AAA conference in D.C.

MappingBaybrook.org is presenting December 7 at the American Anthropology Annual conference in Washington, D.C.  This project is in collaboration with Dr. Nicole King from UMBC.  The panel is made up of the following, (AAA), Dr. King, Michelle Stefano, Bill Shewbridge, Deborah Rudacille (from UMBC) also includes Christine J Walley (MIT),  and Matthew S Durington (Towson University).

We also presented at the Montreal Conference, that was organized by Dr. Steven High, Canada Research Chair in Public History, Concordia U. He is also involved with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling

Check out the Orser Center for the study of Place, Community & Culture.

Last standing home_artifacts post demolition
Lost Places: Fairfield, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA. Stephen Bradley & Nicole King. Artifacts from the demolished or as the industry says “scrubbed” landscape.
fairfield_gridDemolition-sm
Photographs taken on the Fairfiled Drake house after the house was scrubbed documenting the residue of the demolition.
polishHouseView003
The Polish Home Hall is behind me.

Neighborhood reflecting the structure of the coal piers in the valley.

MB_BaybrookSparrowsPoint
Screen shot from mappingbaybrook.org  illustrating the orientation of Baybrook to Sparrows Point, which closed recently.

Sketches: Singing Bowl

Much of my artist residency time at CAC has been to set up mixed purpose studio that with an electronics hacking emphasis where I am working on a number of trans-media artworks.  The following drawings are for an idea about a sound object controlled by motion, began in late August 2014.  I hope to have a working prototype by mid-January 2015.  The object could be installed in different contexts including live performance settings. Many of the technical solutions have been gleaned at instructables.com — a super helpful resource. Another resource that I have used is the MAKE folks.  General thanks for the open INTERNET.

003_sketchWalG-Pano1
Concept drawings for the Singing Bowl.
Left hand are notes from working out the sensitivity of the ultrasonic sensor area.  This interacts with Arduino that ultimately controls three solenoids that tap different rhythmic patterns on the side of a bronze bowl depending on the location of my body to the bowl. Lower right hand side is an idea sketch for an interactive object that has 3 solenoids and 3 size bowls, thus different pitches.

002_sketchWAlanG
Fleshing out the rhythmic pattern using musical notation references. The cone area represents three bands of interaction depending on the location of the performer. My programer collaborator Alan Glover has been programing the Arduino to perform these patterns based on the presence of a warm body.  We worked at the Baltimore NODE, which is a very supportive environment for novelty tinkers and the more serious inventor types.  The B.NODE is a friendly place to learn how to make and realize ideas.

003_sketchWAalG

This is a rough sketch of what the final object will look like.  The bottom area contains the hardware.  The middle portion is still in progress being developed as a 3d object that is sliced using CCBC’s FabLab‘s ShopBot CNC router– a powerful power tool.  Singing bowl is at the top with 3 solenoids and Ikea kitchen object used as a pedestal for the bowl and other hardware.

Virtual performance

2 year old, Leo and I performed last week over SKYPE- it was 8PM in Valencia, Spain and 2PM in Baltimore, MD. We are teaching one another Spanish and English besides learning to virtually play together.

IMG_20141123_202713

Leo’s father, Diego took the cell phone photo, mother Clara on the right.
Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 2.33.59 PM

Sparrows Point Terminal event

November 24, 2014
Today, I had the privilege to attend and witness the closing of a period of Sparrows Point history with my colleague from CAC, Mary Manning, technical director.

SPTEvent_Pano1-smWeb

Here is an image that gives the Sparrows Point star scale.
SPTEvent_Pano2-smWeb

The men at the base of the star are SP steel workers, one on the left is Lester Foster, whose card he gave me lists him as a “minuteman” with the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was with the company for over 45 years. His friend on the right worked with him for a number of years. He was eager to tell me his story about the time he spent in the bowels of the simmering furnace.

A cake to celebrate changes in the Sparrows Point community.
_DSC1172-cake

The star in the photograph was located on the left side of the building in the Google map. As of 112414 no one knows where the icon will end up living. More information about the Sparrows Point backstory can be found here, Mill Stories produced by colleagues, Bill Shewbridge and Michelle Stefano. We worked together in collaboration with the Marc Steiner Show May 7, 2014 that resulted in five short radio programs that involved four classes supported by the BreakingGround initiative from UMBC.

Program from the event:

programCover

programInsided

John Thomson, Scottish ethno-photographer reference

More will follow as I learn about the backstory for this particular photographic reference.   Yesterday I discovered this character in a small market place about 1 mile from the hotel.  The older sepia photograph is by John Thomson Irish, approximately 1870 and the color one is mine from yesterday.  This references early and contemporary peep shows.
JThomson-SBradleyJohn Thomson (14 June 1837 – 29 September 1921)was a pioneering Scottish photographergeographer and traveller. He was one of the first photographers to travel to the Far East, documenting the people, landscapes and artifacts of eastern cultures. Upon returning home, his work among the street people ofLondon cemented his reputation, and is regarded as a classic instance of social documentary which laid the foundations for photojournalism. He went on to become a portrait photographer of High Society in Mayfair, gaining the Royal Warrant in 1881. [Wikipedia reference] I rephotographed Thomson’s work through the Special Collections at UMBC, USA. 

 

Shanghai & Xiamen media resources

My friend, Saoirse Higgins turned me on to the following resources in Shanghai.
hackspace:
http://xinchejian.com/
M50:
http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/venue/Galleries/918/M50.html
bazaar compatible:
http://w1d3cl183.1mm3d1at3.org/en/projets.html
K11:
http://www.shanghaik11.com/k11web/

Not here in China, but the UK is this resources;
Digital Media Labs
http://www.digitalmedialabs.org/

Last night, July 5 we visited MASSBOT, which is located about a mile and a half from our hotel. Pretty amazing place where the artists have hacked the location architecturally, culturally and psychically- carving out a unique creative space for expression.  Here are a couple of photographs from last night.

_DSC3487-massbox _DSC3503-massbox

_DSC3490-massbox
This couple served us tea for almost 40 minutes non-stop.  We did not know one another’s language, but communicated through the ritual of tea drinking.  We did use an iPhone app for translation, to say good bye and to also thank for them for their generosity and warmth.

_DSC3497-massbox

I don’t know much about how it works, but this is what I found on line. MASSBOT.

Arrival, adjusting, learning – first week

My arrival to Xiamen from Beijing was intense due to a thunder storm that we arrived into.  My connector flight from Beijing to Xiamen was delayed for well over 2 hours putting me in Xiamen around 2:30 AM Wed, July 2 — despite my rough arrival I was have had a mild case of jet lag.  The whole trip took a little over 24 hours from Baltimore BWI Airport.

_DSC3084-hotelwindowHere is a view of Xiamen from the hotel where I am staying at the moment.  Believe it or not, I am staying at a very nice place called the Armed Police Sanatorium – a place next to where police are trained for service.  The hotel rents out space when there are rooms available, which are reasonable.  Xiamen University is a 10 minute walk from the hotel.  Early this morning I did some field recordings just under the trees in the foreground of cicadas that I will post sounds from shortly along with some photographs of the beautifully sounding creatures. 

Thinking about place

Next week I will be arriving to Xiamen University, City and Gulangyu Island to begin a sound art workshop and a place based research project that will look to the resident memory in contrast to the authorized historical; i.e., beginning with the personal photo albums, cultural archives, and listening to the stories surrounding the artifacts. Listening (and looking) is much more interesting than talking.

In the map above, you can see that Xiamen City is surrounded by water, sprinkled with small ponds, lakes and canals. [NOTE: regarding the points on the Google Map.  Seems that the landsat imagery is more accurate than the drawn map so for purposes of accuracy, I turned on the satellite information instead of the road map. This is a bit frustrating, that these two versions are not accurate.]  Over the next two weeks I will map the sounds underwater and juxtapose them to sounds above, linking them  geographically to the built environment.   Most important are the relationships to the natural sounds to human noise.  What does noise tell us about a place?  Does this impact how we interact in a city street, a park, a neighborhood or in private space?

Most interesting to me are the smaller sounds that are often invisible or inaudible, or unnoticed.  Below the surface of the water and above around the same general area can often sound different, revealing unique physical characteristics. Below are two audio recording examples from above and below the surface of a body of water.

Above the ground located in a storm drain and pond located in Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Trumpet(s) by art-radio

Underwater in the Blue Lagoon, in south east of Reykjavik, Iceland

…more to hear and see.