Category Archives: Current Works

Vinyl Wine Down Wednesdays at The Blue Room

blueroomThis idea has spawned from my friend’s, Alan, and my love for vinyl, hi-fi setups, and the sharing and discovering of new music. It pretty much goes like this… every Wednesday at The Blue Room (the place beneath Balcony,Click here for a map) we will be there with a couple of tables, our receiver and some speakers playing some of our music. If you show up with some vinyl though we will throw it in the rotation to share with everyone else, and you can pick it up the next day so you don’t have to worry about carrying it around with you for the entire night. If you want to escape the regularity of Oxford’s life come check out Vinyl Wine Down Wednesdays where the music is good (because its yours) and the glasses of wine and tapas (which are delicious) are $1 off.

The WristBand project

WristBand OneFor Change Two

This project began as a joke. One night during the fall semester of 2008 me and a friend decided to keep the wristbands from going to the bars on our wrist for the entire semester. Well about a week in he quit, which just gave me more motivation to continue doing it. I would catch a lot of flak from people about it. For some reason I knew that there was something more in it, that something could be derived from it.

The semester came and went, I cut off the wristbands and didn’t think too much of it until I was approached by some friends of mine who were putting together a book of images and writing about change. It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do. I remembered that I had taken a picture of my wrist each day of the fall semester, and that by definition it changed depending on whether I went out, or where I was when I woke up.

The piece was built with Processing. I start with the first image and then slowly change it by grabbing pixels from the next image, and replacing the first image’s pixels with the second’s. I take snapshots in time at a constant interval to document the change.

We notice large changes in our lives, and when these large changes happen we tend to look for a root cause. Usually though there isn’t one single root cause of anything, it is all an accumulation of very small changes. In the piece I started with the beginning of my venture and the ending of my venture. There are two changes between them. The start has fewer wristbands and the wristbands are on my arm, opposed to the end where there are more wristbands and they are cut and lying on the table. If we were to look deeper we would realize that there are a large number of steps from A to B, and paying attention to those steps is critical to our understanding of ourselves and others. I think bottom line is that I want people to pay attention to the very small things that happen everyday, and understand that a lot of very small change is what inevitably forces the very big change.

Thank You…..

Thank you everyone that came to the reception last Thursday. We appreciated everyone taking time out of their busy week to come check out our installation.

It seemed that the show was well received by everyone, and everyone enjoyed the experience. I personally got a kick from everyone asking what was in the reflecting pools. It seemed that everyone was very surprised that it was water when they touched it.

I also want to thank Sarah Salbu for writing the article about our show for the Miami Student. The article came out very well, and it is always cool to see that there is interest in the stuff we do outside of the Art department. If you would like to read the article its up here

Below are some short videos of the installation and the reception for anyone who missed it, check em out they are pretty cool. :). Remember that the show will be up until this Saturday May, 9th. Again THANKS for everyone that made this possible!!! I hope everyone enjoyed the food.

Spatially Snesed Experience: Phase One Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

The Show….

So the show will be up and ready for viewing tomorrow, Monday April 27th. The reception is Thursday from 4:30pm to 6pm. We have been working hard all week in order to get this stuff ready for everyone to experience.

Ok, so I think that everyone is a little confused about what is going on for the opening.

First thing is the Twitter stuff. If you have a Twitter account you just tweet things about the show and make sure that the hash tag #gcshow is in your tweet somewhere, and then it will show up on the computer for everyone to see.

Second thing is the streaming video. I will have a camera up and running with a stream so that anyone anywhere will be able to view the show. You can view the show below.

Enjoy the show!!!!!!.

Community Easter egg hunt for the new generation….

The new Easter egg

I had a show in late November, in which, I made around 170 porcelain bottles and aligned them like the picture above. I haven’t known what to do with them, right now they are just sitting in boxes with no one appreciating them. A few days ago I came up with and idea!!!!

This idea you say, hmmm. Well this Sunday (tomorrow) is Easter, and as a child hunting for the Easter eggs was always a fun challenge with a candy reward. I thought of an adult version of this, that would involve some of this new web stuff.

So here is the challenge to everyone. If you are in Oxford, OH this Sunday then be on the look out for these little porcelain soldiers, and if you find them take a picture and tag the bottle as christian mclean, if you are using facebook, or if you twitpic use @chirn9980.

I guess the end goal for this is to bring back some of that childhood fun and discovery. Remember playing in that cardboard box for hours?? Well, just trying to bring some fun and levity to this world.

Another Twitter Mashup… But this time with Processing and Helvetica


Twitter/Helvetica/Processing Mashup a.k.a Twartistatment from christian mclean on Vimeo.

For my upcoming collaborative show at Miami University, I wanted to do something other than just have a comment book. Because of the nature of what we are doing with technology in the form of installation and involving the user in the environment, and because I want to be the best genY’er I can be, I wrote a sketch in Processing that uses the Twitter4j library for processing.

What happens in this sketch is it is actually two sketches. The first sketch runs in the background, kinda like a separate thread, this sketch runs the queries to twitter, writes them to a file; then finds all of the unique words within the whole document. It then compares each of those words to each tweet, and uses that count and an index of how relevant the tweet is in relation to the other tweets that showed up in the search. It then writes those numbers to a file indexed the same way as the whole file that contains the tweets, to keep a one to one correspondence. The second sketch is the visual part. This is the video shown here. It grabs all of the tweets and counts and pair them up in an object, and then displays it to the screen. Remember that number from the unique comparisons earlier, well it is used to determine the size of the rectangle drawn to the screen, as a visual way to see how relevant the tweet is within each of the other tweets.

Well thats the long explanation of what is going on behind the scenes, but what I intend to do with this is have it replace the comment book is in a gallery setting, because these days there really isn’t a need for a physical comment book when we can always have our comments in the cloud and access them anytime we want. Because o this non-spatial comment book, anyone in the world can has a direct impact on anyone else in the world who has viewed the show, either by video, photographs, or were actually there. Breaking down barriers of the specific gallery “space”.

There are a few problems I see. One, well twitter is free and it might be really busy that day. Two, it seems like everyone I talk to around here doesn’t use twitter, nor would they get an account just for the opening. Three, I have written the code so fat that it locks up, hopefully I can solve this problem, but you can’t change humans.

Hot off the critique floor..

Here I have a video courtesy of Mr. Geoff Riggle. We set this installation up for a graduate critique last night. This is the first time that we have been able to get a half-way decent installation of this piece.

We have been working with the arduino hardware, and ceramic materials, mainly ceramic fire brick, in order to create an interactive environment. What happens here is the board controls the fading of the light, and when the P.I.R(infrared sensor) is tripped the board fires the secondary light. There is still a little issue with the timing due to the hardware and the fact we are using ac current.

It’s hard to talk about these conceptually right now, because we have been so involved in how to get these things to work. Especially with using newer technologies, you tend to get wrapped up in making it work, that’s fine. The idea was to create a monolithic element contrasted with a more ephemeral element, hence the large brick structure and the dimming light. From that ideas of breathing, life, cycles start to enter the frame. A comment came up that these things start to reference cities. That is the closest metaphor for what we are making. Just like a city, these modularly built structures that begin to have a life of their own. Without people the city would have it’s character that it has, trying to incorporate that further into the installation I am working on a twitter and Hiestand Galleries, located at Miami University, Oxford Ohio. We hope to have a large gathering, and maybe enough tweets to summon the FAIL WHALE.