The fantasy device I settled on is called Quiet. The idea is that a portable controller uses sound waves to cancel out all other sound waves and create a pocket with no sound. The most obvious use for this would be to create a personal space that is silent—to help read on a crowded subway, sleep at night, or just to walk around with a new perspective on the world. It would also be cool to leave the device in a room and wait to see how people react when they enter the room. Here are some of my original sketches.
I imagined it as an Etch a Sketch interface, with dials that could draw the space where you wanted to cancel all the sound. It could be a standalone device or an app for a phone like this one:
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I chose at the website for my old band, Boy Crisis, to analyze. I thought it would funny to look at this site because it is fairly unconventional. It is a dynamic website with a lot of moving parts. Even the background moves and changes. I was surprised to find that it still exists and that adheres to the principles of design more than it would at first appear.
Here is a relatively neutral homepage. (It’s kind of necessary to visit the site and experience the functionality for this to make sense.) Although it does not adhere to a perfect grid, there is a relatively simple grid in place, created by the navigational tools and the large middle area.
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I was having trouble getting this to run until I realized that I had to install the serial driver thing. Then it worked fine.
I put two wires into a Swedish fish and found that it doesn’t conduct electricity. But it would be cool to bite down on it and close the switch. That worked when I squeezed it. I thought actually biting it would be dangerous.
This is the hallway on the third floor of the MoMA leading into the Talk To Me exhibit. Before one even enters the main room of the exhibit there are about seven works, all presented on monitors, to view. The hallway was divided into to lanes and a museum attendant impatiently repeated directions: “If you’re looking at the videos stay on the right. Go to the left if you’re just passing through.” I wanted to see the videos so I went on the right side. They all looked neat but it was hard to focus on any one of the screen given the number of people passing through and the six other screens. Inside there were about 187 more projects presented in one room divided by only a few columns, creating a sort of figure eight with no obvious directions or flow to the space.
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The red square Dan created in class immediately made me think of two things: Blinky Palermo and the Soviet Union. One of my favorite paintings by Palermo (also one of my all time favorite paintings) is Composition with 8 Red Rectangles, which I saw at the Hirshhorn last spring and is in some retrospective of his that is upstate right now, so I recreated that with Processing. Although Composition with 8 Red Rectangles was made with paint on canvas, Palermo was known for creating 2D images like paintings with materials other than paint and canvas, which is cool because that’s sort of what we’re doing with Processing. Compare the original to my version:
I imported the image from the New York Observer article into Fireworks and just plotted out the coordinates of each rectangle and then used quad() (which made the whole thing way more simple that I thought it would be when I started) to make each rectangle. By rectangle 5 I was getting pretty bored of that and you can see my rectangles get sloppy by the bottom, but I think it still creates a subtle visual trick, which is part of what I like about the original painting.
Palermo was influenced by the Russian painter Kasimir Malevich. Malevich actually made a painting called Red Square. That would have been easier to make.