Infinite Scroll

I've been hard at work on my final master's project. Basically I’m creating a physical manifestation of modern society’s insatiable appetite for information regardless of the quality, truthfulness, or value of that information. Sounds heavy. Essentially I'm building an LED device using an Arduino that dynamically generates fake news headlines. People have described watching the "news" scroll by on the device as "mesmerizing". I guess that's kind of the point. 

My LED panels in their raw form. 

My LED panels in their raw form. 

The chip that does all the multiplexing bits so I don't have to. 

The chip that does all the multiplexing bits so I don't have to. 

A prototype of the device in its translucent perspex case. A protective white sheet is still covering the front panel of the case. Still too fragile to bring into the photo studio! 

A prototype of the device in its translucent perspex case. A protective white sheet is still covering the front panel of the case. Still too fragile to bring into the photo studio! 

1-bit Posters

Graphics programs like Illustrator and Photoshop have gotten increasingly complex over time. But what would happen if you stripped off all the bells and whistles and were left with the essence of a graphics editor? Today three friends and I explored that idea using MacPaint, the very first graphics editor to ship with the original Macintosh in 1984. We dubbed our casual collective “Wherewolf” and set out to create a series of posters based on headlines from trashy UK newspapers. We loaded up MacPaint using an old Mac emulator, set a time limit, and began fumbling through the (relatively) ancient interface. 

The MacPaint interface. Here I'm editing one of my posters. Only a small part of the document that's visible in the window, can be edited at one time. You can't edit while looking at the whole document. Though the interface is old, many of the tools are the same today. 

The MacPaint interface. Here I'm editing one of my posters. Only a small part of the document that's visible in the window, can be edited at one time. You can't edit while looking at the whole document. Though the interface is old, many of the tools are the same today. 

My first poster, based on the headline “Attack of the giant spider: Eight-legged freak interrupts BBC news bulletin as it creeps across camera to snatch prey". 

My first poster, based on the headline “Attack of the giant spider: Eight-legged freak interrupts BBC news bulletin as it creeps across camera to snatch prey". 

My second poster based on the headline "Man accused of killing roommate ’asked Siri where to hide the body‘".

My second poster based on the headline "Man accused of killing roommate ’asked Siri where to hide the body‘".

My final poster of the day was based on the headline "170 pigs killed by rare ball of lightning". I always think it’s helpful to give yourself limitations when designing, and working with the limitation of old technology turned out to be a pretty fun experience. 

My final poster of the day was based on the headline "170 pigs killed by rare ball of lightning". I always think it’s helpful to give yourself limitations when designing, and working with the limitation of old technology turned out to be a pretty fun experience. 

Bookshelf Makeover

The bookshelf in my sharehouse was kind of a mess after having collected books from years of residents. Plus I’m procrastinating a lot right now. So: 

I rearranged the books by color. And now I’m blogging about it. Then I’ll work. I promise. 

Color Permutations

Hue, saturation and brightness: these three components can be used to describe colors. Normally hue is measured on a 360 degree scale, while saturation and brightness are measured out of 100. In this experiment, I worked with my classmate Anna to map all three components on a scale from 0–45. The following colors were created with Processing using all 1,320 permutations of my and Anna’s lotto numbers: 5, 6, 11, 14, 17, 25, 29, 32, 37, 38, 40, 45. Each color uses three of the numbers, one for hue, one for saturation, and one for brightness.

Bowie Patterns

I’ve been writing programs in the Processing language that play off Jonathan Barnbrook’s album cover for David Bowie’s album The Next Day. My latest program uses elements of the Generative Design workshop I did a few weeks ago. We used different processes to glue black square onto paper. Each square has a set ratio of black to white, giving a different tonality to each square. But through using different processes to apply the black squares, each square has a different visual quality. 

The sets of square I made for the Generative Design workshop. Each set uses the same number of black squares, but the visual appearances are different. 

The sets of square I made for the Generative Design workshop. Each set uses the same number of black squares, but the visual appearances are different. 

The program I wrote analyzes the brightness of pixels in photographs of David Bowie (or anything else) and overlays the images with squares of a similar brightness or “white level”.  

This image of David Bowie translated into diagonal squares based on tonality. 

The six versions of image using six different sets of squares. Though the tonality is the same in each set, the differences in processes used to create the squares translate to differences in appearance. 

Drinks@Modual@Mother

Drinks after the first day of the Modual@Mother workshop I’m doing at the ad agency Mother in Shoreditch. The workshop got off to the good start. I saw a lot of great work from the other participants in the workshop, and Mother co-founded Mark Waites spoke to us about keeping your head up and finding inspiration from the world around you. I’m excited to really get started tomorrow.