Kinect + Quartz + Oscar Wilde

For my first in-class presentation this semester, I performed “My Profundis”, a little visual-sonic-textual-movement essay where my alterego SkyRon™ channels Oscar Wilde, while generating trippy visuals via Kinect. The video cube location and rotation is controlled by the left hand, and its dimension, along with the position of the fuzzy halo-balls (particle system), is controlled by the right hand. A live camera feeds visuals to the background and the cube, and is pointed at the screen or monitor, creating a very hazy style of video feedback. There’s also a patch I found online that motion-blurs the blurry video background according to the position of your body.

This is my first project using Kinect, which is running a patch I created in Quartz Composer (with a big assist from middleware Synapse, and a patch made in Max MSP). Currently, I can’t find a whole lot of documentation on Kinect-Quartz, other than the Synapse site. If you’re interested in a more detailed exploration of Kinect (with Processing, Arduino, MakerBot, etc.), I suggest the O’Reilly text Making Things See by Greg Borenstein, which uses the NI library to create interaction with Processing.

“My Profundis” is at a conceptual growth-point, and may take a number of different paths as it develops. I will have a greater idea about how to incorporate Kinect into performance once I further connect the sensor to other software, especially PureData.(sound design/composition) and Unity, and possibly Processing, once I overcome my Terminal (Unix) Anxiety!

What you need to recreate this (besides a Mac Book Pro running Lion, a separate video camera, and a Kinect sensor) is Synapse (downloads here) and my Quartz composition. Enjoy!


My First Video Game! Woo!

Here’s a video of my latest project and my first 3D game, “Blimps ‘ n ‘ Torsos”. Would you like to be a beta tester? No money, but great personal satisfaction and an element of meaning shall be added to your life! (use email link above).

Stay tuned for my Kickstarter page for the project. $5 gets you a hand-crafted copy of the beta version, plus a free iPad copy when it’s completed!

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And, there was this one tutorial that was very helpful in converting my Illustrator work to Maya.

Animated GIF Fest!

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Animated GIF, I made my own commemorative Dark Dood (using PhotoBooth and PhotoShop), and since one can no longer register at, you’ll have to grab this one here. Check out the animated gif luv on OffBook, and an iPhone animated gif maker here.

And, if you want to create a mixer in Quartz, just drop them on the stage as an ‘import image’ and copy their address to an ‘import movie’ patch. The extremely modest  (i.e., 10 minute project) beginnings of that zipped up here (be sure to change addresses to match your location). Enjoy!

(And of course, DarkDood doesn’t animate in WordPress until you double-click him!)

Have a Kick-Acid™ Summer!


For those of you who can’t sit through that interminable 3-minute video below, here’s the 48-second musical example, wherein our hero, dorkotronix™ (a.k.a., SkyRon™ without his usual deformed-face mask and dredlocks, and with dark glasses and a dust mask), plays a lovely chanson  à trois voix by Clément Janequin from 1552. No, wait, this is that new musical genre for generation attention-deficit-disorder known as kick-acid™, which is characterized by having a comic/pathetic figure noodle away on an iTar-D™ over a driving 180BPM track previoulsy generated from that quaint iPod app, iSyn, accompanied by a disturbing back-and-forth rocking motion. There’s your Grove’s Dictionary definition.

Reich Owns It!

By ‘It’ I mean, the last quarter of the 20th Century (personally, I got nothin’!).

Here‘s a video recorded for Japanese television in 2008, for Steve Reich’s 70th Birthday. It includes Daniel Variations (2006), and the venerable Music for 18 Musicians (1976) and Different Trains (1988).

This may have been available on the InterTubes for awhile, but I just stumbled upon it. So, for those who are interested, Different Trains is (along with A Survivor from Warsaw by Schoenberg) one of the two truly great works dedicated to the Holocaust (sorry, Mr. Spielberg. Sorry, Mr. Weisel.). Music for 18 Musicians is (along with Einstein on the Beach by Wilson/Glass) one of the defining works of the Minimalist movement. A little personal history with these works (20+ years for Trains, 30+ years for 18 Musicians) affords one a bit of . . . perspective.

So, watch, listen, and learn.

And a belated happy birthday, Mr. Reich!

(and p.s., you know the other 20th century work that featured two bass clarinets, right? Le Sacre, or “Soccer? What’s that?” in the words of Walt Disney as he was being presented with ideas for ‘Fantasia‘ in the early 1940’s . . .)