2018 - Arduino Microcontroller, Plants, Speakers, Solar Panels.
!WEPA! is an annual Street Festival in Los Sures, now called Williamsburg, hosted by El Puente Community Center. I set up a booth with three plants that trigger analog sound when touched, as well as a DIY microscope to look at the same plants up close. By working with familiar and culturally significant objects, technology becomes approachable. I never hide the technology because I aim to create discourse and access around it. Interactive was powered by solar panels.
2018 - Mixed Media: Clay, Mesh, Wood, Straws, Cable ties, Thread, Acrylic, Cellophane.
Experimenting with familiar and found materials to explore forms that can be used as infrastructure for data mapping.
2018 - Processing Programming Language, iMovie.
2018 - Photoshop
2017 - Kite Materials: Plastic straw, String, Cellophane, Wooden Dowels. Air Quality Monitoring System: Arduino Radio Transceiver Feather, CO2 Gas Sensor, Particulate Matter Sensor, Temp & Humidity Sensor, Arduino Mega, Radio Receiver, Character LCD. Written in C.
The concept of this prototype is heavily inspired by El Puente's (Latino Community & Cultural center in Los Sures Williamsburg, BK) urban environmental justice initiatives that advocate for cleaner air in their community through education, environmental testing, empowerment, and strategic planning with the city.
In solidarity with El Puente and in order to bring awareness into the arts & broader BK community I have built “proof of concept” tetrahedral kite that hosts a DIY air quality monitoring system that measures dust particulates & carbon monoxide - both very harmful in high concentrations, as well as temperature & humidity meta data. The kite hosts the air quality monitoring system powered via battery. The collected data is sent via radio from the sky down to the computer on the ground.
During my limited amount of time working along side El Puente I have learned and observed alot about their history of struggle, adaptation, and resistance. Los Sures has faced continuous marginalization throughout it's existence - construction of the BQE that passes directly through causing heavy pollution and dividing the community without consent, increased lack of affordable housing, closing of many local businesses, increased policing / surveillance etc to name a few. Even with all this in mind Los Sures has adapted and continued to resist by educating their kids, preserving their historical & cultural narratives through dance, events, art, as well as advocating urban environmentalism in the community as a human rights public health issue.
Working along side El Puente I have really began to think differently about public vs private space. Public space, air, and earth are especially important in densely populated urban environments like Los Sures because it is used by everyone all the time (if it is truly accessible, if it is truly 'public') - these public spaces create and foster community and conversation and collective agency. Limiting who can use the public space (behavior policing), marketing the space to those with social or economic capital (gentrification), polluting certain public spaces who have less power (political influence or money) while turning a blind eye (common in black & brown communities), making it illegal for people to take environmental data in public spaces, are all forms of marginalization and are a public health & justice issue.
This is why I built a kite - it is an incognito way of taking environmental data. It is user friendly, cheap, and playful, a child could use it to take data measurements of the air that surrounds them and their own community - thus taking back their communities public space through education, documentation, and accessibility of knowledge. This is power and resistance. I hope we can fly the next version of the kite and measure air quality in Los Sures sometime in the near future.
This project was created during my 6 week residency at TriTryAgain Maker Art Space in Ridgewood Queens, and was presented at our opening.
2017 - Laser Cut Acrylic, Spray Paint, Illustrator, Python, Postgresql
This piece is a physical representation of recorded data on Latin American migrants traveling to the United States between the years 2011 and 2014. It was constructed as a proof-of-concept in accompaniment with the following paper, Computer Science Senior Capstone Research Project: Data Sculpture [An Alternative Medium of Communication].
Shown in 2018 at the Earth Arts Center in Brooklyn during their Borderless Exhibition.
2018 - Wood, Paint, Photoshop, Audacity.
Interactive wooden sculpture.
2018 / 2017 - Leading various workshops around the NYC area surrounding Digital Literacy and Multimedia Art. Past collaborators have been Biobus, Queens Library, El Puente Community Center and other informal community spaces. Workshops range from sewing with LED’s, 3D printing jewelry, to designing an album cover with Photoshop - these depend on the interest and needs of the community.
Through my work in education, community outreach, and my own lived experience - I know the value of access. True access extends beyond expensive tools. Facilitation of access must be detached from elitism, a space where one can freely forge their own distinct, culturally expressive path within technology. In order to make technology culturally and intellectually engaging, it should be taught and communicated with a focus on innate curiosity, self-expression, and community-driven projects, that are tangible and speak to a diversity of experiences. To this end, my work and pedagogy is rooted in creating access. Everyday I strive to question the barriers of entry (physical and digital), esoteric language, and lack of empathy - that ultimately limit us as a collective community.
2017 - Processing, a high level graphics programming language.
Experimenting with the generative algorithmic toroid shape for my friend Squidgenini's music video 'WATCHED BY U', shown below.
2018 / 2017 - Illustrator, Photoshop
Graphics for various events / music / experiments.
2016 - Laser Cut Arcylic & Wood, Illustrator
In creating this piece I abstracted a cactus into a puzzle based sculpture that can be disassembled and reassembled to take many different forms.
Below are two illustrator files that were made and used in the creation of this piece.
2015 - Steel Wire, Spray Paint, Flock
2015 - Each plant is wired to a microprocessor [Arduino Mega] that sends and receives a signal. When a plant is touched the capacitance increases thus delaying the signal that it reads. The plant acts as a conductor. Once the microprocessor reads a delayed signal, it triggers a sound [Pure Data]. The simulated sun rays are mapped video projections [Processing] . The video footage was taken at Golden Gate Bridge Park, and much of the sound was recorded in a forest in Richmond, IN. (The Pure Data sound patch as well as a video of the working prototype are shown below).
This piece invites the audience to enter a mosquito net that opens into an intimate space and recreates an outdoor setting. The space is filled with over twenty succulent plants that are speckled with projections, mimicking sun rays filtered through leaves. When touched, each plant triggers a unique ambient sound. The technology manipulates the user’s senses to create a rich and seemingly-organic experience amongst common objects.
This piece was developed during a summer residency at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco, CA and was showcased in 2015 at their theater.
In December of 2014 I was invited to be a part of a bio-tech research group's expeditionary field science project in Nicaragua (my home country) -- Battling the coffee fungus La Roya or “Coffee Rust”. La Roya is a fungus that has exponentially grown due to climate change and is a devastating problem in economies who depend on coffee exportation.
The Soil Sensor platform was built using an Arduino Uno and coded in C. The platform has two digital sensors that measure conductivity, temperature, and humidity, and an analog pH reader. The device expresses data on the LCD screen in realtime and is recorded on an SD card.
2015 - Laser Cut (paper, plastic, acrylic, wood), Silver, Rubber
Political brooches and necklaces. Each brooch / necklace represent a different physical sector of the US-Mexico border. The tags that accompanied each brooch highlight apprehension data gathered from the US Customs and Border Protection database between the years of 2011 and 2015, (tag shown below as illustrator file).
All pieces were sold at Earlham College's Student Art Sale, all proceeds were donated to the Coalición De Derechos Humanos.
2017 - Processing, a high level graphics programming language.
I generate these forms by entering real data sets and manipulate parameters within the software in order to create abstracted data representations. These parameters determine the shape, development, movement, and color of the form.
2014 - Lilypad Arduino, Fiber Optics, LED's, Custom 3D designed and 3D printed Nodes.
I created a dress made of fiber optic lights that are controlled by code. The code I wrote causes the lights to twinkle like stars, strobe, or flicker like fire.
• Connecting the fiber optic bundles to the LED head so that light would shine through.
• Sewing with conductive thread, seeing as I have never sewn before.
• Building something that could potentially attach to any type of garment.
• Figuring out that fiber optics are quite small, and that you need a lot to produce a good amount of light.
Showcased in 2014 at Content Display in Madison, WI.