LOGO – HOME SCREEN
Dekunle and I created a tumblr dedicated to photoshopping Taylor Swift wearing wedge-sneakers in an effort to disrupt both the Taylor Swift and Nike Sneaker fandom groups.
For site-specific/public arts class (Marina Zurkow), Ingrid Gabor and I proposed placing four motion sensors at four equidistant points around the Washington Square park fountain with a video projector placed directly across from the Washington Square Arch. The motion sensors track the unique paths of passer-bys and the video projector displays these movements as ellipses of white light across the façade of the Washington Arch. Each motion sensor activates the video projector to display an ellipse of light in different areas of the Arch on one night, the Vernal Equinox (March 20, 2013) or first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere
Below are some sketches of what the project would look like. Full proposal can be found here.
and an animation of the project.
For Understanding Genomes class, we attempted to grow E. Coli with the GFP gene in a wet lab purchased through the folks at bio-rad.com., which was a success– pretty huge given the fact that we didn’t have a lot of resources, kind of like ITP’s Biohacking Hello World. Here’s a recap of our protocol (brought to you by our Prof. Yasser Ansari (of Project Noah)):
We dissolved LB Agar powder in boiling distilled water. Once the solution cooled a bit, we added 3 ml of Ampicillin (to select for bacteria that successfully received the plasmid) and 3 ml of Arabinose (to get the GFP to express). We then poured the solution into 32 petri dishes and waited for the LB Agar + Ampicillin + Arabinose to solidify (It’s like making Jell-O)
Rehydrated non-pathogenic E coli with LB nutrient solution. Rehydrated pGLO plasmid with Transformation solution. Combined E Coli with Plasmid and additional transformation solution and kept on ice for 10 minutes. Added E Coli + Plasmid mixture to heat bath at 107 F for exactly 50 seconds (The Heat Shock step is when E Coli “absorbs” the plasmid). Placed the E Coli + Plasmid mixture back on ice for 2 minutes. Added more LB nutrient solution to the E Coli & plasmid mixture and left at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Plating and Incubation
After waiting for 10 minutes at room temperature (and after the plates had solidified), we took about 100 ul of the E Coli + Plasmid mixture to spread on each plate. We used a sterile inoculation loop to spread the mixture. Stored the plates upside down (to prevent moisture and condensation from dripping down on the bacteria) in our makeshift incubator. We tried to keep the cells in an optimum temperature range (98.6 F is optimal) and after about 72 hours we saw strong green fluorescence. This is what you are seeing in the photos.
For Understanding Genomes class what I found most intriguing was the biological concept of quorum sensing, which is the ability of bacteria to communicate and coordinate behavior via signaling molecules.
For example, opportunistic bacteria can grow within a host without harming it, until they reach a certain concentration. When their numbers are sufficient to overcome the host’s immune system, they change their behavior and cause disease.
Bacteria which use quorum sensing produce and secrete signaling compounds called autoinducers. With high concentrations of bacteria, the concentration of the inducer passes a threshold, so more inducer is synthesized.
To illustrate this process, I used processing to create a sketch that displays a number of bacteria floating in a stable environment; and then to capture the mechanics of producing and secreting signaling autoinducers, I used the function of an ellipse ring to emanate from the bacteria to cause each one to gravitate to one another; and then with any key press the bacteria change to another color, illustarting the function of the bacteria changing their behavior so it can survive in the host and cause disease.
In one sketch I used the aerial view the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill where naturally-occurring bacteria that exist in the Gulf of Mexico consumed and removed at least 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas that spewed into the deep Gulf. [SKETCH]
While in another sketch I used the background from the bacteria I had to research called Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacterium that is often found in the human respiratory tract and on the skin and is a common cause of skin infection and food poisoning. [SKETCH]
Washington Square Park is a major landmark in the Manhattan with a high concentration of pedestrian movement; it’s layout informs the way each person walks. Although the paths stay the same, each passerby chooses to take his or her own distinct route. To capture the nonconformist spirit of those who frequent the park, we propose putting motion sensors around the park which track motion. A video projector would display activity as white lines around the seams and onto the contours of the Washington Arch. The more movement in one area of the park the more lines would be drawn on a portion of the Arch while leaving one portion of the Arch darker.
The idea behind this light projection follows the notion that movement in and out the park defines the park itself; and that the movement gives the static nature of the park energy and form just as the white lines tracing over the Arch give the arch much more depth and liveliness.
Ingrid and I were initially interested in how we map spaces out and why and wanted to find an alternative way to map out Washington Square Park based on the unique characters who use the park rather than the traditional way, e.g., based on the history of the land . As a result, we chose to follow the very people who use the park today and chose a busy weekday and followed around several pedestrian separately. We marveled at how each person moved throughout the park along very different paths even though they often entered and exited in the same place, with this projection we hoped to capture that dynamic.
My first thinking for Elevated Area was to try to make the open green area less artificial, pristine, and intimidatingly corporate by making it more playful and welcoming/comforting for users, i.e., a playground atmosphere, so the stressed out smokers and heartbroken secretaries can relax.
Most of the area is made up of horizontal and vertical lines and felt as if the space needed to have more rounded spaces so the green area might work well with large colorful rounded objects for relaxing, to sit in, maybe made of some plush material.
or possibly play up the idea of childhood with a large sandbox with a giant bouncing ball in the middle, maybe that seems tough but is actually squishy.
or enhance the wooden dullness of the brush area with neon changing colored lights under the benches that react to a user when he or she sits down, the lights might be seen from above the brush so that users in one benched area can know when someone else is sitting in another benched area.
key words: playing, childhood innocence, whimsy, awareness, imaginary worlds