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THE TIDAL EPIC: LIQUID, METAL, LIGHT

Once upon a magical moon, a ‘fearless artist’ decided to tell a story of the tides. Heart full of flowers, she needed help to make Tidal, a ‘geofeedback’ installation that bridges the gap between water bodies outside and inside us. THE Workshop stepped up to build a suspended storm of metal clouds, illuminated with thousands of LEDs that pull from tidal data and flow in time with the river. When you interact with a large silver moon-like bowl of water placed in the centre of the installation- you start to pull light towards you, from one body of water to another. This went beyond the usual

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Could we make this at THE Workshop? And then ship it across the seas to the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburgh?

Challenge Accepted 🙂 🙂 🙂

From under the bridge to the outdoor structure, the final location where the installation was to be built changed , so the installation changed form, and code. Every iteration looked beautiful.

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Thousands of LEDs embedded in over 30 huge metal clouds forming a spiral vortex, code directing it as it hovers over a four-foot moon shaped bowl filled with water. Water that responds to your touch. Water that links you to the river. The LEDs programmed with over three years of the live tidal data. The patterns flowed, matching Shilo’s artistic vision. It was a great team effort making the tech happen, sensors, moon bowl, weeks of intense wiring, soldering, rewiring, testing, and all that jazz. Twas’ a fun monsoon.

Packed to perfection, Tidal travelled 13,634 km from THE Workshop, at Nagwara, Bangalore to Point State Park, Pittsburgh, USA.  Coincidentally, it was the first international build for THE Workshop. We literally had our heads in the clouds for the whole week we spent assembling it in there.

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Tidal was a massively precise build. Made possible by THE team of asskickers: Srinidhi, Juneza, Gopi, Sanjay, Purvi, Naseer, back in India, and Heather, and everyone else who helped in Pittsburgh.

Here’s the MAKING video:

 

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The finale. A beautifully interactive geofeedback installation in a giant white geodesic dome. We could say Tidal was a geostorm of a build, maybe that be a tad bit too…Cheesy?

The tide is in. Aqueous transmission complete.

 

 

 

Tidal did make some waves : Here’s what the people of the media had to say:

Tidal was made in 2017 @THE Workshop in collaboration with Shilo Shiv Suleman.

 

 

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Woodworking starts with THE Plank

How many things can one plank of wood be?

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Sometime late 2016, we ran one of our first woodworking workshops with Bram.  A year on in he’s back from France, and set up Bram Woodcrafting Studio in Mysore. Happy to say we’ve collaboratively run some of our most awesome hands-on woodworking workshops with his team.

Two questions to get started: What’s a plank got to do with this?

And…How does one make a plank, THE Plank?

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Space-saving, flat, minimalistic even, it’s one of the more functional woodworking projects to begin with ––  the design we made is a simple adaptation of the original. The original is a mystery. Known by many other names including the Viking Chair, African chair, One-Board chair, The Plank Chair, and popularly dubbed the world oldest and simplest chair design. Stuff that DIYers cut their teeth on. Literally. Magic with a saw.

And while Norway and Africa both don’t care who made the chair first, Bram and THE crew everyone had themselves a fun time.

Here’s what mentors and participants had to say:

We’re super happy to see people making and doing.  People come back for seconds, and, we’ve even had participants who have flown in from across the world. True story. Drop by THE Workshop and we’ll continue the conversation.

Interested to make and do stuff?

https://twitter.com/THEWorkshop_Blr

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http://www.the-workshop.in

 

 

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THE Urban Bi-spectacle: a data-driven interactive installation

We ended 2016 with a research-driven interactive installation at our very first Biennale. Pi’s, emotional maps of the city, original emotion based frequency sounds, and first person POV’s of four peculiar characters of the city.

That’s loads of data, research and creation all crunched into a month of making. In the meanwhile, we also helped set up URBAN CITYLAB, Bangalore. Fun December 🙂

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Initiated by Ar. Sandhya Rao and Ar. Anabelle Viegas, URBAN CITYLAB is a research collective of Urban Designers, planners, architects, sociologist’s and academicians based out of Bangalore. The research collective focuses on innovative urban proposals that will transform the way we live; concepts of hybrid urbanism that offer a juxtaposition of programs to live, work, and play for a hyper-mobile, hyper-connected population.

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The installation: The Urban Bi-spectacle is an on-going research project on the sensory experience of Bengaluru’s multi-layered, hyper-connected reality.  It uncovers layers of interaction, experience and emotion while revealing the characters, characteristics and peculiarities of the urban.

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Tracing the activities of various urban actors, we examine the multiplicity of the Bangalore urban to generate discourses on alternative methods of city design, and relook at ways to analyse and interpret real-time data.

Conceptualised, and built by Urban Citylab, this study provides insights into the nature of the city we know, sense and recognise, while focusing on the spatial, sensorial and emotional nuances defining it.

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Put simply, the city is calling for help, and we dial in an emotion. A precursor to the digitally lead lives of people in the world’s most dynamic city. Thanks Gopi, Arnab, Arthur, Chetan, Faseeh, Manoj, all volunteers, and THE Workshop for making this.

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Photo by: FAS Films

You can visit THE Urban Bi-spectacle at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016. Stop by Yousuf Art Gallery, Opposite international tourist police museum, Jew town road, Mattancherry, Kochi. The installation will run all though Feb, until 29th March 17.

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Synesthesia lights up Mini Maker Faire Bangalore

A thousand two hundred meters of tubing, sixty kilos of steel, six hundred LEDs, five ultrasonic sensors, 2 coats of paint, one coat of primer, over a 100 nuts and bolts, and this was just the installation. Plus fifty-four square meters of black rexine to enclose this little light monster.

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The build was crazy. 7 days. Help arrived magically. Almost sequenced. Thanks Gopi, Arnab, Chetan (for the perfect soundscape), Manoj, Kavita, Vijay, Sneha, Caco, Abhi and all of you who helped snip, string or wire stuff.

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We loved the response at the Faire. People were like “this is straight outta Avatar”. Awesomeness.

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Conceptualised and designed by THE Workshop boss Anabelle Viegas, Synesthesia is an interactive and iterative structure computationally generated with acting forces as the design constraint. The installation tests rigid materiality transforming it engaging the user with a soft, malleable fluid dynamism.

The light patterns iterate as the user engages with the installation. This time around we could only engage two senses. The next iteration will be more divergent, delightful and responsive.

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Super happy we made this happen.

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a month in the making…

THE Workshop has been up and running for over a month. We’ve hosted a few workshops. Met some excellent people. Fun times.

We tinkered with electronics. We made music with tools. Literally.

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We had an Open Day. Met some interesting artists. We made some keychain mementos.

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We asked people for their interpretations of a box…They were really out of the box.

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Now we’re trying to have conversations with furniture. Woo Hoo.

FURNITURE HACK event

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Distraught cows ask government: What’s your beef ?

In a drastic turn of events, the Maharashtra Steaks Committee has made an appeal to the Highest Court to revoke the beef ban. They further demanded the law protect and honour their constitutional rights to freedom of religion, and religious expression in India. According to Mrs. Kabab Gai from Bombay, the cows have two religious sects: Steak and Stalk. While every Stalks purpose is to fertilise the land, they also commit themselves to the lifelong task of stalking and stalling humans. Steaks however had a purpose higher than roadblocks and concrete dumping –– ‘the perfect BBQ’ a three-step journey of self-sacrifice and enlightenment –– Rare, Medium, and Well Done. This ancient tradition and core religious dogma shot to fame some of the leanest, most well marinated Steaks. And ever so often purebreds had the honour of melting away in a gastronomical feast of eternal bliss. But all was not peaceful at the ‘Cows are Steak’ rally. In an act of defiance, one cow grilled itself to an extremely well done. The air was thick, delicious –– the aromas of an overdone steak filled the street. International spokescow for ‘Cows for Grills’ released a statement, “We are not cowards. And we will steak everything before we let some government ban our right to freedom of thought, of expression, and religion. ” The Chief even went to the extent of saying that they could ban the steak, but they could never ban the sizzle. 7649891430_9460b347e4_b Meanwhile in an unrelated incident, a social media specialist has taken to twitter with her #ItsMyMilk campaign. Feminist groups are in full support and have moved the campaign to higher grounds –– the Cowch. The youtube viral #ItsMyMilk has spun off numerous parodies –– #ItsMyMilk by LOLcat is bonkers. For more on this developing story read the Beef Kheema tell-all: holy men used to love me.

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Holy Smokes: the first full-page ad for marijuana hits New York

After decades of propaganda and blatant ignorance, the sweet leaf finally debuts in mainstream media. With its full-blown, full-pager in the New York Times, Leafly makes history in blazing print. The ad’s blunt. (Can’t help the pun).

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I’m dubbing this advertising’s finest moment.
Snoop agrees. ‪#JustSayKnow

Big boom for Denver agency Redrag & Bull. Their approach: there’s a leaf for every symptom, you just need to know.

It’s medical and as legal as any other over-the-counter suspects: uppers, downers, screamers and sleepers. No more pills for them headaches, backaches, depression, appetite loss. This also comes with FREE make-your-world-more-funny goggles. Me likey.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, poses for a portrait for Reuters in Seattle

So what do these pot loving digital hipsters do? Leafly provides information about different pot strains and where to buy them. That’s being in the know. All made possible  via their app and website. Helpful stuff. Literally 🙂 They have run a few ads before, none this big or this ‘addy’.

Now waiting for this to go international.
Next up, Jay’s Doobie snacks: Pa pa pup pah pah…

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Happy campers: Bill and Ted, Cheech and Chong, Scooby and Shaggy, Beavis and Butthead amongst the first to celebrate this newfound knowledge. 

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The ‘Dude’ of Hyderabad

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Indian cities and the auto-rickshaws that make them move. I have almost always had some issue with the driver for being ripped off with some ridiculous overcharge. But every once in a while, there comes along a auto driver who evens the odds.

Mr. Sayed.— like Geriatrix on magic portion zipped us around the city of Hyderabad. Besides speaking impeccable English, he was an intelligent conversationalist. His story …. rags to riches to rags…..was script worthy. So for the next few days he was our designated driver and guide extraordinaire. And after many rickshaws trying to take us on the ‘city tour’ …with stops at ‘preferred jewellers’ included for free…the dude was a welcome change.

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Long story short, at the end of the trip, I knew I had to share this with others who like tales on the road. It was a pleasure to travel across the city in India’s favourite three-wheeler with the happy old raconteur zipping us around.

My recommendation: If you need a ride and a chat with an real chiller…skip the cab and take ‘the dudes’ rickshaw.His number 08801134125

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The littlest little mountain town

Guest Houses at Prini Village,  Manali, India.

ThinkHappyEveryday

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Legitimate Rape is better than Rape

Some time ago I was still trying to figure out why Republican Congressman Todd Akin said that women don’t get pregnant in cases of “legitimate rape”.

The video explains why in detail. It”s graphically informative.

I like the spin -off ad campaign too. More messages should be shared, more people made aware that rape = murder.

Worse still is the fate of women in India — where the masses themselves have a flawed concept of what rape is, why it happens and how it should be punished. He’s a small sample of what they think….and these are still children.