Mark Your Calendars!
NOTE: This meeting will take place at St. Stephen’s Church (thank you HacDC!), and will
include an exclusive tour of HacDC’s burgeoning shop! See sidebar for directions.
Pindar will speak about his progress with Zanelle, Van Arman’s painter ‘bot. Van Arman has written all software required for her to perform. To create each painting, Zanelle instructs her robotic appendage to make multiple independent design decisions, self-mix up to 24 colors of acrylic paint and apply the medium with upwards of 25,000 intentional brush strokes in a time period of 12-36 hours.
He’ll talk about the mechanical aspects of how she paints as well as the multiple neural nets that drive her decision making. He will also discuss plans to introduce a feedback loop that will adjust her painting style as she paints a canvas.
Pindar Van Arman is an artist/roboticist that first got involved in programming during the dot com era. As a graphics artist he noticed all the programmers at his start up were driving much nicer cars than his. In a quest for a nicer car, he taught himself object oriented programming. Shortly after becoming obsessed with programming, he wondered why he had not done it earlier. He expanded into the field of robotics by joining Team ENSCO and participating in two of DARPA’s Grand Challenges where he wrote navigation software for DEXTER, Team ENSCO’s autonomous off-road racer. Since then he has been working on Zanelle, which paints with an artists brush on canvas.
Recent MICA MFA, Andrew Buckland, will talk about his data-driven piece, Data_Scape, a live representation of Internet traffic passing over the local network. “As information is read it is then transformed both in the sound and image. This transformation of information questions the notion of a digital environment we find ourselves knowingly or unknowingly participating within.”
Data_Scape also uses sound to represent traffic on the network. High and low frequency sound activates the space as traffic wanes and waxes, respectively. In order to elicit the psychoacoustical and physical effect of immersion, a sine wave tending downwards from 20 kHz towards 32 Hz is played as maximum network activity is approached. Data_Scape also provides a visualization of dataspace as an other-worldly but familiar cityscape tending towards landscape, tapping into the recurrent theme of the artificial environment he has explored in his work. For example, Buckland’s photographic work deals with the mutual effect of humans on landscapes and vice versa.
After the presentations, the exchange continues over food and drink at a nearby eatery [TBA, but most likely The Heights, at 3115 14th St. NW, a half mile from the meeting. Please note that they limit each table to 3 credit cards so BRING CA$H!. They also add a gratuity of 18% to groups over 8 so factor that into your budgets.].