Progress _ Not & Lola

So just a recap we had an awesome amount of vinyl records and wanted to (try to) reuse them for a sculpture(s) for the upcoming assignment.  The inspiration came from Willie Cole Shine’s amazing abstract mask made from found heels so we thought we might try with vinyls. We initially thought it was hard to mould vinyls into shapes, or in our case African heads with bumps & curves, but quickly we resorted to using heat to soften the vinyls then re-shaping them as Katherine suggested. That worked fine but vinyl records were quite hard to work with in general.


We experimented with all types of tools and methods in re-moulding the vinyls during our first working session. In the end it was heat gun, all sorts of metal pipes and our vinyls. We would first heat up the area we wanted to curve then rest the vinyl on top of a metal pipe. We then manually pressed the softened vinyl onto the curved surface to produce the curvature we want. We mainly used the thick pipe on the right. It was hard getting a smooth surface and we had to try keep the pressure of our hands constant. Very crafty 🙂

This was a mockup/foundation to our masks. We managed to give it ears & an upper lip but not all had them.



We then had a second working session yesterday and managed to make more masks. We hope to produce an array of masks with different features (similar to the following) and have a display of them rather than just a single piece. These were our references:


Almost Dead Technology WIN

While this was featured on Failblog and the like, I think this is a great repurposing of one type of media for another. Would have been better if it was an old cassette tape container, but I think the idea still stands:


Lost Tech – Old Polaroid Camera + Light

For my lost tech i chose an old polaroid camera that i bought a year ago at a flea market in new york. I decided to modify in order to create a lamp. Basically everytime you “take a picture”, the lamp turns on, when you release it, it turns off. I had many problems with what could seem simple to do for different reasons. I bought a special light bulb that fits and replaces the usual flash you put on this camera. First of all, i had create a conductivity through the metal which connects the light bulb to the camera. All the copper inside was rotten and useless so i had to re-create a pattern using conductive copper tape. Once the conductivity was working again, i had to focus on how to power the bulb. The light bulb i had to buy is 6.2 volts and 3.91 amps, which is quite high for a light bulb that size. Therefore i had to buy two batteries that were 3volts and 3.3 amps. Then i had to put them in parallel in order to have the right amount. After doing that i had to replace all the rotten wires inside of the camera and solder new ones. I finally installed a switch close to the moving platform inside the camera (the one that moves when you take a picture). I ended by hiding everything inside the camera.



Here’s the video of the final product :

Dead tech: Atari Blender

Atari 2600
Paddle control (1972)

Osterizer Blender
8 speeds
Purchased on or about 2002

Inspired on artist work…

I wanted to use the controller in something other than a game, or replicating a game.
I thought of connecting the controller to the laptop and use it as a switch control to play/ff/rew DVDs.
However, I chose to do this blender switch project instead, because I was curious to see if I could replicate the pictures we saw in class and make it work in real life.
Also, it seemed to be a project I could tackle and complete on my own and in the timeframe we had for the assignment.

Dead tech hunt pictues

Dead Tech hunt

Process Pictures

Scrapyard Challege Dead Tech

Video demonstrating Atari switch controlling the blender

The potentiometer worked regulating the speed, but it overheated and smoke came out of the atari controller, even though the potentiometer is a 1 Megohm = 1000000 volt/ampere
I am going to search for a resistor I can install to regulate the ampere going to the atari controller.

PS: I can’t wait ’till my mom sees what I did with the blender! LOL

After the potentiometer burn Jonah and Katherine suggested to use a triac
I connected it to the AC cord, then to a battery holder with 4 AA 1.5V batteries and the blender did not turn on. Then I tried using a 2 C 1.5V battery and again the blender did not turn on using the switch.
I tried again connecting the Atari controller directly to the blender and that worked again.

Game controls hacks

Here’s 9 pages of game controls hacks. Enjoy!

A Collection of Many Problems (In Memory of the Dead Media Handbook) – Garnet Hertz, 2009

Hey, everyone, here is a reference book for you all.

Title: A Collection of Many Problems 

Format: Bookwork and Card Set

Bookwork: 166 pages, 4.25″ x 6.875″ perfect binding, white interior paper (60# weight), black and white interior ink, white exterior paper (100# weight), full-color exterior ink, Telharmonium Press (Artist’s Proof Edition 1) September 2009.

Related Exhibition, October 2009: This bookwork is featured in the exhibition titled “In Memory of the Dead Media Handbook” in Milan, Italy in October 2009. See for more details and documentation.

Description: “A Collection of Many Problems” by Garnet Hertz, extracted out of the Ancient and Modern Philosophers: as, Secrets and Experiments in Informaticks, Geometry, Cosmography, Horologiography, Astronomy, Navigation, Musick, Opticks, Architecture, Statick, Mechanics, Chymistry, Water-Works, Fire-Works, &c. In memory of the Dead Media Handbook.

Concept: This book concept is a continuation of Bruce Sterling’s Dead Media Handbook proposal (1995), and is influenced by contemporary writings in media archaeology. Its format is inspired by Quentin Fiore’s design of Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967).

Licensing: This bookwork is currently being sold at cost and without profit to the author, and is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License: you are free to share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix and adapt the work.

More images: A Collection of Many Problems (Flickr Photoset)

The original post is here.

Neil Seldman Lecture!

Here are my notes from Neil Seldman‘s Talk about Recycling in the US to our class on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Neil Seldman Talk

Sustainability, decentralization, democracy, development, solid waste
New Rules – laws needed for sustainable economy

Economic development in rural areas.
Garbage, solid waste

Municipal Solid Waste – throw out 250 million tons a year
Construction and demolition waste – 250 tons a year
500 million tons a year of valuable raw materials

US wastes 12 billions tons of materials a year – waste from extracting raw materials from objects we consume
Garbage – controlled at citizen level
Last 7 mayors of NYC have tried to build incinerators and failed


Environmental benefits – less waste

Economic Perspective – cheaper to use recycled materials

Landfill vs Incinerators

US is limitless when it comes to landfills
500 million to build an incinerator = 1 billion over 20 years
Recycling is much cheaper – costs the same to pick them up as garbage

NYC – understand how garbage is collected to match the cityscape with technology
NYC = too hard to have bins for recycled materials because of density

1 job from 10 million pounds of garbage
many jobs for recycling centerss
grey matter – used will create jobs
deconstruction = ex offender credit
Predicts that recycling will win out over incineration and landfills

Plastic made from plant matter is the new wave of recycling

Recycling is Propaganda
2 companies control 16% of the total garbage hauling market in the US
They make more money from landfills than recycling

Wall Street hates Recycling – because it costs so much to build a landfill
Right Wing Intellectuals
Recycling is a communist plot – Governments think this
Since Obama was elected, the right wing anti recycling groups have been joined by the liberals

Entitlements – for people – social security, etc…
for corporations
economics and local control

Focus on 3 Technologies:

Anarobic Digestion – food waste keep it segregated, don’t mix it, shred it and let it rot to get Methane gas which can be used

Building Deconstruction – made to think about how they can be taken apart – Mercedes Benz builds it cars to be reused – the same applies to buildings

Repair and Reuse – take 5% of the waste stream and its worth more than it would be as trash
Best Example: St. Vincent DePaul in Eugene, Oregon

Design for Reuse
Activists who organize for recycling

Intellectual History Behind recycling – comes from the era in the US where industrialization was making an impact

Thorsten Veblen – Conspicuous Consumption

Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture

Paul Goodman

Electronic Waste – goes to China
Study garbage you will never be unemployed

Documentary: “Exporting Harm”

Book: Plastic Ocean

Junk hunting! (WenChing and Xiaoye)

Last Saturday, Xiaoye and I went to Upper West side for junk hunting.

We started our route from 86 street to 77 street. When we considered to give up and  find somewhere else to restart the journal, there came a junk wonderland, see fig 01, we were so surprised and jumped in immediately.

Actually, I think most Americans would categorized their garbage, therefore, those garbage didn’t have odor if we just looking for electricity stuff. This also allows us to find what we want in limited time. Also comparing to the first time of garbage hunting, I feel I am more brave to jump into those garbage. Even though the class is already over, I find that I have an habit of keeping an eye on on-street garbage when I walk on the street!




look! XiaoYe got a cleaner machine and baby wheel chair.

while WenChing got a electronic weight scale.


Here is the map for hunting on Saturday afternoon.



rube goldberg machine – final assembly







Project 1: Write up

1. Who was in your group?

Elizabeth Clare and Xiaoye Lin (Lain)

2. What did you create?

We built a switch that drops from a pole to trigger the motor on the printer to start spinning the conveyer belt.

3.What junk did you use to build your project?

We used the motor and conveyer belt from an old printer, aluminum foil, a metal sheild from a light, hot glue, lots and lots of hot glue

4. How did it turn out? Were you happy with the results?

I wish we could have done more but since none of us really know a lot about machine building or what we were doing it was kind of difficult.

5.What new things did you learn about interface design?

It seems like newer machines are built to be thrown away when they are broken, unlike older machines where you are able to take them a part easily.


I made a video for the pricey, I want to narrate it so I should have it up by the end of the weekend!