EA Phase 2

Now that the MA is over, and the machine is on exhibit alongside a few towers and some informative posters, it is a very good time to summarise whats happened, and what I intend to happen next.

In the last two years (Sept ’11 – Sept ’13) I’ve created a project that seems to encompass the things I find most interesting to think about and to work with. Primarily it involves programming something that resembles an emotional personality, building a mechanical device, and exploring mud as a medium with which to build a structure. It also uses the growth of live seeds to enhance the development of the structure, and smell and colour to communicate how the psychology is feeling. The EA is continuously filtering sensor and online data upon which is bases its reactions.

The next phase is really all about advancing what has already been begun. The psychology programming (and data visualisation) needs to connect to sensors and online data, and be processed in a meaningful way. The mechanical structure needs to evolve in a way that makes it possible to produce actual towers without fuss – probably by using wax so that I can experiment with the physical computing part of the project quickly. And several experiments need doing to explore and develop the role of the seeds (and other life?) and their growth in the final structure – probably a timelapse set up will be needed to record this efficiently.

So, to summarise with a list:

  • Experiments exploring how root structures influence substrate ageing. Also with an eye to creating structures that are not 100% vertical but which are able to lean like tree branches because of the internal strength that intertwined roots create.
  • A time lapse set up that can be easily turned on / off to record root and tower growth experiments
  • An arduino controlled pulley powered telescopic pole mechanism
  • A copper tube plunger that heats and deposits wax instead of a soil substrate – this could be no more than 1 foot tall and could also lead to a mini show of several of these structures
  • A version of the exhibition software that receives its data from a simple sensor setup

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