Kinetic Interfaces: Week 12 – OSC communication(Cyndi)

In addition to what I’ve learned in class, for this assignment, I tried to send all the data from the sender to the receiver to let them draw rectangles simultaneously. I got my own IP address from the receiver and paste it to the sender code, then I sent the x,y position and also the size of the rectangle to the receiver. It turned out that while I am drawing a rectangle in the sender canvas, the receiver canvas is drawing one simultaneously, and also reports the x,y position and the size of the rectangle.

Also, I learned that the procedure is to open the receiver canvas first, then open the sender canvas, then click the receiver canvas again. It is also necessary to make sure that there is only two canvas being opened at the same time, or the data will be lost.

Here is the demo:

The code:

Kinetic Interfaces: Final Project(Cyndi)

Date: May.12th

Name: Cyndi

Partner: Quinn

Instructor: Moon

Project Name: Phosphenes(lights and colors produced when rubbing your eyes)


Our final project is to further develop our midterm project. We want to make an audiovisual installation in which the user can listen to other’s craziest moments in their lives. The concept is that many people have crazy moments in their lives, but they will give the thoughts up immediately just because the thoughts seems not realistic. However, all the crazy thoughts worth a try, and you don’t always have to give up when you think of something seems a little bit crazy.

For the midterm project what we have is this:

For the final project, in the beginning, we want to use the Kinect camera to capture people’s movements. However, what is ideal in our mind is too hard to achieve, so we decrease the interaction and changed the interaction into Kinect camera detecting the position of the user’s feet, and when the user stands in different positions, different audios will be triggered. I used the raw depth and the closest point we learned in class. While using the closest point, the obstacle I met is that the Kinect will detect something that isn’t the human’s feet such as the pipe or the table behind. To solve this problem, Moon taught me to limit the x and y area of the Kinect detection. After adjusting, everything worked well. For the raw depth part, I got confused by the max position. We want the Kinect to detect the closest thing, so the distance should be the minim, but I got confused and set it to the maximum. But actually, the calculation is not necessary because I can easily get the depth from calculating the index.

We want the visual part to have three stages, which are many particles flying toward the user, the particles came to be a circle, and the particles slowing go apart again. We used what we learned in The Nature of Code, but since we didn’t get much time so our code was pretty messy. We kind of messed up the structures. The audio part also has three stages, which are the user listening to our intro audio piece, the user listening to the monologue, and the user listening to their own voice through the headphone, and all the stages are matching with the visuals. We went to Tianzifang to record the audios and edited it using Adobe Audition. The code of the audio part is also tricky because we want the former voice to fade out when another voice comes in. With the help of Moon, I stored sound files as variables and used the shiftGain function in minim library. For the sound monitoring part, I also used the minim library, this library is super super strong.

After comparing different kinds of materials, we decided to used PVC pipes, paper tape, zip tie and fabric for our installation. Before all the buying, we had a prototype of our installation.

Then we bought all the materials and started to set up. We connected all the pips and made out a cube. After that, we used the zip ties to put more pipes on the top of our installation. The fabric is the most tricky part because we don’t know how to cut the fabric neatly. After borrowing the fabric scissors and went to the tailor’s shop, we learned some fabric cutting skills and they were very useful for the later part. The whole installation was finished when the installation was done. After that, we began to set up the projector and compare which position is the best for projecting our visuals. We found the best position at last and the projecting went pretty well.

Overall, this is the most satisfying project I’ve ever done, not only because I got to apply everything I’ve learned so far in this project, but I put my personal concept into this project. This project is very meaningful for me and I am so happy that during the IMA show many people love my concept. Also, thanks Moon for always supporting me and appears everytime I need help! I really learned a lot from both this class and Moon!

The demos: (will be updated)


The code:

Introduction to Assistive Technology – Final Project(Cyndi)

Date: May.10th

Name: Cyndi

Partner: Demi Mehr

Instructor: Marianne

Project Name: Assistive Writing Device


Our group focus on making an assistive writing device since we notice it is hard for them to prevent themselves from shaking or other unnecessary movements.

We will make a device that can keep their arms on the table and stable the pen on their hands. It includes a base with the magnet beneath to stick the device on the desk and there will be an adjustable band on the base to bind their wrists. For the pen holder part, they can hold the bottom of the pen holder and the pen can be fixed on it.

Our device is an assistive writing device set, and there are three parts in total, which are the board, the pen holder, and the wrist holder. The user can put a paper on the board, put his or her wrist in the wrist holder, and the wrister holder can be stick on the board. Also, the user can hold the pen holder and put their pens in it.

For the pen holder, we notice that some of the students in the Cerecare center are not able to move their fingers to hold the pen, but they are able to make the grabbing movement, and the pen holder can help them to hold the pen. We used the super light clay because it is still soft after it dries. The thick part is for the user to hold, and the thin part is to cover their hand. The user can also design the prototype themselves because it is cheap and very easy to make, the only thing is that it takes two days at least to dry. The material can get dirty sometimes, so we used the mod podge to cover the pen holder so that it is washable. We met a difficulty while prototyping because the material is so soft that we cannot really squeeze it, so we have to be extremely careful when prototyping it.

The wrist holder is made of corrugated plastic, velcro, tape, and magnets. At the first prototype,  we used the cardboard but found it was too soft and easy to bend. So we changed it to corrugated plastic. It is much strong than cardboard but still soft, so it is very easy to cut and fold, but can stand by itself. The edges are pretty sharp so we wrapped them with tapes. We use the velcro to bind the user’s wrist so that the user’s wrist can be more stable. The velcro is very adjustable according to the user’s wrist size. We used the super glue to stick 3 magnets at the bottom to make it stay on the board.

We stick irons on the clipboard so that the magnet on the wrist holder can be attached to the board. We wanted the iron magnet on the board to be a whole piece but we didn’t find the material source, so we ordered some small irons and stick them together. To make the board stick on the table, we drilled four holes on each corner of the board to add the suction cap to it. In the beginning, we weren’t able to drill it, then we found Nick that we can make use of the gravity, and the drilling process went smoother.

Overall, this project is pretty easy to make but very useful. Everyone can learn to make it and adjust the design according to their own situations. What I’ve learned from this class is that not everything has to be very high tech. I’ve learning IMA for two years and tried lots of codings and hackings, but the experience of this class is really unique because it is the first time for me to try to prototype something just by my hands, rather than using software or coding. The experience of handmade everything is very valuable for me.


Video Art: Exhibition 2(Cyndi)

An Exhibition of Monochrome

I was immediately attracted by this exhibition when I saw the poster. I’ve always been obsessed with artworks that are consisted of the color black and white because black and white are the most direct and simple color among all. I always believe that black and white are the origins of all colors. This exhibition is very interesting because it focuses on how the single color is being used in an artwork.

This is one of my favorite piece, which is using only black, white and greyscale to illustrate a city full of buildings. We can tell where the light is from when watching this piece, but the whole painting is covered with a greyscale filter that cannot be taken off. I am wondering why the artist decides to use greyscale instead of creating a more obvious contrast by using pure black and white? Grey is kind of in the middle of black and white, so does the greyscale have any connection with the artist’s perspective of the world?

This piece to me is more like an intersection between fantasy and the reality. There are places that fantasy meets reality, and that’s where the grey pixels appear. When black and white are separated, nothing happens. What will happen when white is crossing black? The color grey is generated. This piece makes me feel like I am apart from the reality, only trying to get the emotion of two colors.

When I first approach this piece I thought it was kind of a mirror until I got closer and found that all the materials are in black. What makes me think of the mirror is just the combination of the black material and the glass. In this case, can we say the extreme reflection of black is white, and the extreme reflection of white is black?

Nearly all the pieces in this exhibition make me feel like I am traveling between the reality and fantasy. Compared to other colors, black and white are simple, cold, but very direct. It is separated from all the chaos outside. So do the monochromes. Monochromes are consist of only one color but the form of representing black and white always make me wonder what’s more behind them.


Video Art: Exhibition 1(Cyndi)

Dawn Breaking

I went to Long Museum to see the “Dawn Breaking” is held by Yang Fudong. This experience is pretty new to me because this is the first time I’ve ever seen a real-time film shooting moving going on in an art museum. This concept is very interesting to me because the structure of a museum is very unique, and I am wondering how she is using the space to arrange her scenes.

The scene of the real-time shooting is right at the entrance. All the lights, microphones and equipment were set up, and some of the actors were still changing clothes. All the scenes are pre-designed to happen in Song Dynasty which is a very remarkable era for China. The scenes in this film are mainly in the imperial palace, and all the actors were wearing ancient clothes. This art film is leading me to look back on Chinese history when the ministers went to the palace every day to discuss affairs with the emperor, also allowing me to connect history times with the present times. I really like how she designed this exhibition because she jumped out of the stereotype of traditional films which all audience have to sit and watch in a small space. In this exhibition, all the shooting process is open to the audience, so that audience and see and feel the scenes by themselves. It is like the audience can walk into the television/screen and there are also sections for the audience to watch the playbacks of the video.


I really like this installation called “The Tower of Life”. This looks like an abandoned tower, with lots of messy branches and dead flowers around. Dust is everywhere and it seems like the tower is going to fall in any minute. But the name is “The Tower of Life”, which reminds me of many Chinese emperors in the history, who were once the king of the whole country, and this tower represents the most prosperous time when they were still the emperor. Nearly all the emperors, eventually, were in bad conditions, but the tower of life is where they started.

There were sections in the exhibition where the audience can take a look at some videos that were already produced, also the processing of making this film. This film contains 30 diaries, recording the condition of every day’s morning meeting between the ministers and the emperor.

Yang also applies many Nietzsche’s sayings into her project. Although Nietzsche is not from China, his sayings are matching very well with the content of Yang’s film. It is more like a theme for each episode I guess? Combining Nietzsche and Chinese traditional culture and history together is a very bold move, and I am very surprised to find out that they are closely connected to each other.

Overall, it’s a very good exhibition and shifted my impression of art films. The concept and the form of performing this piece to the audience is very inspiring.


Kinetic final concept presentation(Cyndi & Quinn)


(The lights and colors produced by rubbing your eyes)


  • An interactive audiovisual installation
  • Walking through the moving particles, people share the craziest moments in their lives with you.
  • The user can also record their thoughts before entering and listen to their own voice by interaction


Everyone has crazy moments in their lives. However, not everyone is brave enough to embrace their daydream-ish ideas. Making choices between reality and unreality is always an interesting topic worth exploring.

In this project, we want to show that even the ordinary people in the crowd, instead of giving up the ideas that may seem unrealistic for now, should leave themselves a chance to embrace in-ordinary possibilities.


What we’ve done in midterm: 


  • Kinect depth detection
  • Improving the visual and Increasing framerate
  • Collecting and Editing Audio Clips
  • Rearrange the setting

The rate of progress:

  • The audio part has finished
  • The installation is almost finished
  • Still testing out the best position for the projector
  • Still working on visual and Kinect code




Kinetic Interface: Week 11- Kinect Interaction(Cyndi)

For this week’s assignment, I created a shooting game using the closest position I learned from class, and I also added some sound elements to it. The user is basically using the closest point to aim the target. At first, there will be an aiming circle, and when the user gets closer to the center, a gun will appear. when the user’s closest point is close to the center of the canvas, a shooting sound will be triggered. When the user is aiming elsewhere, there will be a change of the frequency and amplitude of the background sound. I was thinking about adding other visual effects when there is a gunshot sound, for instance, a sudden change of color of the background, but I didn’t manage to make it look good so I gave up the idea. I also want to try skeleton tracking, but I don’t have a windows computer. Overall, Kinect is a really interesting thing to learn.



Video Arts: Final project proposal(Cyndi & Shiny)

Final Project Proposal(Cyndi & Shiny)


For the final project, we want to do a time-based performance, combining the existing video and live performance.  For the live performance part, we hope to create interactions between body movement and the video. We also hope to add interactions between video and live visual we create.


  • Split personality(start from people performing differently in the different environments)
  • Impression management


  • Existing videos we found online/Videos we shoot
  • Use Processing to create live interactive performance


  • MSP- existing music piece & frequency manipulation

Technologies we might use:

  • Live capturing => create body splitting effect
  • Kinect/motion capture camera


Kinetic Interfaces: Week 10 – pointCloud & GUI(Cyndi)

For this week’s assignment, I reviewed what I’ve learned from last class, added some movements of the particles and controlling the point size by the radio button. I was going to add sin/noise function into the code it looked really messy so I gave up. I just added the ySpeed of the particle. For the GUI part, There are 5 options of the point size for the user to choose. The challenge of this GUI control is that I actually have to get the event and use the get name function. I explored a little bit and it worked, but I am really confused about all of the function since there is get name function, get group function and I don’t know what does the event mean.

My code:


Video Art: Week 11- Beijing Trip reflection(Cyndi)

Beijing trip is AMAZING!!!!! Before this trip, I thought all the exhibitions will be about video art, but during the trip, I found out that there are some exhibitions that are not that related to video art, but also extremely inspiring to me. 798 is a really great place to explore all kinds of arts, and the red brick museum is fantastic to me. I got lots of inspiration from this trip.

Carsten Holler — Decimal Clock

This piece really looks like a fan from this angle.

The first piece that really grabs my attention is Carsten Holler’s Decimal Clock. When I first saw this piece I thought it was imitating the shape of a fan, but later on, I realize that there has something to do with the division. The position of the white line is changing constantly, starting from the centre, moving from the inner circle to the outer circle, then coming back to the inner circle. While watching this piece, I was thinking that maybe everything in this world is inter-related to each other. Nowadays, many elements in different fields are more and more similar and related to each other. Many fields are now chasing after the same goal, even these fields have completely different functions in the society. In another sense, the clock on the wall can be the whole world. Everything is going to the same direction, and gradually their share the same centre, they rotate in the same direction and their trails are becoming more and more similar, and in the end, they are following the exact same trail. In addition, I found the concept of “division” really interesting. Can everything be divided in this universe? We can divide a piece of cake, and Holler is now dividing time, what will other things be like if they are divided? This is a very interesting topic to think about.

Olafur Eliasson — Water Pendulum


I just love this piece so much. This is one of Olafur Eliasson’s piece which is now exhibiting at the red brick museum. The technique of setting up this piece is not hard. There is just a pump, a strobe, a hose, a light, and water. But this piece is extremely beautiful by using simple tools because it captures the beauty of every second. There is a certain frequency of the light, and every time we see it, the image is different. The movement of the water is very beautiful, but we don’t get to predict what it is going to look like one second later. We want to cherish the beauty, but it flashes away so quickly that we do not even get time to remember the image. To me, the beauty just appears for a second, then it disappears and will never appear again. Also, the beauty comes with pain. Every time when the hose and the water are slashed so hard, the sound of slashing also represents that sometimes beauty just comes out this way.

Another experience worth mentioning is the visit to Huang Rui’s studio. During the visit, I get to look closely into Huang Rui’s living environment and know how all of his art pieces are generated. I am really impressed by his work related to Chinese society conditions because I thought art pieces are all abstract and hard to understand, but Huang Rui’s pieces are both direct and easy to understand, but also allows different interpretations. He put keywords about big events happened in China these years on a drum installation, and people are free to hit the drum with the stick. Every time when people hit a drum recalls a specific event. These are the events that used to be so big and popular in the society, but now, some of them are gradually forgotten by people.

Huang Rui’s studio is both poetic and realistic. I can see that he is an artist, but also a critic of Chinese society. His perspectives are unique and direct. It is such a good experience to see how artists like Huang Rui work in daily time and what makes them develop the ideas.

The two-day trip in Beijing is such a great time for me to get closet to contemporary art and give me lots of inspirations. I hope I can use them in my project later on.