential problems with that including:

3) Continued existence of Earth-centric time periods (year, day, etc.) are problematical past the up-coming destruction of the solar system (5-10 billion years or so). The use of atomic-time helps some since leap seconds are no longer an issue.

4) Future standards and methods of synchronization for inter-planetary and inter-galactic time have not been agreed to.

5) Survivability of dates past the end of the universe is uncertain.


‘I have no sympathy,’ says Wentworth, ‘for people who say “They’re going to spoil King’s Cross.” Not long ago, before the railway marched into London, there were sheep grazing here! Preservation culture is a serious English disease. When Norman Foster revealed his intention to site the new station between King’s Cross and St Pancras, the Victorian Society rushed to prevent it by putting a preservation order on the Great Northern Hotel. Change is relentless, there’s no way of stopping it; but I think in terms of mutability and exchange – transmogrification – rather than of loss. You can’t presume to possess or lay claim to a city. We are only guests.’” (Sarah Kent)

Talking about ‘An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty

[From: Artangel Press]


Günter Seyfried’s Polycinease is a novel foray in hybridising digital file formats and the alterations to information that environmental stress evinces upon DNA.

Seyfried’s team have built a system to read the binary data into DNA, which is then implanted into a bacterial genome. Seyfried subsequently plays God with his GIF-ed up bacteria, cranking up the evolutionary stress on his colonies. He then extracts the DNA and converts it back to a GIF. The result? Data-moshed biomedia and an exploratory prototype for bio-cinema.

Read about 
Günter's ongoing forays into moving image and DNA information at www.polycinease.com/