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Skin-Vision : Rosa Kuleshova 

Under The Influence
Over the course of several months and $300+ dollars, I made a T-Shirt that plays a fully functional game of pong.  Here’s a video of the thing in action. I didn’t make this for the art assignment per-say, but it applies so I’m sharing.
The very obvious inspiration comes from my love of old video games. For the hardware restrictions they had at the time they could do some amazing things. I did the same thing here. I ran the game off of an Arduino pro mega, which runs at 16MHz, which is less than a tenth of the power than in your smart phone. With that I have to work inside of a 14x15 pixel grid. It may not be easy to make art in that space, even though I could probably recreate a Rothko, but it’s fun to think of clever ways to overcome the challenges I face by restricting myself. It was a bit of a challenge to get “pong play” to appear legibly at the beginning of the game without having each letter bleed into the next, but when I got everything to work it felt simply amazing.
I got a lot of my inspiration to build this from Limor Fried, as well as the company Sparkfun. Certain electrical projects have a style to them, not just externally but internally as well. It wasn’t until now when I realized jsut how much of my style I had gotten from them and incorporated into my design. A big part of Adafruit (the company founded by Limor Fried) is wearable tech. I not only got some of the components and libraries from them, but seeing them create motivated me to do the same.
Speaking of mimicking the style of others, I documented the process so you can see what it was like building this. On top of that, I put the code up on GitHub for others. I know you guys aren’t programmers and couldn’t comment on my code (double meaning for people who can program, *wink* *wink*) but there really is an art to programming. A programmer can brute force his or her way through a problem or cleverly tip toe around it. They can name their variables whatever they want without changing the function of the code, and certain styles will become evident. Many put no nonsense descriptions in their Debug Log but many others will leave little jokes to tell them if something isn’t working correctly or short encouragements to tell them if it is. Not to mention some of the hilarity that can ensue between “/*” and “*/” or after “//” due to boredom. In the code I provide I even give one little reference to Star Wars.
While most of the time programming is given a happy personality or just left to be neutral there is no rule saying it has to be that way. It can occasionally take on a deeper or darker meaning, but really, as in most things, it’s up to the artist.

Guido Crepax, La discesa (1966)


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