Work in Progress Popup

Just before Christmas 2018 my fellow Computational Art MFA students at Goldsmiths, myself included, held a pop-up exhibition in New Cross High Street.

13 of us exhibited, to mark our work in progress. My interest is in surveillance, combined with an interest in breathing new life into obsolete equipment and changing their original functionality.


Videx VX Entryphone

Videx VX Intercom

This little item turned up when the system at my place was upgraded. The item was fitted around 2001 and unusually, it has a rather odd mini CRT (Cathode ray tube) bent at 90 degrees insed the unit. High voltage apart, it delivers a soft indistinct alalogue image, blurry – possibly due to it being out of adjustment!

The opportunity to use this as part of an installation is seductive. Three buttons (to release gate, activate screen and to speak) and a the button on the handset cradle will all be nice interactive elements.

Progress report No. 0

Some small progress with the first of three research projects:

I have hunted high and low to solve the problem of the password protected Siements/Telenorma Minitel terminal. However, another Minitel I bid for on eBay under £20 arrives, no password this time to deal with! This one has the all important function key and is monochrome. An Alcatel Minitel 1.

Reading of Lisa Nakamura; Indigenous circuits: Navajo women and the racialization of early electronic manufacture

Key points of the text:

Lisa Nakamura (LN) focuses on a case history of Fairchild Industries in their manufacture of integrated circuits (IC) in the 1960’s-70’s. The need for accurate and highly reliable IC’s becomes apparent by the semiconductor industry and Fairchild opted for manufacture based in Navaho Indian reservations.

The emerging message from LN’s text that struck me most was the separation of the labourers and the users in the delivery of consumer tech products.

Tech “Archaeology”; Minitel and Inception of a deeper speculative project

Minitel: German Telenorma/Siemens circa 1987.

The use of Minitel as a predecessor to the Internet was piloted in 1978 and rolled out in 1982 in France. President Valerie Giscard d’Estaing was inspired to initiate the project. One has to admire the French with their amazing ability to deliver large projects e.g. Ariane rocket, the Pompidou Centre and the TGV, this visionary network connected Devices anticipated the forthcoming Internet. Its original proposal was to replace paper-based directories for phone numbers it was soon being used interactively to order Cinema tickets email and chat. Other services on offer were mail-order retail, airline and train tickets information on another database and message boards. Even before the advent of Minitel, Parisians could order local grocery deliveries via a service called Peapod.

Post Traumatic MA Syndrome

I sweep up the kipple from the garage floor; PLA printed fragments, crucifixes, metal filings, screws, wires and some valuable items I mislaid in the frantic rush to finish my final installation for the MA exhibition –  Echosystems .

After a route march with my wife in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah and Armageddon I return to an anxious UK, an uncertain future for the country and one of the hottest October days on record.

The Autumn term for my MFA has already started and I havent a clue what I am doing back there,

Her last weetabix

Abandoned. The signs there was no point in saving her, I found her alone in the empty ward, no other patients – empty beds. A bowl of lukewarm Weetabix sits next to her bed, sodden beige slime.

I nudge her.

Motors and Prototyping

After some experimentation with tiny N20 5V DC motors, the same type found in MG905 servos – I realise that they run just too fast. For the DC motor to work I have used a small 2N7000 / 2N7002 / NDS7002A — N-Channel Mosfet.

I will use a few of these DC motors in the forthcoming installation for the final project, however, because the RPM is too fast,  I will be converting some of the servos I have into continuous and much slower, rotating servos.