— Edmund Nesveda

December, 2014 Monthly archive

It started here, with a big window separating two spaces, passers-by looking in, me looking out. Invigilating an exhibition is a boring activity if no-one really comes inside the space. There were more interesting things happening outside, including a lot of people looking through the window. The below timelapse captures only 5 min of real time but the number of by passers looking in far outweighed the ones entering the gallery, although some were clearly intrigued by the work. What if there can be some interaction, some provocation to entice viewers to come inside, participate, create?

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Finally got the distance sensor HC-SR04, 4 pins. Trying to modify the PD patch to use in instead of the potentiometer is tricky, as is uses 2 sets of values from a trigpin and echopin. Should have bought the Sharp IR sensor, 3 pins.

Meanwhile a simple sketch for using the SR04 with Arduino using the newping library:

#include <NewPing.h>

#define TRIGGER_PIN 12
#define ECHO_PIN 11
#define MAX_DISTANCE 200

//datasheet say max dist 4m but found it hard to work over 2m


void setup() {

void loop() {
int uS = sonar.ping();
Serial.print(“Ping: “);
Serial.print(uS / US_ROUNDTRIP_CM);


hc-sr04_ultrasonic_sensor_distance_measuring_module_1_ 800px-BoeBot_Sharp_Sensor_JST_Connection


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Something to keep me distracted while doing research.

import ddf.minim.spi.*;
import ddf.minim.signals.*;
import ddf.minim.*;
import ddf.minim.analysis.*;
import ddf.minim.ugens.*;
import ddf.minim.effects.*;

Minim minim;
AudioInput in;
FFT fft;

void setup()
size( 1024, 480 );
minim = new Minim( this );
in = minim.getLineIn(Minim.STEREO, 1024);
fft = new FFT( in.bufferSize(), in.sampleRate() );
strokeWeight( 1 );
void draw()
background( 0 );
translate( 0, height/2 );
// right channel
stroke( 255, 0, 0 );
for ( int i = 0; i < in.right.size(); i++ ) {
float y = in.right.get( i ) * 220;
point( i, y );
// left channel
stroke( 255 );
for ( int i = 0; i < in.left.size(); i++ ) {
float y = in.left.get( i ) * 220;
point( i, y );
void stop()


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Following Ben’s workshop on Thursday, some initial ideas staring to converge.

Modifying the 2 potentiometer sketch and using instead distance sensor to trigger and manipulate sounds in PD. Hope the sensors bought on ebay get here in time for the Live Performance.

GLCD_pong2 IMG_20141203_170237


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Thinking of using Thursday’s Live Performance as a way to test some early prototypes for the Creative project. More contact mics the better, showcasing my soldering skills, using myself as a instrument to record samples.

IMG_20141207_124723 IMG_20141207_123226

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Building on the previous post, I found this article, a case study that sets a framework in users participation in Digital Live Art. It identifies ‘wittingness’ as individual’s or group of people’s knowledge or awareness of the performance frame. It can be
used as a device for tempting performative interaction, or the interaction that occurs within and as a result of the performance

‘Digital Live Art (DLA) [24] is the intersection of live art,
computing and human-computer interaction (HCI). Research
has begun to investigate how the methods and theories in the
performance arts can be used to understand human-computer
interaction in DLA. Our interest is in how we can encourage
people to participate in technically-mediated public

Evaluating and measuring interaction in public performance is
very different to the frameworks and measures used to
understand interaction in more ‘traditional’ forms of HCI.
Traditional HCI has focused on understanding interaction in
desktop computing applications. This has typically concentrated
on task-based computing and designing interfaces which
increase efficiency of task execution, for instance. However, as
computing moves away from the desktop to mobile and
wireless ubiquitous environments, we see a shift to non taskbased
uses of computing [6, 18] and understanding the needs of
users as performers [24]. To better understand these needs HCI
requires an understanding of performance framing.
Gregory Bateson first identified the concept of the
‘performance frame’ in his paper titled A Theory of Play and
Fantasy [2]. The performance frame is the cognitive context
where the rules of behavior, symbols and their interpretations
are bound within a particular activity within its own structure.
The concept has been used extensively in many contexts,
including understanding face-to-face encounters in the everyday
[13]. In this paper, we update earlier descriptions of
performance framing in DLA [5, 11, 23] to include our
definition of wittingness.’

(Jennifer G. Sheridan, Nick Bryan-Kinns, and Alice Bayliss. 2007. Encouraging witting participation and performance in digital live art. In Proceedings of the 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: HCI…but not as we know it – Volume 1 (BCS-HCI ’07), Vol. 1. British Computer Society, Swinton, UK, UK, 13-23.

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From previous research highlighted two things:

1. The idea of ludic play as a way of encouraging interaction, Case study The Drift Table:

‘Observing the Drift Table in long-term use also
uncovered new aspects of designing for ludic
engagement. These can be summarized by the
following lessons about ludic activities:
1 Support social engagement in ludic activities.
Using the Drift Table was engaging as a solitary pursuit,
but people liked to gather round it, discussing their
current view and how to reach new destinations. The
small size of the viewport was frustrating in social
situations, but other features of the table made it well
suited for group use.
2 Allow the ludic to be interleaved with everyday
utilitarian activities. People often engaged with the
Drift Table as an occasional break from their routine
household activities. We had not explicitly anticipated
this in the table’s design, but its slow speed, the use of
a persistent input (weight) and the sheer enormity of
its data set combined to allow periodic use.
3 Don’t expect ludic designs to leave everyday
activities untouched. The Drift Table was conceived
as a kind of augmented coffee table, but its use was
not a simple extension of coffee table use. This became
clearest in the way that weighty objects were
specifically selected and deployed on the table. We
speculate that similar effects will be found generally for
this sort of augmented artefact.
4 Don’t seek to meet users’ immediate desires. In
designing the Drift Table, we consciously restrained
ourselves from adding features to support expectable
demands (e.g. moving quickly to a particular location).
Many people in fact voiced exactly the desires we had
decided not to support. Over time, however, our
decisions appeared justified as a noticeable subset of
users accepted the table for what it was, and
relinquished the desire to engage with it to achieve
obvious tasks. For these individuals, the table worked
to encourage the exploration of new activities and
appreciations.’ (William W. Gaver, John Bowers, Andrew Boucher, Hans Gellerson, Sarah Pennington, Albrecht Schmidt, Anthony Steed, Nicholas Villars, and Brendan Walker. 2004. The drift table: designing for ludic engagement. In CHI ’04 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems(CHI EA ’04).

2. The value of cultural probes as a way to ‘encourage subjective engagement’ and as communication between designers and potential users:

If Probes are collections
of materials posing tasks to
which people respond over time, then
“probology” is an approach that uses
Probes to encourage subjective engagement,
empathetic interpretation, and a
pervasive sense of uncertainty as positive
values for design. We accept that Probes,
the technique, may be appropriated for a
variety of different ends. We hope, however,
that other researchers and designers
will embrace “probology” as well as
Probes in pursuing design for everyday
(William W. Gaver, Andrew Boucher, Sarah Pennington, and Brendan Walker. 2004. Cultural probes and the value of uncertainty. interactions 11, 5 (September 2004), 53-56.)

A cultural
probe is an experimental research method that provides
“inspirational data” [9] for design. Through a cultural probe study
that we undertook we were able to gain new insights into
approaches toward a research project regarding collaboration
between artists and scientists. Cultural probes offer the possibility
for sustainable communication between designers and those being
designed for. It does so by allowing a mental shift in the designer
to be able to think from the target demographic’s perspective so
that designs can reflect that population’s desires and concerns.(Zoe McDougall and Sidney Fels. 2010. Cultural probes in the design of communication. InProceedings of the 28th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication (SIGDOC ’10). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 57-64.)

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Engaging audiences is key in any project involving interaction, and the key equation is how to do it, how to engage the public while making meaningful work? Maybe drawing on previous work done by others and reflecting on their experiences. The ‘Humanaquarium’ project is one where challenging audience members to interact was key to the success:

Using the medium of interactive performance to
observe public behaviour, humanaquarium is a ludic
[6], playful artefact whose aesthetic content entices
people to explore its ambiguous, uncanny interface
within the legitimate sociocultural context under
investigation – the public sphere. Situating the
humanaquarium in public spaces in order to observe
and obtain insight from participant behaviour allows us
to use the humanaquarium artefact as a sort of ‘cultural
probe’ [7], investigating how people interact with
playful technologies encountered in social spaces.

Taylor, R., Scho$eld, G., Shearer, .Wallace, J., Wright, P. C., Boulanger,
P., Olivier, P., ‘humanaquarium: exploring audience, participation and
interaction’. In Proceedings of CHI’11, ACM Press, 1117-1122.



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We were presented with 2 strategies for creative practice:
Be reflexive: be reflective and responsive about the
meaning of your own ideas and experiences
Defamiliarise: consider alternative perspectives on your
ideas and experiences.

It’s a recurring theme, last times discussed during the documentary module, where it was presented as a valuable approach and the opposite of the wider used strategy of becoming familiar with the subject.  I guess they’re equally valid but produce different outcomes. Here is an example, when a practitioner, this time photographer Hans van der Meer, applied the 2 strategies to a subject he was already familiar with(Sunday football), the end result being a totally different approach is which he seems to question everything that previously  looked familiar.

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