Button and lights – Arduino

Today  started working whit Arduino (again), but this time I have a good excuse to use it so I hope this will be integrated with future work, around march this year I did a couple of tutorials using Arduino, but I did not document them, now I am going to do it as an exercise for my memory and also to tidy up mi knowledge on this matter, it is worth to mention that recently I started to study C# and my goal is to be able to connect both VR and Arduino through Unity.

This first example is just a simple circuit that allows me to change the order for the lights to turn on, so I am using a push button to do this, if the button is not pressed (LOW), the lights will be turned on in an specific order, otherwise, if the button is pressed (HIGH) the order will change (this is an exercise form the Arduino starter kit)

This is the code:

//this is te variable that is going to store the two values for the bush button
int switchState=0;
void setup() {
  //we use the pinMode function to set the pins to be either for input or for output
  pinMode(3,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(4,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(5,OUTPUT);
  pinMode(2,INPUT);

}

void loop() {
  //we loop to check if the button is pressed
  switchState = digitalRead(2);
  //if the button is not pressed then the lights get turned on in this sequence
  if(switchState == LOW){
  digitalWrite(3, LOW);
  digitalWrite(4, LOW);
  digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  digitalWrite(3, LOW);
  digitalWrite(4, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(5, LOW);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  digitalWrite(3, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(4, LOW);
  digitalWrite(5, LOW);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  //if the button is pressed then the lights are turned on in this sequence
} else {
  
  digitalWrite(3, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(4, LOW);
  digitalWrite(5, LOW);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  digitalWrite(3, LOW);
  digitalWrite(4, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(5, LOW);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  digitalWrite(3, LOW);
  digitalWrite(4, LOW);
  digitalWrite(5, HIGH);
  delay(250); //wait for a quarter of a second
  }
}

This is the circuit being tested

Collage of museums

I have to admit that my habit of collecting images has led me into a trap, I know I had visited a good amount of museums this year, both in London and in Spain, I have taken images from pieces and the small cards next to the but I am a bit lost about the name of the museum, In this post I will try to select and reference the origen of this pieces.

Reina Sofia Museum

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I felt attracted to this piece as it is a painting over a 3D surface.

Tate Britain

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I really liked the deformity of perspective system inside this piece.

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To be honest, What attracts me the most about this piece is the way the artist depicts the pool underneath the main orthogonals, I think this creates a magnificent effect.

Tate modern

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Similar to the one on the Tate Britain, I was pretty intrigued by the perspective system inside this piece.

National Gallery

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There are many reasons why I like this piece; the anamorphosis, the fixed view point, the three-dimensionality of the painting and the fact that this was made on the late Renaissance.

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I was attracted to the use of a mirror to create this illusion of immersion, this has been a recurrent subject in my work, I also saw the same in the “Arnolfini Portrait”.

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Laser cutting – Building the canvas

Today I went to the 3D workshop to use the laser cutter, this time my approach was different because instead of trying to build a 3D structure for my pieces, I decided to cut different pieces from a sheet of Acrylic plastic in order to use them as the base for my 3D painting/sculptures.

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At the moment I am planning to use this material to achieve two goals; firstly to stop using the MDF sheets (that come as part of pre-made frames) as support for my pieces, and secondly, to be able to make frameless pieces but still be able to hang them form the wall.

The active viewer

I was thinking that one of the advantages of a 3D painting is that you make the viewer become more active in order to explore the painting. Of course this is also achievable by adding different points of interest inside a flat painting but this comes after de viewer acquires a general and complete view of the representation. In the case of the 3D painting this happens since the beginning and is part of building a general picture.

On the 15th of September I went to the Tate Modern and I saw several Pieces from a group called “New Tendencies”, founded in 1961  in Zagreb. Croatia. The introduction to this exhibition also referenced the “Active viewer” that would  engage with art  in a real time and space.

Physichromie N0. 113 – Carlos Cruz Diez – 1963

Kinetic Relief -Optical Acceleration – Jean Pierre Yvaral – 1963

My reflection

For me it was really interesting to see this pieces, although I did not see them as painting I was exited to see an object that potentially works like a 3D painting. For me, when the active becomes active, he/she is abel go get involved with body and mind and this is a great area to explore for painting.

I was also thinking that with the digital image the process could go on two different directions. Firstly. the viewer could physically interact with the canvas to obtain a fluid projected image. like depth maps seen on the Internet. the other one could be using kinect to change the image when the spectator changes its point if view.

Big mind – small body

Today I was watching a video of David Hockney talking about his exploration on space, I thought that his questions are pretty interesting but I also think that his approach to a solution is quite “flat” and at some point I wanted to interrupt him to point out a different approach to the problem.

His work really inspires me, and I want to go beyond what he has accomplished. At one particular point (5:50 min), he pointed out that the format made the painting easy to transport, this triggered a connection inside my head, it seems that depicting reality over flat surfaces has a pretty straight connection with what is functional on a physical level, so I started thinking about my research paper and again I found traces of this idea where the physical aspect of reality and therefore our physical body tends to mediate what our mind is able to express.

In another part of the Video (8:07), Hockney says that “two dimensions don’t exist in nature” and then hi tries to explain that it is a problem of scale because if a canvas were huge then it would feel like a mountain, a bit further he refers about how we feel space and says that while standing in front of the Grand Canyon, he felt it like a 3D space but sometimes he could feel it as a flat image.

In another interesting part (13:20), he says that “we see space through time”, I really like this Idea because it makes a lot of sense, how ever, I still thinking about the problem of the flat image.

At the end he talks about how he experienced 3D cinema and how disappointing it was, he also makes a vague reference to Virtual Reality.

My reflection

Although artistic expression might be triggered inside the mind, it has to mediate and cope with the demands of the physical world in order to become physical expression (I am trying to  leave digital art out of this discussion). After doing a research on this matter, I  have got the idea that through the history of painting, physical world has had always the last word on how things are created.and that one of the biggest consequences of this is that painters from the 21th century, are still trying to depict the experience of reality over flat surfaces.

For me this is a mayor concern as I think that it is possible to evolve this way of depicting reality even for static images like paintings.

Exploring the physicality of the image

Today I was thinking that perhaps I explore the physicality of the image in order to make sense of the way I recall things in my mind. Somehow I feel that memories have this 3D information attached to them, so far, I have made quite a good amount of sketches exploring different options:

Man in bench.

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A walk through ambiguity #2

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A walk through ambiguity #3

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Others #1

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Stairs #1

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Others #2

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Self-portrait#4

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For me, the process of reshaping the image on a three-dimensional shape allows me to connect with it on a physical level. What is more, it allows me to expand and even dislocate the perspective of the photograph.

Mariano Fortuny y Marzal

A couple of weeks back, I went with my girlfriend to visit the city of Madrid, Food and wine, Family and art, To make the story short, I was walking fast through the monumental space of “El Prado Museum” and I was immediately dazzled by the strength of the brushstroke on this painting: “Naked man in the sun”.

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And in the same room I founded a vast body of work that really inspired me to look for more information about the artist.

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Children in Japanese Hall

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Nude on the Beach at Portici

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Fantasy about Fausto

Reflection:

beyond the great painting skills, I really like the way he manages to produce a focus effect on the painting by adding detail to little bits of the composition, I especially like the way he painted the piece about his two child

I also like the way he merged two different scenes to introduce Fantasy into the representation.

Laser cutting – a lot of smoke and confusion

Two weeks ago I went to the 3D workshop to cut out the MDF silhouettes of my next experiment, My plan was to build a 3D structure that might allow me to pour liquid polystyrene foam in order to cast a 3D piece.

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I was a bit disappointed because the edges of the MDF were pretty damaged by de laser and I now I had I lot of charcoal to deal with. I did built the model but then I realissed that this technique was not going to work for me as it might bring more disadvantages than advantages:

Advantages:

– MDF will act as an accurate template for model production because it is built using a digital template.

Disadvantages:

– Pieces will be heavier.
– It would be really difficult to change the piece once the MDF is integrated.
– MDF will actually restrict sculpting.
– MDF attracts humidity and fungus.

So, I guess that`s it for the moment, no MDF or laser cutting for the moment.

David Hockney – Vanishing point and time

I did take a look at Hockney just out of curiosity, and I have to say I’m really surprised about his body of work and also about his reflections on basic yet really important matters on visual representation.

This is a video from a presentation he made last year (2015) at Getty in Los Angeles, on this post I will focus on the things that interested me the most.

Neither Vanishing Points nor Shadows

He began talking about Chinese handscrolls, a continuous roll of paper on which images are painted. He was specially interested on making a point around the absence of vanishing points and shadows, not only in Chinese art but also in Persian, Indian and Japanese. He even pointed out that European art from the 11th century share this same principle but everything changed since the European renaissance.

From the other side of Geometric Perspective 

By recreating Brunelleschi’s “Camara Oscura”, Hockney concludes that artists that used this process are responsable for introducing shadows and geometric perspective in to paintings. He suggests that this technical advantage was not such a good idea after all and that it might be good to explore a different approach to representation of reality.

He is convinced that perspective should be reversed to bring more attention to the foreground, that is why at the moment he is experimenting with “photographic drawings”, a technique in which he overlaps lots of different photographs of an specific object to create an image that is not only composed with inverse perspective but also has an “expanded” time lapse because a single photograph is only able to contain one specific fraction of time.

Reflection:

On one hand, I really like the concept of playing or even getting rid of the vanishing point, although this is not a new concept for me, I feel I need to study it properly to explore different ways to approach the representation of 3D space. On the other hand, I agree with the idea of using different photographs to expand time but I am not attracted by Hockney’s photographic drawing.

Interesting quote by Hockney

“Video brings it’s time to you and you bring your time to painting, and that difference will always be there.”

3D avatars – using a 3D scanner

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to borrow the 3D scanner from the digital media centre and Camberwell, I wanted to learn how to use and also wanted to get a few models to take them inside of blender and understand how they are build. I also convinced Anthi to help me. at the end we made this two models:

My reflection

Although they look pretty cool, I have to say that I am a bit disappointed because the mesh is actually a mess, I did take them inside of blender and concluded that if I wanted to use them as animated characters, I will need to spend a huge amount of time reconstructing them.

So I guess this will only work for static objects.