Bling Toy Project – Inauguration and premiere party

jackin in

jackin in

The time had come to try the EEG-machine for real. The recipe:


raw brain data

– a new powerful Macbook straight out of the box
– a new IBVA machine
– installing the software for the first time
– setting up the electrodes and headband

This part was a one hour rush. Then the problems started:

– the Bluetooth connection, as a first time user this took annoyingly long time
– understanding both the interface and the data and at the same time presenting it

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I want to build a better Light Harp.

I have a new hangup.


When prototyping the light harp we used in the “Gassharpa” project, I found the contraption to be most pleasing to play. Already then I wanted to make a smaller scale model, suitable for indoor use and with better performance, but you know… after tinkering with the prototype for uncountable hours my mojo went dry.

Now the idea has been back for a while. As I am not a clever craftsman I have been looking for a cool thing to build it into. I found it right at my desk; my old tube radio which I bought with the intention to transform it into a guitar amp (it never did).

I am planning for eight strings @ 3 octaves, “touch” sensitive plucking and some clever ways to tweak the sounds, leaving it not just a gadget but a sensitive instrument worth playing.

My worst fear when planning projects is that anyone has already done it, only better. In the age of internet when you share yours darlings with die ganske welt, my worst fear is most likely to be true. However my searches reveals light harps of quite another kind then my invention. More spectacular in some ways. More useless in other ways. The technology I will use I have already tested and it works smooth. My only worry is if my light source is strong enough to give bright beams of light, provided some mist.

By the way: Sorry for not giving the end results of the Saw Project. The video mix down will not be ready for a finite amount of time. Same story. Mojo went dry..


Bling Toy Project – background


We got a grant. We bought a new toy. But the story does not start there. It started in a flea market almost three years ago, with a vintage hair dryer that begged to be bought.


Later during the research for our robot Maxi Wanzl, we stumbled upon the openEEG project. It offered EEG for the rest of us, but you would have to build it yourself. The technical department became sceptical: Not another D.I.Y. prototype that requiered months of work.

So one year ago, when Cycling 74 published the news about an EEG-machine that came with its own maxMSP patch at reasonable prices, we rejoiced. Finally the possibility to work with an interface device that goes both ways. With this we can make the brain control lights, music, video, etc. Or we can register and store the brains reaction to these impulses.

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Saw Project: The Story

Here goes:

1. An unknowing victim is picked out at the Halloween party upstairs. He/she is asked to gently follow us down. He/she is given a safety word to say if things go to far. We want to scare not scar people. No word is spoken from this point. The person is blindfolded and brought brutally down to the basement.

2. In the innermost cellar room, isolated from the noise of the party upstairs, the victim is put into an (empty) bathtub. Here he/she is chained on hands and feet and left alone with no information of what is going on. The door is locked and the room is left in darkness except from a dark red darkroom bulb glowing through the ribs of a slaughtered deer and a randomly strobing white lamp in one end of the room.

Louise is ready

Our test victim Louise is ready.

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Excursions by the Madrid department

We have split up to cover more territory. One half terrorized Grenland for Halloween, the other participated in a workshop at the Medialab-Prado. The goal is finding other people and groups that work with maxMSP. It is a nice space, with a busy atmosphere, full of computers, equipment and nerds. Quite a contrast to home.

The subject this evening was some open3D application. We arrived late of course and left a bit early to talk to the organisers. The lab has weekly program of events, lectures and workshops. Morning and evening. It is mostly free. There is a lack of programmers, but not of artists.

This divide has followed us for some time. Artists with ideas that need technicians to do it. Down with ideas, up with I do and I dids. It is the perfect place to start Bling Toy.