Testing Internet Speeds

AT&T tells me you can’t trust sites that test your internet speed. When I had a tech out for repairs today, I was able to ask him for live stats to compare to a few web services. This one matched the AT&T test almost exactly.


My colleague Greg Corness at Columbia College just turned me on to Defamiliarization, or the presentation of common things in an unfamiliar way. This leads to reevaluation of assumptions, and describes my research really well. Here’s a recent article dealing with the topic through the design of the kitchen.

The Wrong – The New Digital Arts Biennale


This modified version of Controlled Feeding Status will appear as a part of Approximately 800 cm³ of PLA at the New Digital Arts Biennale. The show will live both online and in selected physical locations – more info TBA when the show goes up in November.

Host a live website on Google Drive

Google has instructions on how to do this, but they kept confusing my students. Here’s an attempt to make the process clearer (and more useful – we’ll be sharing folders instead of pages). Note that this feature will cease working as of August 31 2016.

  1. Log in to Google Drive. This may not work from an institutional account like those we have at Columbia College. Safari can also try problems, so maybe try Chrome.
  2. Create a new folder
  3. Right click this folder and select “Share”
  4. then “Advanced”
  5. then “Change”
  6. the “On – Public on the Web”
  7. click Save, then copy the “Link to Share”
  8. Paste this link into a plain text editor, then delete everything to the left of “=” and the right of “&”. Delete = and & as well.
  9. This is your Document ID
  10. Now put www.googledrive.com/host/  in front of your Doc ID
  11. Now you’ve got a live URL! Type it into a browser and see if it works.

Remove titles from WP Bootstrap Carousel plugin

Every time I update WP I lose the changes I made to the WPBC plugin. I know there’s a better way to do this with theme children or something, but here’s a note to self for now. Maybe you’ll find it useful.

Plugins > Editor > Select Plugin > WP Bootstrap Carousel
Comment out the following:
$carousel .= '<h3 class="carousel-post-title">' . $item-&gt;post_title . '</h3>';

Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty @ Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago

Warm Kitty, Soft Kitty
Hyde Park Art Center
Curated by Camille Morgan
Sept 6 –  Dec 13, 2015
Press Release

For this show on the topic of touch, Dieter Kirkwood and I made a generative Processing app that provided us with algorithmically generated dress pattern instructions. As we wrestled with the imperfect app, we followed certain instructions and ignored others, eventually creating three unique dress patterns in imperfect collaboration with our code.

Featuring work from D. Denenge Akpem, Eliza Bennett, Laci Coppins and Nakia Gordon, Alexandria Eregbu, Whitney Huber, Taylor Hokanson and Dieter Kirkwood, Cole Don Kelley, Barbara Layne, Hiro Murai for Flying Lotus, Tameka J. Norris, Betsy Odom, Scout Paré-Phillips, Jennifer Ray, Aileen Son, and Fo Wilson.

Carpetvista competition 2015

I entered a carpet design competition with a little generative Processing app, because why not? I’ve really had textiles on the brain…

Educators Symposium @ SIGGRAPH 2015, Los Angeles


Come hear me deliver my talk, Distributed Authorship in the Classroom, at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Educators Symposium. The event takes place Sunday, August 9, 8:45am – 5pm at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Seeed Studios GPRSv2


I picked up a couple of these GPRS boards when Radioshack liquidated their stock. You can use them to place/receive phone calls and SMS messages. I’ve got two, so stay tuned for some wicked M2M project that I have yet to dream up. In the meantime, I pushed my initial tech research to Github.

Hacking the Knitting Machine (workshop) @ ISEA 2015, Vancouver


Hacking the Knitting Machine
Friday August 14, 2015 9:30am – 5:30pm
Room 4945, Simon Fraser University Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H4, Canada

Update: Our workshop went really well! You can read about it on vancouverisawesome and the New Media Caucus website.

Textiles are the original digital medium – It’s no coincidence that the Luddites were named for artisans that protested against the mechanization of textile production in 17th century England. Unlike their predecessors, today’s Luddites are associated with a distaste for the virtuality of modern devices. However, with the arrival of affordable 3D printing and the Internet of Things, it’s becoming clear that the technologist need not choose between digital and actual. Machine knitting is a great example of this overlap.

Dieter Kirkwood and I will demonstrate a useful modification (originally exploited by Davi Post and Becky Stern) to the Brother KH-930e knitting machine at ISEA 2015. These devices were originally released in the 1980s, so they are available relatively inexpensively on sites like eBay. The KH-930e features an early digital input capability, meaning that users could purchase patterns to communicate to the device via floppy disk. We will show how to spoof this connection, upload custom patterns, and “print” them into actual knit shapes.

Each workshop participant will get to design and knit their own custom beer koozie. Is there anything more Canadian than that? Space is limited, so email me or Dieter see this link to reserve your seat today!