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  • MAXX KLAXON
  • SPLICE
  • Maximus Clarke
  • The Book of Sand
  • 2013.03.05

    WE’RE FUNCTIONING AUTOMATIC

    » ART, MUSIC, TECH, VIDEO  

    The Toa Mata Band is an ingenious ensemble of toy robots playing drum machines, a stylophone, and a Kaossilator, all controlled by an iPad sequencer via an Arduino interface:

    2013.02.05

    TONE POEMS

    » MUSIC, TECH, VIDEO  

    A computer-controlled piano that can actually reproduce human speech:

    2013.02.04

    INVISIBLE LIGHT

    » 3D, TECH, VIDEO  

    I spent the weekend wiring together a couple of infrared remote controls to build a system that will trigger the shutters of 2 cameras simultaneously (part of my ongoing adventures in 3D photography). I plan to post more about this project soon.

    But Chris Shen has accomplished a much more impressive feat of IR remote hacking — he’s hooked up 625 discarded remote controls to create a working television display:

    Of course the light from the remotes is infrared, so it can’t be seen with the naked eye. And it looks like it would probably take a display at least twice as big to get a really coherent picture. Still, an ingenious achievement. Read more about the piece, titled INFRA, at Create Digital Motion.

    2013.01.15

    GUIDED BY A SIGNAL IN THE HEAVENS

    » TECH  

    The nation that brought us the BBC Radiophonic Workshop has now engineered another advance in electronic sound processing. It seems forensic experts on London’s police force have been recording the ever-fluctuating hum of the national power grid for the past seven years.

    Why? Because almost any audio recorded in the UK during that time will have the same hum embedded in it… so the cops can use their reference track to find out precisely when recordings entered into evidence were made — and whether they’ve been edited:

    Any digital recording made anywhere near an electrical power source, be it plug socket, light or pylon, will pick up this noise and it will be embedded throughout the audio. …

    Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording. …

    “Even if [the hum] is picked up at a very low level that you cannot hear, we can extract this information.”

    That’s right: the UK now has nationwide audio timecode.

    (Via The New Aesthetic)

    2012.08.12

    THE SOUND OF UNDERGROUND

    » MUSIC, TECH  

    James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem proposes musical subway turnstiles:

    I wanted to change the sound of going through the turnstile to a series of notes – I could do a little program. I could be like, well, the dominant note is the root, this is the fifth, this is the third, have a couple of sevenths, throw a few sixths in there just to be crazy. And during rush hour it would make arpeggiated music. And each subway station could have its own key or tonal set.

    2012.04.12

    SOLID SOUND

    » ART, TECH  

    Sound/Chair

    Designer Matthew Plummer-Fernandez created a sound whose waveform, plotted over time, looked like a chair. Then he had it made into an actual chair.

    (Via The New Aesthetic)

    2012.03.02

    A TRILLION POINTS OF LIGHT

    » 3D, TECH, VIDEO  

    This is a video I shot last Friday at Studio-X New York, where I was attending a presentation about digital holographic printing. The print shown here was generated from point-cloud data, captured by LIDAR from several different locations around the area depicted. About a terabyte — over 1 trillion bytes — of data went into creating that image.

    The architectural applications are obvious. The artistic possibilities are intriguing. But Michael Klug, of Zebra Imaging, the company that creates these prints, explained that the military is also extremely interested.

    Holo-prints like these, viewable in 3D without glasses, can be used to show soldiers a detailed depiction of a location before they go there. DARPA has already poured $25 million into Zebra’s research.

    The next generation of this technology, which Klug gave us just a peek at, is even more astonishing: full-motion tabletop holographic video displays. It’s early days yet for these systems — they’re still bulky, insanely expensive, and very low-resolution. But as he put it, “It’s the closest anyone has gotten yet to Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

    There’s more about Klug’s presentation at BLDGBLOG.

    2012.02.18

    GHOST IN THE MACHINE

    » ART, PHOTOS, TECH  

    This is a real QR code, enhanced with an image of a zebra’s eye, that was featured in a magazine ad I saw recently. You can verify that this code works by scanning it with a mobile app like i-nigma, or by pasting the URL of the photo above into this form. (It doesn’t take you anywhere interesting — just to a site about Intel laptops.)

    Until I saw this image, I didn’t realize that it is in fact possible to embed images in working QR codes. Here’s how to do it.

    UPDATE: The Politics of Time, Kyle Trowbridge’s collection of massive, colorful, and fully functional QR code paintings, is now on show at Dorsch Gallery in Miami. (Hat tip to Kathleen Hudspeth.)