A Bit Late for X-Mas…

For your post-holiday, pre-holiday or in-holiday enjoyment, here is a desktop image for you of a new tree-type that I rendered over the holidays. Enjoy!

1024 x 768

1280 x 854

The holidays have been a bit… trying… but I’m back on track for the New Year. There’s one more desktop image to go, which I’ll probably post later today or tomorrow.


Talk about tangible computing. Aqueous is Zehao Chang’s MFA thesis project. Water droplets fall from the ceiling into glass tubes – calibrated to ring over a span of two octaves. The water droplets themselves are computer controlled, via a system of actuators. The software for the system was developed in Processing.

This is the kind of installation work that probably has to be seen to be fully appreciated. The quicktime movie does a passable job of letting us peek into the experience, but I would really love to check this out in person.

What the site doesn’t tell me is where it is. Since Mr. Chang is a student of Casey Reas, I’m going to assume it’s in California.


I’ve been researching neural networks for the last month or so and have finally gotten down to building something. neural.network.soundtoy is the first implementation of my brand-spanking new NeuralNetwork class. By clicking and holding the mouse, you can create independant neural networks with random connection weights between nodes. When nodes reach their activation threshold, they play a sound.

Mousing over individual nodes will activate them, and by clicking on a node you can turn it so that it is permanantly on. You can get some interesting sounds going on if you activate multiple nodes at once.

Nodes can have both inhibitory and excitory action on nodes which they are connected to, so any given network can play a variety of tunes depending on which nodes are active.

This is just the start of what I want to do with NNs; next step is to build some learning networks and see if I can figure out some interesting ways to apply them.

I’ll be putting the source code up at CodeTree.org in an attempt to be better at open sourcing.

But is it Indestructable?

Greg Fraser is studying Interaction Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Zurich. As his pleasantly clean website shows us, he’s been working on a small pile of interesting projects. He’s also on the lookout for an internship between March and October of 2006 – so if your company is looking to catch some good young talent, you’d probably do well to give him a shout.

The project that caught my eye was the blackplotbotbox, a rather evil-looking ‘small cube of simple intelligence’ that translates input from conductive sensors into robot-made pen drawings. Great stuff!

Data & Art Miscellanea from Jer Thorp