.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

Working Plan for the Semester

The following is a draft for a project proposal for my work this semester.  The project is intended to be an extension of my experiments with stellar charting and cartography, something that began in many of the photos seen in earlier posts.  Hopefully I will be able to come up with something that will integrate the computer vision into either a fiber optic array that mimics elements of the cosmos or in another LED array of sorts (more to come on that later…)

Outlined below is the more basic/general technical idea of the project.

Project Title: Experimentation with Frame Grabber and Computer Vision

Project Summary: It is my goal to build a working system in which a built-up PC dedicated to Frame Grabber and computer vision will function as a module for integration in works and experiments executed during this fall semester of 2009 and beyond.  One of the main driving concepts is to understand the cosmos and how it relates to the human scale through experimental processes of cartography.

Project Description: There are two main aspects that describe the nature of this project.  The one that needs mentioning here is comprised of all the technical and technological considerations.  The as yet un-built PC will be dedicated to the Frame Grabber program and supplemental computer vision programming through the use of EyesWeb, Max/MSP and Arduino platforms, most likely in conjunction with a Mac in close proximity.  The secondary programs will be *hopefully* function as translators for coordinate data inputted from Frame Grabber, etc.  One of the desired outputs is data conversion directly to a segment LED array; something that will literally show the x and y coordinates of a moving object in a given space is the idea of the spectacle.  Another output method (which is the original idea) is to convert that same data to simple LEDs so that they respond to the object in a given XY system.

Is this part of a larger project? This is the second aspect and is very much a part of a larger ongoing project.  The constellations are one of the earliest methods of cartography and by understanding the night sky we begin to understand our presence in the cosmos.  Through the above-mentioned experimentation I hope to add to a growing personal lexicon that embodies scientific and artistic practices working in conjunction to give truth to “Ex Ars Et Astris, Scientia”.


1. Development:  The first stages are contingent upon the construction of the PC computer vision machine.  From there I will work on Frame Grabber, EyesWeb, Max and Arduino programming that will convert the computer vision data.  Getting the system to recognize a form and its movement within an XY system is the immediate goal.  From there I should be able to create elements of programming that can convert that data and in turn work those translations into “works”.

2. Research:  Reading about what ideas are relevant to my investigations and experiments is something that is nothing but beneficial to me.  Informing myself about methodology and production employed by other people dealing with similar subject matter will help me to develop a working model and methodology tailored to my own needs.  To do this I’ve assembled a working book list which to begin my theoretical explorations.

Katharine Harmon: You Are Here

Nato Thompson: Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography…

Trevor Paglen: The Other Night Sky

Trevor Paglen: Blank Spots on the Map

Peterson Field Guide to Stars and Planets

Avery Gordon: An Atlas of Radical Cartography

Michael Covington: Astrophotography for the Amateur

3. Output:  There are 3 modes of output I am aiming for.  The first is in the form of studio models and subsequent documentation in the form of photographs, videos and writing and will predominately be produced from spaces in the MFA studios.  This mode will be more or less constant throughout the semester as working (or not working L) models are produced.  The documentation will be posted on my blog where opportunities for peer and advisor feedback will be constant.

The second and third modes will correspond to the Mid-Term and Final project dates of Space and Place.  I hope to be able to incorporate all relevant elements of this project into artistic content produced in that class.  The actual forms of the output will be determined as this project progresses.  Spaces as well as objects are being considered as forms of artistic products.  Important factors for me to consider during development and production are spatiality and temporality.


1. Documentation of experimental processes in multi-media form to be posted on my blog as project progresses.

2. Any “works” in presentable form will be documented and presented at individual meetings.

3. Annotated bibliography of all readings relevant to this project.  These will also be posted on my blog as they are completed and be included as a supplemental compilation to the Project Book.

4. Documentation of all pieces created throughout this semester relevant to this project and surrounding body of work.

Additionally, I will present my findings and results of this project to the class on December 17th 2009 in the form of a Powerpoint presentation. Also on the December 17th, 2009 meeting of class, I will turn in three complete copies of a bound project book outlining my process. (one for instructor, one for department archives, one for grading & return) At minimum, the project book will include:

• A copy of this agreement signed and dated by student & instructor.

• A table of contents corresponding to numbered pages that run length of book.

• A 2500 – 3000 word essay detailing the results of your project.  This narrative should be reflective in tone and should focus primarily on what was accomplished during the semester.  Minor (10% maximum) attention should address your future plans for this research.

• A printed version of all slides in the Powerpoint presentation delivered to class.

• Copies of sketches, photos, diagrams & any other visual documentation of your research.

• CD insert containing electronic copies of all aforementioned items in addition to the electronic version of the Powerpoint presentation. Optionally, the CD insert can also contain additional media (sound, video, etc.) relevant to the project.

• A table of CD contents outlining items contained on the CD.

• Three blank pages at the end of the book for instructor comments

There.  That is the proposal for Directed Graduate Projects.

0 Responses to Working Plan for the Semester

  1. Solar Panel says:

    Whoa, wonderful post. I just found your website and am already a fan. 😛

  2. JimmyBean says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  3. Kelli Garner says:

    Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

  4. Bernie says:

    Very considered work, Nick.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more images.
    Hello to Merideth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *