Archive for the 'week 3' Category

Patchwork

May 22, 2006

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This week, the average temperature dropped about ten degrees to 43 F/6 C making it a force majeure to working inside with Max/MSP. “Numbers in boxes” summarizes this week’s blog entry by default.

Almost halfway through the residency period, I can say that my learning curve has risen considerably. I’m now executing timed commands with the object “metro” giving a new dimension to my patch. In Max language, the object “metro” refers to metronome, allowing commands to be sent in units of milliseconds. Metro also can be used for scoring a composition by triggering messages or series of commands occurring in linear time.

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My unfathomable patch-somewhat resembling last year’s Christmas lights.

Based upon the snapshot above, you can tell I’m not a programmer; therefore creating a patch adapted to the movements on a skateboard is a matter of trial and error.

My experience thussofar has been twofold: programming and skateboarding. First of all, when dealing with numbers and calculations, there is less room for error. One is either right or wrong. However, when it comes to skateboarding, there is a greater margin of flexiblity. The challenge has been to find the balance between the two. Creating a statement such as : if action, then reaction is not enough. Demonstrating a realistic dialogue between the two languages (physical and programming) has been a major challenge.

“By pressing down this special key, it plays a little melody,…” Click on photo above to watch the video clip of the first test run.

In addition to programming, I’ve been paying several visits to Turku ‘s public library. It has an exceptional system: Up to fifty books, CD’s DVD’s, cassettes and comic books can be borrowed at one time, free of charge to all residents.

The first book I’m reading is Finland’s national epic story: Kalevala, a collection of poems compiled by folklorist Elias Lönnrot. It is centered around the cultural heros of Finnish mythology.

The second book “Homo Ludens” by Johan Huizinga is a historical account of the play element of culture and society; “Homo” (man) and ‘Ludens” (play). Huizinga argues that play is not just a caprice or distraction but in fact a freedom. “Only when play is recognized as a cultural function- a rite, a ceremony-is it bound up with notions of obligations and culture” he states.

Huizinga’s book brings forth many questions concerning skateboarding and its relationship between play and culture. Was playing a catalyst for our technological advancements in the past? Stay tuned in the next blog.

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