Found Generative Art: Mac Launchpad Acting Up

Mac Launchpad acting up

This happened a few months ago and I have no idea what caused it, but one day my Mac’s Launchpad – you know, the hidden application launcher that makes your Mac look more like an iPhone – freaked out. The result was actually rather pretty. That’s it above, along with a picture below of what’s it’s basically supposed to look like. I consider it an example of found generative art (if there is such a thing.) Now I just have to figure out a way to do this kind of thing on purpose.

Bart's Launch Pad 1

Dance Loops accepted at UCUR, SoTE, and NCUR!


I mentioned in the last post that I had sent proposals from the Dance Loops project off to a few conferences, such as the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research. We got accepted at both (!) and even at another one as an added bonus: UVU‘s Scholarship of Teaching and Engagement Conference (SoTE)!

And so we have three performances scheduled:

  • UCUR on 28 February 2014
  • SoTE on 28 March 2014
  • NCUR on 03-05 April 2014

“Debauched Kinesthesia” and “Dance Loops” Let Loose (Sort of)

Well, I’ve sent out conference applications for Dance Loops… finally. I’ve added a couple of extremely amateurish videos as vaguely supportive material. Mostly, they both just show that it’s possible to use the Kinect and Jitter to do some video recording and effects. I’d much rather have actual demonstration videos with the looping in place but, well, that takes more time and we’re still working on things. The first application is for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), which will meet at the University of Kentucky in April of 2014. That application uses the very exciting title of “Dance Loops: A Dance Performance with Live, Interactive Video Looping.” (At least it’s self-descriptive.) Here’s the video:

The other application is for ISEA2014, the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art, which meets in Dubai (!) in November of 2014. That one gets a much more interesting title: “Debauched Kinesthesia: The Proprioceptive Remix.” Woo hoo! By the way, “debauched kinesthesia” has nothing to do with debauchery. Rather, it’s a term from the Alexander Technique, which my wife Jacque Bell teaches, that refers to the disconnect that many people have between what they think their body is doing and what it actually is doing. And “proprioceptive” because that refers to the sense of where your own body is and what it’s doing, and “remix” because the dancers will be able to rearrange and replay videos of their own dancing while they themselves are dancing. Very exciting! Anyhow, here’s the not-very-helpful video that accompanied that application:

So, we’ll see what happens. It may be that I get to travel across the country with a few students in April, and maybe even around the world later that year. I’ll let you know what happens!

Fun with Splines

I did these a little while ago in Processing but I love them. It’s just a grid of circles and splines that connect the centers at random. (These are Catmull-Rom splines, to be precise. They’re the same thing that I used for the projections in “Hello World.”) By clicking the arrow keys you can add more circles or more splines. If you want, you can download the Processing .PDE file here.

F# Minor: Brought to You by Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy and Randy

It turns out that “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne is in F# minor. What?! (See Ozzy and his hardworking guitarist Randy Rhoads above). Here it is confirmed on  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about F# minor:

Very few symphonies are written in this key, Haydn’s Farewell Symphony being one famous example. George Frederick Bristow and Dora Pejačević also wrote symphonies in this key.

The few concerti written in this key are usually premiere concerti written for the composer himself to play, including Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Scriabin’s Piano Concerto, Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Vieuxtemps’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and Koussevitzky’s Double Bass Concerto.

In addition to the Farewell Symphony, Haydn’s Piano Trio No. 40 (Hob. XV:26) and String Quartet Op. 50, No. 4 are in F-sharp minor.

Mozart’s only composition in this key is the second movement to his Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.

And, of course, Crazy Train.

Below are two video renditions.

Peter and the Starcatcher

The Black Stache 2

On our way down to California for a few weeks, we stopped in Cedar City, Utah, for the super-fabulous Utah Shakespeare Festival. (It really is fabulous: a few years ago they received the “Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.” Then, more recently, the founding director, Fred Adams, received the “Burbage Award for lifetime service to the international Shakespearean theatre community” – quite a mouthful.)

While we were there we saw Love’s Labour’s Lost, which was lovely, but their production of Peter and the Starcatcher completely stole the show. It was possibly the funniest show I’ve ever seen, with a standout performance by Quinn Mattfeld as The Black Stache (i.e., He-who-will-later-be-known-as-Captain-Hook; as shown above). Here’s a review of the festival’s production in the Salt Lake Tribune and the official trailer below. If you like in Utah, the production runs until mid-October and absolutely justifies the 250 mile drive to Cedar City. Here the link for tickets.