snippets and thoughts

December 23rd, 2014
Workshopping brainwaves

Second year in the row that I’ve held a workshop at FH Joanneum’s Communication, Media, Sound and Interaction Design program themed around brainwave sensors.

Meanwhile I’ve amassed three BCI devices: my original ZEO sleep sensor, a Myndplay BrainBandXL headband, and the 4-channel sensor Muse. To jumpstart students prototyping with the sensors and avoid extra driver installs, I run the sensors off my laptop and distribute the data via OSC to everyone on the same local network.

Software tools to read the brainwave sensors, broadcast and receive their data are collected in the github repository: eegOSCworkshop

Tagged , , |

September 25th, 2014
Lightning Sensing

Browsing Tindie I stumbled into the awesomeness that is this lightning sensor breakout board by Tautic Electronics, which is build around the AS3935 Lightning Sensor IC by austria microsystems. Which fit in perfectly with my recent interest in electromagnetics, and the always present wish to touch more bare electronics.

The board is sensitive RF receiver – coupled with a proprietary algorithm – able to detect the specific radio frequency emissions generated by lightning activity. The algorithms on the chip distinguish real lightning strikes from from man-made electromagnetic “disturbers” and can calculate the energy and distance of strikes over a 1–40km range.

I’ve documented all my experiences with the sensor so far (how to calibrate, antenna tuning, what man-made disturbers are detected, etc.) on my github repository ThunderAndLightning.

Sadly, there haven’t been many thunderstorms yet, which made it hard to test and calibrate the sensor. So far, this has turned more into a study of man-made disturbers than natural lightning strikes. Which obviously is equally interesting, though I am definitely looking forward to a stormier spring season.

Tagged , , |

September 24th, 2014
HKL•••XYZ at IUCr 2014

Prototype presentation of Daniel’s Xray-crystallography project at the International Union of Crystallography congress (August 2014) at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. We had a setup to demo a kinect-tracked real space and oculus rift-enabled reciprocal space.

More info on the project can be found at

Tagged , , |

August 17th, 2014

After years of coding sloppy and one-project-at-a-time minded, I am starting to see the value of modular reusable code. Also, I started to get embarrassed by using my github account solely for personal archiving instead of it’s intended purpose: to put open-source-worthy code online. So, while wrapping some C++ code to draw contour maps of electron density data for HKL•••XYZ, I made the extra effort to package it into my first openFrameworks addon: ofxContourPlot.

It is basically a wrapper/adaptation of Jonathan de Halleux’s contour-plotting c++ code (A C++ implementation of an improved contour plotting algorithm) which is based on Michael Joseph Aramini’s thesis Implementation of an improved Contour Plotting Algorithm. It draws contour map outlines based on data coming from a mathematical function (not an image).

I basically just wrapped someone else’s code but it felt like a good first baby step in the right direction. :)

April 13th, 2013
La Figure de la Terre premiere

I created audio-reactive generative visual software for Mia Mäkelä to be used for the contemporary Finnish opera La Figure de la Terre which will premiere tonight (April 13th) at the Sophiensaele in Berlin. The software consists of several custom Max/MSP Java externals and a GUI interface. I’ll post more documentation at a later state.

Two journeys, two strangers: the French scientist Maupertuis travels to Lappland to determine the shape of the earth. He meets Christine Planström, a young woman from the northern wilderness, who accompanies him back to the sophisticated world of the Parisian salons after his research. The two Finn’s, Miika Hyytiäinen and Jaakko Nousiainen, musical theater piece examines the concepts of foreigness, identity and survival. The piece interprets Baroque quotations using contemporary music sources. Singers, a cembalo and a Baroque trio interact with echoes, sounds and noises. The show will be accompanied by a real-time generated video performance.

DIRECTION Jaakko Nousiainen
COMPOSITION Miika Hyytiäinen

APRIL 2013, 13 14 18 19 20

Video by Axel Lambrette

Tagged , , , , |

December 1st, 2012
Generation Generativ in .Centmagazine

I was invited to contribute to the Live Issue of .Cent Magazine, for their feature on generative art. The other featured artists are Tim Knowles – known for his tree drawing series – and Michael Hansmeyer – known for computational architecture (TED Talk: Building unimaginable shapes).

.Cent Magazine is a free private members club and all you need to do to join is signup here.

A Generative Approach to Sound
My Contribution introduces my approach to generative art and focuses on projects that deal with sound:

My work is driven by a fascination for the hidden mechanism that govern our physical and mental worlds. Generative art is my way of trying to understand these rules and forces, by recreating and manipulating them in simplified computational models. Sound – as one of the most basic of concepts – is an intriguing topic as our minds hide the world of particle physics from us and solely present us with higher-level interpretations of sensory inputs. To give form to the usually invisible phenomena, i translate audio pressure waves into the visual domain. ‘KitesFight’ and ‘M’ use the high resolution and granular qualities of analog sound as driving force for otherwise closed computational systems to generate visuals. ‘Liquid Sound Collisions’ is a thought experiment that questions the materiality of audio waves by sending two sounds in battle and having their interpreted waves collide and interfere with each other. A frozen snapshot of that collision – materialized through 3D printing – further hints at the paradox of the nonexistence of sound when the world is on pause. ‘Circuit Explorations’ uses our brains auditory pattern recognition system in it’s exploratory search for newly created complex systems.

Tagged , , , |

November 12th, 2011
Generative Art in Moscow

Generative art
Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art

Sept. 22nd – Oct. 30th 2011

My Liquid Sound Collisions took part in this showcase of generative art featuring a very impressive list of artists:

Tom Beddard
Marcin Ignac
Leonardo Solaas
David Wicks
Eno Henze
Marius Watz
Kim Asendorf
Alexander Lysov

Curator: Alexander Lysov
Co-curator: Timofey Caraffa-Corbut

Sponsors:, 25 Kadr Gallery

Generative Art
Generative art can be defined as an art practice in which the artist is using the systems, – a set of rules presented by natural language, computer program, machine, or other processing invention, which are set in motion with certain level of autonomy, and contribute to the creation of an artwork or create it completely by itself. The system is a set of interrelated elements separate from the environment and interacting with it as a whole.
The key property of generative art is usage of the systems in one form or another. These systems can be ordered as well as unordered, chaotic. The complexity theory and information theory assume that ordered and unordered systems are quite simple, and complex systems develop both properties or order and disorder at the same time. Thus, the relation of order and randomness can be the starting point for classifying the systems used in the generative art, and the basis for understanding the generative art itself.

Alexander Lysov

Generative Art on

Here you can see some photos and video of the show.

Plus, now i know how my name looks written in the Russian Alphabet: Ева Шиндлинг !

All images ©

Tagged , , , |

October 2nd, 2011
Collecting dreams at Nuit Blanche

I am on the bus back to Montreal. Yesterday we exhibited White Loop at the Nuit Blanche in Toronto. My backpack contains a plastic bag filled with many handwritten dream submission on paper slips. This being my first Nuit Blanche in Toronto i was surprised at the large of amount of people who go out and experience art for one night, and at the large amount of people who were more than eager to participate in our installation by leaving us notes about their own dreams. The collection process over the website has been painfully slow in comparison.

The mixed audio installation was presented in the back of a rented cube truck. All along Queen Street W. in the Parkdale neighborhood, several of these trucks were parked and exhibited performative, installation and interactive media art projects. It all ran under the initiative Leitmotif.

Having to go collect the truck and then drive it all over town (that is not your own) – collecting various installation equipment (plinth, speakers, amplifier, etc.) – was a bit of a challenge. Luckily Mara managed the big truck easily, and we arrived at the installation site unharmed. Setting up the installation basically required large amounts of white duct tape (a shout-out here to my other recent adventures with duct tape). Thanks to volunteer Danny we managed to wire, tape, cover and install everything in a decent time before the big opening of the Nuit Blanche at 7pm.

The installation consisted of 4 100-Watts speakers positioned at the corners of the cubic space. A 3-minute soundfile looped continuously over the whole night. The sound file was the meshed down result of playing 100 recordings – of people telling us their dreams – at the same time. It was still possible to tell that the audio came from the sound of voices, yet it was impossible to pick up individual spoken words. The sound was a murmuring waterfall of white noise, similar to what a big cafeteria sounds like.

We invited people to submerge themselves into the sound, and let their subconsciousness pick up content from the 100 dreams, that hopefully would re-emerge within their own dreams at night.

Additionally we supplied paper and pens and asked people to submit new dreams for our collection. Even with elimination of the wrong sort of dreams (“I want to become a more loving and understanding person!”) we got an impressive amount of submissions. People even enjoyed browsing previous submissions before leaving their own.

Needless to say, it got rather cold at some point during the night. We managed to hold out until 4am, but then we had to flee the scene towards hot showers and warm beds.

Toronto – it was lovely, thank you for your participation in our little project! See you soon!

White Loop on Facebook

[photo credit: Danielle O'Hanley]

Tagged , , , , , , , , |