Tech – the surveillance side

Using python programming and surveillance technology, the class was able to decode information. I cannot share anything about my final group assignment for this class, as it was confidential. It culminated in a phenomenal presentation.

One assignment involved collecting my google location data. This is a tech feature that I usually have turned off on my devices, as I do not want to be tracked. I had to break out of my comfort zone to complete this assignment. I tracked myself for about one month, turning off my location at intervals when I did not want google to record the data. For example, I did not want google to know where “home” was for me so disabled tracking when I approached “home”.

We leave traces like these everywhere. It is very difficult to not have a digital footprint. What I learned from this class was that we live in a society where surveillance is a thing. We are constantly being monitored. Be it for our location data, browsing history, credit card usage, social media presence, whatever! The information that we leave out there is available for anyone with the skill – to track us and use our information to learn more about us. Can we truly go incognito? Yes, if we give up ALL tech.

Well, not really.

 

Tantie Tweets

For my Programming A to Z final, I decided to expand upon my twitter bot class assignment. Previously, I created a twitter bot using Allison Parrish’s google spreadsheet format. Here, the tweets were composed, added to a spreadsheet and instructions given to tweet at intervals. For my final I:

  1. created an API on Firebase
  2. crowdsourced content for my tweets, which were added directly to the API
  3. created script that posted tweets using the API as source content.
  4. hosted the app on Heroku

Tantie Tweets inspired my thesis. I had to create an API since I could not find a suitable repository for the dialect anywhere online. For my thesis, I will create an API of the language as well as a web platform that teaches the language of the islands through its history.

Clockoo Bird

Throughout history, the main function of a timepiece was to simply tell time. Now the modern timepiece notifies us not only of the hour but when confronted with texts, emails, appointments, and a myriad other alerts. ClockooBird imagines what life is like for the modern cuckoo bird, no longer on a set schedule but always required to be ready at a moment’s notice.

This interactive installation project was made for “Pop Up Windows Display” course at NYU- ITP 2016, a class taught by Gabe Barcia-Colombo.

Technology used

  • CNC Fabrication (of the two professionally made cuckoo clocks)
  • Webcam (takes picture)
  • Javascript
  • Node.js
  • Twitter bot (posts pictures to twitter)
  • Physical Computing (control doors and clock gears)

See more at https://twitter.com/clockoobird. Created in collaboration with Kevin G Stirnweis, Nikita Huggins, Xinyao Wang and Shir David.

NIME – Preview

For the NIME – New Interfaces of Musical Expression course, I created an interactive pop up book. This book plays Caribbean rhythms as it aims to also tell the story of how the rhythms came to be.

Detailed documentation to come!

The instrument was performed at the 2016 ITP NIME show on December 11th. Here is a brief clip of my performance.

Post Election Thoughts

I was prepared for a Trump win. After discussing his campaign’s strategies targeted at democrats and minorities and seeing his supporter’s responses to his campaigning – I was convinced. In my opinion, the man/the campaign played on the society’s complacency; the power of the media has in convincing without due process; ignorance; vulnerability and fear. While many were swayed from voting democratic, some voted independent but the tragedy for the democrats came from Americans who failed to vote- making Trump’s voter suppression strategy successful. She won the popular vote. Had everyone voted, she might have won the election.

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Trash Talk

Tasked with creating public art that caused a double-take, my group decided to create this 2016 election themed piece. Jordan, Michelle and I sourced clips of presidential candidate DT saying heinous things.

We filled a garbage bag with paper and a bluetooth speaker, then placed it around campus and documented reactions of passerbys.

Our public art piece was featured in a Creatives for Humanity project that showcased the work of artists who have something authentic and powerful to say (or draw, or animate, or compose, or perform) about what’s at stake in this election.

What is the Question?

This supercut was compiled with footage from the 2nd Presidential election debate. It highlights the trend of one Presidential candidate’s inability to answer the question asked by specifically declaring their policy for addressing the issues that concern the people. Here, DT equates “inner cities” with the African American and Latino population and of course fights to show that his opponent is worse (or that he is better). Either way, the debate led to issues not being addressed and respective policies not being articulated.

There was uproar over DT’s references to ‘inner cities’ in his response to the question presented to the candidates by undecided voter, James Carter. Mr. Carter asked, “Do you believe you can be a devoted President to all the people in the United States?” DT answered by insulting the other candidate, and referencing inner cities, where apparently all African American and Latinos live. 

After noticing that “inner cities” was mentioned 11 times in this response, I decided to investigate the media’s post-debate coverage of it. Instead, I found that the issue was addressed more on social media. I found no instances of the news agencies discussing the ridiculous generalization nor paying attention to the fact that the issues and policies were barely addressed. We can count on social media to provide a little humor but when hard issues like this arise, laughter is not appropriate. We should be asking, why are Latinos and Blacks associated with inner cities? What caused this? Was it the 13th amendment and its mission to control these populations? Now, capitalism and gentrification are misplacing these ‘poor souls’ from their inner city homes.

It’s not a laughing matter. So I ask, What is the Question hoping to get some answers. screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-10-45-21-pm