Flap to Freedom

Battery hens flap to help battery hens in the Flap to Freedom installation that Chris O’Shea and Icodesign created for the V&A Village Fete to support freedom for farmed chickens.

Contestants flap their arms and their chicken moves in sync. Quickest flapper wins the highest place on the pecking order. More over at the Icodesign site.


There are also Flickr sets showing the build process and the chickens in action.

Chris has also posted more details about the Flap to Freedom project as well as a bit of technical how-it-was-done.

For someone like me who is always interested in getting people to act playfully (dare I say stupidly) via interactivity, this is pretty hard to beat. They’re so into the activity, they take the technical ‘magic’ for granted, which is how it should be. I especially like the way the music eggs them on (sorry).

Bet you that music sticks in your head for the rest of the day too.

(NOTE/UPDATE: I thought I’d posted this whole thing before, but it was on draft for some reason, so I’ve combined the two posts).

Coffee Infographics


It’s pretty hard to find a decent cup of coffee sometimes here in Germany. It’s one of the things I miss from Australia. And forget any of your Starbucks or CafĂ© Nero junk, that’s not decent coffee however much wank they write about the perfect cup in their stores.

Fortunately Lokesh has developed a lovely set of coffee infographics so that you no longer need explain.

I like the graphics, but the macchiato one isn’t quite correct. It should just be a spot of milk foam. The 300+ comments just go to show how particular people are about the way they like to prepare their drugs coffee.

I just drink an Espresso. Easy.

(Thanks Ben for the link).

New Tracker for OpenFrameworks on its way


Seth Sandler, one of the students that snagged a Google Summer of Code place at the Natural User Interface Group, is developing a port of NUI’s multi-touch tracker, touchlib, over to openframeworks (which will mean you won’t have to feed it all the data viaTUIO through OSC.

I haven’t had a chance to really play around with OF much yet, but I keep seeing a lot of nice work that does.

Perhaps you guys can let the rest of us know whether Seth’s port will be a time-saver?

Omnium. The Conversation on Notes on Design

Notes On Design invited Rick Bennett and I to talk about our experiences of long-distance and global online creative collaboration within the Omnium Research Group. We suggested that some of the more interesting conversations we have had have been over a couple of beers in informal settings, so we decided to have a public conversation and publish it online.

You can read the first part of The Conversation over at the Notes On Design blog. In it we talk a bit about our first experiences and thoughts about online collaboration from ten years ago (hard to believe it’s been that long) in the context of what now seems commonplace: social networks and online communities.

The second part, concerning emerging cultural trends and Omnium’s outreach projects follows soon – I’ll post an update here when it’s up.

UPDATE: The second part is now online.

Time Smear Download

Time Smear Long Punch

Photo by Greg Turner

Whilst writing up my Time Sketches work I realised I never put it up for download anywhere.

Now I have and you can download an OS X version of Time Smear and play with it in the comfort of your very own home. If you want to change the settings, use the top three rows of keys on your keyboard (i.e., 1-9, QWERTY… and ASDF…). There are no other instructions, it might break, it might not work at all and the only way to save an image is to make a screenshot (the piece was all about the interaction not the image really. Just play around and see.

I haven’t made a PC version because I don’t have a licence for the Windows version of the Xtra it uses. Someday (read: probably never) I might do a Processing version of it.