It Doesn’t Just Work: DullTech on Kickstarter and Shenzhen

Earlier this month, the artist and DullTech CEO Constant Dullaart launched a Kickstarter to crowd-source the company's first product. The DullTech media player is a product that promises to simplify the installation of single- and multi-channel video work. The device works by playing and looping the first video file found on a USB-drive on any monitor or television without concern for file format, remote controls, or syncing screens. Considering the artist's previous works, which often focused on the conditions of art viewership within online networks and galleries, the concept for this device is both humorously apt and much-needed to solve the hassles of installation. 

Those who I have spoken with outside of the arts, however, have raised doubts concerning the ethics of the Kickstarter campaign and the product. Dulltech began while the artist was on a 2012 residency in Shenzhen, South China, a region known as "The Silicon Valley of Hardware." At that time, the company and product were a way for the artist to get into to an original equipment manufacturer (O.E.M.) to see the working conditions of Chinese laborers. After artists expressed excitement about the convenience of the product, Dullaart and his colleagues decided to go into actual production with the factory. Though the O.E.M. Dullaart used for this project, the Taiwanese manufacturer RealTek, does not have any reported violations, mentioning Chinese labor often elicits discomfort due to the 2010 suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory and several reports by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and other watchdog organizations concerning working conditions, employee exhaustion, and contract terminations due to work-related illness.

DullTech's Kickstarter video

By highlighting the incongruity between clean digital branding strategies and depictions of the manufacturing labor that enables them, the DullTech Kickstarter video baits this response. Produced for under $200 through the website Fiver, the video abruptly contrasts sharpie-drawn cartoons of white people assembling puzzle pieces (depicting the product's concepts) with photographs of the O.E.M.'s workers and engineers as well as e-waste and the smog-filled landscape of Shenzhen; the perky, jargon-filled narration and a ukulele and glockenspiel soundtrack only heighten one's feeling of disquiet.

The DullTech media player

On account of this response, one is left to consider the relationship between digital artists and the conditions of global labor. In McKenzie Wark's 2014 essay "Designs for a New World," the author stresses that artists, as hackers, are able to desegregate the division between their practices and other forms of labor, citing the protests of Google buses and Andrew Norman Wilson's video essay "Workers Leaving the Googleplex." For Dullaart, however, gaining access even to view the conditions of labor means operating within its stratification as a business. Similar to other migrant laborers in the region, those who Dullaart and his colleagues interviewed prior to contracting the O.E.M. came from rural areas in China to Shenzhen because of their desire to be middle class, the higher wages available compared with local agricultural labor in their hometowns and the factory's provision of room and board as well as some benefits. Despite the unsettling reaction to Chinese factories, when one criticizes the product for using the labor in Shenzhen, one also criticizes the products that form the infrastructure of the web. 90% of the world's electronics are produced in the region, and, as the Guardian put it, "the phones that fuelled the Arab spring were soldered in the back streets of Shenzhen."

Dullaart with enginer "Eagle" who developed the DullTech media player

In addition to being a convenient product that "just works," because of Dullaart's documentation of the manufacturing process in his sales pitch, the DullTech video and product bring the conditions of the modern factory into the economies of creative digital production, highlighting the dependence on this type of labor shared by artists, the white cube, and Kickstarter itself. In so doing, it points out a disconcerting double bind: the ability to observe and critique this process seems to belong solely to those who enable it.

The DullTech Kickstarter campaign ends tomorrow. To enable it, pledge here. 

DullTech Kickstarter video still

It Doesn’t Just Work: DullTech on Kickstarter and Shenzhen

Earlier this month, the artist and DullTech CEO Constant Dullaart launched a Kickstarter to crowd-source the company's first product. The DullTech media player is a product that promises to simplify the installation of single- and multi-channel video work. The device works by playing and looping the first video file found on a USB-drive on any monitor or television without concern for file format, remote controls, or syncing screens. Considering the artist's previous works, which often focused on the conditions of art viewership within online networks and galleries, the concept for this device is both humorously apt and much-needed to solve the hassles of installation. 

Those who I have spoken with outside of the arts, however, have raised doubts concerning the ethics of the Kickstarter campaign and the product. Dulltech began while the artist was on a 2012 residency in Shenzhen, South China, a region known as "The Silicon Valley of Hardware." At that time, the company and product were a way for the artist to get into to an original equipment manufacturer (O.E.M.) to see the working conditions of Chinese laborers. After artists expressed excitement about the convenience of the product, Dullaart and his colleagues decided to go into actual production with the factory. Though the O.E.M. Dullaart used for this project, the Taiwanese manufacturer RealTek, does not have any reported violations, mentioning Chinese labor often elicits discomfort due to the 2010 suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory and several reports by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and other watchdog organizations concerning working conditions, employee exhaustion, and contract terminations due to work-related illness.

DullTech's Kickstarter video

By highlighting the incongruity between clean digital branding strategies and depictions of the manufacturing labor that enables them, the DullTech Kickstarter video baits this response. Produced for under $200 through the website Fiver, the video abruptly contrasts sharpie-drawn cartoons of white people assembling puzzle pieces (depicting the product's concepts) with photographs of the O.E.M.'s workers and engineers as well as e-waste and the smog-filled landscape of Shenzhen; the perky, jargon-filled narration and a ukulele and glockenspiel soundtrack only heighten one's feeling of disquiet.

The DullTech media player

On account of this response, one is left to consider the relationship between digital artists and the conditions of global labor. In McKenzie Wark's 2014 essay "Designs for a New World," the author stresses that artists, as hackers, are able to desegregate the division between their practices and other forms of labor, citing the protests of Google buses and Andrew Norman Wilson's video essay "Workers Leaving the Googleplex." For Dullaart, however, gaining access even to view the conditions of labor means operating within its stratification as a business. Similar to other migrant laborers in the region, those who Dullaart and his colleagues interviewed prior to contracting the O.E.M. came from rural areas in China to Shenzhen because of their desire to be middle class, the higher wages available compared with local agricultural labor in their hometowns and the factory's provision of room and board as well as some benefits. Despite the unsettling reaction to Chinese factories, when one criticizes the product for using the labor in Shenzhen, one also criticizes the products that form the infrastructure of the web. 90% of the world's electronics are produced in the region, and, as the Guardian put it, "the phones that fuelled the Arab spring were soldered in the back streets of Shenzhen."

Dullaart with enginer "Eagle" who developed the DullTech media player

In addition to being a convenient product that "just works," because of Dullaart's documentation of the manufacturing process in his sales pitch, the DullTech video and product bring the conditions of the modern factory into the economies of creative digital production, highlighting the dependence on this type of labor shared by artists, the white cube, and Kickstarter itself. In so doing, it points out a disconcerting double bind: the ability to observe and critique this process seems to belong solely to those who enable it.

The DullTech Kickstarter campaign ends tomorrow. To enable it, pledge here. 

DullTech Kickstarter video still

The app that allows editing Processing sketches and applying them to photos

Hey! I recently I posted in this community about our Android app Processor https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=by.ultralab.processor that allows using Processing sketches for photo editing. In the yesterday's update, we added an opportunity to edit the sketch codes. So have fun experimenting. Feedback and questions are welcome!

submitted by vika_ultralab
[link] [comment]

Need some quick help

Hello friends! This week at Uni I was given an assignment to copy THIS IMAGE using nothing but code. Im super new to processing and finding it really hard to adjust shapes to my liking is there an easy way to figure out points within your canvas? This is what I have come up with so far for code;

 // size(); size(750 ,1050); //background(); background(222,194,150,25); //stroke(); stroke(245,231,208); //fill(); fill(232,220,201); //ellipse(); ellipse(373, 360, 650, 650 ); ellipseMode(RADIUS); // Set ellipseMode to RADIUS stroke(1, 1, 1); strokeWeight(4); for (int i=3; i < 42; i+=3) { ellipse( 452-i, 254+(i*4/3), 160-(i*10/3), 160-(i*10/3)); } strokeWeight(5); ellipse( 410, 310, 20, 20); ellipse( 408, 312, 12, 12); ellipse ( 407, 314, 5, 5); //Lines //orange lines first strokeJoin (MITER); strokeCap(SQUARE); strokeWeight(5); stroke( 229, 121, 81); beginShape(); line( 195, 562, 145, 500); line( 145, 500, 325, 357); endShape(); //blue lines next strokeJoin (MITER); strokeCap(SQUARE); strokeWeight(5); stroke ( 29, 54, 126); beginShape(); line(305, 325, 175, 425); line(178, 424, 252, 515); line(252, 515, 195, 562); endShape(); // Triangle next noStroke(); fill(5,5,5); triangle(250, 505, 194, 562, 236, 500); 

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!

submitted by _Ruk3_
[link] [1 comment]

Project Nimbus. Cinema in the clouds

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

Project Nimbus is the outcome of several years of collaborative research by artist and inventor Dave Lynch together with physicist Mike Nix and maker Aaron Nielson. Using off-the-shelf technology, the team built an experimental device that projects bright moving images onto clouds. Onto pretty much anything cloudy actually: clouds of course but also vapour from cooling towers or urban vents. A difference with a work like HeHe's Nuage Vert and other projecting cloud projection pieces is that, with Project Nimbus, the technology is invisible to the audience. They don't see the beam as it is flying in a plane a mile high above the ground. The illusion is total and probably also a bit unsettling.

Project Nimbus is based on the zoopraxiscope developed by Eadweard Muybridge in 1879 and regarded as the first movie projector. The zoopraxiscope projected sequences of images from rotating glass discs and was devised in order to prove the validity of Muybridge's animal in motion research. Lynch team customized the device by using laser as a light source but they kept the image of a galloping horse, as a tribute to the photographic pioneer.

Interestingly, the project was also inspired by a US military paper about 'non-lethal weapons' (PDF) in which the author suggested projecting holograms to scare a target. The scenarios he gives to demonstrate the soundness of the idea include: projecting the 'ghost' hologram of the dead rival of a drug lord with a weak heart; screening images of troupes to confuse the enemy and make them think that you came in large numbers (which sounds very Ghost Army of WWII); or projecting the image of an ancient god over an enemy capitol whose public communications have been seized (what a condescending plan!)

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Dave Lynch and Mike Nix

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Laser testing at the lab of laser zoopraxiscope Mk 4. Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

I first heard of the project a few months ago (big thanks to John O'Shea!), couldn't find enough details about the work for my liking and thus contacted Dave Lynch to ask him my many questions. He kindly involved physicist Mike Nix in the conversation:

Hi Dave! Your motivations for the project state that you don't intend to deceive and you don't even want to exploit the project commercially. Project Nimbus is an 'open source cloud projector to share with artists and activists as a means for creative expression.' Did you receive some offers to use the work in commercial contexts?
Why do you think it is important to keep the idea into an artistic context?

You could see it a mile away, that glint in eye of the enlightened business mind, if I'm honest, I'm amazed we got there first. It would have been crushing for the pioneering act to be attached to the transient agendas of advertising, I partially fund my art practice though working in the commercial playground on large scale installations for international brands, commonly losing creative autonomy and artistic quality due to time and budgetary constraints, all underpinned by the necessity to focus purely on spectacle. The inspiration, process and model of collaboration that are fundamental to this project are rooted in artistic enquiry.

In 2007, I realised the potential of the projected image, the original idea was to project a symbol of hope, an Angel, taking stimulus from childhood archetypes in mass media and religion to create an ubiquitous icon in direct response to the US military's strategy of fear. By projecting the image from the air, the projection beam had no earthly location, appearing to make the technology invisible and increase the power of both illusion and audience impact. The more I explored this concept, the notion of mis-interpretation i.e. an Angel of death, ignited the potential power of the image without media anchorage. How would this potential manifest if the idea for image was left open to originate from the people engaged in the journey and process?

This lead me to focus on the technological development, the idea of creating a non-lethal weapon of mass communication became the sharing of the device's blueprints and subsequent methodology through open source structures. This was underpinned by the decision to keep the spectacle of the final image open for debate with collaborators and audiences to explore elements such as; our human relationship to the image, ownership of the sky and clouds, image saturation though advertising and potential use for creative expression as a mass media communication device.

Whilst we had multiple requests to project logos and all manner of social media concoctions throughout the 3 years, including a prime time mainstream Saturday night TV show aiming to project the images of the audience onto clouds! With all of these, we were hot to point out; the experimental nature of their ideas, the dangers associated with such activities and how this could be 'disastrous' for a brands reputation if (alluding more to when) it went wrong.

Although largely self-funded, with the exception of a little seed money from arts festivals, the project often fell on tight times and I'd be lying if I said the commercial side didn't cross my mind in these dark times as it felt that multiple agencies were about to realise our dream. Yet key to the process of Nimbus was to honour the time, shared ideas and actions of all the collaborators who had given time in good faith, this currency transcended the commercial appeal. We were all on this adventure, it was intoxicating, chasing what many thought impossible, we were breaking new ground and certainly not going to fall to commercial temptation just to achieve a world first.

This kept the project rooted in collaboration, between experts in their respective fields, artists, scientists, makers, pilots, film makers, cinematic historians and more working together in search of something beyond the spectacle, the real success is in the model of the genuine collaborative act. The influx of money from commercial sources would have certainly muddied and potentially destroyed the collaboration, there was no measure on peoples time, as soon as what we did have a price, it would have removed us from the experiential process. In keeping the first projections on clouds from aircraft true to artistic endeavour is a testament to our process, we hope that our actions will inspire others; that we can all make big things happen thorough collaboration, alternative currencies and belief.

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

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Laser zoopraxiscope Mk 1. Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

The team behind PN is made of an artist (Dave Lynch), physicist and laser expert (Mike Nix) and a maker (Aaron Nielsen.) What was the working process like? Did each of you have a specific role or task to perform, for example?

Dave Lynch: It was the foresight of Aaron to start prototyping from scratch upon presenting the Mk1 Laser Zoopraxiscope and asking for help to build a cinematic shutter. This radically altered the potential for the design process whilst opening up ways for anyone to recreate our work through sharing. Upon seeking advice on the nature and dangers of lasers with Mike and Prof. Ben Whitaker at their chemical physics lab in Leeds University, we realised we shared a common ancestor through the work of photography and projection pioneer Eadweard Muybridge. For me, Muybridge's projection work of animal locomotion (a series of photographs in quick succession depicting the movement of an animal) has been a cornerstone of research for my work projecting animations from moving vehicles.

Mike Nix: It turns out that the field of ultrafast laser spectroscopy, which aims to 'freeze-frame' molecular motion, also draws analogy from Muybridge. Nobel prize winner Ahmed Zewail even referred to the same horse projection we used in his prize acceptance speech.

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

Dave Lynch: After a brief discussion about the pursuit to rediscover how Muybridge's projector mechanism worked, we had the laser cut prototype zoopraxiscope Mk2 on the lab's laser table, I was pushed to one side as Mike and Ben proceeded to 'experiment' or destroy the first prototype whilst suggesting ways the original could have worked. At this point we had a cyclic prototype process, through scientific experimentation and understanding of the zoopraxiscope's mechanism through the physics of light, we could move the design process forward. With this knowledge, we could work with Aaron to construct the next prototype, which then returned back to the physicists for further experimentation. This was the catalyst for collaboration, it wasn't long before we were all in one space.

Our process allowed each discipline to grow through genuine collaboration, to some degree, we all became artists, scientists and makers. In addition to our intuitive, creative aptitudes from the natures of each disciplines became our shared process. The ideologies associated with making enabled us to rapidly prototype ideas through; testing, construction and re-appropriation of other technology or methods. Science gave the knowledge, although rudimentary to science, it enabled the pioneering optics of the laser zoopraxiscope through physics by calculation. The art gave us a vision, focusing on the production of wider project and an umbrella to discuss the image's social engagement potential in the spheres of both art, science and make, opening the doors to commonalities of how information is controlled, disseminated and scapegoated.

Our languages merged, whenever we became locked throughout the process of design or strategy, the natural approaches of enquiry from each discipline provided either direct knowledge or more often, inspiration from a radically different and sometimes absurd view point. This ability to inspire each other through our merged knowledge and languages gave rise to the projects progression across the board. There were no questions too ridiculous and no judgement when asking as could potentially be expected in our own professions or social circles.

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Zoopraxiscope Machine © Kingston Museum and Heritage Service, 2010

You developed Project Nimbus over a period of 3 years (if i understood correctly). What was/were the biggest challenge(s) you encountered while working on the project?

Nimbus has overcome many challenges in both practical and technical terms, this is largely due to coincidental good fortune of the people and festivals we met on our journey. The project sat on the shelf since the original conception in 2007 until a seed residency from Abandon Normal Devices and the Octopus Collective back in 2012, Initially I was very lucky finding Mike, Ben and Aaron as collaborators in re-designing the zoopraxiscope. Thinking it would be straight forward, its arguably the first ever photographic projection device from 1887, so it couldn't be that hard to figure out with two physicists, cinematic and engineering experts; could it?

We quickly had the mechanics of two rotating discs; one, the shutter disc compromising of 14 vertical slits, the second, an image disc holding a series of 14 frames of 16mm film with images of a sequential loop of Muybridge's horse in motion. The laser light passes though the shutter disc, creating a flash on the image disc, thus creating a succession of flashing images that we see as animated motion, simple! Yet one key bit of information eluded us all, the rotation ratio between the two discs. It wasn't till around 6 months later, we were introduced to Stephen Herbert, a cinematic historian who had worked on several zoopraxiscope replicas, he had the formula for the ratio.

1 : -1 - They rotate at the same speed in opposite directions. A week later, we had the zoopraxiscope Mk3 and soon witnessed the running horse in the lab for the first time, it felt like we were stepping in Muybridge's footprints, It must have been quite something when he saw his horse in motion projected for the first time, for us it was truly magical until we realised we had to face our biggest challenge yet.

With the current laser, a 2W 405nm blue laser from Ebay, you could just about see the horse in the pitch black, instantly Mike wanted to try a 'proper laser'. The Millennium is 5W of 532nm green laser used in the lab for experiments, this produced a clear bright image of the running horse, caught easily on camera in the dark, yet not bright enough for the clouds and besides having a cooling system the size of a fridge, it costs £20k. Prof. Ben Whitaker pointed out that the blue 405nm laser is at the lowest part of the human spectrum of vision. The lab laser of 532nm green is at the top for human vision so it was unlikely that it was ever going to work with this setup. We called it a day and I seriously pondered if this was the end of this part in the adventure. A few days later, I received a phone call from Mike stating that he had an idea to make it work...

His idea was brilliant; As the light passes through the slits in the first wheel, this is where we lose most of the light, so by replacing the slit wheel with wheel of 14 hemispherical lenses we could achieve a 90% brightness increase. But to test this theory, we would need to spend a £1k on laser grade specially cut lenses! This coincided with a residency at the Full of Noises festival in Cumbria, offering us £1k to research the project further, we took it as a sign and went for it, without this fortuitous coincidence and deadline to present our findings that summer, its hard to say if we would have continued down this path. After the residency, the project was quickly leaving the realms of the ideal low cost approach, we had come so far at this point that I decided to take a loan to buy a 2w 532nm green laser to give us the best chance possible in the skies. We had the best projector our money could buy, it was literally make or break from here on in.

We were fortunate with the pilots, they are an inspiration to work with, calm, calculated and incredibly skilled at what they do, getting hold of a plane on the other hand isn't always that easy. To begin with we had a great airfield and access to planes but there were no landing lights, so we couldn't fly at night. Landing at major airports was way out of our budget and nothing happened for a year. Even though we found airports with landing lights which were in budget, we then had the issue of finding a pilot / plane owner who was happy for us to carry out our activity at that airfield. Luckily the pilot from our early attempts came across a plane in an airfield near Nottingham.

The other major challenge was getting everything in the right place at the right time, predicting the weather is one thing, predicting cloud cover over a specific area at a specific height is another, essentially its mark one eye ball. The cloud conditions we needed happened every 6 weeks or so, in addition, we had to align the plane, pilot, second passenger to operate the zoopraxiscope. Multiple times, we would arrive and the clouds would dissipate before our eyes as darkness fell.

When you finally get airborne, you have no idea of a clouds size or relative distance, many a time we would head towards a bank of clouds only for it to disappear due to; weather conditions, a change in altitude, it becoming too dark so you loose sight in the dark soup or the clouds were so vast in the first place, that you are no nearer after 20 minutes of flying.

When we finally found them, the pilots flight agility required for us to capture the images was second to none, circling round whilst weaving in and out. Filming a mile above the ground, with a horizon at 45 degrees, hanging out of an open window going 100mph with the parallax motion of multiple depths of cloud layers has to go up there as one of the challenges. It certainly gives adrenaline a run for its money.

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Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

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Zoopraxiscope Mk 6. Proof of concept cloud projections. Image courtesy of Dave Lynch

And could you briefly explain how it works? Because i suspect that it is more complicated than just bringing a projector on a plane.

I'm particularly curious about how you operate the projector once you are on the plane? Does it screen the animation through the plane window? Would any plane do? And do you need special authorizations to project from a plane?

We have the zoopraxiscope mounted on a tripod strapped down inside the plane, power for the laser and drill which powers the projectors mechanism comes from a marine battery and inverter tied down in the back. As we approach the cloud, the cue for turning on the laser is when the person in the front opens the window, after a 7 second safety delay the whole projector comes into life, its watched over by the person in the back in case of any issues. Our methodology has been honed over several years, through the design and multiple installations in the aircraft both on the ground and in the air, we have the install down to about 20 minutes, its a tight squeeze. The zoopraxiscope points our of an open the window, this removes the potentially dangerous back scatter from the laser being reflected back into the plane and due to the divergence of the beam, the projector is safe to look back at after 30m away. If were less than 30m away from another aircraft, we have other problems to worry about! Essentially, the light on the front of the plane is brighter than the laser projector.

What's next for Project Nimbus? Are you planning to develop the work further? Exhibit it?

Following a small grant from the Arts Council England, we have been working with Mike Stubbs at FACT Liverpool on potential next steps. As part of the ACE app, we plan to write up the process and collaborative model with the aim to publish in a journal & finalise/ release the zoopraxiscope designs through open means. Following the success of the article and hilarious conspiracy theories, we're planning a lecture tour and small bookwork from the 3 years of extensive documentation of the project and have some exhibitions planned in Yorkshire this autumn as part of the British Art Show.

As for getting back into the clouds, we aim to return to the skies with the zoopraxiscope later in the year for a piece with the discovery channel. Other plans include a large scale digital installation, which brings yet more R&D requiring serious flight time and here in lies a dilemma. Whilst we are looking at funding streams to push the boundaries in this kind of practice, we will likely require partnerships with commercial entities for in production. Finding a respectable, forward thinking partner or brand who is not solely about the exploitation of the idea now becomes part of the challenge. We can utilise this powerful form of mass communication for meaningful issues facing environment, society and culture, but in doing so we risk opening the door to what the project has fought against since its inception.

Thanks Dave!

How to give dots in a specific area a different colour?

Hi,

I have this program that places random dots everywhere on a window of 640 x 640. Now, I need dots that get placed in a quarter circle (center at 0.0, radius 640) to be of a different colour than the dots outside of that circle.

It's for an assignment that was about loops, conditionals (if / while) and functions, but I've no idea where to start with that here. If anyone can give me a hint, that'd be nice :)

submitted by Altharis
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Can’t seem to track both the X and Y coordinate separately

Hello coders, I'm quite new and trying to work ahead in the notes, but there is this one project where i'm making a ball attached to an elastic band kind of line. I hope I can figure the rest out, but the part I am having troubles with is on how to track the X and Y separately. I have no idea if I am doing it right, and also the next part after that if I am doing it right is also really messed up. I'm supposed to add 1/10 of the distance from the ball to the mouse to the position of both X and Y of the ball, and when I do that the ball goes flying off the screen to infinity when I track it. Any help is appreciated!

/* * COMP 1010 Section A02 * INSTRUCTOR: JAMES YOUNG * NAME: JAEWOO SEOL * ASSIGNMENT: 1 * QUESTION 4 * * PURPOSE: TO CREATE A MOUSE THAT CANNOT ESCAPE THE CIRCLE BY CALCULATING DISTANCES */

//Initializing global variables to be used float radius = 350; //radius of circle int circleStartLocation = 250; //center of the circle float circleShrinkRate = 1; //rate at which circle shrinks float mouseDistance; //Setting up the statics, size and background void setup() { size(500, 500); background(0); } //The repeating section void draw() { //Resets the background every frame background(0); //Calculating the distance from the center to the mouse mouseDistance = dist(circleStartLocation, circleStartLocation, mouseX, mouseY); //Causing the shrinking of the circle radius -= circleShrinkRate; //Sets the radius to the bigger value between radius and mouseDistance radius = max(radius,mouseDistance); //Draws the balloon ellipse(circleStartLocation, circleStartLocation, radius*2, radius*2); println(radius); } 
submitted by Helpwiththisthanks
[link] [1 comment]

African Robots with Ralph Borland


African Robots is a project by South African artist and researcher Ralph Borland to create interactive electronic street art. ‘Street art’ in this instance means art sold by people on the street, in South Africa and Zimbabwe – usually forms of handicraft using inexpensive materials like fencing and electrical wire, beads and waste wood, plastic and metal. The project focuses particularly on wire work, where artists make three dimensional forms from wire, using a cheap material to create complex results. Basic electronic components can with the necessary know-how also be used as cheap material for creating interactive sculptures.

For this presentation, Ralph Borland tells the story of the project to date, from buying cheap Chinese electronic toys in urban markets in Sao Paulo and hacking them into wire work toys for the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, to designing custom electronics to activate the ideas of wire work artists on the streets of Cape Town. Ralph describes the ideas informing the project, which seeks to recover basic principles of mechanics and computing: from identifying topological ethnomathematics in the approach wire workers take to creating forms, to looking at the history of automotons - taking in figures such as Al Jazari, the 12th century Islamic inventor whose work is thought to have influenced Leonardo da Vinci.

This event was hosted by Professor Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT / CTVR and Professor of Engineering and the Arts at Trinity College.