Archive for March, 2006

RFID Kit Arrived

March 30, 2006

RFID Reader from FEIG

Last week it arrived. We've been so busy playing with it we forgot to mention it! It's all good so far. In order to make it work with our Mac setup we may need to write a driver for it. This will get it to output the right stuff for Isadora. More on this later.


Paying attention at AIGA London

March 30, 2006


TED and ETech (2 recent global tech and design conferences in California) ‘happened’ over the last few weeks. AIGA is bringing together four participants in these conferences to reflect on what’s hot in tech innovation. Everyone’s talking about it: Attention.

Wednesday 5 April 2006, 6:30 for 7 PM (until 8:45 PM) 01zero-one, Peter Street, Soho, London W1F 0HS

More info on AGIA and the event here:

Isadora from Troika Tronix

March 19, 2006

trokia tronicstrokia ranch

The choice of what manipulation tool to use is becoming more pressing to me. We may have to build patches or modules that will beable to read the RFID information we are generating.
I’ve seen VidVox Grid, Jitter(MaxMSP), Isadora and ArKaos (all Mac based) programmes in use and each look simple (apart from Jitter!), effective and stable. Where Grid and ArKaos I’ve only seen in use in VJ situations and I know Isadora is used in performance situations.

I’ve spoken Isadora creator Mark Coniglio who thinks the manipulation will be possible, he said “If they [the readers] output serial (RS-232) data it could be possible. Right now, Isadora only _sends_ serial data. But it has the capability to receive, I’ve just not implemented it yet.”

I’m really looking forward to working with Isadora again!
While looking around at software I spotted ArtMatic and Bliss Paint that seem to be graphical, animation generation tools, using images, textures and effects. I’m thinking about dowloading the demos to generate some video to be used as effects for my active screens.

Real Time Video Manipulation

March 19, 2006


The planning of the project is hotting up. Kisky should take delivery of our first RFID reader tomorrow and the testing can start from there. The plan for the experiment, should everything go well, is that when the readers detect the active presence of the viewer (the action of swiping their attention card) the video screens begin to react, maybe a screen becomes exciting because it’s getting a lot of attention, or it becomes complacent, or another screen gets jelous and changes to compete for your attention. My plan is to do this using real time video manipulation. There are many different packages out there (a lot more than I initially thought) many of them are designed and used for VJing. The most comprehensive list I’ve found was here at audiovisualizers.


March 10, 2006

Tagsware Logo

We have downloaded a trial of Tagsware and as soon as we get our dev kit, we’ll beging evaluating this software. It does far more than we need for our arts project, but it looks pretty impressive, who knows we might find some quirky stuff to do with it. Tagsware is partuicularly impressive as it runs on a UNIX platform; so we’ll hoepfully run it on Mac OS X Server and use its Java capabilities tointegrate with a WebObjects Application!

Buying RFID

March 10, 2006


Well, we’ve ordered a Development Kit to test with.  I am pretty impressed with so far. Although I have submitted a customer enquiry and have had no reply – but we’ll see.  Seems OK so far though and we’ve ordered a dev kit for starters.  We’ll be reporting back here about how we get on!

180 x 120

March 2, 2006


Testing… this is not a simulation.

“We invite you to thrust yourself within a space where mobs, crowds, tuples, and even the wallflower are active participants in a delicious interactive architecture of interwoven patterns”

This installation explores the difference of statistically projected behaviors through an over-mapping with actual behavior. Using RFID tags and a range of antennas each corresponding to a particular behavioral zone, the group and individual behavior of participants at an event is tracked, logging in event statistics, such as an individuals duration of stay, time of entry, and favored geographic locations (near the bar, the lounge etc).

During the actual event, people can track themselves through their unique RFID number, with their location and time information projected onto the screen in real time, creating a cross referencing of real and forecast information, that is highly event and location specific.

This event seems like so much fun and I see many crossovers with our project; overtly tagging participants and making them become active, then using the data to produce a different way of experiencing/exploring space – I like it!

Performing NAFTA* with a transport truck and RFID

March 2, 2006


The Exchange project is an artistic inquiry that uses cultural resistance to unsettle questionable relationships between international politics, technological surveillance, and identity construction.
One outstanding feature of the Exchange project is a cross-border performance that combines Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) surveillance technology, a full-size transport truck, and all of Nisbet’s personal belongings. In this sustained performance, Nisbet’s things will be inventoried, radio frequency tagged and freely traded with individuals encountered during the six month trip that circumnavigates Canada, the United States and Mexico. This project exchanges the studio for the roads, truck stops, border crossings and cities of North America.

I was intrigued by this project partly because of the sheer scale of it in comparrison to the localised objects and readers I’d been finding in other projects and by the way they describe it as a performance, reminding us that the use of tags is often about a live moment.
*North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Attention Please! Research Objectives

March 2, 2006

Projects taking place within the ITEM programme have three main goals.
These are;

  1. The development of the individual participants practice
  2. The development of tools for exhibition and exposition
  3. The enhancement of the creative use of technology.

Together Kisky and I have developed our specific project research objectives that we shall explore during the experiment. They are;

  • Can technology be used in conjunction with an art work to manipulate an audiences attention?
  • Can technology enable new forms of audience interaction with video art?
  • How can RFID be used to measure audience movement/presence?
  • How can RFID impact the representation of the presence of an audience?
  • Can (RFID) technology be used to engaged audiences in active participation in an art ‘experiment’?


March 2, 2006


The art installation “TAGGED!” aimed to raise awareness of RFID technology and to initiate the participation in the public discussion. The installation had a narrative approach in order to entertain the audience and to offer the possibility of a ‘value-free own experience’.

It consisted of a large shelf and tagged everyday objects in it. When one of the objects is placed in the central empty cubicle of the shelf, the linked information consisting of picture, movieclip, sound or music collages are being displayed on the screen above.

All objects have a common background, because they all have been stolen by the same lady, who now proudly presents her “trophies”.

RFID Video Player

March 1, 2006 is a simple program that plays videos full screen, the playback is triggered by placing an object containing a tag on the reader.
The software detects the tag and plays the video associated with it. (In the picture you can see where it was used, there was a table where some of the objects had tags that would trigger the presentations when placed on the spot where the reader was)
They used Pearl with VLC player, software was written for the SONMicro RFID readers that are really cheap and work very well.