commlab: editing footage

ann, dhruv, and i are each working on different parts of the film. i’m going through our interview clips in adobe premiere to see what’s really usable.
to do

tomorrow, we’re all meeting on the floor to put interviews, subway footage, and audio together into a rough cut to present to class on monday.

pcomp: if pcomp and mozilla x-ray goggles had a baby

it would be our pcomp midterm dream come true!

here are the mozilla x-ray goggles, a super neat interactive tool that teaches you about html and css by letting you explore how websites are structured and play around with content.

what if touchier, feelier people could also experiment with website content using dials and buttons instead of just the touchpad interface?

to see what this would be like, angela and i are taking a website, copying all of its guts into p5 using firefox developer tools, and seeing if we can control some DOM elements using the arduino.

we started with the new york times homepage, but the index.html file was so enormous that it was tough to navigate. we switched to david sassoon’s project, inside climate news, instead. i’ve stripped the index.html file to about a third of its original size in order to keep the project manageable. i’m keeping the header, main menus, cover story, and right column—ditching footer and secondary news stories.

now that that’s done, i’ve used the firefox developer tools to copy the css stylesheet into p5, erased the link to the old stylesheet, linked to the new one in index.html with this:

i’m totally positive i have lots of stuff i don’t need in the index, but i don’t know what i can safely get rid of, so i’m keeping it around for now. the p5 editor looks like this:
Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 10.42.08 PM

next steps are:

  • deciding which elements on the page we want to use potentiometers and buttons to change,
  • finding the parts of the stylesheet and index that affect those elements, and
  • writing the code to connect the analog and digital inputs to a variable that affects those elements.


using the existing index.html was a pain. i re-built a much simpler version of the site (screen shot below), and i’ve figured out how to use p5 to get one element to change.

i’m having trouble with syntax, but the dream is to be able to change the front image to an array that i can scroll through with a potentiometer.

icn remix


icm: setting up p5 project files

i’m using images from the united nations photo archive for my next p5 project.

within the archive, i searched “palestine”, sorted the results by “date ascending” to get earliest photos first, and then pulled 12 chronological images into a file.

then, i searched “israel”, sorted the results by “date ascending” to get earliest photos first, and pulled 12 chronological images into a file.

i pulled each image’s title, description, and date into an excel spreadsheet.

some images in the archive use the same title and description. sometimes i used these duplicates and sometimes i skipped images that were basically the same as previous ones.

in p5, i want to position one set of images above a slider, one set below the same slider, and have the images change as you move the slider along. i want to include each image’s title, description, and date.

at this point, i’m just setting up the files:

images from the u.n. photo archive
setting up a program that uses images from the u.n. photo archive
excel sheet setup
excel sheet setup

c. davida ingram, “i wish a motherfucker would”

c. davida ingram has been making work in seattle since 2006. jen graves describes one of her first pieces:

“Her earliest performance in Seattle was a 2006 piece called Come Hungry that involved making dinner for strangers from Craigslist. The ad she placed on Craigslist read: “Black woman willing to make your favorite meal. You bring the ingredients. I prepare. Come hungry.” These were one-on-one performances for white men done in the privacy of Ingram’s home. The interactions were “actually really human,” which is saying something, since they started from the inhuman premise of black submission to white desire.”

last year, she produced an interactive community art project called I Wish a Motherfucker Would where she invited people to the james and janie washington house in seattle’s central district, a historically black and? but? rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. the washingtons were artists and longtime community activists. someone who was at the event wrote:

“There were so many opportunities to boldly declare your wish for a better future.  Upon first arriving we were able to take a piece of cardboard and a Sharpee and write out our wishes using the phrase, “I wish a mother f—– would…”  You could then record your wish via audio and/or by posing with your sign while photographer Zorn B. Taylor snapped your photo.  It was nothing short of amazing.”

throughout the house, ingram situated sculptures—a mound of yams, piles of unprocessed cotton—and staged performances—like the dreamer in the greenhouse who you had to sing to in order to enter. all the performers and the photographer were people of color. photos and descriptions of the event depict a lush, softly lit, ritualistic space. other-worldly, but with obvious historical roots and referents.

i didn’t make it to I Wish a Motherfucker Would, but i did get to see and hear some of the artifacts from the event at a panel a few months later: audio recordings of people sharing what it felt like to like to dream, to hear and see other people dreaming, putting their dreams on paper, experiencing the environment ingram had created. for me, even the recap was powerful—an extension of the work itself.

while the project was significant on its own, it was also part of a larger constellation of work in the city instigated and/or supported by ingram, local community groups, and art institutions.

ddc: online art gallery with comments

i’ve been thinking about ideas for online communities to build. here are a few really basic sketches for one, done with


homepage 1a featured artist or gallery at the top. you can click to learn more or scroll down to see what other artists are featured on the site. with this layout, i’m not sure whether the artists below the featured one would only be up for a certain time—in which case, this space would be a kind of online exhibition space—or whether it would become a repository of artists who have been featured in the past.

homepage alternative

homepage 2i really want livestreamed or at least recorded gallery talks to be more of a thing. this layout gives space for that.




featured artist

artist pagethis would be a page for a featured piece or featured artist. gallery/artist, commenters, and art media outlets all have space on this page, but i wanted to give commenters priority. not sure if there would be an upvote system or what kind of reputation thing would be in place. maybe they’d just be heavily moderated. the intense moderation would be a problem for scaling, but maybe the community wouldn’t be big enough for it to matter?

the funding/payment model for this project is important. the point of this site, for me, would be to engage more people in conversations about art, and i wouldn’t want people who are already excluded from lots of those conversations to be excluded by a paywall or by awful commenters. things to think about.

icm: sticky nexus

i’ve been watching shiffman’s tutorials trying to get the hang of arrays and constructor functions. i was trying to make a connect-the-dots situation, but ended up with this other thing (click to start):


moma: conceptual art, walid raad, etc.

moma has so much cool stuff up right now. their documentation is much better than mine:

  • Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 is a really refreshing, not u.s.-centric show of conceptual art, which lines up well with what we’re thinking about right now in my art strategies class
  • walid raad. just listen to him talk about his piece, “pension arts in dubai”
  • picasso’s weird brain and the resulting sculptures. my favorites are his studies of absinthe glasses and stringed instruments that he made between 1912-1915. also, the anatomical sketches (photo below)

that “tabula rasa” piece reminded me of this part from the lippard reading:

tabula rasa

commlab: murch reading

i’m really enjoying these few chapters from walter murch’s blink of an eye (whole thing here).

in particular, the metaphor of footage as DNA:

“My point is that the information in the DNA can be seen as uncut film and the mysterious sequencing code as the editor. You could sit in one room with a pile of dailies and another editor could sit in the next room with exactly the same footage and both of you would make different films out of the same material.”

and also this note that more audio/video/cutting/mixing ≠ better audio/video/cutting/mixing:

“Terrible mixes have been produced from a hundred tracks. By the same token, wonderful mixes have been made from only three tracks… Frequently, it takes more work and discernment to figure out where not to cut.”

notes on lucy lippard

Six Years: Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966-1972

  • the 1960s liberation movements exploded “heroic, patriarchal mythologies”; conceptual artists were “unfettered by object status”
  • conceptual art centers the idea, uses cheap and ephemeral materials
  • Conceptual art: “acceptively open-ended” vs. Minimal art: “rejectively self-contained”
  • lippard worked in multiple mediums: writer, translator, curator
    • felt limitations of the genre of art criticism
    • “writer-collaborator with the artists”
  • 1968, Art International, ultra-conceptual art emerging in two directions internationally: art as an idea and art as an action
  • bypass traditional art dealer/gallery situation by having shows outside of galleries, united by publications that were art, not just about art
  • discussion of how semiotics academicized Conceptual works; they were “political but not populist”

To try:

  • faked and publicized a press release to a Whitney show describing demographics of who would be included, then projected work on the side of the museum, ultimately pressuring the Whitney to change who they invited to participate
  • “parasite” magazine in a “host” magazine with shared curatorial responsibilities, i.e. each contributor fills 8 pages however they want; periodicals as the art themselves.

To look up:

  • Museum of Normal Art
  • Rosario Group (Argentina)
  • Art Workers Coalition
  • Luis Camnitzer