Some Messing Around with Plate Tectonics

Averages, Graphic Geography

Just a couple of images to show what I’ve been playing around with recently. It has to do with the shapes of the major tectonic plates and their overall vectors. Interesting thing: the amount of distance that each plate moves in a year can be easily expressed, in real-life scale, in a print one can hold in one’s hand. More on that later.

One’s a colorized overlay, one’s a simple outline overlay.



Samsøn Project Chain Letter Show


I went to the opening of the Chain Letter Show at Samsøn Project at 450 Harrison in Boston yesterday. I had a piece, as did probably six other people I invited. I’m assuming the concept started with one or two emails, which told people to invite ten artists they admired, which then snowballed from there. With the power of geometric growth, I’m surprised there was only about 1000 pieces in the show, instead of 10,000, but half of my invitations got no response. I’m assuming that those people actually thought the chain email letter actually was a chain letter, and deleted it as spam. Thus, the show becomes an interesting sociological experiment in self-selection. Furthermore, there was very little instruction as to what to send to the show, so it became an additional experiment in artistic self-editing and the balance of community needs (the piece can’t be too big) with self-promotion (the piece can’t be too small).

Anyway, it was fun, and interesting, and I saw a lot of friends and acquaintances there, but the sheer amount of work was overwhelming, especially with the large crowd that assembled to see it all. I did get a few pictures, which I’m posting here.

Salon-style Hanging

Salon-style presentation at the Chain Letter Show

Lot of People

Lots and Lots of People

Basement display

And even more down in the basement

Keyboard Trace

My piece, better picture and explanation coming later.

Vectors Again–This Time Exercising Vectors!

Data Representation

I’m preparing a large store of commute vectors to get a more volumetric shape out of the scatter plot, so I haven’t been posting them until I get the whole aggregate. However, I decided to record the vectors that result when I do my morning exercises (situps, pullups, that sort of thing). Available here, on Vimeo. Screenshot below.

Calisthenics Screenshot

Still from the 3D video of my exercising vectors.

Another Vector Commute—This Time With a Bike

Data Representation

So it was abeautiful day this morning, sun shining, no clouds, breeze, just at 40 degrees—and I decided to ride my bike to get to the T. Freedom! Plus a new round of vectors. Video here. There is no video for the late commute, because the recording app stopped and I didn’t get a complete set of data.

But I do have graphs for the morning:

X Axis

X-Axis Vectors for 2 March 2011

Y Axis

Y-Axis Vectors for 2 March 2011

Z Axis

Z-Axis Vectors for 2 March 2011

Not a Commute… 23 February 2011 Press Vectors

Data Representation, Letterpress

So, I was running a big printing job at the Bow and Arrow yesterday evening, and it occurred to me that it would be interesting to see the vector space that a repetitious, stereotyped movement like loading and cranking a letterpress would reside in. Here’s the raw data, I’ll do new 3D movies presently.

Printing Vectors XX-Axis Accelerations for Running a Vandercook SP-20

Printing Vectors YY-Axis Accelerations for Running a Vandercook SP-20

Printing Vectors ZZ-Axis Accelerations for Running a Vandercook SP-20

Vector Commute 14 Feb 2011: XYZ Scatter Graphs

Commutes, Data Representation

Well, there was some delay in getting some kind of software tweak to plot the vector data as a three-axis scatter plot. However, I’ve finally gotten something worked out. 3D graphs work best with video, because the time dimension replaces the Z dimension that is lacking on a computer screen.

The morning and evening commutes are separated for now, but I’ll probably amalgamate the data to see what the whole envelope of forces looks like. Note that the shapes described by the data sets are similar, but different. Once again, I’m kinda stoked.

The morning commute, available at Vimeo.

The evening commute, also available at Vimeo.

Vector Commute 14 February 2011

Commutes, Data Representation

This new accelerometer recording system is quite interesting. I had to tweak the protocol a bit, because A) the phone would go to sleep during the recording, which stops the flow of data B) I had to figure out how to position the phone near my center of gravity, to leave out extraneous motions like the swinging of my jacket or pants pocket and C) how to do all this without looking like a total retard. Anyway, Valentine’s Day saw the best recording yet. (I didn’t bother processing the earlier, incomplete data sets.) Here are single-dimension graphs, showing the main axes. There are XYZ graphs for the morning and the evening:

Notice the smoother areas where I’m riding the subway. When I’m walking, my body is undergoing a constant push-and-pull against gravity, basically bouncing up then lurching down with each step, which creates the spiky waveform. Also, notice that the Y-axis acceleration tends to drift to -10 m/s^2. That’s because the phone was upside-down, and the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity is 9.8 m/s^2. Excuse me while I geek out a little on that.

I’m working on an easier way to produce 3D graphs of the data in scatterplot, so I’ll post those tomorrow.

A New Concept In Commute Recording: 11 Feb 2011

Commutes, Data Representation

So, since my camera died, I can’t do composite imagery of my morning commutes. However, through the wonder of modern cellphone technology, I can record the readings of the accelerometer on my phone and manipulate them with my computer. This means that every shock, every step, and every twist I do while commuting will be recorded in units of meters per second squared, every tenth of a second, along three independent axes. Fun! Geeky! Available in graph form!

This is a 3D graph, with each point consisting of the accelerations acting upon my center of gravity on that particular time. However, this is not a time graph, where there is a continuous path drawn out by a single point. These are vectors readings clustering within the envelope of forces I am usually presented with. The points are connected in time by colored lines, but the readings will bounce back and forth until they create mostly a 3D shape, with no true time narrative easily discernable. I will post different images that will present the data in different ways, some of which will contain a narrative.

Anyway, the video is here. And here’s a still from that movie:

Vector Set 11 Feb 2011