Nature, Through a Window: Moon, Fire, Water, in Light and Engravings, by Craig Dorety

Realizing the materiality of Earth and the Moon in new forms, artist Craig Dorety is rendering natural forms in light and engravings. For the Moon, he turns to carving techniques to mirror new data about the lunar surface – and, thanks to an SF Awesome Grant, he’s got some spare change to upgrade his CNC router. It’s a beautiful example of how art can make use of data, bringing together disciplines. (Okay, there isn’t any motion here to speak of, but the relevance of the 3D imaging technology here is clear and inspiring.) Lunar Topography Carvings http://craigdorety.com/lunar_topo.html Geeking out for …

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In Translucent Glass Grids, Nature's Patterns, Revealed

Up close, nature’s patterns represent nothing so much as elegant geometry, or even, perhaps, pixels. Rendered as an translucent array, organic patterns become a dance of digital pixels in a work in North Carolina. The creators describe it nicely, so it’s best to reflect on their description – and recall that nature can be an endless source of inspiration. There’s an extra revelation here, too: low-power displays could be the future. And that’s excellent news for nature. Patterned by Nature was commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the newly-built Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. …

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In Translucent Glass Grids, Nature’s Patterns, Revealed

Up close, nature’s patterns represent nothing so much as elegant geometry, or even, perhaps, pixels. Rendered as an translucent array, organic patterns become a dance of digital pixels in a work in North Carolina. The creators describe it nicely, so it’s best to reflect on their description – and recall that nature can be an endless source of inspiration. There’s an extra revelation here, too: low-power displays could be the future. And that’s excellent news for nature. Patterned by Nature was commissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the newly-built Nature Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. …

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As a Wooden Tangible Sequencer Plays Bach, Meditations on Encoding Music

You may have seen it already as it makes its viral rounds, but an advertising video for Japanese mobile giant NTT Docomo is a poetic model of how musical events are encoded, whether through means tangible or digital. A track of pitches makes a wooden ball into a mallet, traversing a track as it is driven by gravity. The keys of that track become a xylophone, the traversal of space sequencing notes in time, and you hear Bach Cantata 147, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” While there’s a clever take on a trill, the only disappointment is that we don’t …

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An Augmented Tree, and Free Tools Power 3D Voxel Projection — on Leaves

In Lit Tree, the design team Kimchi and Chips create dances of light across a potted tree, augmenting the plant life by transforming its leaves into voxels. 3D volumetric projection create clouds of light. In time, it could even impact growth – a kind of bonsai technique with light. Given the work’s relevance both artistically and technically, I wanted to learn more about the way the project was conceived and constructed. Kimchi and Chips artist Elliot Woods, who collaborates with interaction designer and visual artist Mimi Son in Seoul, responded with yet more than I expected. Behind the work itself …

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CDM Asks: Digital Music + Beautiful Weather? (Go Play On a Lake!)

CDM traffic has taken a sudden plunge. Now, it could be all those digital DJ stories (um, sorry about that), but based on past experience, we tend to see a dip in readership whenever the weather turns lovely (which also happens to coincide with the end of the semester, a big deal for the many readers in school). I, for one, love the outdoors (despite what you might suspect reading this site), and absolutely encourage the trend! (And if you’re just studying for exams, I’ll send you positive Brain Energy.) But that got me thinking. I think for creative health …

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Optical Theremin Toilet, Operatic Daisies, and More of the Weirdest Instruments Ever

The beauty of musical instruments lies partly in their strangeness: odd objects that have mysterious sound-making powers. So really, why not a toilet? Toilet, Pooh, Pikachu: Cementimental’s “Optical Theremin Loo” packs an optical theremin (with a photoresistor, in other words) into a plastic toy toilet. (Tom at Music Thing should like this as it’s white, not silver.) You can control the flow of light into the device using the lid. That’s just one of Cementimental’s strange creations: on his circuit bending projects page are various other toy modifications, including a fantastic Ghostbusters Ghost Box, Winnie-the-Pooh toy turned black box with …

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Wooden Log, Lathes as Musical Instruments

Straight from the files of "Looks-like-an-April-Fool's-but-it's-real": From owlProject: The Log1k and iLog are instruments built from logs. (via near near future) The Log1k is a log with a gearbox motor that spins wooden disks to produce rhythmic noises, complete with "touch-sensitive switches" — wait, as opposed to non touch-sensitive switches? Don't forget the flat panel display. (It's a blank opaque flat panel that lights up, in other words. But it is flat.) The iLog is a new portable version with the same wooden toggle switches. The iLog records samples, but much of the sounds have to do with "the bare …

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