From ZERO1

GPS Tracks

I am building water quality sensors which will capture geolocated data. This was my first test with this technology. This is part of my ongoing research at the Santa Fe Water Rights residency (March-April) and for the American Arts Incubator program in Thailand (May-June).

This GPS data-logging shield from Adafruit arrived yesterday and after a couple of hours of code-wrestling, I was able to capture the latitude and longitude to a CSV data file.

This is me walking from my studio at SFAI to the bedroom. The GPS signal at this range (100m) fluctuates greatly, but I like the odd compositional results. I did the plotting in OpenFrameworks, my tool-of-choice for displaying data that will be later transformed into sculptural results.

The second one is me driving in the car for a distance of about 2km. The tracks are much smoother. If you look closely, you can see where I stopped at the various traffic lights.

Now, GPS tracking alone isn’t super-compelling, and there are many mapping apps that will do this for you. But as soon as I can attach water sensor data to latitude/longitude, then it can transform into something much more interesting as the data will become multi-dimensional.

Orientation Week at American Arts Incubator

The first week in 2017 was orientation week for the American Arts Incubator program. I met the four other artists and soon associated their names with the respective exchange countries: Elaine Cheung (Russia), Michael Kuetemeyer (Cambodia), Nathan Ober (Colombia), and Balam Soto (Guatemala)

My exchange country will be Thailand, where I’ll be staying in the multilayered metropolis of Bangkok for 28 days in May/June timeframe

Thailand sounds exciting and of course it is. However, I’m approaching this not as a tourist, but rather as an arts ambassador. The issue that I’ll be addressing in my exchange is environmental health and specifically water pollution in the Chao Phraya River. This is especially relevant to Thailand, which has underground rapid industrialization in the last couple of decades with environmental regulations lagging behind.

In Bangkok, I will engage in a dialogue of community data-collection and mapping though DIY science with a focus on water pollution, resulting in data-visualization installations and sculptures.

My time will be split about 80/20 on leading public workshops and creating my own artwork.

This ties into my current area of focus: creating physical data-visualizations such as the sculptures of the water infrastructure of San Francisco as well as relates to my longstanding history of working in art and education at institutions such as the Exploratorium.

I learned many things this week, including, but not limited to: better patience for long meetings, organizational models for workshop engagement, the Drupal blogging platform, art-budgeting in a foreign country and organizational techniques.

But most of all, I learned that I have an amazing organization, ZERO1, that will be supporting my work there as well as a cohort of four other artists I can learn from. Trust.

For more information and updates, please join the American Arts Incubator Facebook page.

Day 17: Into the Streets, Into the Museum

This was the big presentation day for Gift Horse.

We assembled our volunteer crew in the morning and they donned togas for the Green Prix parade.
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We already knew that the horse would clear the doorway, but others were concerned. Reality replicated itself and we got outside South Hall just fine.

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We look like we are exerting ourselves a lot here, but it was easy to push with all of our crew.

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And thanks to Danny Lulu for his excellent photography!
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Some of the students from a local high school came out to help.

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After 2 hours or so, we made it the San Jose Museum of Art. Clap! Clap!
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In the next 3 hours, we quickly disassembled and reassembled the horse in the gallery space for the Retro-Tech exhibition.

At 4pm, we did a quick ceremony, where we presented the horse to Russ, one of the trustees of the museum.

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He accepted the gift, but whoa! Look at all the viruses spilling out!

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Now they’re on the floor as part of the “artwork” that makes up the horse.
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And a final shot of the horse, in its fully glory.
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01SJ Day 12: Gift Horse Done!

We are so tired and we are done. The Gift Horse was difficult, as expected — so many details. And now the 01SJ Biennial truly will begin. We’re excited and hope you can make it for the Green Prix parade and presentation at the San Jose Museum of Art on Saturday.

Because of the late-night fatigue, I’ll keep it to a series of pictures with minimal commentary.

Victoria and I were moving at double-speed past midnight.

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A lot of detail work such as filling in the lines between the panels.

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All 12 viruses:

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Kris and Noah and Clementine Lang from Electric Works stopped by in the evening.

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And here is the corral where the horse will live at South Hall for the next two days.

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Viruses all finished, loaded up and ready to go.

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SJ01 Day 11: Almost Done

Today is the second-to-last day we are in the garage. We’re getting pretty tired with the late nights and full workdays, but everyone has responded enthusiastically to the Gift Horse.

We still have more viruses to go, but a late night beer-and-virus session resulted in near completion. Here, Beth (from growBot Garden) and Jenny (from OpenSolarCircuits) are making a few.

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They were later joined by more of the garage artists wishing for a late-night break.

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We have finally fit all the panels and you can see the legs all on and the belly exposed, with viruses inside. Yay!

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And a bellyful of the viruses!

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Day 12 is the last garage day and we’ll be wrapping it up tomorrow. Lots of cleanup and detail work left to do.

01SJ Day 10: Horse Nearly Panelled

More viruses for the Gift Horse. Thanks to the docents of the San Jose Museum of Art and also the ZERO1 volunteers, we finished off 100 viruses today.

docents_making

Meanwhile, we began final fittings of exterior panels for the horse, after picking up the last reprints from the ever-patient folks at Electric Works, art gallery and press in San Franciscio. Due to inevitable minute differences between the virtual and the real, we had to cut some to fit, especially all of the leg panels. Sharpie marks on the back are the standard way to indicate what goes where.
legs_marking

11:30pm and Victoria is at it again with the jigsaw. You can see the nearly-finished Trojan Horse in the background.
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Crap! I mismeasured one of the leg panels and cut off more then I should. My heart sank.

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…but I was saved by an off-cut leg panel, which fitted magically where this one was to be placed. It was clearly time to have a beer and go to sleep.

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01SJ Day 9: Virus-making Sunday

I can’t believe we’ve been here 9 days now. The Garage has become our second home and the largest studio I’ve ever worked in.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted had a table full of eager virus-makers.

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More kids were here than yesterday and these two youngsters really enjoyed T-Virus from Resident Evil — this one turns you into a zombie. Fortunately, its just made from paper.

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Later in the day, a group of girls all made Andromeda Strain, from the movie well before their time.
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Many of the volunteers stuck around and made several viruses, helping fill the belly and for this, we were most appreciative.
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We also got the head panels attached!
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01SJ Day 8: Workshopping the Viruses

Today was a busy day with Gift Horse where we spent much of the day talking and working with the public and at the end of it, I was both happy and exhausted.

Out first helpers were Maria and Cecilia, two art students from San Jose State. They stayed and each built four viruses and even conquered the most difficult one to construct: Koobface.

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Here Joanna and Jennifer are demonstrating the proper technique for placing their viruses in the belly of the horse.

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My non-scientific observation was that Cooties was the most popular choice of virus.
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And Rabies, which this gentleman  is gluing together, was oft-selected.
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Throughout the day, we got a steady stream of visitors to the virus-construction table.
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After 5 hours of leading workshops (meanwhile, Victoria was cutting, fitting and adjusting the panels), we ran out of viruses. I rushed to my date with the laser-cutter and sliced and scored out 75 more in anticipation of tomorrow’s day. The lasercutter is the best thing ever.
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Here is a sheet of Andromeda Strain, which is the easiest one and is essentially like a 4-sided Dungeons and Dragons die (three, glued together)

lasercutting_andromeda

Meanwhile, all day we could hear the pounding of hammer against nails as our neighbors, MTAA, constructed their Art Barn.
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No complaints though, this is the Garage experience that we has planned for and we found ourselves taking short breaks and joking around with the other artists throughout the day.

By 7pm, the horse had about 100 viruses in it. Its getting there, but still lots more virus-building to do!
viruses_in_belly

01SJ Day 7: Download the Viruses

We started the today’s Gift Horse day by picking up the castle wall sections — printed onto the same bioboard as the horse panels — from our good friends at Electric Works. Here you see Victoria showing off her street-jigsawing skills as she slices through the panels on the corner of Mission and 8th St.

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An hour drive to San Jose and then we began our day by opening shop to virus-construction.

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cutting_table

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Since we have deployed the laser-cutter to excise the outlines and scored the viruses on the card stock, all one has to do is use glue. For those of you unable to go to South Hall over the next week, you can download the viruses from our website. Here’s what the uncut virus sheets look like (this is ILOVEYOU)
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Annette Mees and Ken Eklund, who are working on the ZERO1-supported ZOROP artwork pitched in to make Dengue Fever and Cooties.
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By the end of the day, we had 30 viruses in the belly of the horse. I expect by the end of the weekend, to have many, many more.
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Also, a little more progress on the panels, though we got sidetracked by all the conversations and nice people we met.

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01SJ Day 6: Panels and Special Guests

Hello Gift Horse fans! The days at the Garage are pleasantly blurring together. Artists everywhere are building their projects and we are stage center in the construction zone.

Today was a divide-and-conquer kind of day. While Victoria was fitting the chest panels (don’t they look good), I was busy with the lasercutter and figuring out how to put score lines into the small virus sculptures. After two hours, I had handfuls of the next round of viruses, including Koobface, Dengue Fever, The Andromeda Strain and ILOVEYOU for workshops this weekend.

Here, we see a glimpse of what the Trojan Horse will look like when fully-paneled. Now that the dust has literally settled, we are beginning to clad the horse.

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We had a special guest stop by, Rudy Rucker, science fiction writer and thinker. He appropriately worked on a Snow Crash virus along with his friend, Chris.

rudy_assembling

Here is his interpretation of Snow Crash. Take that, Neal Stephenson!
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Other visitors helped build paper sculptures as well. Pictured here are Diane and Sally, whom we caught in conversation fulfilling one of our goals to gather strangers together in real space.

virus_workshops

Finally, Ken Gregory gave us a demonstration of his impressive whip-cracking skills. He will make an excellent slavemaster for the Green Prix parade, exhorting the Greek Warriors to push the horse down the streets.

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