Category Archives: Work

Artefacts at Cork Public Museum

The aretfacts at the museum are organised under two broad categories, history and archaeology, and range from physical ancient and modern objects, uniforms and civilian clothing, books, etc. The museum also has a large archive of historical written documents and photographs. A distinctive feature of the museum is that many of the artfacts are preserved for viewing in glass cases and therefore limit the action of visitors to a visual channel. The museum itself was recently extended and is a pleasant spacious environment to walk around. It is situated in Fitzgeralds Park which  ajoins a beautiful  recreation amenity with the banks of the River Lee.

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Meeting in Cork Public Museum

I met with Dan Breen Assistant Curator at the Cork Public Musem in Fitzgerald Park, Cork City.  We discussed possibilities for moving forward immediately and some potential projects as the basis for proposals that can be offered to students.

Visit to Cork Butter Museum

I met with Peter Foynes Director of the Cork Butter Museum this morning. We discussed the rationale and possible benefits of a collaboration between CIT and the museum. We also discussed possibilities for specific projects and agreed to proceed on the basis of generating proposals that can be offered to students.

Survey of Cork City Gaol

Today I met again with Elizabeth Kearns, the manager of Cork City Gaol, to discuss moving the project forward. After a short discussion about the goals of the museum Elizabeth kindly introduced me to some of the exhibits. At this point it is necessary to establish some of the possibilities that the museum site has to offer with regards to interaction design projects. A number of project briefs will be tailored to support the research group at CIT and the design requirements at of the museum.

I spent took some time to document the site and a selection of image below provide a snapshot of what currently is on offer at the museum.

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Prototype1 – Multi-Camera Tracking and Remote Server

Having tested in public a decision to test in Processing for speed was taken. Processing was found to be more efficient for the current work. While the Trailer Class in AS3 was a particle system (PS) written from scratch, in Processing an existing PS and adapted it to my own purposes [cite this later]. Having worked on using teh PS to reveal an image it was necessary to pass the camera tracking data from AS3 to Processing. This was achieved through using an XML socket. This tested well on a localhost running Apache.

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Prototype 1 – Portable Screens

Below demonstrates testing of the portable back-projection screens developed to experiment with interactions in public. They can  be assembled in about 20minutes and are made from cheap lightweight materials. If they get damaged the outter frames can be taken off and the screen material replaced relatively easily.

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The screen material is for testing only and is very fragile. It is made from light guage peca shower curtain material so pressing with a finger can distort the surface; and with only a pressure a hole can be punctured. Nevertheless it is very cheap at 2.50eu per screen and allows for prototyping before settling on a design at which point more robust back-projection material can be purchased.

A supplier in London has been identified for the final pieces.

Prototype 1 – Camera Tracking on LocalHost

The technical layer of prototype one involved a number of levels of technical investigation. Initially the idea was to use existing libraries in Processing to grab data from a webcam or Kinect and use that data to drive certain events on the screen. What appeared on the surface to be a relatively straightforward course of applying processing libraries such as the video library combined with openCV ended up being hampered by the outdated support in these libraries for video capture on Win7. Having tested a number of options for capturing video data from the onboard webcam I shifted instead to looking at the camera object in AS3. This was well supported and existing libraries ere freely available from soulwire. These were set up relatively easily and I developed a Trailer class to draw to the screen based on the coordinates passed back from soulwire’s MotionTracker Class. Problem with this however is that all the tracking and drawing is delegated to a single video card. In addition flash was a little slow in handling the graphics in realtime and the garbage collector (GC), while necessary, appeared to add to the problem of framerates. Nevertheless there was an opportunity to test in public at this point an a front projected setup was created in the IT Building in CIT to gather some idea about how the work performed in a public setting.

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Every Way Out

Just finished out a week working with Maud Cotter (artist) and Veronika Valk (architect). EveryWayOut is described as:

“every way out is a collaborative project involving the creative fields of new media, art and architecture. It proposes to produce an experimental architectural space that acts as a carrier of ideas. The project is led by partnership of artist Maud Cotter and Veronika Valk but incorporates ideas from the wider creative community. In Cork the project is support through the National Sculpture Factory, the Cork Centre for Architectural Education in University College Cork, and the Fine Art & Media Communications Departments in Cork Institute of Technology.”

The week started with a day of talks and seminars followed by 3 days of workshops. It finished off yesterday with a day of presentations by 70 participating students from art, architecture and new media.
The first day of talk was organised by Maud Cotter, Veronika Valk, Paul Green, Trish Brennan and Gary Boyd. Five talks were delivered in total. Maud Cotter opened with a presentation of her work and provided a context for the public art work at the centre of week’s discussion. Thus work is also entitles ‘EveryWayOut’ and is due to be installed in 2012 at a site at Cork City docklands.

EveryWayOut site at Cork docklandsDraft illustration of site at Cork docklands by Veronika Valk

Veronika Valk presented her own practice and explained the broader cultural context for the project. Trish Brennan talked about four artists who could be seen to operate as agents of change and Andrew Clancy addressed design concerns which are at the heart of his own practice as an architect. Prof. Mike Philips gave an overview of the research ongoing at iDAT, Univerity of Plymouth. He demonstrated how technology can be integrated with creative practice to expose relationships that support sustainable changes in our behaviour.

A panel discussion followed the talks and included short introductory statements to help inform the workshop progamme in the following days:

  • Kevin Gartland on Iteration & Design Process.
  • Paul Green on Social Aesthetics in New Media Art
  • Mike Philips on Embracing Change Within Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Maud Cotter on Collaboration & Competition
  • Trish Brennan on Allowing for Failure
  • Veronika Valk on Public Realm, What do we want from it
  • in the future
  • Seamus Harahan on Social Space
  • Andrew Clancy on Procurement
  • Maureen O’Connor on Conflict – Resolution.

Workshops ran over three days before students made formal presentations to the group.

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