Ubik – collages

A set of 14 collages based on  based on snippets of text from Philip K. Dick’s 1969 sci-fi novel Ubik. These were created some time ago, but recently photographed and processed through Instagram.

View the full Flickr set here.

In 1974, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin commissioned Dick to write a screenplay for a Ubik film. Dick completed the screenplay, turning it in within a month, but Gorin never filmed the project. The screenplay was published as Ubik: The Screenplay in 1985. According to the foreword of Ubik: The Screenplay (by Tim Powers, a friend of Dick’s and fellow science fiction writer), Dick had an idea for the film which involved “the film itself appearing to undergo a series of reversions: to black-and-white, then to the awkward jerkiness of very early movies, then to a crookedly jammed frame which proceeds to blacken, bubble and melt away, leaving only the white glare of the projection bulb, which in turn deteriorates to leave the theater in darkness, and might almost leave the moviegoer wondering what sort of dilapidated, antique jalopy he’ll find his car-keys fitting when he goes outside”.


Circuit building

Received some very short USB cables today, to connect the powerbanks to the Nanos.

Mike Ladd – Seaweed

Found this lovely audio piece (and video) while researching into memory and sound. It’s mentioned in The Memory of Sound: Preserving the Sonic Past By Seán Street.

Mike Ladd (born 1959) is an Australian poet and radio presenter.

[Another of Ladd’s works from the same series was entitled] Seaweed, [and] grew out of a chance find of a length of audio-cassette tape on a beach:
“I discovered the tape had songs recorded from the radio and children’s voices on it, and I produced the work by multi-tracking these stretched and backwards sounds and voices. Seaweed began an ongoing interest in the physical decay of audio-tape—perhaps reflecting the way sound always decays into silence, and that memory can also fade.”

Refining the Space Rock shapes

First refined version of shape 4. The outer shell has been sanded ready to be cast (as a test). And some test prints in PLA of the inner part that holds the power bank and circuit board. The first version of this is not deep enough and the screw holes are a little too close to the edge of the print.

Some musical inspiration 19/07/18

Iván Paz
Visions of Space

Iván Paz is another artist who makes extensive use of live coding, yet the Mexican composer’s unsettling Visions of Space from May is also inspired by techniques employed in AI research. The album’s droning yet often harsh electronic soundscapes were put together using musical algorithms whose parameters Paz varies sequentially through time, in much the same way that the parameters controlling an artificial intelligence are altered by the process of learning. Yes, this is all too abstract to express sufficiently in a single paragraph, but the unnerving, sinister power of the dystopian title track alone is enough to prove it’s an effective method.

From this Bandcamp article – Meet the Artists Using Coding, AI, and Machine Language to Make Music


Research development workshop 18/07/18 – notes

Sun Ra - Space Is The Place record sleeve artwork
Sun Ra – Space Is The Place record sleeve artwork

Some notes from today’s research development workshop, helping to define and refine the research question for my final dissertation:

Abstract (describing my practice):
My practice explores the archeology of non-existent or imaginary worlds through interaction, immersion and communication using the universal languages of sound and light. The context to this work is to explore current human society and how we view our future through the imaginary worlds and narratives we create as projection or escape.

The research will focus on the science fiction genre, but also look the work of practitioners such as Forensic Architecture, who present immersive visual work in political and legal forums, truth commissions, courts, and human rights reports to give a real-world context.

What is the aim of the practice?

Explore current human society, and how we view our future, through imaginary worlds and narratives, using immersion and alternative ‘reality’. This will be achieved through a collection of hand-held interactive objects that generate sound and light signals and are networked to communicate both with each other, and with the viewer when handled or played with.

Key terms and definitions:
  • archaeology
    the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
  • immersive
    providing, involving, or characterized by deep absorption or immersion in something (such as an activity or a real or artificial environment)
  • communication
    the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.
  • narrative
    a representation of a particular situation or process in such a way as to reflect or conform to an overarching set of aims or values.
  • imaginary
    the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.
  • interaction (design)
    reciprocal action or influence.
    (Physics) a particular way in which matter, fields, and atomic and subatomic particles affect one another
  • science fiction
    fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.
  • Alien:
    a person who has been estranged or excluded.
    a creature from outer space.
  • Extraterrestrial
    of or from outside the earth or its atmosphere
    a hypothetical or fictional being from outer space.
  • Human
    of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people
    of or relating to the social aspect of people

Glow-in-the-dark Space Rocks

Small (45mm) 3D printed Space Rocks, that glow in the dark.