High School Students Send Rubber Chicken to Edge of Space

Camilla in Space

During last month’s solar storm, Bishop Union High School students from Bishop, CA sent a sensor-equipped rubber chicken into the stratosphere to study solar radiation. They hope to gain insight to the effect of solar radiation on life and promote conversations about space weather. The rubber chicken in question is “Camilla”, the official mascot of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (@Camilla_SDO on Twitter).

Video of the launch:

Camilla weightless:

Comic Strip Steet Art by Tito na Rua

Tito na Rua mural at Clarion Alley, SF

International street artist Alberto “Tito na Rua” Serrano  paid a visit to San Franciso’s Clarion Alley this week. Serrano was born in the Bronx and now lives in Rio de Janeiro with his family. I exhibited next to him at Image Expo and we talked about public art in Brazillian favelas, comics, and second languages.  This marks his latest in a series of narrative murals about a man’s search for lost love. Here’s video of Tito speaking about his work as part of the Rooftops Legends 2011 series:

photo by Josh Ellingson

Earthmoving, A Short Film by Monochrom (A Prequel To Sierra Zulu)

Vienna-based art collective Monochrom has released the short film Earthmoving, a prequel to their forthcoming Sierra Zulu feature film (previous post). Earthmoving was filmed on location at the UN headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Another day at the United Nations Offices in Vienna. The Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry invited members of the European Protocol Service, the UN Strategic Command Center for Central Europe, the United States Air Forces and a regional politician from Lower Austria to talk about the future of Soviet Unter-WHAT?!

Photos: Roboexotica 2011, A Festival For Cocktail Robots

Thursday night was the opening party for Roboexotica, an annual celebration of cocktail themed robots in Vienna, Austria. There are robots of all shapes and sizes and a range of technical sophistication. Many of the bots actually mix and serve drinks for you.  I snapped a few photos of the crowd and some of my favorite robots.

As part of my artist residency this year in Vienna, Monochrom‘s Franky Albinger and I collaborated on a machine called the PURAGATRON. If you are unsatisfied with another robot’s cocktail creation, you can banish it from purgatory by placing it into the PURGATRON and sending your drink to hell or heaven (adds spicy sauce or sugar syrup).

The exhibition continues though the weekend at Ragnarhof in Vienna. Here is a video of Roboexotica co-organizer Johannes Grenzfurthner demonstrating the impressive Melmacc robot.

3D Printed Strandbeest by Shapeways

3D Printed Theo Jansen Strandbeest "Animaris Geneticus Parvus #7"- 3/4

3D print-on-demand website Shapeways is now offering official reproductions of kinetic artist Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests. Remarkably, they arrive into being fully functional with no assembly required. I first read about the collaboration last month on Boing Boing. The idea that these complex creatures are “born” from a block of powdered plastic was so fascinating that I put my order in for a “Animaris Geneticus Parvus #7” immediately. It took about ten days to complete the order and when the featherweight box arrived I was ready with my camera. I posted some photos to Flickr and shared them with my friends on Twitter. Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen saw my tweet and was kind enough to clarify how the project came about and process of making these fantastic objects:

Jansen approached us to ask whether we could help in the manufacturing and sales of his Strandbeest. We worked with him and his team as we do with all customers. They can upload the models themselves and the Shapeways upload tools automatically give feedback whether or not it can be printed. The ultimate test is always the 3D print itself which we made before announcing it to everyone. In this case it was a little more elaborate since it was quite a complex model.

Our White Strong and Flexible material is indeed powder based and using a laser it is selectively sintered (Selective Laser Sintering = SLS). It is the most versatile of our materials and it allows for the most freedom in design. I am excited about the whole market accelerating and the fact that this new way of production becomes more and more accessible to a general audience. In the end Shapeways wants to enable anyone to make whatever they want.

More information about the 3D printed Strandbeests can be found at the Shapeways blog.

photo by Josh Ellingson