Creative Collab

Chrissy and I (Anthony) have been working on a new art project that has one simple rule:

Everything has to be found or donated. $0 budget.

After exploring the back streets of Byron and digging through the skips behind the local shops we managed to amass a bunch of various materials and objects. Bottle caps, frames, rolls of ribbon, broken toys, electronics, you name it. Chrissy sets the direction and works as the spotter identifying locations and bins for me to search more closely. She audits the findings and we keep the materials that fits her vision. We then take it all back to her place for further sorting.

The construction process is a fun one. Chrissy directs the production and we collaborate on creative thinking. She describes how she wants things painted and laid out and I do the physical construction. Given the diverse amount of materials the process requires a lot of thinking and planning and almost always results on at least one of us getting covered in paint and glue.

This is the first finished piece and now hangs in the common room at Chrissy’s place. We are both very keen to work together on creating more pieces and starting to sell them at galleries and markets. Let us know what you think.

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Paint Pouring

Last week we did some experimenting with pouring paint onto boards with blocks glued on to them. We had hoped to make things that could be displayed as art and be used for macro photography.

A week later and the work is dry. We are all pretty happy with the results:

Chrissy (left), Josh (upper right), and Remy (bottom right).

GAME ON!!!!

Alright, it’s been a while since we have blogged, partly due to illness on both sides, but mostly due to delving into various solutions only to hit dead ends.

I think the biggest mistake that I (Anthony) have made is to try and tackle accessibility by building the ultimate solution. Unfortunately when you build a megalith you only need one core part to break and all of a sudden the whole structure comes tumbling down around you.

This was the case with the voice control setup that we build and customised for Chrissy’s PC. The system used a Logitech webcam for head tracking,VoiceAttack for voice detection, and a remote switch that allowed Chrissy to turn on her computer using a wall mounted button. Everything worked well in theory, until we realised that the system couldn’t be easily trained to Chrissy’s voice patterns and that ambient noise was causing additional issues. We could solve the problem by drawing the curtains and using a head mounted microphone, but what’s the point of an accessible solution that needs support in setting up every time?

Back to the drawing board. Small steps Anthony. Chrissy at this point was starting to get frustrated but knew we would get there in good time.

Introducing Chrissy’s new chair mounted gaming table top:

To setup the system all that is required is for someone to insert the gaming tray into the chair and then plug the USB cable into the computer. Chrissy then has the ability to slaughter innocent people in GTA (don’t tell her mum).

The device utilises a MakeyMakey (thanx to the awesome crew at Joy Labz) board and has the following features:

  • A four-way joystick controller currently mapped to the W, A, S, and D keys.
  • A bank of 4 switches (not stateful) with half rubber balls stuck on top to allow for easier access (mapped to SHIFT, CTRL, SPACE, and E).
  • Left and right horizontal switches made from components salvaged from some old shoe stretchers (mapped to LEFT MOUSE, and RIGHT MOUSE). Designed and configured to work with Chrissy’s limited right arm movement.

Currently someone needs to select the appropriate mapping profile, and load the required game, but we will be replacing this with an automated approach using VoiceAttack. We will also be looking at configuring it to be used as a general computer controller by utilising AutoHotKey to convert arrow presses into mouse movements.

We are off now to play some Rocket League. We hope to see some of you guys in a multiplayer game soon.

 

 

 

 

Cool controller

Spotted this custom built controller made by The-Shadowcatt.

vxmhdmb

I think this is an excellent approach to dealing with Chrissy’s restricted movement…. and who doesn’t love a bunch of old arcade kit?

I’m particularly inspired by the palm controlled joystick (LH) and can see that we might be able to get some control out of Chrissy right arm using a similar technique. Can’t wait to run some tests with her. 🙂