Chloe – LookingOutwards03


Personally I’m always a fan of collaborations, particularly when it involves a large corporation attempting to get in sync with the current culture and connect with its consumers. Here, Levi’s agency, AKQA hired  Fake Love to redesign antique objects as web-enabled tools and traveled on Levi’s Station to Station project across the country in the Summer of 2013.

  • Still Camera (1939 Graflex) >> Instagram
  • Video Camera (1953 Bolex B8) >> Instagram Video
  • Typewriter (1901 Underwood No. 5) >> Twitter
  • Guitar(1953 Gibson E-125) >> SoundCloud

The objects relied on a combination of many new technologies, including the Rasperry Pi camera module, custom printed circuit boards, embedded AVR systems, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, and OLED screens as well as a variety of buttons, switches, knobs and other input/output peripherals.

I loved the idea of revitalizing the old to update it for the now. On the hardware end, bringing what would be simply virtual services into a tangible state, especially on its classical origins that bring a new-found appreciation for what might be seen as old junk. At the same time, the fact that these devices connect its input to the social web adds a whole new dimension of community, further expanding the poetic effect that it has on me.


CHIAROSCURO — Installation by Sougwen Chung from sougwen on Vimeo.

In an attempt to bring the art of drawing to a modern, interdisciplinary context, Chung’s Chiaroscuro makes use of large installed drawings with projection mapping, sensors and lights to immerse viewers in a world of contrasts. The project makes use of Arduino Teensy 3.0 to monitor a light sensor, used to adjust the brightness to the ambient light intensity, and a frequency analyzer (from Bliptronics) is used to analyze the sound spectrum to enhance the interplay of music, the forms of the drawings, and the lights of the projection mappings.

While the subdued role of Arduino being nothing more than a light emitter turned out to be rather disappointing, I find myself strongly attached to the project simply by its mesmerizing, dream-like aesthetics. For me, it is a reminder that while the advent of technology in art is amazing, it is ultimately the human element that really makes a piece.


Super Angry Birds – a Tangible Controller from Andrew Spitz on Vimeo.

This project brings back the tactile sensation of a slingshot into the modern classic of Angry Birds by using a force feedback USB controller–essentially a hacked motorized fader found in audio mixing consoles to simulate the force one would feel when using a slingshot. For controlling the hardware, Spitz and Matsui used an Arduino-based microcontroller called Music & Motors developed by the CIID, programmed with Max/MSP.

I really appreciate the way the artifacts were so designed to stay true to its original inspirations, making the device a far more effective bridge over the gap between the real and the virtual. On the programming end, I was pleased to see that the controller was quite precise yet still stable despite the small scale of the controller (which I’d imagine would be quite difficult for those with shaky hands). A way that this project could be extended is if the tab on the slingshot could somehow change its graphics according to which bird one was using in the game. At the same time though, part of me wonders if there could be any other applications for these types of controls beyond this particular game, or the realm of gaming at all.

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