"Open" Kinect Tools Go Closed and Dead, Limiting Artist and Hacker Options; Call for Help

The narrative around Kinect and how hackers and artists has always been a little oversimplified. You may have heard something like this: thanks to a bounty, creative individuals “hacked” Microsoft’s Kinect camera and made it open. That’s true, but it isn’t the whole story. While there is a “hacked” Kinect toolset, most of the creative applications you’ve seen make use of a richer set of frameworks from OpenNI. “OpenNI” referred to an alliance of individuals and organizations, and was supposed to represent various interests, as well as what the group called on their Website “an open source SDK used for …

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A Tangled Sculpture of Lightbulbs, Stage to Elaborate Synchronized AV Performance

In a tree-like cluster of wooden branches, 60 electronically-fired lightbulbs glow in tightly-choreographed pulses along with music. The light sculpture becomes the setting for a kind of AV dance theater, forming an otherworldly environment for narrative movement. “A Man Named Zero” is the work of Nocte and a team in the UK of performers, pairing DJ with lightbulb accompaniment. Nocte realized the project in the creative coding tool Cinder (C++), which provides both the lightbulb control and slick-looking wireframe visual interface. Interestingly, the audio analysis isn’t just a straight FFT. Instead, using the open LibXtract library, the software “extracts” audio …

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akira^8GB-on-PT1210

Amiga is Back: DJing with Two CDJ-Style “Turntables” will Amaze Your Friends

Eat your heart out, Traktor. Take that, CDJs. The dream of the 90s is alive, again, with new Amiga software. Akira Kei shares the project, which he and hoffman co-created and have dubbed the PT-1210 MK1. It mimics some CDJ-style features, but uses MOD files – a clever music format that employs samples and sequence data for truly portable, interactive music. This isn’t just a nerdy hack. It’s actually a full-blown DJ tool that could make its way through a party – provided that party’s musical tastes trended slightly retro. And since it runs on stock Amiga machines, you might …

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From Song to 3D Model to Augmented App: Visualizing Oneohtrix Point Never

One reason to use code, and the constellation of open source creative coding libraries, is the ability to express ideas across media. HoloDecks is a beautiful experiment in doing just that. The work translates invisible sound to three-dimensional form, and combines visualization in the physical and virtual domains. HoloDecks goes through multiple phases of expression, built entirely in the multi-platform, free and open source OpenFrameworks. Analysis of the song. First, there is a spectral analysis of the selected tune – in this example, it’s “Zebra,” by Oneohtrix Point Never. Virtual three-dimensional visualization. Next, the spectral data is plotted in a …

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A Free and Open Source Compressor, Built in Pd and Perfect for Mobile

Whether you’re building an experimental effect or performance tool or writing the Next Big Thing in Mobile Apps, you might need some signal compression. Working in Pure Data (Pd), it’s easy to create patches that get unruly, especially once you add live audio input. For mobile developers, things get even worse: you have to make your app work anywhere, with a range of devices, acoustic environments, microphones — the list goes on. The folks at Two Big Ears, who are working on their own rather lovely Android synth, have come to the rescue of Pd hobbyists and mobile developers alike. …

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‘Edge of Nostalgia’ is a Calming Ambient iPhone Album Transformed by Mic

Edge of Nostalgia from Michael McDermott on Vimeo. Ambient, and — actually, literally ambient. Mikronesia’s “Edge of Nostalgia” is a chilled-out 7-track record of gentle grooves and crystalline melodies, delivered as an app. That’s nice enough. But with the aid of your iPhone’s microphone, you and the environment around you become part of the soundscape. Ambient sounds are fed through great washes of reverb and chattering chains of delays. Recently updated for iOS 7, the result is an album that is different each time you listen. As the creator notes, plenty of records include stock sounds of field recordings. Here, …

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Pocket VJ: Raspberry Pi Gets Super Pikix Pi – Free, Dedicated Visual App

Those silver machines with the fruit on them sure are great. And for now, PCs (whether Apple or Windows or Linux) are unparalleled in performance. But cheaper, dedicated hardware with the same flexibility of computers could grow in appeal. The Steambox promises to the gaming community that a dedicated box running Linux can best desktops and consoles alike. And in visuals, we could see something similar. Why wait? With a $25, tiny pocket-sized computer and a free VJ app, you can start now. Sure, it won’t exactly match that mini-tower you’re lugging around running TouchDesigner. But if you need to …

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With Apple’s PrimeSense Acquisition, Shifting Landscape in Depth Sensing, Motion Art

It wasn’t so long ago that point-and-shoot cameras were big, dedicated affairs. Now, camera sensors are everywhere. What’s next? Expect depth-sensing cameras like the Kinect’s to become as ubiquitous as camera sensors are in phones. And don’t listen to the analysts: if Apple is buying PrimeSense, they’re thinking iPhone, not only their Apple TV “hobby.” The news for the open source art hacking community using this stuff? Bad. And good. But… more on that in a bit. With touch staked out as input method, vision and, more broadly, “perceptual computing” seem poised to reshape the way we interact with devices. …

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With Apple's PrimeSense Acquisition, Shifting Landscape in Depth Sensing, Motion Art

It wasn’t so long ago that point-and-shoot cameras were big, dedicated affairs. Now, camera sensors are everywhere. What’s next? Expect depth-sensing cameras like the Kinect’s to become as ubiquitous as camera sensors are in phones. And don’t listen to the analysts: if Apple is buying PrimeSense, they’re thinking iPhone, not only their Apple TV “hobby.” The news for the open source art hacking community using this stuff? Bad. And good. But… more on that in a bit. With touch staked out as input method, vision and, more broadly, “perceptual computing” seem poised to reshape the way we interact with devices. …

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Powerful Syphon Tricks: Streaming Screen Captures, Mapping, Live Canon SLR Cameras

Since its release, Syphon has demonstrated how visual materials can be more fluid on computers. The open source technology on OS X has changed the way people work with visual apps, become the key enabling tech that helped popularize streaming visuals to dedicated mapping applications, and, probably, convinced more than a few people to splurge on that MacBook Pro instead of a PC. So, it’s always worth revisiting some of what it can do. Earlier this year, Syphon co-creator vade demonstrated mapping with Syphon at New York’s now-legendary Eyebeam art research center, below: (Via Le Collagiste [French]) Introduction to Syphon …

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