Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set

I’ve been collaborating with Bryan Cera on a new project called: Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set. It is close to completion — this is a preview.

Our project recreates Marcel Duchamp’s hand-carved wooden chess set as a 3D model for 3D printing. Duchamp’s original chess set has been lost and exists only this photograph.

We call this process a Readymake — a play on Duchamp’s Readymade — one that recreates objects that exist only in documentation and transforms them into 3D-printable forms that anyone with access to a 3D printer can print.

duchamp_set_ref_image1These prints are using the Object printers that I am working with while an artist-in-residence at Autodesk — which are resin-based prints: VeroBlack, VeroWhite and VeroClear.

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A key concept of the readymake is that each printer will have subtle inconsistencies in its manufacturing process. If you look closely at this rook, you can see the layers of resin as the rook was printed as well as some scratches in the surface of the rook from the scraping and cleaning process. Although it is digital, because there is material involved, every piece is slightly different.

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Some of the background which led to this project: Duchamp’s lifelong passion was the game of chess, in which he was ranked as a Master and played for the French national team. He claimed to love chess more than art.

This project stemmed from my Playing Duchamp  (2010) artwork, commissioned by Turbulence.org — in which I reprogrammed an online chess computer to play chess as if it were Marcel Duchamp.

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Some of the other pieces came out beautifully such as this VeroClear version of the knight. Here are several more images.

The full project description is below.

veroclear_knight

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veroclear_3 vb_rook_queen
Full Project Description:
Readymake: Duchamp Chess Set is a 3D-printed chess set generated from an archival photograph of Marcel Duchamp’s own custom and hand-carved game. His original physical set no longer exists. We have resurrected the lost artifact by digitally recreating it, and then making the 3D files available for anyone to print.

Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s readymade — an ordinary manufactured object that the artist selected and modified for exhibition — the readymake brings the concept of the appropriated object to the realm of the internet, exploring the web’s potential to re-frame information and data, and their reciprocal relationships to matter and ideas. Readymakes transform photographs of objects lost in time into shared 3D digital spaces to provide new forms and meanings.

While 3D digital models are a relatively new commodity, the possibilities for digital fabrication have been rapidly proliferating. Digital relics in the form of images and archival photographs are abundant, and offer a means to rework the value of the art object, making them a perfect starting point for this experiment.

Most importantly, a readymake does not exist solely as a virtual object. Every readymake that is downloaded and produced will see subtle inconsistencies in computer numerical controlled manufacturing – along with the varying 3D printing technologies, variants of specific printer designs, and unique combinations of software and hardware commonly used in ubiquitous DIY digital fabrication systems – always yielding unique results.

Duchamp said in the 1960s, about his readymade creations, “I’m not at all sure that the concept of the readymade isn’t the most important single idea to come out of my work.” Today, in an age of digital fabrication and open source design, the boundaries between concept and object continue to blur.  We invite other thinkers and makers to join our exploration of conceptual-material formations — to discover and create with our readymakes, and contribute their own.

 

Getting into 123D Circuits

I’m a convert to 123D Circuits and not just because I’m an Autodesk shill (full disclosure: I’m in the residency program), but because it has the shared component library that anyone can tap into.

What I’m designing is a PCB that goes to your Raspberry Pi cobbler breakout with some basic components: switches, LEDs, and potentiometers. I’m getting some great help from one of the 123D Circuits team members. It’s going to build on some of my Raspberry Pi Instructables, as well as be a critical component in my upcoming Bot Collective project.

Here’s the preliminary circuit diagram…see anything wrong?

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Fritzing, the other viable competitor — as much as an open source program can be considered so — has a snappier grid system and is faster. It is after all, a desktop application and doesn’t have the odd performance issues in a browser app.

However, 123D Circuits has a community. Bah, a community, why is this important?  (see below)

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.00.23 PMWhat won me over to the 123D Circuits…besides the fact that I know the some of the people who work on the product: the MCP3008 chip. I need this chip for the Raspberry Pi ADC do-all circuit that I’m building.

123D Circuits has it. Fritzing doesn’t. That’s because someone out there made the chip and now I’m using it. 123D FTW.

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First three Data Crystals

My first three Data Crystals are finished! I “mined” these from the San Francisco Open Data portal. My custom software culls through the data and clusters it into a 3D-printable form.

Each one involves different clustering algorithms. All of these start with geo-located data (x,y) with either time/space on the z-axis.

Here they are! And I’d love to do more (though a lot of work was involved)

Incidents of Crime
This shows the crime incidents in San Francisco over a 3-month period with over 35,000 data points (the crystal took about 5 hours to “mine”).  Each incident is single cube. Less series crimes such as drug possession are represented as small cubes and more severe a crimes such as kidnapping are larger ones. It turns out that crime happens everywhere, which is why this is a densely-packed shape.
datacrystal_crime

 

Construction Permits
This shows current the development pipeline — the construction permits in San Francisco. Work that affects just a single unit are smaller cubes and larger cubes correspond the larger developments. The upper left side of the crystal is the south side of the city — there is a lot of activity in the Mission and Excelsior districts, as you would expect. The arm on the upper right is West Portal.  The nose towards the bottom is some skyscraper construction downtown. 

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Civic Art Collection
This Data Crystal is generated from the San Francisco Civic Art Collection. Each cube is the same size, since it doesn’t feel right to make one art piece larger than another. The high top is City Hall, and the part extending below is some of the spaces downtown. The tail on the end is the artwork at San Francisco Airport.

datacrystal_sfart

 

Support material is beatiful

I finished three final prints of my Data Crystals project over the weekend. They look great and tomorrow I’m taking official documentation pictures.

These are what they look like in the support material, which is also beautiful in its ghostly, womb-like feel.

I’ve posted photos of these before, but still stunned at how amazing they look.

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Crime Classifications in San Francisco

Below is a list of the crime classifications, extracted from the crime reports from the San Francisco Open Data Portal. This is part of my “data mining” work with the 3D-printed Data Crystals.

ARSON
ASSAULT
BAD CHECKS
BRIBERY
BURGLARY
DISORDERLY CONDUCT
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
DRUG/NARCOTIC
DRUNKENNESS
EMBEZZLEMENT
EXTORTION
FAMILY OFFENSES
FORGERY/COUNTERFEITING
FRAUD
GAMBLING
KIDNAPPING
LARCENY/THEFT
LIQUOR LAWS
LOITERING
MISSING PERSON
NON-CRIMINAL
OTHER OFFENSES
PORNOGRAPHY/OBSCENE MAT
PROSTITUTION
RECOVERED VEHICLE
ROBBERY
RUNAWAY
SEX OFFENSES, FORCIBLE
SEX OFFENSES, NON FORCIBLE
STOLEN PROPERTY
SUICIDE
SUSPICIOUS OCC
TRESPASS
VANDALISM
VEHICLE THEFT
WARRANTS
WEAPON LAWS

EEG Data Crystals

I’ve had the Neurosky Mindwave headset in a box for over a year and just dove into it, as part of my ongoing Data Crystals research at Autodesk. The device is the technology backbone behind the project: EEG AR with John Craig Freeman (still working on funding).

The headset fits comfortably. Its space age retro look aesthetically pleases except that I’d cover up the logo in a final art project. The gray arm rests on your forehead and reads your EEG levels, translating them into a several values. The most useful are “attention” and “meditation”, which are calculations derived from a few different brainwave patterns.

eeg_headestI’ve written custom software in Java, using the Processing libraries and ModelBuilder to generate 3D models in real-time from the headset. But after copious user-testing, I found out that the effective sample rate of the headset was 1 sample/second.* Ugh.

This isn’t the first time I’ve used the Neurosky set. In 2010, I developed art piece, which is a portable personality kit called “After Thought”. That piece, however, relied on slow activity and was more like a tarot card reading where the headset readings were secondary to the performance.

The general idea for the Data Crystals is to translate data into 3D prints. I’ve worked with data from the San Francisco’s Data Portal. However, the idea of generating realtime 3D models from biometric data is hard to resist.

This is one of my first crystals — just a small sample of 200 readings. The black jagged squares represents “attention” and the white cubes correspond to “meditation”.

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Back to the sample rate…a real-time reading of 600 samples would take 10 minutes. Still, it’s great to be able to do real-time, so I imagine a dark room and a beanbag chair where you think about your day and then generate the prints.

Here’s what the software looks like. This is a video of my own EEG readings (recorded then replayed back at a faster rate).

And another view of the 3D print sample:

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What I like about this 3D print is the mixing of the two digital materials, where the black triangles intersect with the white squares. I still have quite a bit of refinement work to do on this piece.

Now, the challenge is what kind of environment for a 10-minute “3D Recording Session”. Many colleagues immediately suggest sexual arousal and drugs, which is funny, but I want to avoid. One thing I learned at the Exploratorium was how to appeal to a wide audience, i.e. a more family-friendly one. This way, you can talk to anyone about the work you’re doing instead of a select audience.

Some thoughts: just after crossing the line in an extreme mountain bike race, right after waking up in the morning, drink a pot of coffee (our workplace drug-of-choice) or soaking in the hot tub!

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* The website  advertises a “512Hz sampling rate - 1Hz eSense calculation rate.” Various blog posts indicate that the raw values often get repeated, meaning that the effective rate is super-slow.

 

Accidental Raspberry Pi Selfie

While monkeying around with the Raspberry Pi and the camera and the GPIO, I took this selfie. I guess the camera was upside down!

The Raspberry Pi is pretty great overall. The real bugaboo is the wifi and networking capabilities. You still have to specify these settings manually.

But the cost, only $40! I have 4 of them running now, all doing different tasks. Perfect for my upcoming Bot Collective project (lots and lots of Twitterbots)

7/10 stars.

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Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide

I’m still recovering from my broken collarbone (surgery was on Wednesday). Today I’m definitely feeling ouchy and tender. I get pretty wiped out walking around outside with the jostling movement, so have been staying home a lot.

To keep myself busy, I’ve been working on a backlog of Instructables for my residency at Autodesk.

This one is called the Ultimate Raspberry Pi Configuration Guide — it took a long time to write!

Even with two-hands and full mobility, it would have been arduous.

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My GitHub Instructable (while convalescing)

While a resident artist at Autodesk, we are supposed to write many Instructables. Often, the temptation is to make your projects and then write the how-to-guides in a haste.

Since I broke my collarbone, I really can’t make anything physical, but I can type one-handed. Besides the daily naps and the doctors’ appointments, and slowly doing one-handed chores like sorting laundry, I have to keep my mind active (I’m still too vulnerable up to go outside on my own).

Here is a new one: an Introduction to Git and GitHub. I originally found this source-control system to be weird and confusing, but now I’m 100% down with it. Feel free to add comments on the guide, as I’m a relative Git/GitHub nOOb and also have a thick skin for scathing Linux criticism.

Full Instructable here:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Introduction-to-GitHub/

And here is my post-surgey selfie from yesterday, where they put the pins in my collarbone. The doctors told me it went well. All I know is that I woke up feeling groggy with extra bandages on my shoulder. That’s how easy it is these days.

post_surgery_selfie

No fabrication work for a while

I had a bicycle accident on Sunday during a group ride (no cars were involved) and I smacked the pavement hard enough to break my collarbone. Ouch!

The upshot is no fabrication work for at least 4 weeks. This will change my time as a resident artist at Autodesk, as I was in the middle of an intense period of time there. I’m not sure just yet how this will play out.

Everyone has been telling me to rest up, but I have a hard time sitting still. I expect to be doing some research, reading and a bit of one-handed coding + blogging, plus plenty of sleeping. Fortunately, it was my left collarbone and I’m a righty. It is already easier than the other way around — I broke my right collarbone 4 years ago and having a clumsy one hand is so much harder.

1957876_10152321222339274_1042162030_oA shot of morphine in the ER and put a smile on my face. Now, I’m trying to stay in good spirits without the drugs!1888673_10152198672641676_1513602953_n