Moshe Ladanga

Posts Tagged ‘MA Digital Arts 2008

Finally, a website

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The last few weeks I’ve been collating my work and organizing it, figuring out the best way to show my work. I do a lot of different things, and I remembered the graphical interface of Puredata, which is the inspiration for the Main page.

Have a look:


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August 11, 2008 at 11:22 PM

MADA 02 Assessment Presentation

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Moshe Ladanga
MA Digital Arts
Camberwell College of Arts
University of the Arts London
March 19, 2008
*please click on the drawings

(Video Documentation of Experiments)
Interim Report
Test Site Shows

Interactivity and Programming

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We had a fruitful 2-day workshop with Ed Kelly, who introduced us to Puredata last year. The explanation was more in-depth, and we were able to load a basic puredata program into Arduino boards.


Arduino Board- Illustration by Elisa Canducci

As in the diagram above, there are analog and digital inputs, which makes it ideal for interactivity; it is usually the case for interactive works to have both analog and digital components.

Puredata, as explained by Ed, is designed for interactivity because it is a programmable language for the play and interpretation of numbers, hence “pure data”. The data can be streamed in from microphones, different sensors, video cameras, etc. What makes it quite interesting to me is the graphical interface, which uses the simple logic of objects, feeds, taps, switches, buttons (“bangs”) and lines that connect these things together. It’s like a virtual lego set with endless possibilities for configuration.

Julien Ottavi PD Patch.jpg

Julien Ottavi’s Pd patch for fibr1: meta-percussions (

Since Pd was invented by a musician (Miller Puckette), the way it works is quite different from other programs- instead of a user interface that facilitates different functions, Pd is a meta-program tablet; I liken it to a piece of paper where, instead of a pencil, you have data streams. And instead of drawing something directly, you shape and configure these “channels”, and these in turn can be connected to each other, creating a system that can be open to data feeds (sound, video from sensors via the Arduino chip). The way I understand it (I hope I’m not being too prosaic) is that you can modulate data, shape and sequence it, and sort of choreograph how data is interpreted, transformed.

I’ve never done serious programming all my life, and admittedly I was afraid of it. But the graphical interface really intrigued me and when I was able to load the program into the arduino board and figure out how to make the LED blink without a hitch, I was hooked.

For our project though, the thing that I’m worried about is the stability of the system; Puredata is open source, and unlike other interactivity programs (like MaxMSP), it is still being developed, and there are bugs- during the presentation of Ed Kelly, there were quite a few times that his laptop would freeze up.

But the great thing about the workshop is that my mind opened up to the possibilities of interactivity. We had an informal tutorial with Ed, and we explained our ideas for the project. He said a really brilliant thing about interactivity, and that it is about how you want the viewer to experience your work. The sensors and the technology is not the art, but it is the choreography that you design between the viewer and the moving image that will shape the experience.

That made my day.

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February 23, 2008 at 8:09 PM

The Art of Seeing

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The images are still on my retinas; the color, the immutable shapes.

Yes, my first time in the National Gallery after being in London for neary 5 months. These paintings come to life before your eyes, the pictures in books serve only as points of recognition. The paintings above are by Degas, and what floored me was the mastery of color and form, the tones, the richness forming a dialogue with the shapes in the composition. I honestly felt like these paintings were teaching me how to see for the first time.

I’ve heard that some people experience these famous works of art with a certain degree of skepticism, a self-induced reproach. I understand that, and going into the gallery I had all of these thoughts too: the pleasure of the familiar, the caveat of the work’s (or artist’s) fame, the gilded frames of the experience of the art itself. All I can say after going out of the door and plunging into the cold 5pm wind of January is that preconceptions are preconceptions- go and stand before them again and see them.

These paintings move you. As Katrin described it in her post, the experience is something so visceral, so complete. The Impressionists, in particular the great colorists, got it right. Just staring at the Degas (pictured above) breaks these formalisations of perception we learn. That is what the work of the Impressionists are about; to unmake our eyes and see the world anew.

I think what these paintings do is quite relevant to the state of things, the world-weary state. My experience of the institution, the theories, the course, has been, suffice to say, instructive- what I have observed is a naivete, a peculiar one. This never-ending drive to develop, to be better, has bred intellectual inbreeding. There is such a hesitancy to respecting and truly understanding Otherness, the diversity tag merely political correctness. Yes I am not from here, but I am here, I get how it works.

Power structures are not only made of cables and steel.

The postmodern malaise is equally instructive; yes the Author had to die so that we know who he is. My claim here is about Art, about making it, and undoing this trap that was bred in a panoptical state. When you recognize freedom it is not an act of intellectual fiction; it is an act of seeing.

Can’t you see that Art is not merely a mind-fuck?

Can’t you see that artists dealt with both the profound and the mundane?

Can’t you see that Art is not Concept? (lest we become Saatchi&Saatchi interns)

It is at these interstices that I often find myself questioning everything. What do I want to say? What will I choose to confront?

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January 15, 2008 at 8:04 PM

intimacy, collaboration and everything between and against

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There is something quite disturbing about the way people reveal themselves in how they point their swords.

A Few Key Words:







big brother







I think we’re onto something- last time I checked my watch, we were debating for more than an hour- this is good:)

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November 1, 2007 at 1:05 AM

1W 8- October 31, 2007, Thursday in Mada room

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November 1, 2007 at 12:22 AM

1W7- Reflection on Proposal Draft

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For two days in a row, we discussed how we would go about writing our proposal drafts with Andy. It was such an invigorating discussion and finally I am understanding how important it is to thresh out ideas, working them out with a class that I’m really excited about- the range of work is such a rich slice, and being there, talking and contributing, listening and digesting things that also inform your work is a great experience.

Which brings me to my own proposal. Admittedly, our project is kind of a mind-bender, the collaboration dynamic being a monkey wrench. Katrin and I keep throwing ideas, catching them like balls bouncing in virtual air; but I think we hit something last night. We were discussing the feedback we got from the aims we presented, and yes, it is still too broad and we’re stretching it a bit. We also reviewed the work we’ve done (the film) and the techniques, skills and film language we’ve developed. We also took a step back and saw the positive points that we only see now because of the discussions and tutorials. Here they are, the good the bad the ugly:

Liabilities of being a couple and being both artists:

  • star signs- being both leos, we like doing excellent work and strive insanely to better ourselves to be better than the other
  • The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. household chores- doing laundry for me is like applying for sainthood; washing dishes for Katrin is like doing laundry for me
  • political budgeting- we both like having our own resources- our life eased when we both had access to the internet- independently. For food and toiletries, we adopt the UN mantra- all refugees share. But when it comes to First World amenities, we go to the high magistrates court and play Solomon.

The flipside:

  • David Cross sorting though the pennies Recognizing our respective personalities and acknowledging that yes, we both like being good at what we do, we have to use it productively, consciously even. This evening we had the pleasure of chatting with David Cross, (Cornford&Cross) and he talked about their collaborative process. We both instantly recognized it, the process of presenting ideas and challenging them, throwing it back, debunking it, analysing it- this topic came up with our dinner talk last night, and for the first time we acknowledged it. Hearing David Cross describe it, this sort of combative discourse as a way of collaboration gave us the answer. This is how we work, but we always saw it as a negative aspect of our process before (we can get really fired up, us leos), and never really thought that it can be a productive way of collaboration.
  • Addendum to the conflict/combat process- I realized that the theoretical concept of our collaborative work is analogous to the nature of our collaboration. Eisenstein’s theory of montage is not merely about putting two things together and producing meaning; montage is juxtaposition of opposing elements. The elements have to be charged differently to produce something else. Manovich’s theory of hybridity sort of describes this, but not yet in depth; there is a theoretical thread I think between the two.
  • Laundry & Dishes: Roles in an artistic collaboration are always tricky for leos. We are both independent thinkers, although we may have different dispositions (Katrin is outgoing and I am intro…speculative). We also like to believe that utopia exists within our relationship constantly, but we fail I think to acknowledge that there is hierarchy. The twist is that it changes, like a steady flux of electricity. Roles change; sometimes I do the dishes, Katrin the laundry. Authorship in collaboration is not a straight line, or mere addition: it is a waveform of a stereo track, mixed, or like sunlight, both particle and wave- waxing pseudo-poetic-scientific here I know- my point is that the collaboration we want is a dynamic one, one that acknowledges our strengths individually and challenges them.
  • The Personal is Political…to a point: We have had the good fortune of receiving a modest grant, enough to buy another mac (buying it this Friday). Regarding resources, we have to strategize. The old mac (specs- pre intelcore duo, ’nuff said) can handle video and audio work old style, meaning looong rendering time. This is not a problem- we can utilize this as a way of planning work, trying out video experiments. The New Mac can be for learning and experimenting with new software, especially 3d animation, and can be the hub for our collaborations- “jamming” the work together in AfterEffects, mapping out 3d representations, perhaps trying out programming in software that involves interactivity. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
  • Let’s revise, let’s remix: Having two macs will enable us to exchange sizable files (like FCP Project files for example) without a hitch. But the subtle implication of this strategy is that we’ll be dependent on the features of the machines. We can be tactical about this, and as of now, from where we’re at in the experiments, we still have to feel it through and observe our individual processes. The advantage though of the new mac is the web cam perched on the display, and this is a strategic device for documentation- we can easily record our conversations and quickly upload them as podcasts. I think this resource will be very valuable to us because we can review how we react to each other, study it and even let this inform the way we want to present our project.

Bringing it all together v2.0: I would hazard to say that TENSION is the keyword here, the thing that happens between our works. It’s sort of like making a violin in 2 parts, and the strings are invisible but you can hear the music when you walk in between the two films- the viewer is the one who runs the bow across the strings. Hmmm….

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October 25, 2007 at 12:42 AM