Yo Momma

Take a look at my final project for this class if you’d like!

Model magic

For my last mail piece, I tried something that I wasn’t sure would get sent through at all! After checking the mail regulations, I couldn’t quite tell if something like this would go through the mail without an envelope:

Mail pt. 11

It’s a ball of model magic, which was soft at the time and very easily deformed. So for anybody to be able to read the address as it goes through the mail, it will have to be kept in about the same shape as it was originally sent.

When I took this to the post office, the man at the counter didn’t think it would get sent. I insisted that it didn’t break any regulations, so he asked for a second opinion from someone nearby, who said “Sure, why not? It’s not liquid, fragile, or perishable. But he needs a return address.” So I wrote my return address on the ball and it was accepted!

Arcade

I built a playable arcade-style game based around the mechanic of launching a ball.

Game

Fragile Inside

What if the container is strong, but the inside is weak?

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Fragile outside

This empty container is fragile.

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Flower

Taking inspiration from pressing fall leaves, I decided to “press” a flower through the mail machinery.

Mail pt. 8

Boxhead

I mediated an interaction with my classmate by putting a box on his head.

Boxhead

The box deprives the wearer of sight, and to show how that affected other senses I asked my classmate to do certain tasks:

  • Touching his nose
  • Jumping jacks
  • Shaking my hand
  • Sitting down in the middle of the class

These were surprisingly easy for him, perhaps because his other senses were reliable enough without sight.

In Reserve

I’ve held this piece in reserve for a while. I put charcoal in an envelope, and as it goes through the mail it will get crushed and make marks on the inside of the envelope.

Mail pt. 6

Email

The email system is much less physical than the mail system, but it still has its quirks. One of them is how each email provider handles spam and security.

I tried to send an infinitely-recursive zip file to my partner through Gmail, but it rejected my request.

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So instead I sent it through my personal account, which does no such filtering.

Mail pt. 6

Due to Google’s spam filtering, I’m half expecting this email to end up in the spam folder.

Freestyle helper

So you suddenly find yourself in a rap battle, at a loss for what to say? Never fear. Just click and drag your mouse in the grid below to start generating lyrics.

Disposable camera mail

I have this unusual fascination with disposable cameras. It’s such an unreliable medium, with terrible optics, no focus, grainy film and bad lighting. But I love it for the spontaneity. I can hand a disposable camera to anybody, and they’ll know what to do with it.

With that in mind, I decided to see what would happen if I sent a fresh disposable camera through the mail. Only once the pictures are developed will I know if it was successful.

Mail Mail Mail

Invent a medium Pt. 2

To take my medium interactive, I decided to scale up. Instead of pushing paint around with my fingers, I let a crowd of people leave their marks.

Invent a medium Invent a medium

I set up the piece in a well-traveled pathway between classes.

Invent a medium Invent a medium

After leaving the piece for a while, I took it down and photographed the results.

Here they are, as a record of a crowd’s movements:

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Sandwich

To fit the theme this week, I ended up reading through many, many pages of the postal regulations. They go into such detail about the kinds of live animals they can and can’t ship, and specifically ban fruits and vegetables. So the inspiration for this one was trying to find food that I could send.

9.3.7 Bees

Bees are acceptable in the continental surface mail when shipped under federal and state regulations to ensure that they are free of disease. Packages of honeybees must bear special handling postage, except those sent at a First-Class Mail price. Only queen honeybees may be shipped via air transportation. Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

Mail pt. 5

Paint mail

Using the technique I discovered earlier, I made a letter to send to my partner.

Mail Mail

As it goes through the postal system, this piece will be pressed in unknown ways, which will create an interesting final piece.

Invent a medium Pt. 1

I set aside a couple hours to play with the fluid dynamics of paint, inspired by Mike Cina’s similar experiments, particularly those with the marbling technique.

Invent a medium

First I diluted some water-soluble block printing ink and poured it into a pan.

Invent a medium

Putting paper directly into the water was unsuccessful, so I drained it and found that all the pigment had sunk.

Invent a medium

A print using this method.

Invent a medium

After several variations of the above technique, using other fluids like salt water and detergent, I decided to apply paint directly to the paper.

Invent a medium

I liked the effect so much that I tried it a few other ways, and settled on a plastic sheet as the best way to handle the paint.

By pressing paint between two sheets of plastic, I can directly manipulate the pigments in whatever direction I want. This leads to interesting patterns and colors, especially when light shines through the plastic from underneath.

First Mail Received

I received my partner Austin’s letter late, and opened it up. This is what I found:

Mail received Mail received

So I followed the directions:

Mail received Mail received

Kinect Instrument

Using the Kinect 3D camera sensor and an image processing library, we set out to create a harp-like instrument using hand gestures for input.

We set up the instrument in Ryder hall between classes, where people were constantly walking by. Most ignored us, but we got a few successful interactions.

Technical difficulties plagued the project, but despite the problems it succeeded.

Kinect instrument Kinect instrument

We used signage to explain how to interact with the Kinect because most people did not understand what to do, in dual languages because we were on the language-learning floor.

Wooden Letter

I wanted to send an unusual object in the mail. I carved the address into a letter-shaped piece of balsa wood, put a couple stamps on, and dropped it in a mailbox.

It never arrived.

Wooden letter Wooden letter Wooden letter