So I kind of hit a bit of a wall last week…it was the ‘ideas are running away with me’ wall and although I had tried to tweak and play with my Arduino board and the Isadora software Ash had been showing me I seemed to have stumbled on a glitch and couldn’t resolve it…I also realised that I couldn’t resolve it as I did not know enough about each elements to be able to use the help section as I wasn’t sure which way to look first. HOWEVER good always comes from bad as I spent my time linking to Mark Coniglio’s You Tube tutorials and watched a few set-ups and scenarios. He’s the designer of Isadora – the software I’m using. I also got myself familiar with the actual layout and tools of the ‘scenes’ (the areas that I set up my codes and rules etc on).

BUT Today was a much better day! Before Ash came over I managed to link the band back on to the treadle wheel of my sewing machine and although its crusty and rusty I think I have almost got it working as I saw the needle rising up and down…the needle is still threaded from either my Nannar or Aunt’s last piece of work!

Also, over the last few weeks I posted a photo of the machine on Facebook and wrote a bit about it…gradually over a few days, members of my family began to add comments and reflect on the machine…I DID NOT EXPECT THIS – it has been wonderful to read what this machine meant to them as children growing up in my Nannar’s house…on my you tube film when I opened the draw for the first time, I found a little pixie and later my Aunt commented that it was hers and she had wondered where it had got too…a mystery solved…

There are lovely comments and so I decided to use these within my work…I’m writing some code that when you activate the treadle plate on the machine, memories and stories are revealed by a projector….I AM SO EXCITED by this that I have to type in CAPS as I am really shouting this! I have already in my head worked out a way to develop this further for live performance after the symposium next week…I still have a fair way to go and learn loads to realise it but after my brilliant session with Ash this morning I feel much more empowered…it feels that the nuts and bolts of this ‘interactive’ technology are beginning to click with me – which after last weekend’s frustration is great…you sometimes have to go through those moments to get to a better place!

This morning I drew a sketch for Ash (back of envelope – see top photo) and explained in images what I wanted to achieve with this new knowledge…we then began to create a ‘patch’ (love that its a quilting/sewing term!) with all my coding and triggers on. So basically when the sewing machine is in motion various ‘triggers’ will kick in to then display memories etc via a projector…but only after you have to labour on the machine…

Patch works

I’m going to play around with the exact text and imagery I want to use prior to the demo at Random String and I’ve also got to oil the treadle machine and if time allows read the beginners arduino book…who knew the weekends could be so thrilling! CANNOT WAIT!


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