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Concept: Hand-felted wool stalactite and stalagmite sculpture collection given anthropomorphic behaviors.

Impetus: I was thinking about the 1973 Thompkins/Bird book, The Secret Life of Plants that explored the idea of plants as sentient beings with physical and emotional characteristics. Cave mineral formations while not actually made of what is considered living material, do exhibit characteristics of life. They are dynamic and grow and change over a period of time. They are affected by humidity and light conditions, provide housing for microscopic organisms and the oils of mammals can cause them harm by discoloration or decay.
I wanted to give these mineral structures behaviors that took place during moments when humans are not in close proximity.
I chose to make these mineral sculptures out of soft organic material, raw wool, which I wet-felted together. The breathing lights are made of LEDs wired in parallel. They are controlled by Arduino.

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Future Goals: To use sensors to allow sculptures to react to the presence of others. Change in photocell values would cause sculptures to become upset and cause rapid blinking. Servo motors would be causing movement but if sensors values altered, movement would stop and they would freeze in place.

Thanks so much to Cecilia, Paola, Erline, Liz and Monica for your help this semester!

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I made a stalagmite prototype out of packing foam wrap. The movement will be a simple slow bow towards another stalagmite or stalactite in this case (paper) due to decrease in light.

Two sketches would not save from my scanner

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Setting up Digital Push Button Sketch for Arduino

Push Button

Fabric Switch Materials
Fabric
Conductive fabric
Velostat
Thread
Aligator Clips
10k ohm resistor
Wire Arduino

Pull Down

Pull Up

Debounce

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Stroke Sensor Materials:
3V Battery
Conductive Thread
Resistive Thread
Foil Tape
Electrical Tape
Wool Fabric
2 LEDs

Variable Sensor Materials:
3V Battery
Conductive Thread
Resistive Thread
Thread
Conductive Fabric
2 Leds

This is the info for submitting files to be cut by the 10th floor lab laser cutter.
Laser Cutter Guidelines

“Eye”
Materials:
White Sketchbook Paper
LED
Conductive Fabric
Conductive Tape
Masking Tape
3V CR2032 Battery

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“Pyramid Park” Circuit with ON/OFF switch
Materials:
Paper
LED
Conductive Thread
Conductive Tape
3V CR2032 Battery
Clear Tape
Masking Tape

How It Works:
By taking a thread from one pyramid and connecting it to the other thread, a third pyramid will light up. To turn light off, untie threads and separate so they are not touching.

Pop-up Pull Tab with Lever

Non tech: black clay whistles from Columbia
Tech: grado headphones


Interface:Animal Storyteller and Wireless Portable Speaker
Along with using it as a whistle, you would be able to lift the whistle to your ear and hear a short story of mythology, folklore, Stranger than Fiction tales, Gossip or anything interesting stories uploaded on an accompanying website. These would be random and would be activated by being lifted. These stories would be streamed from a collection online.

There would also be a jack sticking out of the side to plug the device into a portable device such as an ipod or into a laptop to project the audio of the device.