Saturday, December 26, 2009

DIY for the Holidays

Hanukkah and Christmas 2009 have come and gone.  But it's still not too late to get craftsy for the holidays, especially with Kuumba, Kwanzaa's day of creativity, fast approaching.  And we're not talking scarf-knitting/cookie-baking either.  In the spirit of this blog we present a couple of do-it-yourself, technology-art, gift giving ideas.

LittleBits by Ayah Bdeir allows you to create complex electronic structures with little engineering knowledge.

Not much of a hardware person?  Arcs 21 by Lia is one of many apps available which provides tools to create visual (or sound) art right on the iPhone/Pod.

So have fun, be creative, send to printer (There's an app for that!) and give to friends and family.

Happy Holidays!  Beyond the Silicon will be back in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Magic Wave by Reuben Margolin is a kinetic installation emulating the characteristics of one of nature’s most recurring forms. The fluid motion of the work is deceptively simple as it takes a system of 3000 pulleys, 9 motors and 5 kilometers of steel cable to operate it.

This video is from the Wave’s debut at the Technorama - The Swiss Science Center in 2008

Here’s a daytime view of the piece minus fancy lighting and music.

Check out this interview with Margolin and learn about the mechanics of the Magic Wave.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Reflection

For those of us who are not experiencing the Decode exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in person, one absolutely stunning group of images is from Mirror, Mirror by Jason Bruges.

Click here to view full size and see more images on Bruges's site.

The interactive designer reflects on his work, his collaborators, and even gives advice in this 2007 video.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Decode Recode

Last week Decode:  Digital Design Sensations opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  The exhibition will run through April 11, 2010.  In collaboration with onedotzero, Decode showcases developments in digital and interactive design, featuring existing works and works commissioned for this exhibition.

Not near London?  Can't come up with airfare?  No worries -- you can participate, too.  As part of this major event, V&A commissioned Karsten Schmidt to design a digital identity for Decode.  Artists, hackers, designers, all are invited to recode Karsten's work to create a new work.  Novice coders, you're invited, too, because Karsten has also come up with a nifty graphical user interface.  Winner gets the work shown in the London Underground, and your creation could even becomes the new Decode identity!  More info is here.  A taste of your competition is below.

From Lia

From Chris Jefford

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vinyl Workout

At the dawn of the hip hop era I remember early mix masters spinning LPs behind their backs and with their elbows when they wanted to show off.

Vinyl Workout by Theo Watson goes where no DJ has gone before. A giant record is projected on the floor. By running around it’s surface you can control the record’s speed and direction of play. Speed it up, slow it down or reverse it. It’s all in the feet.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Terrarium, created by Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille, is an interactive ecosystem powered by sound.  Plants with no need for direct sunlight. Pets you don’t have to feed. A little daily chatter and you’re done. I’m loving the low maintenance.

For stills and more details on how the piece functions click here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pattern Dectector

We fondly remember last year's "Design and the Elastic Mind" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  One stunning visualization (of many) was Flight Patterns by Aaron Koblin.  Below is a video by Mark Webster on  Artist/Designer/Researcher Koblin.

Many have seen the Flight Patterns video featured awhile ago on YouTube.  Here is a newer Flight Patterns, this time in color.  To view in HD on the artist's site, click here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Physical v. Virtual

Andrew Huang is an animator and a director.  He makes commercials and music videos.  And he creates art.  Projections is a "series of works focusing on the fusion between physical and virtual forms...."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Inflated Fauna

Animated plastic creatures have been appearing unexpectedly on the streets of New York. No, these are not escapees from the Thanksgiving Day Parade. These air-filled beasts are the creations of Joshua Allen Harris.

Check out this New York Magazine profile of the artist and his work. Watch as the natives of the concrete jungle get up close and personal.

Here’s a look at Harris’ latest installation, silverwall. No simulated creatures this time but definitely worth the view.