Paper isn’t the first medium most people think of when they imagine sculpture, but it has qualities that help papercraft artists create some of the most incredibly intricate 3D art ever seen. Master paper sculptors like Richard Sweeney, Brian Dettmer and Ingrid Siliakus cut, fold, glue and otherwise transform sheets of paper in various colors, sizes and textures into complex creations that mimic architecture, nature, the human form and subjects that are purely the products of their own fertile imaginations.
A recent wander through the outer suburbs of Flickrville yielded an exciting find – a set of Temari spheres, decorative thread balls combining mathematical principles, as well a love of colourful decoration. Originally developed in China and later spreading to Japan, Temari were traditionally made by grandmothers to give to their grand children. These engaging kaleidoscopic sphere’s have a something in common with Friedrich Froebel’s gifts as a way of introducing young children to the beauty of geometry and engaging them in the subjects of symmetry and tessellation through expertly crafted tactile objects. Froebel, the founder of the Kindergarten model, is well know for designing eductional puzzle like objects, known as Froebel Gifts, which encouraged geometric thinking and pattern building activities.
NanaAkua’s Flickr set [link above] contains a staggering 486 threadballs designed and made by her grandmother, now in her 80’s, who combines an excellent choice colours with a discerning eye for pattern. Also worth a visit is the Temari Flickr group.
In collaboration with nano scientists Dr. Zhengwei Pan and his research group at the University of Georgia, I have created a new series of work called “innerspace”. These micrograph images are taken directly from their theoretical lab samples. While the scientists observe the nano structures as objects, I am approaching them as subjects and discovering new micro and macro relationships.
Using current photographic technology and a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) I have created grand scale micrograph interpretations of their research. In this series I selected perspectives of unusual microscopic happenings within the actual nano structure samples to blur scale into seemingly familiar human settings.
Our first post in the new year is for Underwater photographer Zena Holloway, who at 18 traveled the world working as a scuba instructor developing a passion for underwater photography and film.
Dan Mcpharlin is an Australian designer that builds miniature analog synths and other assorted audio equipment using cardboard and paper. The vintage equipment comes complete with knobs, switches and wires. Each one takes 2 to 3 days to complete and recreates the actual synths as close as possible. Some of the works are for sale and have even appeared on the cover of a few albums.
Jeff Hamada says:
You can also buy the sushi crochet pattern in the Needle Noodles Etsy store.
While searching the web looking for examples of projects people have made with the Arduino Lilypad (more info, purchase + accessories) I ended up running across the work of Mika Satomi (video) and Hannah Perner-Wilson on the Puppeteer Motion-Capture Costume project.
The idea behind Puppeteer is to create accessible wearable technology solutions for motion-capture, aiming to create as much of the technology from scratch, collecting and sharing this knowledge through DIY instructions. The name Puppeteer comes from the concept of being able to puppeteer or control. In this case, the motion of the body wearing the costume controls whatever data is relevant to the performance or project.
The fabrication of the suit is a handmade procedure, which is not intended for mass-production, but rather for small projects lead by individuals with enthusiasm for making things themselves, sewing, gluing, soldering, programming and bug fixing.
They went on to create “A series of performances that use customized editions of the Puppeteer motion-capture suit to communicate concepts concerning the use of motion, gesture and the spoken word as forms of communication.” called The Language Game.
In the first edition of The Language Game, Mika and Hannah teamed up with Brooklyn’s LEMUR (League of Electronic Musical Robots). The costume was used to allow a dancer to control Lemur’s musical robots using her motion.
You can learn all about the project, and how you can think about creating your own puppeteer costume at the Instructables project page.
Much of the project revolves around the construction of bend sensors. Hannah’s current preferred method involves creating a bend sensor using conductive wire, and the method for constructing such a sensor is detailed in another Instructables project.
Mika and Hannah also suggest potential further experimentation involving carbon paint and conductive textiles and rubber.
Once you have a set of sensors for your puppeteer suit, you need a way to connect them to a microprocessor. This is accomplished using washable “soft circuits“. The design of the soft circuits is much of the work that goes into this project. To make the connections, they like to use large strips of conductive fabric along with flexible/stretchable fabric glue, an approach which keeps the fabric stretchy and conductive. In later versions of the costume, they started to make the circuits removable using snaps.
The hard circuit is the part of the costume that is not machine-washable (the power supply, the microprocessor, the wireless module, and various other components). These components are kept in a little removable backpack that will not require washing as a result of normal use.
Another fascinating project from this pair is called “Massage Me“.
Playing Massage me requires two people, one who wears the jacket to receive the massage and one who massages the person wearing the jacket. Soft flexible buttons are embedded in back of the jacket so that wearing it turns your back into a gamepad. All you need to do is to sit or lay down in front of a video game player and you will be able to enjoy a back massage while the game lasts.
Otherwise wasted button-pushing energy is transformed into a massage and the addicted game player becomes an inexhaustible masseur.
The soft flexible buttons are made from layers of conductive fabric and are embedded in the back of the jacket. These buttons register the massage moves and interpret them before passing them on to the console as control signals. This means that Massage me works with existing games, and the best massages come from playing games that require the player to press a lot of buttons and combinations.
Although Massage me currently works with a hacked a Playstation Controller, we believe it wouldn’t be hard to convert it to other consoles by hacking their controllers.
Can’t wait to see what else they come up with!
“Noteboek”, great little animation by Evelien Lohbeck, who recently graduated from the Arts Academy in Breda, Netherlands and won the prize for best NOFF-film 2008 a the Netherlands Film Festival.
Jeff Hamada says:
Brainforest is the name of a piece by Gerda Steiner & Jorg Lenzlinger but I think it’s also a great way of describing the style that all of their work has. Steiner was originally a wall painter and Lenzlinger was creating stalactite-like forms when they joined forces in 1997. The amount of detail in their large scale installations is staggering. You can tell how much I love their work by the number of images I have included in this post.