Sunday, July 28, 2013

Under The Influence Of A New Job

July, 5, a date as ordinary as any other date but with "meteorologically" high temperatures. I receive via cell phone a message from my wife. I felt the cell phone vibrating in my shirt's pocket, took it out and read the SMS: "Are you holdin'up the heat?" I looked around: I was in the main deck of an iron vessel still under construction inside a dry dock, which is the same to say that I was inside an oven. Nearby a worker was welding some sort of a fundamental metallic piece to the ceiling, releasing a small shower of incandescent drops and provoking lightnings that seemed to set the air on fire. Not very far another worker was operating an electirc grinder finishing an eventual work that was left behind and making any verbal/vocal communication with my fellow workers almost impossible. In fact, when I reached for my cell phone I've had just shouted with my mouth sticked to one of them's ear a work instruction. Behind me the fulminant light of a blowtorch cutting a metal plate would hurt the eyes of whom accidentally stared at that operation. As background noise there was still workers outside the ship that were correcting a warpage on the surface of the hull hammering a metalic section with a 5 Kg mallet in a cadenced rithm that ressounded throughout the whole vessel, making the tympans vibrate dangerously. I concentrated again in the message that I've just received. I pressed the virtual keys to answer it: " Yes, it's hot."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Life pH

Not long a go someone asked me: "If you are na electric engineer and you're taking up a master degree in contemporary art, haven't you ever thought about joined the two things in some way?" The answer has come in the form of "Life pH": a tree made of cardboard and paper, ornamented with LEDs which luminosity is controled by a Arduino board. The emsemble is powered by a hybrid system consisting on a set of AA batteries together with a electrochemical process based on approximately 80 Kg of lemons.
The LEDs emit a pulsating light that shifts to a continuous mode when the watering can is used to emulate a virtual irrigation of the artificial tree. All the system was planned to the lowest energy consumption possible (LEDs for light and a Arduino Mini, from wich the powering module was subtracted after the upload of the software) simultaneously with the biggest energetic efficiency (80 Kg of lemons equipped with copper and zinc electrodes in paralel with a set of AA batteries).

This work is based on the notion of perversion that is the modification of the priorities of our basic needs: it is the fruits that feed the tree and not the tree that produces the fruits; the tree itself is made out of paper and cardboard, subproducts of the wood and lumber industry, beeing therefore a artificial tree made of other [natural] trees.

This work was elaborate within the discipline of PIA (Project of Artistic Installation) of the Master Degree in Contemporary Artistic Creation of the DeCA (Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro). The work was shown in the final exhibition of the semester called "Expo '12'13", in the Museum of Aveiro [Portugal].
I'd like to thank Prof. Pedro Beça by the help on the software and the energic support of Prof. Mário Vairinhos (link) (both teachers at DeCA) in the final stage that immediately preceded the aperture of the exhibition. I also would like to thank the expressions of astonishment that many of my coleagues gave when they noticed the quantity of lemons that I was working with: it gave me a strong indication that I was in the right path.
(Keep track on Facebook)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's That For, Master?

My first "Arduíno" board. The "Arduíno" electronic board is an open-source electronic prototyping platform, based in flexible and easy-to-use hardware and software. It was designed for artists, designers, hobbyists and everyone who wants to develop interactive projects.

Master? It's not necessary to be an electronic or programming master to produce one or two interesting things with this board.

To know more:
Arduino Official Website:
Prof. Mário Vairinhos' blog, of the Univ. of Aveiro:

# 5

Untitled, march/april 2013, acrilic on canvas, 100 x 81 cm

# 4

"The Salterns of Aveiro", video, 4:23 min

Salterns are a method of salt making that uses somewhat larges amounts of land neighboring the sea (that is, almost swamp).

Nowadays it seems that there isn't a single place that can't be pointed at that hasn't suffered human intervention. Wherever we look everything seems to be framed by the standard of the human work. And within that standard the recent overpowers the ancient - and I note that I said recent, not innovative.
P.S. - The movie has no sound.