Live Time Lapse Video

Uncategorized — jk @ 12:46 am

While a fellow at the artist residency Mildred’s Lane I documented their integration of art and life through time lapse photography. These videos are on display at the Museum of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago this Fall as part of a larger exploration of Mildred’s Lane’s philosophy.
I was fascinated with the way that time lapse photography could give meaning to mundane activities and change how we understand these activities.
In general the cleaning of Carnegie Mellon is something that happens at night. The custodians come in the middle of night and faculty and students rarely see or know the people that keep the school going. They’re taken for granted.
Time lapse photography can make these activities  beautiful while projected video can make these activities visible.
I will be creating Raspberry Pi cameras that will collect time lapse footage, which is then edited, and and projected in a highly visible location on campus.


Live Time Lapse 2

Uncategorized — jk @ 4:41 am

For the second iteration of my Live Time Lapse prototype I have independently developed four aspects of this project:

1, Camera Operation

2, Uploading Photos

3, Creating Video

4, Mobile App

I have approached this project with the premise that other people know how to do all the above better than I could; I saw my job as researching what others had done. I identified requirements for each individual aspect of my project and identified programs and related hardware that would fulfill these requirements.

1, Camera Operations:

I wanted a camera that was cheap and easily configurable with good image quality. A Raspberry Pi Coupled with a RaspiCam fulfilled these requirements. The 5 MegaPixels images are fine for time lapse and you can adjust the camera settings and there’s a lot of code already written for these cameras.  The most interesting code I found was from James Welling of fotosyn, a photo developer which has also created a variety of interesting apps. There’s a great blog post about the timelapse camera he developed and created. I used this code to initiate my time lapse sequence with the following code:

This code can be downloaded here.

2, Uploading Photos

I used an amazing piece of code called Dropbox Uploader on the Raspberry Pi to upload images to Dropbox. This piece of code took a bit to actually figure out how to use given my limited knowledge of Python, but eventually I was able to get it to work.  One instructable post really helped with this.  As well another post pointed me in the right direction towards understanding how to create a python script to add to the above mentioned raspiLapseCam script.

Here’s the code to make the Dropbox Uploader work.

This piece of the code indicates the director whose images are uploaded

This piece below indicates the directory which is created in the App portion of your Dropbox folder (which you create when installing Dropbox Uploader on your Raspberry Pi).

In addition there is another piece of code I am trying to get to use. On the Dropbox Uploader Git Hub instructions under Optional Parameters, Andrea Fabrizi (the developer) indicates that you can use the “-s” to not upload images which already exist in the Dropbox. I don’t know how to use that piece of code yet. If anyone knows, that would be great!

3, Creating Video

I identified MAXmsp/Jitter as a program I had some familiarity with, which also had a lot of documentation, and which someone had already created a “patch” for that I could use. I found this person whose name is Gian Pablo Villamil. The time lapse looping is now working, but it is not directed to the correct Dropbox folder. This should be a simple fix.

What won’t be as simple is perhaps translating this patch to Pure Data so it can work directly on a Raspberry Pi.

4, Mobile App

Raspberry Pi’s are endlessly configurable, but their user interface is terrible. It would be awesome to operate a camera and timelapse directly from a mobile app. This is something that forosyn is working on. I was able to install their BerryCam Express and get it to work from my iPhone. You can use their BerryCam app to take pictures remotely from your phone. They are also promising timelapse functionality, which would be nice.   I found their app worked really well.

The Mobile App isn’t necessary for my final project, but it is exciting to experiment with.

Here’s a video:

Piezo Sensor Prototype

Uncategorized — jk @ 12:17 am

Recently I completed a collaboration with Dakotah Konicek for the Tough Art Artist Residency at The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. In conjunction with this project, for the MTI class I attempted to make a Piezo sensor that could be used to both sense sound and activate a pump. This video documents this project, in part, as well as the Piezo microphones I built for this project and my attempt at building an amplifier that could be input into an Arduino sensor and output as sound.



Above is the final piece at The Children’s Museum.


Here’s excellent advice on building Piezo Preamps on Alex Rice’s website.

Sound Studies (Precedent Analysis)

Uncategorized — jk @ 12:05 am

Over the past couple of years I’ve become more and more interested in sound and what sound can do. It’s taken me a while to come around to sound, but the first time I really remember being struck by sound was at a noise music concert that a friend of mine put on in which, with gleeful transgression a group of punks blew away Burnside Avenue in Portland, Oregon on a Saturday afternoon. Incidentally, the orchestrator of that event has recently started a deconstructionist film blog Talking at The Movies with the tagline: “Spoiler Alert: Meaning is an Artifact of Creation.”

Three other experiences with sound include experiencing “The Forty Part Motet (A reworking of “Spem in Alium” by Thomas Tallis 1573)” by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller at The Cloisters in Manhattan.  This piece was truly transforming. You would walk around this amazing chapel which was transported from Spain and could here each individual voice on each individual speaker. It really got you to think about sound and I really believe that sound is something we have difficulty focusing on. This allowed a modern audience to focus on Thomas Tallis’ truly amazing composition.


Recently I’ve become fascinated with John Luther Adam’s compositions such as Inuksuit, which incorporate the avant-garde musical tradition of early 20th century percussion oriented composition with Stockhausen’s radical site specific “Helicopter String Quartet.” John Luther Adams, however, combines the radicalness of these gestures with truly relatable sounds such as those, in the case of Inuksuit, of the arctic. He studies these sounds and reinterprets them for orchestra, again, so we can here them again.


Composer Nico Muhly has done the same thing with the traditional folk song “Oh, The Wind and Rain.” He has essentially, deconstructed this song into separate parts and then over the course of a three part composition (one of which is in the video above) this song is rebuilt. More about this song and this composition can be found on Nico Muhly’s website.

The commonality I have found between these compositions is the way sound is used to call attention to a composition or sound that already exists that we pass over and don’t really hear.


Live Time Lapse Prototype

Project01 — jk @ 5:49 am

I am prototyping a time lapse camera and real time video feed.

I am interested in the implications of showing these real time videos in proximity to the place photographed.

I am particularly interested pursuing further prototypes with the phenomena at CMU known as the fence.

The fence is already a stage for CMU students to perform their organization in front of the school. I am interested both in capturing these performance over an entire year. I am most interested in the possibility of cultural or social feedback between the fence and the timelapse video feed. How might these photographs and video be controlled the way Jimi Hendrix controlled the feedback of his guitar?

To make this prototype I have made extensive use of the many Raspberry Pi time lapse builds out there.

These include:

Construction Time Lapse

Precedent Analysis — jk @ 4:41 am


Industry: Time lapse photography is often used by high end developers and contractors to document a project. This can be shown to future or current clients.

Two interesting commercial venues for time lapse include construction time lapse camera’s such as Brinno’s and time lapse services such as The Time-Lapse Company’s. The former caters to mid range contractors while the later targets high end developers.

The scope of projects and the subject of the projects documented using construction cameras is fascinating, however, there is little or no interaction or relationship between the time lapse video and the construction project. As well, Brinno advertises “instant video,” however, instant here indicates that every day’s photographs are automatically compiled into a video. I am interested in real time updates and compilation. This offers the possibility for interaction with the time lapse video, perhaps on a scale of time that people don’t usually interact with video cameras on.

Art: The avant-garde theater troupe, The Wooster Group, plays with the kind of back and forth between recorded and live video that I am interested in. In this section from Hamlet the actors recreate a movie of Hamlet which the have memorized every movement of. Simultaneously a camera is trained at the actors. This causes the viewer to think of memory and time and their interaction through video. With the sort of live video feed I am interested in creating, these sorts of issues would be brought up, however, the viewer would get a chance not just to observe, but to interact with the video recording.


Academia: Another aspect of live video feed time-lapse would be the possibility to interact and see the results of one’s actions over a long period of time. This is something which The Long Now organization is trying to do; they are trying to shift our temporal focus from the short, to the long term. It’s an interesting problem when so much media today is focused on increasingly short time intervals; short cuts.


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