TIC assignment two – “hello world”

Processing 2

The following playlist shows screen recordings of thirteen of the typographic experiments I created with Processing2.

Videos 1 to 10 are experiments with a single word ‘hello’, using various animation techniques, some of which are responsive to mouse position or click. The code has been adapted from tutorials written by Amnon Owed, available here.

Videos 11, 12 and 13 use multiple words (string). The content is a line from Flann O’Brien’s “At Swim Two Birds’ – “One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with.” The line reflects the direction of my work so far, and my exploration of hypertextuality, open and non-linear documents.

The code has been adapted from tutorials written by John Park of Oregon University, which are available here.

The typeface used (with the exception of video 9) is Adobe Garamond, for reasons explained in my Academic Poster Companion.

Conductive Ink

Below is a video of my first test using conductive ink to initialize an audio file (mp3). The ink is connected directly to an electrode on the Arduino-based Touch Board. The audio is taken from a radio interview about McLuhan, discussing if television means the end of the book. (Audio available here.)
Programme: CBC Monday Evening
Broadcast Date: July 8, 1974
Hosts: Malcolm Muggeridge, George Woodcock


While the above test met functional requirements, my second test involved refining the aesthetics. As noted when discussing Scientific Skin, an interactive installation by Fabio Antinori and Alicja Pytlewska using conductive ink, its success lies in the invisibility of the technology.

To ‘hide’ the technology I cut recesses in an A4 sheet of Foamcore to accommodate the Touch Board and the battery, then mounted an A4 typographic poster on the front of the Foamcore sheet. Essentially the poster (printed and painted with conductive ink) was on the front and the technology was on the back. To facilitate the circuit traveling through the Foamcore (from front to back), I inserted a wire between the poster and foamcore, punched it through the Foamcore and connected it to the relevant electrode of the Touch Board on the back. The wire was ‘cold – soldered’ to the poster and the Touch Board with more conductive ink.

The result was successful, in that the interface is ink and paper with no tech visible from the front. Although the back of the poster is open, revealing the Touch Board and battery, these could be covered easily for the finished pieces. The Foamcore is rigid, lightweight and cuts easily, making it an ideal material for this project.

For future iterations I would like to explore stenciling or screen-printing the ink, which would result in sharper graphics. The ink is a little too viscous to paint in detail free-hand. As it is water-based, the ink may be diluted, but this increases resistance and compromises the inks conductivity, making multiple layers of ink necessary. I would also like to source a slim speaker which could also be inserted in the Foamcore, making the technology even less visible.

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