MIT Tangible Media Group Presentation
Three Projects on Tangible Media Archeology
From September 2013 to August 2014, I lived and “performed” my life inside a re-installation of my grandmother’s original New Jersey home. My grandmother had begun to develop signs of Alzheimer’s and was forced to live in a nursing home, abandoning all of her belongings.
As a result, I developed a project- Grandmother's House, a year-long experiment in life, architecture, and technology, at the intersection of set- design, immersive theatre, and the advent of new mediums for reality capture.
The exhibit, Ivan Sutherland’s Trojan Cockroach, a multimedia spatial narrative, tells the interwoven story of the development of virtual reality, the origins of computer graphics, and the genesis of walking robots.
The primary protagonist of the exhibit, Ivan Sutherland, is considered the “father” of the field of computer graphics, for developing the world’s first computer drawing program, Sketchpad, as well as an early XR simulation.
Virtual Newell/Simon Simulation incorporated both computer-generated and analog interactive experiences in a large-scale mixed-reality environment, to engage visitors with the history of artificial intelligence.
A collage of period-specific computing environments- stretching from the 1960s to the 1980s- the space was embedded with augmented reality image triggers and gesture-controlled interactive applications.
Reel of Recent Moving Image Work: 2013-21
Other Relevant Projects
To explore the Visual Language of Chromatin, I led the development of a multi-disciplinary team to create an immersive virtual reality exploration of the chromosomes of a fruit fly.
In this collaboration between molecular biologists, computer scientists, entomologists, and visual artists, I integrated the data visualization platform “Visual Molecular Dynamics” (VMD) a software package widely used in structural biology, with the Unity game engine. This enabled researchers to manipulate and explore DNA inside of a 360 physical and virtual environment.
The idea behind the Robot Archive was framed as an experimental museological practice; to create pop-up, site-specific experiences where discussions around the complexity of modern robotics could happen in unconventional contexts.
By engaging audiences of nonspecialists, the esoteric and idiosyncratic marvels of modern robotics were made accessible to a wider public.
In collaboration with the BUILD research team, a group of faculty-sponsored by the education division of the furniture company, Steelcase, I collaborated on a two year research project to create a dataset about human/environment interactions.
Our team developed an experiment by converting and updating the technology of an otherwise standard classroom into a cutting-edge, active learning laboratory, designed to research the pedagogical function of active learning, from an architectural and design perspective.
Boo Box is a “virtual reality dressing room”. I developed this interactive virtual reality project in order to investigate the way we perform gender in virtual spaces, through the use of real-time clothing simulations. This enabled users to try on realistic fabric simulations in VR, each of which emulated playful gender constructs.
The “virtual hands” of a user’s controllers responded to fabric realistically, depending on stretchiness, starchiness, or other properties of tactility.
As part of a series of exhibits for emerging artists at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, titled “Exposures”, I was invited by museum curator Eric Shiner to design an exhibit for the front windows of the museum. I drew inspiration from Warhol’s history to create Andy Warhola’s Living Room, a 3D recreation of Andy Warhol’s “memory” of his childhood home, digitally fabricated and spatially reformatted on the facade of his Museum.
In the Spring of 2019, I was invited by the Science Museum of Western Virginia to develop a Holo-Booth, a project exploring volumetric capture in a public context, hosted during an exhibit opening held at the museum. Using the contemporary mixed reality headset, the Microsoft Hololens, along with the volumetric capture software Depthkit, I arranged 3D stereo cameras to create a “photo-shoot”-like environment. We were enabled to rapidly capture holograms of visitors to an opening exhibit at the museum, each of whom was prompted to give short, improvisational performances.
As lead creative technologist for a creative research project, Dancing Plants, I collaborated with colleagues across Plant Science, Computer Science and the Performing Arts to study plant movement- the “dance of plants”.
I designed a system for capturing stop-motion media of the growth of pepper plants, afterwards, analyzing the data with computer vision- in order to generate data sonifications resulting in “plant science symphonies”.