FMP-2_05 ↓ The Mouse or Nothing

While I sketched up my last idea, I had two words in mind – Materialize and Decentralize. Indeed, I’m materializing gestures into physical objects. And yes, I’m purposely decentralizing them as a critique against the over-functional screen, where you can basically do everything – even coffee! (Technically it’s not the screen but the phone case there, but you got the gist) ↓

I wanted my gestural objects to be rather straightforward, so I’m going back to the basics. Every gestures I’m materializing are basically taken apart from the mechanical computer mouse. Hence – How To (Web-)Surf w/ a Broken Mouse?  ↓

So I have the wheel, the pedal and the ball board. I did some quick research about the history of each, as I’m trying to further down their concepts. I also found a pretty trippy explanatory video about how the mechanical mouse actually works ↓

And a chronology of the mouse (in French, sorry but images are enough) →

As for the content and following up what I wrote last time about the sense of discovery, I thought about what platform I actually liked to spend time on. Youtube is a great choice, yet to confirm though – what would the objects bring in term of navigation? I’m thinking of the meaning that I want to give to the gestures / objects: the wheel will scroll back in time, and the board will move around by geolocalisation.

Problem I have is that as I’m looking into the API, it’s actually harder than expected to produce the results that I want (the use of time and geolocalisation are pretty tricky). I can’t seem to use the criterias of search without typing any key words, but I don’t want to alter the results with my own idea of Youtube. In that instance, I found this Random Youtube website that does that job. 🙃

The pedals also definitely don’t bring anything much, except PAUSE and NEXT. I really oughta re-think about that, my project is starting to look like the next WiiMote. 😅 I also thought about an exhibition system where the screen wouldn’t be too obvious so not as distracting – the idea of its lying on the ground remains. A projection would be too big and also distract the attention, while I want that attention full on the objects, and the sense of discovery to come while you peek at the box-iPad.

Even though I’m still unsure about the feasibility of the content, my research is also evolving through my practice – hence it’s about time I get to physical-prototyping. I borrowed a potentiometer for the wheel, and two buttons for the pedals. Gareth advised me to use a gyroscope sensor for the ball board – it won’t actually detect the ball but the board’s movements, basically giving out the illusion it’s the ball being detected.

Last week’s suggestion was that I will exclusively focus on the mechanical part, but I have a hard time visualizing my project without its content. However, I really can’t seem to bring out anything truly satisfying – my frustration is talking here. Tomorrow I have tutorials, let’s see how it’s gonna turn out.

FMP-2_04 ↓ The Machinery or Nothing

This week is a dilemma.

While digging the Custom Search API and its possibilities, I thought about what web surfing meant to me – an aimless re-creative re-creation. But how relevant is it to re-create that same experience with visuals? I’m afraid the audience won’t find anything surprising in its, especially if they aren’t digging that type of imagery. That’s why I started to think about an end-goal rather than an aimless output, and I came up with this Wikipedia prototype ↓

As you might know or not, if you always click on the first link of any Wikipedia article, you’ll end up reaching the Philosophy article. There is even an article about its. While I was editing this video, I instantly knew that it wasn’t working for my project, but I still think there is something about an end-goal that I should take account of.

My another worry is that it might be too literal to take the WWW as my content. Maybe I should think of another type of visual universe? I presented my dilemma to Eva and Nicolas during this Monday’s tutorial, plus the gestures / objects I’m thinking of for now. As always, here is the mindmap + the sketch ↓

As I was hesitating between these two options, they told me that I should look up more to a third option where I wouldn’t focus on any digital content – at least not with that type of aesthetics, or it can always be used as the source. As my objects are taking their importance, I should concentrate on the machinery I’m aiming to create. The pianocktail from L’Écume des Jours is a good example ↓

I guess my worries were founded. Although I do feel lost, it’s better than to keep going in a direction that I actually don’t enjoy. The day after, I had a tutorial with Nicolas. Here is the mindmap ↓

We talked about what I actually wanted people to learn from the Internet. As I talked about the aimless re-creation at the beginning of this post, I think I’m going towards the discovery side of its. The exploration is only aimless in its process but always ends up with the discovery. How do I re-create the feeling of discovery through my content?

Nicolas showed me few examples of projects that materialized the Internet. For instance, the Telluric Telecospe by alumni Simone Ciocoiu is an interesting approach of the sense of discovery using Youtube. We also talked about the possible use of Twitter’s API, but I’m considering others options for now. I don’t think Twitter suits my message. This is far to be my favorite platform – imo it’s over-cluttered to make sense of anything happening in there.

We also talked about how the Internet is somewhat physical – we aren’t swiping in the air but still on a screen, right!, and derived about the lack of visibility through that global network. The question of Internet’s transparency is controversial in the age of mass surveillance. Reminds me of the book/essay/fanzine Black Transparency by Metahaven, which I can only recommend.

Last point – I might go back to the pataphysics, which I actually mentioned in my first mindmap. Time to re-read my Thesis research a bit!

FMP-2_03 ↓ R, G, B or Nothing

It’s gonna be a packed post, you are warned.

Firstly – I didn’t mention it in last week’s post, but I had an informal crit with part of the cohort.

We talked about our respective projects, and advised each other for the concept and its execution. We also started to talk about the space’s plan – I have learnt that we actually have the Well Gallery, which is great! It also helps for my project to know which space I can use. I was suggested the space below the stairs at the Well Gallery, which is a pretty interesting area that I can maybe exploit.

Nothing is firmly planned for now, but it’s good to know where we are going – not only individually, but as a group putting our FMP-s together.

After that, I updated my sketch and here it is what it looks like now ↓

Following-up was the show meeting with Ben Branagan and Tobias. The meeting served as estimating each project’s technical needs.

Mine should be pretty straightforward in its execution. I explained that I’m gonna have analog controllers linked to a ground-projection – purposely to create an anti-familiar environment. The difficulty might lie in the ground-projection, thus I should put a distance to avoid its to be obstruct. I was also thinking of 3D print the objects, but advice is that I should think of the haptic – hence, use wood.

Although the execution is somewhat estimated, the form and the content are yet to be defined. This is exactly the focus of next day, as I had a tutorial with Tobias. Advice is that I should definitely focus on the content first, the rest will follow later. Well, form follows function so… Touché. We talked about how I could use visuals to re-create the web-surf experience, and he showed me references such as I Am Google by Dina Kilberman.

As usual, I mindmapped the main points + some others I didn’t detail here ↓

I added a point that made my friend Osama. I actually regularly call my friends to talk about my FMP – pretty much after each tutorial to reflect out loud, and the point he made was pretty valid so I highlighted that here. Even though I should focus on the content then followed up by the form, I better have a concise idea of the gestures – at least.

Last point – from my tutorial with Tobias, I imagined a Google gradient Images experience using RGB as variables for the controllers ↓

FMP-2_03 ↓ First Tutorials 4

I got this idea from Pete’s suggestion last week, and from a visual experiment I did some time ago ↓

🎶 slugabed − I Luv U & I Miss U I'M GRADIENT

A post shared by S S S Â N (@s_s_s_a_n) on

I talked with Gareth about the feasibility to use Google Images API with RGB variables. The API isn’t updated anymore so I better use the Custom Search API. He told me that it might be tricky, except if I cheat with CSS. That’s what I thought, the options seems to be limited to pre-chosen colors.

By cheating, I kinda lose the meaning in aimlessly surfing around. I’m thinking about time and geolocalisation as it seems possible with most APIs, and it is also much more meaningful and relevant on the WWW, rather than trying to satisfy my aesthetics. In the end, what meaning holds web surfing for me?

FMP-2_02 ↓ The Gestural Experience or Nothing

I met with my mentor Pete Wallace, we had loads of catch-up to do about our respective projects.

Prior to that meeting, I didn’t voice out my concept at all. Thus, I was pretty insure about its clarity. Turns out that Pete got exactly what I was trying to explain (aka what I previously wrote → “Bring corporality to the experience of web surfing“), and it definitely helped clearing up my thoughts. I got so many ideas while I was kind of stuck by myself. Because of his background with projection and moving image, he also advised me a lot on the technical part. After that, I sketched out few ideas for the execution – as you can see below-low.

We also talked about my Ars’ project, and my interest in the relationship between sounds and physical gestures. Pete e-mailed some of his colleagues whose line of works could intertwine with mine. I exchanged a bit with Benji Fox – he advised me on binary sound, and sent me a few references of contemporary modular synths with interesting control gestures. I particularly liked Landscape ↓

In the same vein, I also went to the Music Hackspace Artist Talk at Sommerset House this Monday, with Kacper Ziemianin presenting its LightSeq ↓

In the age where everything is pretty much doable within your sole laptop, the experience of playing // watching the performance still matters.

Although my FMP might not follow that musical path – I’m better off concentrating on the visual part, I still can definitely link my interest in the gestural experience into web surfing.

Anyways – this is always useful, particularly in the case I’m planning to improve my Ars’ project. I’m somewhat trying to accomplish a cohesive line of works, and I can’t really disregard my own interest about sounds. I know it shouldn’t be forced though, so I’m backing up a little bit to reflect and solve that visual content part first.

I have to admit I’m stuck on that part. 🙃 The only thing I know is that I want to re-create a web universe, it’s plenty vague enough. I didn’t talk about it much with Pete, though he gave me a few ideas for the variables I could use, such as a RGB detection.

As usual, I mindmapped – and simplified everything out ↓

Here are the sketches ↓

FMP-1_05 ↓ The Cyberflâneur:

Writing a thesis is a pretty structured task. Here is mine, it might change in its finalization though ↓

Here is the Google Slides I used for the Formative Assessment we had last week ↓

For some reasons I was really stressed out, I definitely didn’t manage my time well. My explanations were a bit in a rush, I missed out a lot of parts. Me caught blabblering, I apparently said “it’s like, whatever, I tried, basically, etc.” a lot ↓

FMP-2_01 ↓ The Corporalité or Nothing

After the Formal Thesis Assessment last week and a lil’ break (which mostly consisted in viewing and moving flats…), it’s time to get back on tracks – time for the long awaited FI-NAL GRA-DUA-TE PRO-JECT 👌

While writing, I couldn’t wait to get to this part. I actually have been ideating a rather firm concept of its since I finished my Ars Electronica’s project, which happened during the same time-span – remember, the scroll meditative box?

Since I used to ideate with the screen, I’d like to keep conceptualizing an Internet-inspired type of design – with tangible objects. It was actually my main objective during this MA, to get out of my screen-comfort-zone and to do something actually physical(-computing). For some reasons, I’ve always been intimated by designing actual objects, but I’m starting to do better now… Why not keep going at it then?

My pitch is rather simple → “Bring corporality to the experience of web surfing“.

What I meant by the word corporality is actually taken of the French word corporalité. The actual translation would be physicality, but I like the semantics of corporalité. Why is that? Well, corps translates to body, hence corporalité litteraly takes physicality in line to our body, to our human senses.

Which is what I’m aiming for, bringing web surfing closer to us. I started mindmapping as you can see below ↓