SWARM http://blog.orbswarm.com Kinetic art: autonomous spherical robots exhibiting complex motion Sun, 03 Nov 2019 22:42:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.3 1243781 Multispecies Salon 3: SWARM in New Orleans November 13-23 http://blog.orbswarm.com/2010/11/06/multispecies-salon-3-swarm-in-new-orleans-november-13-23/ Sat, 06 Nov 2010 10:21:13 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=253 CONTACT:
Dr. Eben Kirksey, 831.600.5937, ekirksey@gc.cuny.edu
Myrtle Von Damitz lll, 504.908.4741, myrtlered@gmail.com


October 25, 2010


Multispecies Salon 3: SWARM

Exhibitions to Open in New Orleans November 13, 2010

Art exhibitions centered on the relationship between humans and other creatures, The Multispecies Salon 3: Swarm, will open in the St. Claude Arts District of New Orleans on November 13, 2010 from 6 pm to 10 pm and will run through December 5th.

Spawned by the annual conference of the 2010 American Anthropological Association (AAA), this year convening in New Orleans, the Multispecies Salon will explore relations between humans and other creatures.  Art shows will be installed at three sites in the St. Claude district: The Ironworks, (612 Piety St.), The Front (4100 St. Claude Ave., on November 13th only), and Kawliga Studios (3331 St. Claude Ave.).

Coming together in a collaborative venture from the East Coast, the West Coast and New Orleans, six members of a curatorial swarm—Myrtle Von Damitz III, Marnia Johnston, Amy Jenkins, Nina Nichols, Karen Kern, and Eben Kirksey—have brought together a multitude of creative agents.  Over seventy artists—hailing from New Orleans, the far reaches of the United States, Europe, and Australia—will animate the shows.  A full list of these participants—including internationally acclaimed artists like Kathy High, Adam Zaretsky, and Cornelia Hesse-Honeger—is available online.

The swarm is a network with no center to dictate order.  Swarming is the tactic, rather than the theme, of the Multispecies Salon.  Three interrelated themes—orbiting around human relationships with plants, microbes, and animals—will come together in the Multispecies Salon: “Hope in Blasted Landscapes”, “Edible Companions”, and “Life in the Age of Biotechnology.” Hope in Blasted Landscapes will showcase forms of life that persist in post-industrial sites, in the aftermath of disaster.  Blurring the boundaries between food and art, we will invite gallery visitors to eat Edible Companions—critters whose bios, biographical and political lives, might provoke a bit of indigestion.  Life in the Age of Biotechnology will feature new organisms and machines that have been created by humans or are dependent upon on humans for their very survival.

An opening reception will take place at all three gallery sites on Saturday, November 13, from 6 pm to 10 pm, in conjunction with the Prospect 1.5 biennial and the St. Claude Art Walk.  The Swarm Orbs, spherical robots that embody the tactics of our show, will be on the move outside The Front Gallery among goats from Pretty Doe Dairy, creatures involved in an urban bioremediation project.  Samples from a buffet of edible insects, prepared by Zack Lemann of the Audubon Insectarium, will also be available to visitors.

Multispecies Salon events will continue the following week in association with the American Anthropological Association (AAA) conference as well as the New Orleans Fringe Festival, both from November 17-21.  Internationally renowned anthropologists will give lectures about human relations with other species, free and open to the public, at Kawliga Studios (6:30-7:30 pm, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, November 15-19).

Anthropologists will become embedded art critics at the Multispecies Salon—working alongside the curators to help stage and document the events with a live blog.  Happenings in art worlds will accompany discussions at the AAA conference about the emergence of a new approach to anthropology: multispecies ethnography.  Literally ethno-graphy means “people writing” and conventionally anthropologists have limited their research to human realms.  “Creatures previously appearing on the margins of anthropology — as part of the landscape, as food for humans, as symbols — have been pressed into the foreground in recent ethnographies,” write Eben Kirksey and Stefan Helmreich in the November special issue of Cultural Anthropology, the flagship journal of the discipline.

The Fringe Festival parade will stop for music and refreshments at the Multispecies Salon—arriving at the Ironworks site at 2:45 pm on Saturday, November 20.  A garden party, featuring live music by New Orleans musicians Walt McClements and Alex McMurray follows at the Ironworks that afternoon.  The evening of Saturday, November 20 (6pm-9pm) we will present a free concert by the J.O. Evans ensemble. Cuisine from Louisiana’s swamplands—raccoon, gator, and frog legs—will be on offer from Holly Tamale as concessions throughout the day.

Please visit http://www.wix.com/multispecies/multispecies for a full description and schedule of the Multispecies Salon shows and related activities.

Primary contact:

Dr. Eben Kirksey, 831.600.5937, ekirksey@gc.cuny.edu
Myrtle Von Damitz lll, 504.908.4741, myrtlered@gmail.com

Attached pictures:
The Paranioa Bugs—a swarm of small clay figurines by Marnia Johnston, a sculptural embodiment of biotechnology that has gone wild—will populate the Kawliga Studios (3331 St. Claude Ave).

The Swarm Orbs—an interactive group of kinetic sculptures that cost $50,000 to build—will make their debut in New Orleans at the Front Gallery (4100 St. Claude Ave.) on November 13th.  They will then visit the New Orleans Marriot for the American Anthropological Association conference.

Thneeds Re-seed is a sculptural remediation by Deanna Pindell—a series of small felted habitats, for Bryum argenteum (Silvery Bryum) moss that will be on display at The Ironworks, (612 Piety St.).  As the “first responder” in healing deforested areas, these art objects will help mosses establish basic support systems for the diverse species necessary for the restoration of devastated woodlands.  The original Thneeds were a commodity in Dr Seuss’s famous children’s book, The Lorax.

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SWARM Camp http://blog.orbswarm.com/2010/10/12/swarm-camp/ Wed, 13 Oct 2010 06:17:44 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=249 The orbs breath life into us as we breath life into them!

This coming weekend we’ll be making a new push to bring the orbs to the next level with communication, choreography, and autonomy!

New Stickers for Techkriti! http://blog.orbswarm.com/2010/02/18/new-stickers-for-techkriti/ http://blog.orbswarm.com/2010/02/18/new-stickers-for-techkriti/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2010 21:24:51 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=241 The folks at Stickergiant are great fans of SWARM! John printed up a set of really nice 4″ reflective stickers. The students at Techkriti at IIT Kanpur India really dug them! I asked for a couple students to show off their new techno-schwag:

SWARM stickers at Techkriti

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SWARM is going to Techkriti 2010 http://blog.orbswarm.com/2010/01/14/swarm-is-going-to-techkriti-2010/ Fri, 15 Jan 2010 06:39:43 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=234 SWARM is going to IIT Kanpur for Techkriti 2010. SWARM will be represented by Dr. Jonathan Foote, Lee Sonko, Marnia Johnston and Niladri Bora. Techkriti is from Feb 11th – 14th February. We will be doing an 1 hr presentation on SWARM and Machine and Fire Art Culture in the Bay Area and will be rolling the orbs around the campus for general coolness. Watch this space for sticker announcements and other news.

SWARM at SubZERO San Jose June 5th 2009 http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/05/26/swarm-at-subzero-san-jose-june-5th-2009/ http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/05/26/swarm-at-subzero-san-jose-june-5th-2009/#comments Tue, 26 May 2009 20:10:04 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=222 We’ll be rolling our orbots into the hearts of San Jose-ians (hmm, “San Franciscan” rolls off the tongue… there’s got to be a better phrase ;-) ) on June 5th. The orbs will be rolling around downtown at the prestigious SubZERO event! ZER01!


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SWARM at Google IO Conference, Maker Faire, Robogames http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/05/25/swarm-at-google-io-conference-maker-faire-robogames/ Tue, 26 May 2009 00:47:52 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=217 Building the rolling, singing robotic singularity takes a lot of work, I tell ya! After they’ve taken over, things will be so much easier, I’m sure.

In the mean time, you can see SWARM at several events in the coming weeks.

We’ll be at the After Hours party at the Google IO Developer Conference this Wednesday, May 27th.

This upcoming weekend we’ll be at Maker Faire in San Mateo May 30 & 31st.

and then Robogames in San Francisco, June 12-14! 

Orbots for the future!
Lee for SWARM

SWARM is Open Source http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/05/02/swarm-is-open-source-2/ http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/05/02/swarm-is-open-source-2/#comments Sat, 02 May 2009 23:30:46 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=215 Want to make your own robots? We invite you to stand on our shoulders!

After taking in feedback from our entire group, I am pleased to write that the SWARM Project is now completely open source.

We had previously put restrictions on commercial re-use of our project.

The exact terms of the license can be found here:

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Event SWARM http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/04/30/event-swarm/ http://blog.orbswarm.com/2009/04/30/event-swarm/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2009 19:26:21 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=211 We’ve been lax about posting to the SWARM blog… SWARM gets out way more than you know!

Last week the orbs were found dancing and flirting with the laptops at the Jaunty Jackalope Ubuntu Linux Release party! (Each orb runs ARM embedded Debian, pretty nerdy, huh?)

This Thursday 4-30-09 a cadre of orbs will be migrating to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for a “Nightlife” event! We’ll be there along with the Robots from RoboGames! (bartending bots are so cool)

Be there or be … round.

The orbs will be rolling out to Makers Faire in San Mateo. Don’t go to see us, go to see Maker Faire with your family! It’s really a tremendous event. 

You know what, you -should- go to Maker Faire to see orbs!

And I didn’t even mention SWARM at Subzero in San Jose June 1….  or more orbage at Robogames in San Francisco June 12-14! Oh wait, I just did. :-)

Here’s a bit more about the Jaunty Jackalope release party!

The San Francisco Jaunty Jackalope release party was held on Thursday April 23 and was by all accounts a great success.  It was quite well attended; I would roughly estimate several dozen people or 50-60.  We held the party in conjunction with a group of technically inclined electronic musicians on the Mp3Death.US Creative Commons netlabel, and they were responsible for a good portion of the draw.  The event was billed variously as “Ubuntu Linux Release Party featuring Linux Music & Robots”, or “Jens and the Jaunty Jackalope” (Jens being one of the performers).  “Robots” was a reference to the Orb SWARM project, which brought two of its machines to perform; they both ran embedded Debian on a TS-7800 board.

Our contact with Mp3Death.US was through its founder Jordan Gray, who presented the previous month at Bay Area Linux Users Group.  Jordan makes all of his music on Linux; his main tools are the open source MIXXX and LittleGPTracker applications, and he performs using two Linux-based devices: an EeePC netbook (running Ubuntu) and Game Park GP2X handheld.  Jordan graciously agreed to perform at the event, and in addition enlisted several of his friends to perform on the bill.

They had been planning to throw a birthday party for a couple of their DJs, so we agreed to combine parties.  We also recruited interim_descriptor, author of the open source “dvj” music visualization software.  INTD ran projections on the wall for the his own set as well as the other artists’.

The Orb SWARM team demonstrated one of their robots rolling around the floor inside its shell (2 1/2 ft diameter aluminum sphere cage).  The orb interacted with partygoers, operated by a SWARM crewman with remote control.  In addition to moving around the floor it flashed patterns on a matrix of multicolored LEDs and produced a variety of sounds.  Besides the shelled orb, we set up a naked robot on a table where people could see its inner workings.  It was connected by crossover cable to a laptop, and we ran a telnet session into the robot to demonstrate the Debian command line of the embedded ARM processor inside.

About half the party space was taken up by a laptop area where people were doing various things on Linux.  Grant Bowman performed a fresh Linux install on an HP Netbook, using the Jaunty Jackalope Ubuntu Netbook Remix bootable USB stick he made earlier that day.  We also gave away a Jaunty Jackalope CD on request.  A number of other interesting Linux devices were present, including an OLPC XO laptop and a phone-sized Nokia device running Debian (brought by a member of Noisebridge, the local hacking space).

A good time was had by all and we hope to repeat our success in October for Karmic Koala.

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Autonomy: well that just kinda worked http://blog.orbswarm.com/2008/09/22/autonomy-well-that-just-kinda-worked/ Mon, 22 Sep 2008 19:08:32 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=192 Trebor writes:

tonight mike and i spent some quality time with orb 2.  it went well.   

in the attached image, the input targets are black dots, the generated smooth path is in red, and the measured orb path is in green.  more images can be found here:


no simulation here, this is the real thing. :)


SWARM on its way to Burning Man http://blog.orbswarm.com/2008/08/22/swarm-on-its-way-to-burning-man/ Fri, 22 Aug 2008 22:37:30 +0000 http://blog.orbswarm.com/?p=189 An email from Michael posted to the SWARM mailing list earlier today


the truck will be on the road in a few minutes!  Congratulations on all your hard work; we have six working orbs, four fully outfitted for autonomy, two autonomous sequences which can be activated directly by joystick, and a good start at the mother node integration which we can build on at the playa!

You rock, swarm rocks, and open your minds to where we can go from here….