The macro optic interface, Flickr and you - June 4, 2012

Filed under: Programming,Uncategorized

Pictorial and narrative representations are to me the indexes of emotional life and reflection. They give a fundament for artistic production. As nature historically has been the source for expression and emotion in art, it provided rhythm and cognition in relation to its weather and seasons – even the differences of night and day. Our modern world is self created and unattached to the clockwork of nature and the restraints of physical distance. We surf on the wave of the collective consciousness so eagerly filled everyday with photo memories and narratives. We are being pulled into scandals, wars and activism through our social networks. They constantly shake you out of every intimate limbo. It suggests prison of macro optics – meaning time and distance around the world dissolves as we gaze into the windows of our devices accessing whatever and whenever.

As when modernists such as Joseph Stella started painting giant colourful paintings which vibrancy inspired by the neon signs of high speed cities, can one today ask how art can defend its existence against our daily stimuli of information. The singular work of art the moment it is seen becomes unrewarded and embedded into a stream of “art tendencies”. I have problems relating to one art object in the white cube without its total context. With “Streaming canvas”, I attempt to open up the gates of just a fraction of the world in real time into the work.

Flickring canvas is originally an installation where Flickr uploads are being projected on a canvas in real time. Depending on connectivity, the application can show up to one image per 70 milliseconds. The application uses the Flickr API, which updates as uploads to Flickr are being performed by users. From Feb. and Mar. 2012, the Flickr website has reached 1.8 million uploads a day, that is up to 28 photos per second in peak times (> 100.000 per hour).

My work tries to capture the sense of growth and alienation to what is being added to the networks of information. The speed of the images flickering by is motivated to capture the claustrophobic image of the thought stream. By this I mean the time it takes to mentally process the image being shown, is stressed by the quick transition of the next image – leaving you in a desperate state of trying to comprehend. Have you ever kept image in for more than a second before your mind turn it into something else? From time to time one witness small fractions of continuity, as images from the same series are being uploaded.

Click to see the live version of Flickring Canvas.

Note that if your internet connection is slow, a set of 20 images will loop until the next set is loaded.

Documentation of the original installation:

Wi-Fi Shamanism - June 14, 2011

Filed under: Programming

Continuing the work with Wi-Fi-based art mentioned earlier. I’ve been interested in taking use of invisible information and create a system to convert radio wave signals into site specific color field paintings. The colors and sizes are determined by the Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 protocol data retrieved such as like rssi, channel number, cipher, authentication type, average signal and so on. I chose to use Wi-Fi signals because of its narrow range of connectivity and great source of variation in urban environments.

I like to work with this invisible information because it is something I understand and find fascinating. When I studied computer science I always liked to imagine visualizing the unperceivable data being tossed and twisted around in series of logic go-merry-rounds. If one could imagine seeing the vast amount of radio, Wi-Fi, radiation, and satellite signals going about in the streets and living rooms as light, we would be embraced in an amazingly bright vibrancy. With this in mind, my intention was to only open up little windows for us to peek in, because the whole would be too much to comprehend.

The image above is an excerpt taken from outside Oslo Parliament Building in Norway (Stortinget). Below is a compiled image of a series of exposures showing measured Wi-Fi signals in a showroom at Gallery Podium in Oslo. I project the visualized signals on top of the very spot I did the measuring.

You can really see the great variations when comparing measures from corners and open space, high and low, near and far from windows and doorways. You could call it site specific, but this is more of a device or tool that creates cut-throughs which reveal what is going on at a specific spot in space. Like a mirror is an image reflecting only its surroundings, my program reflects only what is at the exact place it is executed.

Below is the same shots done with the lights off. This isolates the signal topography and creates a seemingly random yet deductive series of light disks.

The visual theme of these disks is of course designed to end up looking like disks with a controlled boundary of randomness. I described the premises their visual outcome more closely in this earlier post. I have experimented with various styles from graffiti- and kaleidoscope aesthetics to stained glass windows seen in cathedrals. I landed on simplicity in order to recognize variety and still get a feeling of which networks are close and which networks are far away. I like the idea targets representing each spot measured.

On the other hand, looking at these disks, I cannot help myself from thinking of modernist painters such as Kenneth Noland and his circles, color inventions by Wassily Kandinsky or even the street light and propeller abstractions from the Paris celebrating painter Robert Delaunay. I find the latter being quite suitable as I sort of celebrate the inventions of the invisible landscapes (of the modern).

I call the project Wi-Fi Shamanism in the lack of a better name. Shamans perform a variety of functions depending upon their respective cultures. The shaman is usually a person who is an expert in keeping together the multiple codes through which a complex belief system appears. In this case I play the role as a shaman no more than the fact that I use my understanding of the (radio wave) protocols floating about in the atmosphere. I use my skill as a programmer to express meaning from these codes trough light and color.

Some of you might have already seen Light painting Wi-Fi by the interdisciplinary research team from the Institute of Design at Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Norway. The similarity of mapping Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GSM, 3G and RFID fields is obvious, but what really inspired me for this project was when I came over some very interesting photos from the Chernobyl disaster taken by Igor Kostin.

The photograph above (credit: National Geographic ) taken on the roof on top of the reactor showed signs of radiation in the bottom of the film. The radiation was invisible, but the sense of it was so clear that the “bio-robots” working there for only 45 seconds couldn’t feel their own teeth while shoveling radioactive debris. You can clearly see the traces of the camera reel coming from below the photographer’s camera. The idea that there is so much more than the eye can see inspired me in this direction.

WiFi signal visualization - May 27, 2011

Filed under: Programming

The video shows a selection of images from a program I wrote. The program parses Wifi-signals around different urban environments, e.g. my apartment, a parking lot, outside an art gallery, a park or a basement. Each location generates a distinct but fluctuating visual profile.

The colours and sizes are determined by the Wifi IEEE 802.11 protocol data retrived such as like rssi, channel number, cipher, authentication type, average signal and so on. In example, a type of low security security algorithm, such as WEP, will generate a red hue as opposed to a WPA-2 with a CCMP encryption protocol would generate a hue more towards green.

The size of the rings are obviously determined by each of the wifi-network’s signal quality, ranging from 0 to 100%.

This is an experimental stage of a project motivated by the idea to develop a dynamic yet deductive system for creating visuals that reflects an urban and invisible radiowave landscapes we are surrounded with every day.

Iphone App logo - May 15, 2009

iNytt iconMade an icon for the iNytt iPhone Application developed by a friend. The icon was made in Photoshop, but vectorized for different sizes. The app is a fresh addition to the norwegian news readers as it is possible to read articles stacked from multiple newspapers at the same time.

Get it from iTunes

iNytt is a news reader for norwegian newspapers.
It includes news from:


It enables easy access to the latest news from each paper, and presents the full article when tapped.

The WWWorld in Graphs - June 1, 2008

Filed under: Programming,Uncategorized — Tags: , ,

html graph

As programmers tend to talk about beauty in the code, it may sound a bit pretentious from outsiders. I just found a pretty decent HTML DOM visualizer. Basically it identifies the tag elements in a html source code of a website and visualize it as a colourful hierarchic tree. Beautiful! A true ode to code :) Above is my website index page. As you can see, I rely heavily on DIV (green) and LIST (most of the grays) tags .

Try it (java required)

What do the colors mean?

blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags

Another site:

A huge website; the first page of – a Norwegian  news site. I believe I can say that this site has an ugly structure for organizing information, but the menu section looks pretty nice :)


View more site graphs: – nice purple gallery flower! – big tree! – cute and simple :) – the norwegian shrubbery

new Gallery *beta* - May 12, 2008

Filed under: Programming

gallery beta

I’ve wanted to do a more dynamic solution for my portfolio gallery for some time now. Currently I am writing a gallery page which in an elegant AJAX manner displays images and information from an xml file. It still has some glitches, because I want a bookmark/url-friendly gallery so that other blogs and features can link directly to a piece. This is partly solved if the visitor clicks at the chosen image on the bread crumb navigation bar. I will figure out a more nifty solution here soon..

So I made the gallery both responsive to $_GET requests like ?piece=Matryoshka and by clickable thumbnails for XMLHttpRequest

ToDO list:

  • Create a more accessible fall back for non-javascript users. Even though 95% of web browsers have javascript enabled, I must as a member of GAWDS stay true to accessible web design :)
  • A cool user friendly submit page
  • Ofcourse there is also search engine optimization!

The goal is to create a very simple-to-use and yet dynamic gallery solution that I and perhaps other artists will love to use