Jeanne Kelly

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Domain Maps

In Fall 2010, Thesis Research on September 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I cleaned it up a bit in photoshop and color coded the nodes.  I also applied a distortion that I don’t especially like aesthetically, but it’s hierarchically more accurate.  I’ll have to take that into consideration for the next map

My second iteration on the Domain Map (above) is pretty different.  This map is much more “me”.  It also reflects the research I’ve been doing, adding important domains such as Cultural Informatics and Interactive Narrative.  There is less of an emphasis on the “hardware” yet this map shows the specifics as well and the larger domains.

I put together my first domain map (above) just to get started with the obvious and get it visual.  I was just starting to get deeper in my research, but I think now maybe I was stuck a bit to much in defining form.


Concept Mapping | Round One

In Fall 2010 on September 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm

The Concept

Now on to Round Two: The Form

Production Schedule for Thesis

In Fall 2010, Thesis Research on September 30, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Preliminary Scheduling

In setting up a production schedule I decided to go with iCal.  I’m very familiar with it already and use it seveal times a day.  I’m going with the notion of why change it if it works.  Unfortunately because I do use it for everything from birthdays to project due dates it’s already pretty packed with different color coded calenders. As you can see …

But fortunately there is a solution, even if it is a bit awkward at first.  That’s to turn off and on the calendars.  I understand this is already a common practice for plenty of people, but it’s taking some getting use to.  I first created Groups for the calendars that already populate my iCal.

This way I can turn many calendars on and off quickly. So for now it’s the “on-off” button that’s going to be my friend in organizing this endeavor.  As you can see though, having both Groups turned on at the same time is cluttered and overwhelming.

The J-Pop Influence: A Western Obsession

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 at 11:19 am

Japan Society
333 East 47th Street  (at First Avenue)
New York, NY 10017
Tuesday, October 12
6:30 PM

The Japanese aesthetic, specifically pop culture and contemporary design, has influenced many Western designers in recent years. Simone Legno, creator, tokidoki; and Matthew Waldman, Chief Creative Officer & President, Nooka, Inc. share their love of Japanese pop culture and discuss how modern Japan has influenced the design of their clothing, accessories, watches and toys.

Moderated by Josh Spear, Founding Partner, Undercurrent.

Followed by a reception.

$12 / $8 Japan Society members, seniors & students

Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm.

This program will be held at the Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 (at First Avenue).

Updates on upcoming events will be e-mailed periodically.

via Japan Society, New York – The J-Pop Influence: A Western Obsession.


In Fall 2010 on September 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm
via  QNQ/AUJIK on Vimeo.

Lasers and Photoluminescent Paint

In Fall 2010, Wow on September 19, 2010 at 11:26 am

Fade Out, an eye-catching visual display system developed by media artists Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi, uses laser beams to “print” ephemeral glow-in-the-dark images on a wall-mounted screen coated with photoluminescent paint.

After the computer receives and processes a digital image (in this case, a webcam snapshot), ultraviolet laser beams are fired at the photoluminescent screen to produce square pixels of glowing green light. Subtle gradations are created by controlling the timing of the laser shots and allowing the darker portions of the image to fade. The completed image gradually disappears as the glow of the screen dims.

Creators are now looking at ways to create glowing images in liquid and on irregular surfaces.

via Pink Tentacle.

KickStarter Code

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2010 at 4:17 pm

The idea for this project developed from a trip to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. You will never feel more human then in the company of this museum’s collection.

During my visit I discovered the Hyrtl exhibit. A collection of one hundred and thirty-eight* human skulls on display in the main gallery. All of the people in the collection lived during the later half of the nineteenth century, most originating from central and eastern Europe. On each skull, Dr. Hyrtl recorded what he knew about the person; written directly onto the bone are names, birthplaces, occupations and causes of death. Occasionally there is a line or two on how the person had lived. As I looked at these museum artifacts, these human remains, I wanted to know the rest of the stories. That was the beginning of The Hyrtl Simulacra.

Being a visual fine artist with a background in forensic art, the first thing I want to do was to “see” these people. I set out to reconstruct the likeness of several of the individuals from their skulls, both two dimensionally and three dimensionally. The University of Philadelphia’s Anthropology department CT scanned the skulls and from those scans I am reconstructing the following Hyrtl members:

  • Girolamo Zini, age 20, Rope-walker. Died of atlanto-axial dislocation (broken neck).
  • Veronica Huber, age 18. Executed for the murder of her child.
  • Gianbattista Tozzi, age 24. Policeman, Died of stab wound in Florence.
  • Julius Farkas, age 28. Protestant, soldier. Suicide by gunshot wound of the heart,
    because of weariness of life.
  • Francisca Seycora, age 19. Famous Viennese prostitute. Died in the General Hospital of meningitis.
  • Rai Tao Si, Thai bandit, Famous criminal, guilty of many atrocities.
    Captured with ten of his band in Batavia (now Jakarta). Hanged in castle of Semarang (Java)
  • Andrejew Sokoloff. J. Scopzi (Russian sect that believes in Castration).
    Dies of self-inflicted Removal of testicles.
  • Geza Uirmeny, 80; Reformist, herdsman. At age 70 attempted suicide by cutting his throat.
    Wound not fatal. Lived until 80 without melancholy.

These are the very real subjects of this project.

I’ll be using photoshop, maya and other computer graphic programs to complete the reconstructions. I’d love to go on and on about forensic art, facial reconstruction and the art and the science behind it all, but others have already done a fantastic job at that. I’d like to refer you instead to Karen Taylor’s book “Forensic Art and Illustration” if you’d like to know the details of this field of study. Of course I’ll cover this in detail in my thesis paper and I’ll post it here as an update to the project when it’s funded.

The two dimensional reconstructions stand alone as works of art in their own right, becoming another form of artifact, as well as expanding our understanding of the sources they grew from the individual skulls. This deeper understanding allows us to see these artifacts as more then simple objects, but as our fellow humans. Helping to develop empathy for those who came before us develops empathy for those in our present lives and in our future.

The three dimensional reconstructions are the basis for the figures in the narrative dioramas contained within the simulacrums. They will be miniature versions of how the Hyrtl subjects looked in real life.

In Maya, a database for each character will be created and stereolithography will be used to print them three dimensionally, creating small sculptures of the characters. These three dimensional prints of the Hyrtl subjects will be used in miniature dioramas. Which brings me to the other aspects of my thesis.

My concept evolved over the months to include a fictional narrative that intertwines the true identities of the eight individuals I’m reconstructing. In this fiction, each of the characters are connected to at least two other characters. Sometimes, higher truths can be found in fiction more so then in fact.

The narrative will be told visually with small dioramas. Each diorama will illustrate a connection between the individuals, as well as illustrate the facts we know from the writing on the skulls. The dioramas will be divided by subject and arranged on a circular platform.

This platform is manually rotated by the viewer using a basic gear and crank mechanism. Each diorama platform will be placed inside a closed cabinet, or box, with a shallow depth of field, follow-focus view finder attached. Small interior lights will be inside the box to illuminate the scenes.

The user will experience this narrative in three ways. First by looking into the viewfinder and manipulating the crank to turn the platform. Turning the circular platform reveals more scenes as the platform rotates in the spotlit closed box.

Secondly, by using the follow-focus mechanism to adjust the shallow depth of field lens, changing the focal point within the scene. This allows the viewer to navigate the depth of each scene literally and figuratively.

And the third way in which the audience can experience the narrative is through the live video feed of everything the current simulacrum viewer is looking at, fed to a monitor in a darkened adjoining room. The feed will be an enlarged view of the miniature diorama at close to eye level. This will create a different experience for the viewer, placing them inside the scene verses outside, as it will feel looking through the viewfinder in the simulacrum. This illusion however, of becoming part of the scenes, affords the viewer no control over how the narrative plays out, as does the mechanisms in simulacrum. The viewers’ involvement becomes as passive overseers of someone else’s narrative editing, even as they feel more “in scale” with the narrative.

With the concept and form of the project in place I’ve begun making the assets that will create the Hyrtl Simulacrum. I’ve started by creating one set of two dimensional reconstructions. These use a photo-compositing method from period images. I’m pleased with the results of this technique so far. I’ll also complete a digital hand drawn reconstruction series. The three dimensional reconstructions are coming together as well, however the cost of stereolithography at this time is prohibitive. I am prototyping different two dimensional and three dimensional methods in which to construct the dioramas in the meantime. The feed back on the two dimensional diorama prototype which utilized compositing of vintage photography was very positive, with most viewers expressing an interest to see more. I will complete a full diorama for one Hyrtl subject, Girolamo Zini, The Rope Walker, using this technique to user test before beginning three dimensional construction.

The logistics of the shallow depth of field, follow-focus and live video feed have been tested abd worked out. Although this too is cost prohibitive right now, renting and borrowing equipment from Parsons is a satisfactory temporary solution.

This is the part where I ask for your help.
I’m hoping to make all eight of the simulacra, but after pricing it all out … I will be happy to build one complete simulacra for the narrative. I’m hopeful that once the first is build it won’t be difficult to get the rest funded.

I’d also like to take a minute send out a thank you  to everyone who has contributed to this project in big and small ways:
Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

  • Anna Dhody, Curator, Mütter Museum
  • Dr. Janet Monge, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania Anthropology Department
  • Anthony Deen, Thesis Instructor, Parsons The New School for Design
  • Melanie Crean, Advisor, Parsons The New School for Design
  • Chris Abell, Audio Engineer, Dubway Studios
  • Louis Lucci, Photographer
  • Jim Rogers, Master Cabinet Maker, Campostella Builders
  • Kate Reilly, for all the helpful books and advice
  • Brandozim on Deviant art for the great photography
  • Todd Vachon/WHYY also for photography

Without your support, advice and straight up helping hands I would not be as far as I am in making this happen.

Calvino’s Invisible Cities

In Fall 2010 on September 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm

This project began with a selection from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities.

“The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the aging and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing 55 cities, apparently narrated by Polo. Short dialogues between the two characters are interspersed every five to ten cities and are used to discuss various ideas presented by the cities on a wide range of topics including linguistics and human nature. The book structured around an interlocking pattern of numbered sections, while the length of each section’s title graphically outlines a continuously oscillating sine wave, or perhaps a city skyline. The interludes between Khan and Polo are no less poetically constructed than the cities, and form a framing device, a story with a story, that plays with the natural complexity of language and stories.” wiki

The parameters where simple: interpret one of the city from the book and iterate on that interpretation.  Each iteration had it’s own given constraint but other then that we were encouraged to experiment.


I picked Isaura, one of the Thin Cities.  Also known as the city of a thousand well.

Isaura was shaped in every way by a large cavernous aquifer deep beneath the surface of the city.  Over a thousand deep wells dotted the landscape and the city grew, but only to the same outline as the lake beneath it. The two religions of the city were also shaped by the lake.

The first religion believed that God lived only in the dark waters deep beneath the city; suggesting that there is no way to truly know God except to lose yourself to the depths

The second religion believed that God lived in the mechanisms that brought the water to the surface; worshipping the windmills, buckets and pulleys.  This suggest that they believe God can be known through the creation of man.

I made a couple of quick sketchs of how I was imagining the city.

I decided to approach this metaphorically and being raised Jungian, I instantly saw the rich symbolism in the deep water containing God and the need to pull the deep waters to the surface.

My interpretation goes like this:

The City is your psyche, shaped by the waters beneath.

The Deep Lake beneath the surface is your subconscious and the collective unconscious.  This is where the knowledge of the universe lies, the seat of the imagination and the connection to the infinite.

The Wells are the means by which we explore and bring out the imagination.  These are the creative acts and the purposeful strivings to understand ourselves and everything we are connected to.


4 Iterations in 3 Weeks

I did not know when I had decided on the first iteration that the second iteration’s constraint was going to be “3 dimensional”.  So I made my first iteration out of paper, the first constraint, but I also made it 3 dimensional.  whoops.

The second iteration then became a refinement and expansion on the physicality of the of the first and I still focused on paper construction.  This was not as large a step forward in the design or concept as it could have been because of my choice to technically and aesticts refine the

The third iteration became an evolution of the concept and the design of a product inspired by the outcome of that evolution.  “Product” being constraint on this iteration.

The fourth iteration’s constraint was “digital”.  I focused on the realization of the



For the first constraint of paper I decided to use pages of a book to create the wells.  Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press by John De St. Jorre.  In particular was the use of the chapter on the Story of O.

Taken from the pages of Venus Bound, an interesting and applicable quote from the author of Story of O.

I thought the pages from a book dealing with literature, censorship and sexuality would make fitting wells of the imagination.  Add to that the fact Story of O was never meant to be published, it was a private love letter from an older single woman to a married man, and you can begin to see even more connections.

I also to create waves for the lake from pages of the book.  After prototyping one I changed over to using  only the pages that contained photographs.  The subconscious being a place of images, shapes and ideas, not of words.

I used dark cardboard for the cavern, leaving two sides aching to the ground to help support the wells.

I made the underground lake and the above ground field the same shape.  The field being green and fertile where the lake is darker beneath it.

I decided to bend some of the wells as I had in the first sketch, making them appear more like pipes.  This was to reflect the idea that sometimes it’s not so easy to get your thoughts across clearly to the outside world.  Before I dismantled the piece I removed the “sides” to the cavern.

I appreciate the atheistic of this first iteration.  The organic wavy lose feel to it.  The bends in the wells. (Are they becoming pipes now?  This would indicate flow in either direction.  Is this what I want?) The quick and dirty approach has it’s appeal.


3 Dimensional

In the second iteration, I made a lot of decisions that ultimately made the piece successful in unforeseen ways.

I used all of the remaining pages from the book to create as many wells as possible for density.  I wanted to create the feeling of a thick forest of wells when seen from eye level at the lake.  I made these wells longer then the first iteration as well to suggest even more depth.  Unfortunately the density diminished the effect if verticality.

I incorporated foam as a base for the land and lake, hopeing this would lend some stability.

I used textured green paper, cut and layered to resemble a topographic map.

These shape also resemble ripples in a lake.

I kept the original shape of the foam as it came.  I liked the idea of the larger circle repeating the circles the tubes created.

I at first wanted a dome of foam, a hemisphere really.  But I was unable to fine one and in hindsight I should have constructed one.

I think it would have been more interesting to have carved the foam into a more undulating shape; one of the successful aspects of the first iteration.  I appreciate the texture of the second, the shape is just boring.

I designed and constructed new waves.  Taking the metaphor of the lake as imagination further my creating the waves from plain white paper.

I added detail to the surface using simple cut blades of grass or groves of trees, depending on how you look at it.
I felt the second iteration was to symmetrical and balanced, everything was too even.  For me it’s similar to rhythm with no melody, it becomes uninteresting.

I did however start to play with the documentation of the second iteration and dicsovered that as a model with a different scale, it’s became more compelling.

I took some pictures and video of the piece from the perspective of living in that environment, trying to get an idea of scale.  The results were intriguing in their own regard and influential to the next iteration.  There is also something interesting going on here with the words from different wells lining up as the structure is spun slowly.  I’m not sure where I would take this at this point, but it is interesting.

My roommate had checked out a tilt-shift lens for the entire weekend, so I asked him if he could get some better shots.  This is what he came up with.  We also set up and took video on a lazy-susan with the tilt shift.  once it’s edited together I will post id here.



This last iteration I took one more leap into the deep end.

With the notion of these waters as God, the subconscious and hidden knowledge – and these wells of words, efforts and interpretations bringing us closer to understanding that knowledge … I can’t help but make a fortune telling machine.

It is when we need to connect to our selves and find answers that we may already know that we tend to seek out fortune tellers.  They read to us and in us the symbols we need to interpret what we need most to know.  We think we are recieving devine wisdom, and we are. *wink*

I first thought of these: 

They can be found at every Wal-Mart and 7-11 checkout counter in the south.  Every girl in high school had one in her purse.  they were fun, and deadly serious.

The first iterations also brings to mind the I-Ching.   I own one that my mother gave me when I was very young and I use to use it all the time.  The top’s been lost and the sticks are all nicked and broken.  All of these many thin sticks in this tube, just waiting for you to interpret the prose that goes with them, how could that not be part of this iteration

I scanned all of the “fortunes” from the book that came with this particulr I-Ching.  These would be the fortunes that come from the machine.

I think also of the prayer wheel, with it’s rolls of thin paper, imprinted with many, many copies of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, written in Sanskrit, used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma).

And lets not forget these:   What else do you think of when you think of fortunes written on little pieces of paper for you to crack open and interpret.

so without  further ado …  I present to you …

The Isaura Spirt Drum!

A fortune telling machine for every Isauraian.

With a turn of the crank the waters of the God lake will swirl and rise around the Drum of Spirits.

Charging it to lose your fortune through the well of knowledge.

Think carefully on your question and you turn the handle three times.

When the Drum stops spinning your fortune will rise from the well at the top of the drum.

Check back often!  Remember, just knowing your fortune changes it!



The constraint on the last iteration was that it was to be digital.  I had to model the Fortunetelling Spirt Drum in Maya.  I felt compelled to do it. I wanted to do it to shake the cobwebs off.  I actually love working in Maya, but I’m still learning, and not even opening the program this summer was a serious mistake (as I knew it would be)  It was like learning all over again.  I forgot so much.

I knew the model wasn’t going to be the only digital iteration. Almost as soon as I started to work on it I realized I was doing the same thing I had done before.  I was focusing on refining the physicality of the object and not developing the concept any further then it was before.

I got the model to a somewhat complete point and set it aside.

I then started thinking about the idea of a digital fortune telling device.  So I’ve started to design a small application fro the iPhone.  It’s based on the version of the I Ching that I’ve been using for years. I story-boarded a quick user scenario below.  I’m going to keep working on this one and hopefully be able to get it done before the new year.


Leadership | Followers

In Fall 2010, Wow on September 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

I just love this one.