Sept 9 2021
Took most of August off, biked from Montreal to New York City to visit friends. The trip was a real exercise in listening to small nudges and following through on little insights. Ended up in Provincetown for a week and a half, meeting people and hanging out on the beach. 

Back in Montreal, happy to be home and back at work. Applied to Mars College this morning, excited to see what people I might meet there. Have always been interested in desert living. If they’ll have me, I’d like to get a motorcycle and drive down before the winter fully takes.

There has been new interest in Proof of Work. Blue Duration is basically sold out - three of the last four I minted to my wallet are sold, and I’m holding on to the 1x1 as a sort of artist’s proof. I feel that those are the most emblematic of the project, a single gesture.

I’ve been developing Red Pressure, and am reminded of what artistic work is; a slow refinement of an idea, a pushing away of the fear that the idea is not valid or interesting, a heeding of the desire for refinement.

Red Pressure maps the pressure of a touchscreen tap to the intensity of colour. Originally I wanted to use the trackpad on my Macbook, for visual continuity in the documentation. I wrote up an application that could receive trackpad pressure information, but in testing the trackpad revealed itself to not deliver very consistent values.

I experimented with force sensing resistors, but these also had their issues, and aesthetically they departed from the visual narrative of human/computer interfaces.

I was looking around to see if I could calibrate the trackpad and came across, a website which uses a force-touch-capable iphone to give quite accurate weight estimations for capacitive objects.

I found an OSC controller app with 3D touch capabilities (Syntien). Fully editable, and sends granular touch pressure data. There is a slight delay in receiving the values using this approach, but the pressure is much more reliable.

Colour always takes longer than I think. In Blue Duration I was just using a single color value, and multiplying it by the elapsed time between keypresses, which resulted in a light/dark modulation of the blue.

Modulating red in this way results in muddy shades which I didn’t like, and so instead I’m modulating between two shades of red, a brighter/pinkish hue and a deeper red.

The variation between taps is less than it was in Blue Duration, and I like how the differences in the pixels are almost imperceptible. There seems to be less of a banding effect in the early tests I’ve done, and a more scattered visual effect.

I’m aiming to start production of Red Pressure on Monday Sept 13, and have them up for sale by Sept 24, depending on how long the series runs for.