Misha's Blog

Cross-platform Mobile App Development with Cordova

Posted in Installations, Projects, Research by Misha on September 2, 2016


Apache Cordova lets me write a program in JavaScript and it compiles into native iOS and Android apps! Corodva is the open source cousin of Adobe PhoneGap. Caitlin Foley and I are using it to create a phone game version of our Total Jump project in order to let people train for a coordinated world-wide jump, starting in New Haven, CT for our CWOS installation and event commissioned by Artspace New Haven.

The app is coming along and works on Android and iOS. One of our testing devices is an iPhone 4, which runs iOS 7.1.2. It looks like Apple stopped supporting iOS 7 in Xcode, but I found a way around this. Instructions by Martin Raybak told me to download the older Xcode 6.4 and manually adding iOS 7 SDK. But even after setting my deployment target in the info and build settings panels, Xcode still said the phone had an os that was too old. I found that manually changing the deployment target in the Cordova generated build.xcconfig file (in platforms/ios/cordova) did the trick. In conclusion, I draw comfort from the fact that Cordova is managed by the Apache foundation and feel that it is going to be a viable platform going forward.

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The Virtual Reality of the Desert

Posted in Installations, Projects, Research by Misha on May 20, 2015

Pink Noise Hunt VR by Misha Rabinovich & Caitlin Foley

I spent two weeks camping in Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment in Joshua Tree. My partner Caitlin Foley followed that up by creating a Shellphone Listening Lounge at the High Desert Test Sites Headquarters in the Sky Village Swap Meet. It was an opportunity to try out some Virtual Reality experiments with the good old Google Cardboard VR headset. It was a fun process that included many first-time VR experiences by the participants.

The Shellphones and several other projects we’ve created explore pink noise which is a special energy pattern ubiquitous in systems on earth. We refer to pink noise as the golden ratio of sound. This VR game is based on the Google Cardboard Treasure Hunt example but with pink noise added in order to get people to listen to it without any visual distractions. To make the game more attractive we flocked the headset with pink flocking, which is something we first did at the Pink Noise Salon at the Flux Factory last summer.

People seemed to have enjoyed playing the game. Someone even said that the Cardboard headset was not nauseating like the Oculus Rift. Perhaps it is because it is a tad less immersive due to a smaller range of vision?




Revisiting the Prague Biennale

Posted in Installations, Projects by Misha on December 1, 2013

Biothing: The Invisibles at Prague Biennale

I recently reconnected with my friend Kevin Kane who was my old collaborator on Biothing: The Invisibles Prague Biennale installation in 2003. He is now an architect & founder of Arktura. The Prague installation was quite an adventure, and its interesting to see where the people behind it ended up. Alisa Andrasek is still teaching and now involved in the European Graduate School. Several of the Columbia Architecture students who we worked with started their own firm called We Are Dag.

Biothing.Invisibles. map

This installation used animations produced with the Maya Embedded Language (MEL) and granular synthesis sound displays. The animation and sound would get more or less chaotic based on a digital model of a bacteria colony (using a Cellular Automata algorithm). The bacteria model had an “environmental” variable that could lower or increase environmental impediments to survival. We tied this variable to the count of people in the space using an infrared beam sensor positioned by the entrance. The idea was that people’s presence would help spread the bacteria and boost this invisible ghostly presence in the walls. During the research phase, we tested ultra-directional infrared beam speakers by Holosonics but decided to use conventional speakers so that we could hide them in the walls.

Biothing.Invisibles audience

I learned a lot from the project and loved seeing Prague. I hope to make it back there soon.

Onondaga Lake Remediation Machine Sculpture

Posted in DS Institute, Installations, Projects by Misha on December 2, 2011

This machine, which is based on a scale model of Onondaga Lake, is fully equipped to distill lake water and is used to demonstrate a spectrum of remediation solutions from the realistic to the Utopian.

Onondaga Lake Remediation Machine Sculpture

Onondaga Lake Remediation Machine Sculpture

Onondaga Lake became a Superfund site in 1994 due to detrimental effects of industrial and municipal waste disposal over the last century. The future of the lake has become both a scientific and political issue. The creative specialists of the DS Institute bring a cultural perspective to the table. Through sculpture, poster exhibitions, lectures, and video, the DS Institute provides a variety of information and interpretations of the history, current dynamic, and the planned future of the lake’s ecosystem. The DS Institute produced a custom-built sculptural model that it uses as a pedagogical tool during lectures and videos.

Lake Install & Michelle_3257

Lake Install & Michelle_3301