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Geospatial workflows in Houdini


What follows is nothing more than a bunch of CLI commands and scripts that - put together - resemble a workflow useful when exploring and visualizing geospatial data.

Source GeoTIFF, downsampled to 16bit

DEM data rendered in Houdini

Where to get the data?
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Fun with the new RPI HQ Camera


Last April, while probably half of the world was locked down in their rooms, the Raspberry PI team delighted us with a new toy. I guess they realized we would have a lot more free time in our weekends! 😄

I quickly glanced at it and the specs but I didn't want to be a beta-tester so I decided to wait for people to start playing with it before going into furious DIY purchase mode.

Fast forward to now - November 2020. We're facing the second UK lockdown, and still filling our lives with plenty of zoom/google meet/skype/facetime calls. I decided to improve my virtual appearance and I started to look online for a webcam replacement. I'm currently using my iPhone - but since it streams the video via wifi the image quality - despite the amazing camera sensor - isn't top notch due to the huge compression.

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Call 4 makers - Fablab Latina

Descrizione del progetto:
Portraits! è un'installazione artistica interattiva che realizza ritratti astratti.

Google Slides: slides

Video di presentazione:

Portraits! (ita) from VVZ3N on Vimeo.

Macchina in azione:
Meccanismo del grilletto:

Link al design CAD: https://a360.co/2Os6FV5

Circuito della CNC:
Che cos'è l'arte computazionale? Che cos'è l'arte generativa?

Ispirazione: Patrick Tresset, Paul the Robot

Sito web della mostra "Echosystems":

Useful electronic components

After many years of accumulating electronic bits and pieces, I thought it may be useful to have a list of different components grouped by their purpose.
So here it is!

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Some thoughts on AI art

Here's a link to break the ice:

Questions for discussion:

  • Is the only value of an AI artwork the fact that it has been generated via an AI?
  • Does the medium allow the artist to ask questions and explore corners that would not be possible to explore without AI?
  • Is this really showing some from of Intelligence, or is it just a sophisticated Pattern Recognition?
  • Is our own Intelligence just a sophisticated form of Pattern Recognition?
  • Are these AIs somehow capable of generalizing ideas or creating a numerical representation of abstract concepts?
  • How much of this work is the result of original research, and how much is just reusing somebody elses work but fed with different inputs so that it generates different outputs?
  • What's the difference between creating artwork in a commercial software framework like Houdini (written by others), or creating it using a Deep Learning algorithm (written by others) ?
  • What's the difference between creating a robotic machine that paints, or creating it an image using a GAN algorithm (written by others) ?

Digital meets real: 3D Printing

As soon as I started to fiddle around with Processing and Openframeworks back in 2013, I immediately felt the incredible power that their generative approach could offer. The amount of control, the expressivity and the variation of artworks that could be potentially generated felt really overwhelming! But one the most important things that you surely have already witnessed in your creative practice is that having (virtually) no limits can have a huge impact on the quality of your works. Sometimes a constrain or a technical limit are the best way to get inspired!

So, as digital people working with digital tools, how can we introduce some of these healty limits?

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Automatic Watering System with Arduino

During my stay in the UK to attend the MA at Goldsmiths, I bought two small plants to keep myself company. Surprisingly enough, they names were Mint and Thyme. But I had one major issue: when I had to come back to Italy for a little break, I had nobody that could water the plants for me.

Arduino to the rescue!

Thanks to Eevi's project, I knew that I could use a water pump with arduino, so I started looking for more tutorials on the topic. Turns out it's a fairly straightforward thing to do, and it can also be quite cheap if you manage to recycle an old motor and 3d print the actual peristaltic pump.

Bill of materials

If you already have an Arduino and some cables, we're talking of about 20€ in total.

  1. Peristaltic pump: Peristaltic Pump, Yosoo
  2. PVC Pipe, 4mm diameter: 4mm ID x 6mm OD Clear PVC Tubing Pipe Hose
  3. Arduino Uno
  4. 1 Channel Relay, like this one
  5. Jumper cables
  6. For a cleaner result, terminal sockets like these

Getting the pump to work

In my case, getting the peristaltic pump to work required a bit of "hacking". Nothing too complex, but when I tested the pump plugged to the 12V power supply and connected to two glasses of water, I saw that something was not working fine. I could hear the motor shaft spinning, but the water was not flowing into the tubes. So after watching a few videos and getting to understand how the actual pump worked, I disassembled it and I noticed that the three inner rollers were not rotating with the motor. So I rearranged their position in a narrower way - I pushed them further against the motor shaft so that its rotation would transfer to them.



(see the original gist [here](https://gist.github.com/vvzen/afd14c138096d49fc47edfa89afce588) if indention seems off)

Working setup

As you can see from the photo, I'm also using heat shrink tubing (black) together with the PVC tube (transparent). For some reason, probably due to the not so great quality of the pump, it was not sucking enough water just using the 4mm tube, so I had to put a little bit of heat shrink tubing to bridge the pump to the PVC.

Physical Computing Works

This page hosts a series of links to the physical computing projects developed during my MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths University.

  1. All of the projects in my tumblr

  2. Playing with e-textiles

    E-textiles buttons

  3. Hacklab Project 1

  4. A tiny project - using the ATTINY85 microcontroller

  5. Arduino Joystick controller

  6. Final project for Term 1 - SASM

  7. Final project for Term 2 - #TwitterHead

Personal Projects

  1. Arduino Plants Watering System

Computational Art Researches

This page hosts a series of links to the researches developed during my MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths University.

Second Term

  1. Week 1: Computational Art and Walkthroughs

    Actor Network Theory

    Walkthrough method

    App research: White Spots

  2. Week 2: Computational Art and Material Stories

  3. Week 3: Computational Art and Witnessing

  4. Week 5: Machines Seeing

  5. Week 6: Structuring Your Research Project - Additional research on Floridi's phylosophy

  6. Week 7: Computational Art and Sensory Interactions

Final multimedia report

A tiny attiny project

For the second term of my physical computing class, we had to create a small project using the ATTINY microcontroller!

In order to keep things simple, I decided to build a small circuit that lights up an LED when someone is moving thanks to a Passive Infrared Sensor. Next step would to trigger a relay so that for example I could have a light turn on just when I'm close to it!

As always, I started by using the Arduino as the power source and the programmer of the ATTINY controller. To do this, we followed a nice tutorial available here: http://highlowtech.org/?p=1695


The PIR sensor used.
It just needs 5V, GND and the actual pin where it will send 5V if it gets triggered

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