Documentation and course blog for ITP

Programming A to Z - Final Proposal

19 Nov 2017

For the A2Z final, I'm planning to continue working on the alternate Wikipedia text generation project I started for last semester's Nature of Code final. The project uses the Torch-RNN machine learning library for recursive neural networks to train the entirely of Wikipedia (via their data dumps) and then generate an output, ideally the same length as the current Wikipedia. My goal is to create an alternate version of Wikipedia that introduces enough randomness to... Read more

documentationcoursesa2z


Programming A to Z - Midterm

25 Oct 2017

For the A2Z midterm, I continued working my assignment from week 3 to get the article links on the front page of various news sites (left-leaning, right-leaning), grab the text of those articles, and then use named entity recognition to extract the names of places referenced in those articles. I got the code working to extract the articles, and also to use spaCy to extract the locations. The code is available as a Gist. While... Read more

documentationcoursesa2z


Programming A to Z - Week 3

26 Sep 2017

I had an ambitious goal this week. I wanted to created a script that gets the article links on the front page of various news sites (left-leaning, right-leaning), grab the text of those articles, and then use named entity recognition to extract the names of places referenced in those articles. I am curious to how often various news agencies refernce places, which places, and how those lists compare. I started with the New York Times... Read more

documentationcoursesa2z


Programming A to Z - Week 1

12 Sep 2017

rm verbs! add some text and click submit to replace the verbs with fill in the blanks! use text sample drag a file enter some text submit clear Read more

documentationcoursesa2z


Networked Media - Week 10

22 Jun 2017

For my final project, I want to create a Solr index to that can be used to search across a large amount of flexible data. There are a couple options for using Solr in Node, so I would like to create an Express server that uses the search functionality we worked on earlier in the semester to search across the Solr index. I haven't decided what I would kind of data I want to index,... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 8

20 Jun 2017

In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson examines the 80/20 rule - that 80% of the content is consumed by 20% the people - in light of the digital age. I think the 80/20 rule still holds up, although it seems the makeup of the 20% is more volatile because the crowd has more power in selecting the 20% (through clicks, views, etc) and because the gatekeepers have changes (from newspapers, cable tv to Google, Facebook,... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 6

13 Jun 2017

In Surveillance and Capture, Two Models of Privacy, Philip Agre expands on Deleuze's critique of Foucault's Panopticon in light of the digital age. Agre discusses the surveillence model and the capture model, where the latter "understands information to go in many directions, and for many purposes." The capture model, which includes website cookies, structural metadata, and personal information management (PIM) systems, casts a wide net in tracking large amounts of seemingly banal data, and then... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 5

08 Jun 2017

In Postscript on the Societies of Control, Gilles Deleuz critiques Foucault’s disciplinary societies, noting that many of the examples fit in the context of 19th and early 20th centuries but don't necessarily hold up today. I agree with this criticism, especially Deluez's comment that "the corporation has replaced the factory, and the corporation is a spirit, a gas." While Foucault's description of the disciplinary society is apt for hospitals, museums, etc, Deleuz provides an accurate... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 4

06 Jun 2017

I led a discussion on Foucault's Discipline and Punish, Panopticism: The Birth of the Prison. Below are my notes for the conversation: examines how discipline and punishment work in modern society plague: need order, boundaries of normal and abnormal are blurred; anyone can get sick (i.e. abnormal), and if sick/abnormal w/ plague, there is a danger to society start to see techniques and institutions for measuring and supervising abnormal beings quarantine sick people (lepers, plague... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 3

01 Jun 2017

"A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" is a utopian musing on the promises of cyberlibertarianism. Written in the mid-1990s when the internet was in its infancy and many of its early pioneers espoused its radical democratic potential, the vision laid out here has fallen flat. Perry Barlow notes, "Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live," but one shortcoming of this vision is that the... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 2

30 May 2017

Marshall McLuhan writes about the idea that "the medium is the message," arguing that the medium itself needs to be considered in addition to the content it carries. Moreover, the medium - a particular way of communicating - influences the meaning of the content itself. For example, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address has a different meaning when it was delivered as a speech by Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863 as opposed to the transcript of that... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Networked Media - Week 1

24 May 2017

In "As We May Think," Vannever Bush describes Memex as a device that will store the world's knowledge in a networked way. It foreshadows the internet in a surprising way, such as predicting the feature of hyperlinking, and particularly in foreseeing the large scale potential of projects such as Wikipedia. One feature that is overlooked in the piece is the complexity of human knowledge. There is an inherent tension is in the messiness of human... Read more

documentationcoursesnetworked-media


Nature of Code - Week 7

04 May 2017

My final project for Nature of Code was Wikipediae, an alternate version of Wikipedia generated by a recursive neural network (RNN) algorithm trained on a data dump of Wikipedia. The goal of the project was to host a series of linked webpages that were aesthetically similar to Wikipedia, where the text is entirely generated. I was hoping the output would contain an entire alternate universe, with its own countries and geography, political systems, celebrities and... Read more

documentationcoursesnoc


Nature of Code - Week 5

14 Apr 2017

Wikipediae is an alternate version of Wikipedia generated by a recursive neural network (RNN) algorithm trained on a data dump of Wikipedia. The goal of the project is to host a series of linked webpages that are aesthetically similar to Wikipedia, but the text is entirely generated. I am experimenting with RNN libraries to train on a data dump of Wikipedia, and to find one that create outputs most similar to the training corpus. Meaning,... Read more

documentationcoursesnoc


Nature of Code - Week 3

14 Apr 2017

I have a couple data sets in mind that I’ve collected and would be interested in working with for the final project, both of which are textual corpora. I’ve done some limited work with applying Justin Johnson’s torch-rnn library toward creative ends and would be interested to explore it in more depth. The results I’m looking for are often similar to something like a markov chain bot, but using an RNN library allows one to... Read more

documentationcoursesnoc


Nature of Code - Week 3

04 Apr 2017

I have a couple data sets in mind that I’ve collected and would be interested in working with for the final project, both of which are textual corpora. I’ve done some limited work with applying Justin Johnson’s torch-rnn library toward creative ends and would be interested to explore it in more depth. The results I’m looking for are often similar to something like a markov chain bot, but using an RNN library allows one to... Read more

documentationcoursesnoc


Nature of Code - Week 2

04 Apr 2017

This week's assignment was to do something with genetic algorithms (GA). Genetic algorithms help solve "optimization problems based on a natural selection process that mimics biological evolution" [citation]. In thinking about other things passed on through the generations, I realized I could have some fun with family recipes. So I made a thing that mutates your treasured family recipes. Thought you had the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe? You need to adapt to the times,... Read more

documentationcoursesnoc


Detourning the Web - Week 6

08 Mar 2017

This week's assignment was to do something with vidoes. I made a supercut of my favorite scene from The Wire The Wire Supercut [Detourning Week 6] from Zach Coble on Vimeo. I used videogrep to make the video, with pocketsphinx to create the word-level transcriptions. The transcription wasn't that great, but at least it created a machine readable file with timestaps, so it was pretty straightforward to edit the file for accuracy. Read more

documentationcoursesdetourning


Who Owns Social Memory- Archiving and its Discontents - Final

06 Mar 2017

The final project was to 'Work with an existing archive or archival object and open it up to new elaboration through re-performance and re-interpretation.' I worked with the Met's recently released digital collections and the NYPL's digital collections. to create collages and compise images using ImageMagick. But first, a little context. According to Wikipedia, a collage "is a technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from... Read more

documentationcoursessocial-memory


Detourning the Web - Week 4

02 Mar 2017

This week's assignment was to do something with images. I used ImageMagick to play with the Met's recently released digital collections as well as the NYPL's digital collections. I was initially intrigued by the idea of making composite image, overlaying several images to make one image. Here are a couple examples using Roman marble busts from the Met. While these are by no means representative of the method, I was a little underwhelmed with its... Read more

documentationcoursesdetourning


Detourning the Web - Week 3

22 Feb 2017

This week's assignment was to scrape the web and then create a list with the material you collect. Our president likes ratings - Celebrity Apprentice's ratings, CNN's ratings, etc. Good shows with good ratings - like the Fox News morning show, Fox and Friends - get the president's ear. Well and good, but who gets the president's ear after he puts on his president pants and goes about his day doing president things? How does... Read more

documentationcoursesdetourning


Detourning the Web - week 1

01 Feb 2017

5 STAR REVIEWS FOR BLACK TOPHEADWARE 3 HOLE SKI MASK This week's assignment for Detourning the Web was to write a web scraper that grabs text from a page or series of pages and saves it to a file. I wrote a program that grabs the 5 star review from BLACK TOPHEADWARE 3 HOLE SKI MASK on Amazon The code is at https://gist.github.com/coblezc/bd2e3aa80252c4db9947efe397e5e831 Read more

documentationcoursesdetourning


PComp - Final Project Update

08 Dec 2016

For the pcomp final, Jaycee and I building a multi-player version of the classic game snake, where each player's snake is moved by player's body around the table. The most challenging part of the project has been finding the right sensor. We were told to focus on the game design and that the sensors would be the easy part, but apparently indoor sub-meter position tracking is a very challenging problem, at least on a graduate... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Animation - Week 7

06 Dec 2016

For this week's assignment, I created a Unity character with a pre-programmed interactive keypress. Unity is truly a pain in the ass to work with, so the character just moves from idle to jumping when you use the vertical keys (w or up arrow). I used the blend tree to move between animations and a C# script to generate the movement on keypress. Read more

documentationcoursesanimation


Animation - Week 5

29 Nov 2016

Dorothy Lam, Nitish Wakalkar, and I made Metamorphosis for our Animation assignment: Metamorphisis from Zach Coble on Vimeo We began by each bringing an idea for a character - I brought a walrus, Dorothy brought a planet-eating caterpillar, and we convinced Nitish to do a butterfly. Nitish created the characters and planets in Photoshop to give visual consistency, then we worked out a rough outline for a storyboard. We each animated the part where our... Read more

documentationcoursesanimation


PComp - Final Project Concept

16 Nov 2016

For the pcomp final, Jaycee and I are creating a game based on Slither. The program for the game will be built using p5. The game board will be projected onto a circular table and will accomodate up to 4 players. To move your snake, a player would move around the table in the direction they want their snake to move. For example, if you want your snake to move to the right, you would... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Animation - Week 1

02 Nov 2016

This week's assignment was to create a stop-motion video. I worked with Sebastian, Steph, and Michael, and we made Cameras on Cameras. Cameras on Cameras We found an apartment door buzzer camera from Insecam that was on Prince Steet in SoHo and decided to work with it. The surveillance camera stream already had a stop motion feel to it, so we decided to play on that. Our idea was to record Sebastian walking toward the... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


PComp - Midterm

01 Nov 2016

The midterm assignment was to create a compelling interactive piece. A simple idea with near limitless possibilities. My idea was create an audio mixing board that utilized the prismizer audio effect. I knew it was going to be outside the scope of the midterm project, so I decide to focus getting the basics set. The result is an instrument that allows users to record on a microphone, play and stop the recorded audio file, and... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Intro to Fabrication - Week 6

21 Oct 2016

This week’s assignment was to make mount a motor and mount something to the motor. I'm making an audio board for my PComp midterm so I ordered the slide potentiometer from SparkFun. slide pot The kit comes with a motor mount but I still needed something to put on the knob. So it was quite serendipitous that I found these "synth knappers" for 35 Danish krones (~$5). I'll have to play around with the knobs... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


Intro to Fabrication - Week 5

21 Oct 2016

This week’s assignment was to make something using two different materials. I'm still tweaking my mobile from Week 1 and wanted to play with different materials for the hanging pieces. Walnut and cherry I picked up some 1/8" walnut and cherry pieces from Blick on 13th St and used the laser cutter to make different combinations of triangles. I tried using the Wacom Bamboo tablet again to draw the pieces in Illustrator, but later decided... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


Intro to Fabrication - Week 4

04 Oct 2016

This week’s assignment was to use make an enclosure. I decided to make a box for my PComp project this week, making a theremin. The theremin I wanted to use standoff screws (and acrylic) but had trouble tracking down the screws, so I did a hack-y version using nuts and bolts. After tracking down the supplies, I made the Illustrator file to laser cut the top and bottom pieces. After using the laser cutter for... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


PComp - Week 3 Labs

26 Sep 2016

This weeks labs covered digital input and output and analog in. The digital input task was to build an LED circuit and program the Arduino to blink the light. I noticed that setting delay(12) was the lowest I could set the delay and still observe a blink with my naked eye. The digital output task was to build an LED circuit with a push button switch and program to read whether the light is on/off... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


PComp - Week 3 Observation

26 Sep 2016

I took the train to DC on Monday for a conference at the Library of Congress, and decided to observe people watching the train schedule ticker board. Trying to be an outsider, here’s my observation of people’s interaction with the board... Crowds ceaselessly gather and disperse around a board, approximately 20 ft wide and 8 ft tall. It has 10 columns and 9 rows. There is a large open area where people gather in front... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Intro to Fabrication - Week 3

26 Sep 2016

This week’s assignment was to use the laser cutter. I decided to spruce up my Calder-esque mobile from last week's assigment by using acrylic cutouts instead of washers. I got some acrylic from Canal Street Plastic and started designing the cutouts in Illustrator. I checked out the Wacom Bamboo tablet and styles from the ER because I quickly realized that it was much easier to draw the designs with a styles than using the trackpad.... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


PComp - Week 2

20 Sep 2016

I made a switch by taping toilet paper between the wire and the battery. The paper created a buffer space opening the circuit, which is closed when pressure is applied. It’s using a 3V battery from my digital camera Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Intro to Fabrication - Week 2

20 Sep 2016

This week’s assignment was to “make multiples of something, 5 or more.” I created a Calder-style mobile, assembling the 5 levels into a whole. I started at the plumbing section at Home Depot to find materials. I picked up some washers to put on the end of each level, some 16 gauge wire, and some fishing line to connect the levels. I knew I wanted the project to look something like this: I began by... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


PComp - Week 1

14 Sep 2016

I agree with Crawford’s definition of interactivity “a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak,” and especially with his qualifiers of “high, moderate, low, or even zero” interactivity. I would even add two additional qualifiers - direct and indirect interactivity. Direct activity meaning the two actors converse with each other without any third parties, and indirect interactivity meaning that the two actors converse but either through a third party or based... Read more

documentationcoursespcomp


Intro to Fabrication - Week 1

14 Sep 2016

Our assignment for Week 1 of Intro to Fabrication was to build a flashlight. I'm pretty sure I've had this assignment as some point in the past, so I knew I need to have: A battery A light Some wires Thankfully, I had my pcomp kit, so I was prepared with wires and LED lights. I dug through my closet and found a battery for an old digital camera, which worked to power the LED... Read more

documentationcoursesfabrication


Video for New Media - Final

10 Aug 2016

For my Video for New Media final, I wanted to create a warped 3D character. I liked the glitch aesthetic, and in asking around about current adaptations of glitch video, Todd Bryant suggested that 3D models and worlds have many interesting corollaries with glitch videos. Here’s the end result: Kiss & Yell [VFNM] from Zach Coble on Vimeo. The documentation gods blessed me with a new type of glitch starting at :27 that I haven’t... Read more

documentationcoursesvfnm


Video for New Media - Week 3

20 Jul 2016

Our projection mapping assignment involved creating a video to project onto the building across the street. Jasmine came up with the concept for the video - something about Eraserhead and anti-intellectualism. I haven't seen Eraserhead and after making this video I'm not sure I want to, but I was sold on the idea of anti-intellectualism. Popcorn & Vomit [VFNM] from Zach Coble on Vimeo. We used Mapmapper to get a calibrated image of the building... Read more

documentationcoursesvfnm


Video for New Media - Week 2

13 Jul 2016

Our second assignment for Video for New Media was to use the Ricoh Theta to transport the viewer to a new world. I brought the viewer into the captivating world of austerity fiscal policy. The film serves as an intro to and critique of austerity policy, but also plays with the concept of place as an idea by using different “scenes” (in public and in the home) to illustrate that economic policy is a theme... Read more

documentationcoursesvfnm


Video for New Media - Week 1

08 Jul 2016

Our first assignment for Video and New Media was to meet someone new and create a portrait of them using only still frames, music and voiceover that gives us an idea of who they are in the world. Still Portrait [VFNM] from Zach Coble on Vimeo. I spent too much time learning the settings on the Canon 5D Mark 2 camera and didn’t have the energy to meet someone new, so instead I just creeped... Read more

documentationcoursesvfnm


Reading Writing Electronic Text - Final

06 May 2016

Concept My final project for Reading Writing Electronic Text uses Markov chains to generate new trucker CB slang. To put some structure around this new slang, I created a mad lib using the timeless trucker song, "Convoy" by CW McCall. For good measure, I threw in some American Revolutionary War terms into the initial corpus of CB lingo. The original "Convoy" go like this: And the mad lib formula I used looks like this: Add... Read more

documentationcoursesrwet


Performing User - Final

22 Apr 2016

For the Performing User final performance, I revived my meditation on death. Of my performances from this semester, this one best fit the parameters -- a large room with an audience of ~50 seated people. It was very different from doing the performance in class where everyone was working on the same assignment and at least had some idea what was going to happen going into it. The most significant difference was timing - this... Read more

documentationcoursesperforming user


Performing User - Week 9 Documentation

20 Apr 2016

This week's assignment was around the theme of "remote user": In pairs, create a performance study that happens remotely over a distance. What are similar or related themes in your individual work that could be paired somehow? How might introducing the concept of "distance" or "remoteness" or "disconnection" add to or change these themes? What are the different types of distance or remoteness? Physical, emotional, time, understanding, etc… Will you be connected to each other... Read more

documentationcoursesperforming user


Reading Writing Electronic Text - Homework 3

03 Apr 2016

Our assignment was " Appropriating text from the network. Devise and implement (in Python) a procedure to cut up and creatively re-arrange text. At least one of your texts should come from a network-based source (e.g., Wordnik, the New York Times API, etc.)." I made the "New York Times Worst Sellers List" The program takes the current NYTime best seller list for Combined Print and Ebook Fiction (I think that's the main one nowadays) and... Read more

documentationcoursesrwet


Reading Writing Electronic Text - Midterm

29 Mar 2016

For my midterm for Reading Writing Electron Text, I wanted to expand on my NaNoGenMo project and create a program that generate Drake songs that followed the following scheme 8 line verse 4 line chorus 8 line verse 4 line chorus (repeat) 8 line verse 4 line chorus (repeat) The tricky part was figuring out how to get rhyming lines. Allison Parrish showed me how to generate perfect rhymes using her Pronunciation Python library, but... Read more

documentationcoursesrwet


Performing User - Week 7 Documentation

23 Mar 2016

Anonymous / Authentic User This week’s assignment was “Create a performance that is a ‘mask’ or a ‘disguise’ that allows you to do or say things that you would never do as ‘you’.” You know the ads on subways, and how people sometimes stick their own ads on them? I made one of those. I’ve been collecting these ads for over a year. I have a strange fascination with them. They’re some sort of a... Read more

documentationcoursesperforming user


Performing User - Week 1 Documentation

03 Feb 2016

Guided Mindfulness Meditation on Death and the Crashing Plane Last week I showed a flight safety instructions booklet, and mentioned how I always found it interesting that before every flight you have to take a moment to envision your own mortality. So as an accompaniment, I would like to take you all, my fellow fliers, on a brief guided mindfulness meditation on death and the crashing plane. For context: the internet says: Contemplation and meditation... Read more

documentationcoursesperforming user


You Used to Call Me, A Memoir (and a Drake bot)

16 Dec 2015

Kinda related to ICM, I also made this Drake bot. It creates a 50,000 word Drake autobiography each time you reload the page. Here's the code. http://drake.press I grabbed all of Drake's lyrics from lyrics.com and put them into a text file. Only the verses and chorusses he performs, lyrics by guests aren't included. It uses RiTa.js to create Markov Chains that generate the lines. Basically, the program looks at each word the text file... Read more

documentationcoursesicm