6 Tech/Art Mash-Ups you can create for £1000

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New technologies mean new art, with time, skill and a small amount of cash you can create wonders.

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This is what robots do when no-one is around.

The fusion of art and technology has also made art more accessible; years ago an individual’s imagination may have been limited to what their hands could produce; now computer-aided design allows an individual’s artistic desires align with their imagination.

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Makes your phone look rubbish.

To demonstrate this meeting on mind and machine, we have compiled a list of six tech/art mash-ups you can create for £1000.

6. Peg Mirror

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It’s like being on your own coin.

Daniel Rozin is a digital artist who creates interactive installations and sculptures. Peg Mirror is a piece that Rozin constructed in 2007 which consists of six hundred and fifty cylindrical wooden pegs arranged in a forty-two-inch circle (about the size of a truck wheel). Each wooden piece is cut at an angle and has the ability to rotate.

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Works best at eye level.

As the pegs rotate, they cast shadows of varying intensity depending upon their position; this allows each peg to imitate a greyscale pixel. Using a camera in the centre of the ‘mirror’ a computer is able to alter the pegs’ positions to mimic an image that the camera captures.

This allows the wooden mirror to ‘reflect’ a pixelated representation of anything placed before it. Intriguing and impressive, this innovative ‘mirror’ is great at attracting attention but makes styling your hair a challenge.

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5. Gas Sculpture

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The freeform sculpture.

At the National Gallery of Canberra in Australia, artist Fujiko Nakaya has constructed a sculpture made entirely from water vapour. This ‘gas sculpture’ consists of a large bank of small water sprays that have such small apertures that when water is pumped into them they produce a fine mist or fog.

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Close up nozzle action.

Arranged around the edge of a small, reed-filled pond, the sprays create a ‘sculpture’ which is constantly changing shape and form dependent upon its interaction with its environment. This piece would make a fantastic addition to any garden or balcony, but be prepared for your possessions to suffer some serious water damage if you bring it inside.

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4. Fluid Dress

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It has a ‘fluid’ design.

In 2009, Charlie Bucket debuted his Fluid Dress at the Maker Faire Festival in California. The dress consists of six hundred feet of tubing knitted together and attached to a pump. Through the tubing, luminous liquid of various colours is pumped to give the dress a constantly shifting pattern.

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Design in detail.

Designed as a concept product to demonstrate the possibilities of future fashion, the Fluid Dress weighs just over three and a half kilograms (about the same as a newborn) when filled with fluid, meaning that it isn’t an entirely impractical idea. This is a piece of art you can wear, and its excessive weight grants it the added bonus of being a great exercise aid – just hope you don’t spring a leak.

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3. Singing Plants

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A plant chorus.

Gregory Lasserre and Anais Met Den Ancxt, French installation-artists belonging to art group Scenecosme, have created Akousmaflore, a garden of singing plants. Proximity sensors placed within the baskets of the plants register when something (most likely a person) moves towards them. These sensors are hooked up to speakers playing sounds or music distributed throughout the garden.

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A diagram demonstrating how to touch a plant.

As an object or person moves closer to a plant, the sounds from the speakers will increase in volume, giving the impression that the plant is reacting to the presence of the person of object. The aim of the piece is to make people aware of the plants and how their interaction could possibly affect them. It would also be a great way to prevent your plants from being stolen: it’s a lot harder to steal a plant that can scream.

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2. Snow Mirror

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Art that brings people together.

In 2006, digital artist Daniel Rozin created Snow Mirror, a screen which reflects the image of a viewer once interpreted by a computer. A rear-projected screen is connected to a computer which has an attached camera; the camera captures the image and the computer records the difference in light values present in the image. Then the computer creates a copy of the recorded image with a congregation of small white pixels to represent the lighter areas.

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It’s like being on TV…. If your TV had terrible reception.

The congregation of small white pixels are reminiscent of snowflakes, so that if a person were to stand in front of the camera, the image that appears on the screen will show them as if they were made of snowflakes.

This piece of art is great for people who love snowmen, but hate the cold.

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1. Strandbeest

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The ‘Sabulosa’ Strandbeest.

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist who creates kinetic sculptures, known collectively as ‘Strandbeest’. His ‘Strandbeest’ are wind-powered artificial creatures that can walk and have a form of artificial intelligence, as they are able to anticipate and avoid obstacles. Their construction consists of multiple tubes and wood attached to wing-like sails that propel the creatures along.

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The ‘Rhinoceros’ Straandbeest.

Designed for a beach environment, ‘Strandbeest’ are able to avoid water when they come into contact with it, can anchor themselves to the ground when they sense a storm developing, and even store wind in plastic bottles to propel themselves in the absence of wind. These walking works of art have a mind of their own, so if you create one yourself, it would be best to keep an eye on it or it may just walk away.

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Art at a molecular level.

Future technological advancement may unleash unimagined artistic wonders. Artists are already experimenting with bio-technology: growing living works of art. As long as scientists continue to push back the boundaries of knowledge, artists will be able to enhance their forms of expression, creating an endless array of awe-inspiring tech/art mash-ups.

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Soon your own body can become a work of art.

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