Majors: Fine Arts and Information Sciences
Colleges: Architecture, Art, and Planning and College of Arts and Sciences
Cornell University’s incredible Concurrent Degree Program enables me to pursue my passions of art and technology in entirely new and exciting dimensions. Through the combination of Fine Arts (BFA) and Information Science (BA), my artistic practice extends far beyond the studio and into the domains of programming, engineering, human computer interaction, and product design. During my five years at Cornell, I have had the incredible opportunity to engage in numerous works which perfectly fuse my love for art and design with my passions for programming and data sciences. One of my most recent and personal favorite projects is email@example.com.
In Fall 2015, I received the unique opportunity to build upon the amazing mood.cloud installation located in Gates Hall. Tasked with enhancing and rethinking the digital installation’s functionality, I challenged myself artistically to better situate the work geographically and symbolically as a representation of Cornell and its diverse, interdisciplinary nature. To do just that, I began to experiment with numerous real-time data points connected to Cornell: internet bandwidth usage, sound and video feeds, and – finally – weather. What better defines the daily life of a Cornellian than the current weather conditions?
I coded methods for importing current weather data from Cornell’s own weather station on the roof of Tjaden Hall. This provided me with a wealth of live data on current conditions, wind speeds, temperature, sunrise/sunset times, and humidity. Next, I built a small program to extract a sample of the current sky color using Cornell’s Live View webcam. Combining the sky color sample with data on current conditions, I was ready to start implementing fun ways for the weather conditions to take on symbolic representations in the installation: sky color would control the LED-based sculpture’s color, wind speed would determine animation speed, sunrise and sunset would affect brightness, and so on. With everything finally in place, tested, and debugged the work was ready to reveal to the world!
In January 2016, the switch was flipped and firstname.lastname@example.org went live. Today, the digital installation can be found prominently in the lobby of Gates Hall where it symbolically displays current weather conditions and, in many ways, stands as a small instance of the big work that emerges from the countless opportunities for interdisciplinary pursuits at Cornell University.
From canvas to computer and beyond, Cornell’s Concurrent Degree Program truly allows me to explore my creativity far beyond traditional mediums. Projects such as email@example.com and many others have pushed me and others to discover and solve challenging problems that cross the boundaries of majors. Choosing to pursue a second degree with the Concurrent Degree Program was truly one of the best decisions of my life!
You can view a video that shows some of the effects in action here. The lights glow and move in conjunction to the windspeed outside. A somewhat breezy day will make the clusters of lights move fluidly along. As it gets even more gusty outside, they move faster. But on a calm day or night, the lights slowly move along!
If you want to see more about my projects, please visit my website.