Today I made some revisions to the Max/MSP patches that interface the rope&pulley to the computer. In preparation for the videotaping session I’m doing with Wendy tomorrow, I wanted to make sure that it was easy to switch back and forth between the different patches. When I’ve done that in the past, I’ve always run into trouble — I invariably forget to configure some part of the patch. While cleaning up the patches I found that I could structure things in a way that may make it easier to combine them should the need arise.
I have three different versions of the patch now:
- rope&pulley controls playback direction (and optionally speed) of user-selectable .wav audio samples.
- rope&pulley plays notes on a MIDI synthesizer and can adjust two user-configurable MIDI realtime controller values.
- rope&pulley scrubs a looped QuickTime movieplays. Scrubbing rate is mapped to the pulley’s rotation speed and the scaling of this value can be adjusted from the patch.
I showed Wendy the frame mount prototype. We copied some of her cell phone videos onto the frames and she encouraged me to join her in simply observing what I had made. This step, she told me, is so often overlooked or rushed. Taking the time to sit with the work you have created allows you to observe it so that the other phases of the creative process loop can take place. This brought the cycle all the way around for me. The frame prototype was a “completed” articulation of an idea that had passed through the observation phase (stemming from questions such as “what if the grid wasn’t embedded in the movies, but brought out into physical space using multiple frames’), the reflection phase (where my past ideas and construction techniques met up with the initial observations), and finally the articulation phase (where I built a physical artifact reflecting the previous two phases). With the physical artifact in front of us, we could observe again and bring the cycle around again.
After the frame was open, I started trying ideas for the mounting system in cardboard. Here are the sketches I started with:
I had in my mind that I would try to mock up a u-channel mounting system using cardboard. I visited McMaster-Carr’s website to learn more about u-channel. Suddenly, the project becomes more of an engineering project and less of a creative project. I was taking measurements and drafting things in Visio to try to get them to fit on paper before I built anything.
When I met with Wendy again, we talked about this tendency to invest to heavily too early in a process. She wanted me to try again — this time not focusing on duplicating ready-made materials in cardboard, but trying to piece something together in about two hours that will allow us to make some observations. Wendy is not even really sure what will happen when two frames are next to each other, so the quicker I can put this together, the quicker she’ll know if it is worth pursuing further.