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ITP Classes (old posts, page 4)

Minimalist Composers of the 1960s and 70s

The 60's and 70's brought about significant changes in the kind of music being written by composers. This was partly motivated by advances in technology. There was a growing influence of non-western cultures. Composers were also turning away from traditional institutions and schools of thought for leadership and artistic vision.

I worked with fellow student Ethan Helm to create a short presentation on Minimalist Composers of the 60's and 70's. He is a saxophonist and composer and knows a lot more about music than I do. Collaborating with him on this was educational. You can find the presentation here.

Towel Rack

For my midterm project I created this towel rack for my apartment:

/images/itp/subtraction/week7/mounted_towel_rack.jpg

This is a double towel rack with 1 1/8" diameter bars for the towels. I specifically wanted thicker bars because I thought it would help keep the two sides of the towel from touching each other, facilitating drying. It also happens that the only place in my bathroom where I could possibly put a towel rack is in a location between the shower and the door that is a little bit less than 25" wide. Most towel racks I could buy at the store with 24" bars are too wide to fit in that space. Towel racks with 18" bars are too small for my towels. My current towel rack is a cheap wooden towel rack with a 24" bar that I bought at the store that I trimmed to be slightly shorter using the sander in the shop. I'm excited to soon replace it with this one.

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Data Assembly Complete

Milestone #2: Data Assembly

I'm comfortable saying I've completed this milestone. I've finished all the major features and have a nice interface for interacting with the downloaded data.

There are a few minor issues but none require a lot of time or brainpower to implement. Mostly nice-to-have enhancements like better error checking in my code that I feel compelled to do but aren't critical right now. I'll complete them as time allows.

The important thing is that I can now begin downloading the data I need without fear that I will need to download everything a second time later.

I made an interactive tool in matplotlib to visualize a spatial map of the locations I've downloaded data for. It looks like this:

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Test Holes

My midterm project is going to be a CNC'ed towel rack. Last week I did some experimenting with CNC'ed joints so I could learn about the proper tolerances for the joints suitable in my design. This week I bought materials and did some test cuts. I wanted to know what sized hole would be best for the towel rod. I also wanted to see what sized hole would be best for the wooden screw hole buttons I bought. I'll need those to cover up the screws used to attach the towel rack to the wall.

The procedure is simple: make a bunch of holes with slightly different diameters and test them out. The experiment was a success. I'll incorporate these results into the design and will CNC the final product later this week.

/images/itp/subtraction/week6/test_holes.jpg

Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner (b: 1942) is an American artist and one of the founders of the conceptual art movement. His most notable works are short statements that describe things that could potentially be constructed but need not be actually built. The first time I saw Weiner’s work almost seven years ago I didn’t understand or appreciate it and was confused why it was on display in a museum. After learning more about conceptual art and researching Weiner’s life and work, I now understand his artistic intent and understand why he is an important artist.

Lawrence Weiner at the MoMA

My first exposure to Lawrence Weiner’s work was on November 5th, 2011. I was attending one of MoMA’s “Modern Member Nights” for contributing members shortly after I bought a membership to the museum. I was there on a date with someone I had met a few weeks prior. We walked through the museum’s galleries and came upon Weiner’s “language art.” We were perplexed by what we saw. He seemed to make up titles for works of art but not actually create anything, leaving the task of constructing a piece that matched the title to curators and other museum employees.

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Origami Experiments

For our final project we need to design and build something to present in the next and final class. This is a half semester class so the final project is due the same time as other midterms.

I'm interested in origami and want to learn how to fold interesting designs. For the final I am going to design my own origami model, document it, and present it next week.

To prepare for this I need to get a lot better at folding origami. I started by following Youtube tutorials. My first was a crane:

/images/itp/paper_engineering/week5/crane.jpg

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Data Assembly

Milestone #2: Data Assembly

The second step of this project is to access the Google Street View data and organize it in a suitable format. In my project plan my target was to reach this goal by February 21st (last Wednesday). Although I have accomplished a lot, I have not achieved all of the things I wanted to achieve for this milestone. I expect to hit it by next week at the latest.

Here's what I have achieved.

First, I can download all of the relevant data from Google. This includes all of the panorama image data and meta data. I can also access the panorama ids for the neighboring locations. All of the metadata is stored in a database.

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Vito Acconci

Vito Acconci was a poet, performance artist, installation artist, designer, and literature editor. His work defies classification. In his words:

If I specialize in a medium, I would be fixing a ground for myself, a ground I would have to be digging myself out of, constantly, as one medium was substituted for another - so, then, instead of turning toward “ground” I would shift my attention and turn to “instrument,” I would focus on myself as the instrument that acted on whatever ground was, from time to time, available.

Vito Acconci - Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art

I created a short 10 minute presentation on Vito Acconci to share with my class. It is available here.