Wednesday, July 22, 2009

pd hacklab 2.August Hamburg

I conduct a Pure Data hacklab at Unlimited Liability (Norderstr. 71 ug) on 2. August 14:00 till open end in Hamburg, Germany. Less of a fullsized workshop, its more an event for introducing pd, exploring the possibilities, exchanging and discussing patches and ideas.

pd lab#1 is free and all operating systems are allowed. Bring some refreshments because its an unfunded venture so there is only limited support.

Its essential that you bring your own laptop and save your place via email to

pdlab AT block4 DOT com

Optionally bring more like :

- Midi- and other inputdevices
- Soundcards, cable, headphones, speakers, mixers
- Arduino, DIY electronics
- Webcams

About Unlimited Liability:

An extension of the target: autonopop exhibition/workshop/concert/debate series, "unlimited liability" is a store which sells artists multiples for 30 euros and less—stickers, DVDs, CDs, posters, zines, t-shirts, buttons, food, services, and works whose form is to be determined in the course of exchange with the purchaser.
The only media excluded are painting and drawing.
What makes the project different from multiples-shops and "affordable art" fairs is that it attempts to take the democratization-of-art project into as-yet untested waters. The DIY approach of alternative production/distribution is protected by a firewall against cooptation.

This is done by a legal contract which stipulates that no purchaser may have more than 50,000 euros in assets, subject to penalty in case of false disclosure. The art-gallery world partition of audiences—those who merely "appropriate symbolically" on the one side, "real buyers" on the other—is thereby inverted. Those able to buy at "unlimited liability" belong to social groups excluded (due to their insufficient ressouces) from buying on the art market.

This state of affairs is "shown" as much as the works on sale.
"unlimited liability"
art production
instead of art-commodities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hamburg and creativity

This German TAZ article sums up well how Hamburg uses artists for gentrification and passes that as art support:

Hamburg just dont get it what creativity really means and what an active art funding could bring for the city. For instance there is no idea what media art is, it isn't teached at the artschools here. Creative city means for them cheap interns for TV.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mackie C4 to OSC and back

I started the new open source project contrOSC for Linux, which enables the DAW controllers Mackie C4 and Universal Control to communicate with other applications via OSC protocol. This bridge software works bidirectional so the state can be shown on the hardware displays.

The Mackie C4, featureing 32 knobs with LED rings and 4 displays, is at the moment with 400.- euros rather cheap. Unfortunally not much software supports it so I decided to create contrOSC which will make it easy to integrate it for instance in Pure Date or Csound patches via OSC commands which are going to be well documented.
Not so well is the developer documentation for that device, nothing is available appart from Apple Logic docs about the Universal Control but it was easy to midisniff the communication. Expect a release soon...

Augmented Reality with ARToolkit

Tonight I experimented a bit with the Augmented Reality library ARToolkit. Goal is to get a good marker based tracking of objects for multitouch applications. Can't really decide between Reactivision (of Reactable fame), openCV or ARToolkit.

When you start it on Linux you might got a error saying that the palette is wrong. ARToolkit expects per default a RGB image from your camera but more often they return a YUV format.

Solution was to export the following environment variable:

export ARTOOLKIT_CONFIG=-palette=YUV420P

Custom markers can be created with the help of this site:

CityGenerator multitouch installation

Interactive multitouch installation I developed in 2009 and showed from 12. till 21. June 2009 in Hamburg at Linda on the exhibition SUB/OB I done with my group Urban Units. Several participants can make architectural picture rearranging themselves by touching them. The gestures are processed with the help of the openCV library.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hamburg gets a policemuseum

While last weekend a massive police commando in Hamburg violently broke up a streetfestival in the neighbourhood Schanzenviertel and raided also a bar of StPauli supporters without apparent reason, the conservatives in the townhall suggested a police museum. CDUs Elke Thomas adds " Zudem ist es ein wertvoller Teil der Hamburger Kulturszene.“ roughly translated 'its a precious part of the Hamburg cultural scene'. 350.000 Euro should be provided this year alone for preparing the exhibition. That in a big wealthy city which decidedly not supporting the socalled Off- or media arts.

Monday, July 6, 2009

pd running on 64bit Linux

Finally I got PD running on my 64 bit Linux notebook. Older versions of PD had nasty problems when being run in 64 bit which kept me out of the game for a year or more. But recently I decided to compile the vanilla version and the externals straight from SVN and it went rather easily.

On August the 2. I will do a pd lab in Hamburg and if you like you can have a peek at this unfinished side with a german description. It will be announced officially in the next couple of days.

Till then you can read this tutorial or find some more at the usual tutorial space.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Firefox 3.5 is amazing

Quite thrilled about the new Firefox release 3.5. The reason is the inclusion/perfection of many new open web technologies which make proprietary plugins unnecessary. For instance native support for video with the open Ogg Theora codec/format will give it a boost, it could be a gamechanger. No need for Flash anymore, also for animated vector graphics. SVG, HTML5, Javascript and the Canvas element are really exciting. Only thing missing is complete 3D with OpenGL but they work on it.

The rest of the demos shows more possibilities inclusive motion detection. So you can create netart like with Processing, but without the need of Java. Actually there was already an implementation using Javascript.

This release reminds me on the 90s when we discoverd feature for feature from Netscape Navigator, creating all sorts of crazy things.