Project 2 Augmented Eyesight

I was eight years old when I first had to get glasses. Since then, every eye appointment I have had has shown that my eyesight is almost always decreasing. Sight is one of the most important senses that we have that some people unfortunately lack. I am interested  in Eye Write, a team that is working together to create a low cost eye-tracking system that allows ALS patients to draw using their eyes as well as BrainPort, a device created to allow blind people to see using the nerves of their tongue. With my idea, technological advances would allow for people who completely lack eyesight to be able to see in their mind by creating a brain map.

For a person who was born blind, their eyes are not connected to their brain or their retinas are not sending signals from their photoreceptors to their brains. Scientists have not been able to figure out how the retina works in processing signals in order to create an artificial eye that would allow a blind person to regain all of their eyesight. Since this is such a challenge, I came up with an idea that would allow a person to be able to see completely by allowing their mind to create a brain map and ultimately allow them to see completely with their mind.

This would be in the form of a contact lens. The lens puts sensations into their eyes which would translate to a brain map and allow them to see in in their mind. Much like light hits the cornea, the contact lens would essentially be the “light”. The sensations would move through the cornea, to the crystalline lens (part of the eye that further focuses light and allows to eye to see approaching objects) at this stage the sensations would allow a person to recognize how close or far away they are from an object without physically seeing it with their eye. From there, the sensations would reach the retina, the part of the eye that converts the images we see into electronic signals. Finally, sensations would move to the optic nerve which then sends these sensations to the visual cortex.

My idea stemmed from BrainPort, a device that allows a person to see by relying on the nerves of the tongue’s surface to send light signals to the brain.  This device uses a video camera that collects visual data that is worn like a pair of sunglasses on the user. The data is transmitted straight to a handheld base unit rather than to the eyes. My idea is similar to this but instead of it being translated into a handheld device, the sensations will translate into nerve signals that go directly through the eye and into the brain. This in turn will create an alternative form of vision in the brain, which I refer to as a brain map.

Challenges:A person who is born blind has other senses that compensate for the lack of a fifth sense. Won’t these overcompensating senses get in the way of a contact lens that is suddenly making a blind person see?

-No, the contact lens will essentially work in the way that the eye uses light, only no light is available, it is just the sensations and the nerve signals. It does not really affect their eye sight, it affects the images that the brain makes therefore, their other senses will not get in the way.

Why this is beneficial?  A blind person has no frame of reference for sight when they are born, this will essentially give them that frame of reference and furthermore, even though they will still be medically blind, it will make them able to see everything we see; the only difference being that it takes form in their mind.­­­­­­

Augmented eyesight

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Research: Augmented Body

Research

“Tasting the Light: Device Lets the Blind “See” with Their Tongues”

The concept of “seeing with your tongue” really inspired me. There are new innovations on the rise that give people the ability to see. Finding a way to give sight to the blind has proven to be a difficult task among scientist but they have come up with creative ways to make this possible. Basically, with this invention, people are able to see using signals that are sent to the tongue via a system of electrodes that sit on the tongue. Each electrode corresponds with a set of pixels, some pixels send a strong pulse while others send no signal. The information from these signals is then sent to either the brain’s visual cortex or its somatosensory cortex (it is not known for certain).

Link: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/device-lets-blind-see-with-tongues/

“10 Body Parts Science Is Replacing”

This article discusses how parts of the body that no longer work, are becoming frail, or are damaged can create a way for science to move in and replace parts of the body and allow us the ability to ­experience things we otherwise would not be able to.­­ Things like prosthetic hands, supersensitive skin, noses that smell disease, and artificial eyes are just a few of the ways that our bodies  can be augmented in to doing new and crazy things. I used this as a reference when trying to decide how technology can interact with the body.

Link: http://listverse.com/2013/12/11/10-body-parts-science-is-replacing/

Image links used for reference

http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/archive_articles/100512_Myelinkontrolle_cm/index_EN

http://www.webervisioncare.com/contact-lenses/

http://roguehealthandfitness.com/category/brain/

Augmented Body Proposal

I was eight years old when I first had to get glasses. Since then, every eye appointment I have had has shown that my eyesight is almost always decreasing. Sight is one of the most important senses that we have that some people unfortunately lack. I am interested  in Eye Write. A team is working together to essentially create a low cost eye-tracking system that allows ALS patients to draw using their eyes.

 

My idea behind this project is similar but also opposite. Technological advances would allow for people who either completely lack or have failing eyesight to be able to see based on their other senses.

They will not only be able to recognize certain things based on touch, hearing, taste, and smell but technology will now allow for them to fully see based on their reaction to these other senses.

Chance and Indeterminacy Final

Overall, my ideas for the execution of this project are relatively simple. I am following traffic and drawing lines. Using this simple recipe (mentioned in the previous posts) I ultimately ended up with a very unique piece of art. After much thought and experimentation I decided that adding colored based on what type of car was driving by would give me a more creative result, I think this added a lot to the aesthetic value of this piece.
This final piece shows the traffic patterns of cars driving past my house. This is the result of an hour of watching cars beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Truck=green line
Car=orange line
SUV=blue line
Van=red line

20150209_204958-1

Project 1: Chance & Indeterminacy

Following Traffic Part 2:

Keeping with my original concept of following the traffic patterns of cars by drawing lines based on the direction the cars traveled, I decided that I would add a couple more elements. Each type of car was assigned a color of marker that I would use to draw the lines.

Blue=van

Orange=truck

Green=SUV

Red=car

I also decided that instead of numbering each car, I would simply add a circle at the end of the lines.

For the end result of this project, I either want to continue to add on to the traffic patterns that I have started or move to a busier street. I believe that heavier traffic patterns will create a more interesting work of art in the end.

20150204_225735

Self Portrait

For my self portrait project I wanted to incorporate pictures that I felt best represented me and what I love. I chose two paintings that my dad made for me because he inspired me to do art throughout my life. One painting is of a flower and the other a bird. I included a tea kettle because I enjoy tea very much, that is also why I incorporated my cat mug (I also like cats). I included the opening page of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because it is one of my favorite reads. I wanted these things to appear as a reflection.

flower bird teakettle cat page Self Portrait

Systems Esthetics Review

Jack Burnham discusses that major events in history and art are often accompanied by technology, more specifically, technology plays an important role in our attitudes about art.

I was interested in Burnham’s discussion of the emergence of “superscientific culture” in which he essentially discusses bridging the gap between is needed to sustain livability and what looks good. This is still very true today. We are constantly wanting and “needing” the next best thing. We don’t allow ourselves to fall behind even if we are living comfortably with what we already have. The next big and best thing is always right around the corner and when it is finally here it is constantly pushed on us as consumers. Often, we are willing to sacrifice our own well-being or that of our future generations for these new inventions because in some cases, we fail to see the effect it will have on our environment.

Although written many years ago, the ideas that Burnham has still hold true today. Art is ever-changing and technology is an important part of art. Just as it has expanded from the 1960’s until present day, it will continue to evolve from now until the end of time and will possibly have many of the same effects on us that Burnham described.

Research Presentation

I used “Stephen Wilson: Intersections of Art, Science, Technology, & Culture” to find three artists that interested me. Upon further research I decided to choose Ken Feingold, Daniel Miller, and Daniel Rozin.

Ken Feingold did a lot of work with dummy’s and heads that talked. Much of the work I viewed was creepy and very different but also intriguing. The piece title “You” done in 2004 explores the argumentative relationship between male and female using two heads that are programmed to argue, makeup, and argue again. Each argument is different for each new person that comes to view the piece. The piece challenges viewers to think about people who are in similar relationships as these dummy’s where they can never quite escape.  The piece is made from silicon, fiberglass, steel, software, electronics, and computers as well as a few other elements that form the setting.

http://www.kenfeingold.com/you2.html

Daniel Miller did a lot of work with viewing large scale issues we face in the world we live in and put them in a very small environment. My favorite of these works was “Safe Harbour” which uses a camera to view the bottom of the Burnham Harbor. The video shows the waste that collects at the bottom of the harbor due to careless tossing of waste. Most of it comes from Chicago Bears fans. A boat is made out of waste collected from the harbor and hung from the ceiling. Beneath it is a video projection of the underwater waste.

http://www.danmillerart.com/SafeHarbor.html

Daniel Rozin is an artist who currently works in New York. He is an artist as well as an educator and developer. As an artist he works to maintain a focus around the viewer within his pieces. He is an Associate Art Professor at ITP, Tish School Of The Arts where he teaches classes in digital design.

Circles Mirror: http://www.smoothware.com/danny/circlesmirror.html

Daniel Rozin’s work particularly interested me because he meshed the ideas of digital creations with materials that many humans come into contact with often. One piece that I was particularly interested in was “Circles Mirror” done in 2005. It is one of his many works of art that has a reflective feature that allows the audience to essentially become the artwork. This piece uses digitally printed circles with patterns, 900 motors, a video camera, control electronics, and a computer. It is a sculpture that uses these items to create a mirror image of the person standing in front of it. The circles move to expose dark and light features of the subject matter in front of it. Twelve patterns of black to white gradation were first randomly placed on the board and the shift of the motors move the circles to mirror the subject in front of it.

circlesdetail

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqmNoNA0has

Self-Centered Mirror: http://www.smoothware.com/danny/selfcenteredmirror.html

Another piece I found intriguing and funny was “Self-Centered Mirror” which literally does what its name says. The installation done in 2003 is again interactive and part of his work with Glass Sculptures. The piece uses thirty-four vertical panes of mirrors that allow the person standing directly in front of the mirrors to see themselves thirty-four times while anyone else standing next to them is cut out of the frame due to the design of the mirrors and the way they are displayed. On his website he states that, “This piece lifts the last obstacle from in the quest to total narcissism.”

selfcenteredmirrorfront selfcenteredmirror1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ZaSEbO4iY

I enjoyed this artist because he has a keen interest in involving the audience with his work and allowing them to decide how the piece will look overall. I was also interested in the fact that the artwork appears different but familiar to each person since they, are essentially the artwork.

More of Daniel Rozin’s work: http://www.smoothware.com/danny/index.html

My Presentation: Daniel Rozin