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deFACEment

March 19, 2017
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Collaborators: Carlie (Yutong) Zhang and Anastasis Genmanidis

Above:  Sketches made in Processing and later translated for OpenFrameworks.  Theses gestures were based on our original sketches that we did by hand. Currently, these sketches are being drawn at the ‘discretion’ of the computer. Above:  Anastasis controlling the X-Carve with Python commands through Terminal.

Above: (left to right) sketches with robot testing positioning, example of code from Processing, polystyrene sheeting which cracked under stress of the drawing machine (this was later replaced with vinyl which gave it a proper amount of spring).

Above: Sketches made by robot through terminal with more control.Above: (left to right) Rhino model of pen holder, fabricated pen holder with 3D printed and lasercut parts, pen holder drawing (showing spring mechanism from the side)

Right:  Facial recognition of camera running in OpenFrameworks.  Camera recognizes drawing area with the QR code in the bottom right corner of the drawing.  We used OFX_Aruco and OFX_FaceTracker to recognize face and drawing plane.Above:  Bot running smoooothly.

Programming Process

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Leaving a Mark: I Was Here

February 13, 2017
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Above: Hand Paintings found in Cueva de las Manos is Santa Cruz, Argentina, 10,000-38,000 BCE.

Leaving one’s mark in a place and time has been an intrinsically human act dating back for millennia.  As civilization developed, the act of leaving one’s mark became a form of defacement as other forms of creating were quickly canonized within society for their inherent utility (i.e. architecture, crafts, poetry, etc.).  Graffiti street art and tagging became a tool for leaving one’s mark and claiming territory within public space, but operated outside society’s laws of property ownership.  Graffiti, the modern form of leaving one’s mark, became a destructive taboo within inner cities.  

Above: Keith Haring, Untitled,  1986.

Many artists have looked to graffiti, street art, and materials often used to deface public space as constructive tools for reclaiming space, creating a public message, and/or questioning society’s values.  Our group wanted to explore this idea of leaving one’s mark, not as a destructive force, but as a constructive act.  How does the process of leaving one’s mark invoke new ideas or add to previous content?  What does it mean to give a robot the ability to leave its’ mark and create or deface when most robots are designed to assist or streamline human performance and ingenuity.  We hope to give a robot character and a sense of humanity through the act of leaving one’s mark.

Above:  Selection of work by Dan Colen. Untitled, Chewing Gum, 2008.  No Sex No War No Me, Spray Paint Installation, 2006. Untitled (Vete al Diablo), 2006.

Using computer vision, our group will make a ‘draw-bot’ that examines and then augments portraits by drawing/collaging with other materials directly on top of the images.  We chose drawing on portraits because we see it as the ultimate act of defacement and the area for a robot to exhibit the most human character as it sketches in response to our physical features.  Does the robot now have an opinion?  Do the resultant drawings provoke the idea of preference or disgust?

Above: A selection of drawings made as a quick group exercise exploring the idea of defacement as an additive process.

 

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