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  • Thank You…..

    Thank you everyone that came to the reception last Thursday. We appreciated everyone taking time out of their busy week to come check out our installation.

    It seemed that the show was well received by everyone, and everyone enjoyed the experience. I personally got a kick from everyone asking what was in the reflecting pools. It seemed that everyone was very surprised that it was water when they touched it.

    I also want to thank Sarah Salbu for writing the article about our show for the Miami Student. The article came out very well, and it is always cool to see that there is interest in the stuff we do outside of the Art department. If you would like to read the article its up here

    Below are some short videos of the installation and the reception for anyone who missed it, check em out they are pretty cool. :). Remember that the show will be up until this Saturday May, 9th. Again THANKS for everyone that made this possible!!! I hope everyone enjoyed the food.

    Spatially Snesed Experience: Phase One Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

    SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

    SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

    SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

    SSE: Reception from christian mclean on Vimeo.

  • The Show….

    So the show will be up and ready for viewing tomorrow, Monday April 27th. The reception is Thursday from 4:30pm to 6pm. We have been working hard all week in order to get this stuff ready for everyone to experience.

    Ok, so I think that everyone is a little confused about what is going on for the opening.

    First thing is the Twitter stuff. If you have a Twitter account you just tweet things about the show and make sure that the hash tag #gcshow is in your tweet somewhere, and then it will show up on the computer for everyone to see.

    Second thing is the streaming video. I will have a camera up and running with a stream so that anyone anywhere will be able to view the show. You can view the show below.

    Enjoy the show!!!!!!.

  • Twitter, Pizza Hut, Internship


    I picked up email today and my father, Gerard McLean, with a link to a New York Times article talking about how there are hiring people to twitter for a summer internship. Naturally as a twenty something geny-er into this web 2.0 thingy I went to apply.

    I visit and find the apply link which brings me to an application form hosted by a company called Yum. I fill out the first part, which is the cover letters and resume. Next i move to a page for personal information, and I fill that out and hit the next button hoping to see a Thank You your application is received and then a screen following saying Pizza Hut is now following me on twitter, then a screen saying I have been hired and then seeing a tweet go out from Pizza Hut telling everyone I have been hired. Did I see that, No I saw the image to the left.

    Now I understand errors happen in the internet world, but at least make you errors more descriptive. Don’t offer me a job as a intern who twitters; making me think that you are a really cool company who understands their brand and their target demographic, college age males (honestly who orders more pizza???), and then sweep the rug out from in front of me by not owning up to your service.

    Lesson Learned, test test test then test some more, and if you do throw up an error don’t give me a number and tell me to refer to IT. In the words of Zach Galifianakis, “…Be more descriptive”.

    **UPDATE*** I just received an email from Yum Jobs saying I have registered successfully. Confusing!?!?!?

    (It may be working by the time I post this, but this was my experience)

  • Community Easter egg hunt for the new generation….

    The new Easter egg

    I had a show in late November, in which, I made around 170 porcelain bottles and aligned them like the picture above. I haven’t known what to do with them, right now they are just sitting in boxes with no one appreciating them. A few days ago I came up with and idea!!!!

    This idea you say, hmmm. Well this Sunday (tomorrow) is Easter, and as a child hunting for the Easter eggs was always a fun challenge with a candy reward. I thought of an adult version of this, that would involve some of this new web stuff.

    So here is the challenge to everyone. If you are in Oxford, OH this Sunday then be on the look out for these little porcelain soldiers, and if you find them take a picture and tag the bottle as christian mclean, if you are using facebook, or if you twitpic use @chirn9980.

    I guess the end goal for this is to bring back some of that childhood fun and discovery. Remember playing in that cardboard box for hours?? Well, just trying to bring some fun and levity to this world.

  • Another Twitter Mashup… But this time with Processing and Helvetica
    Twitter/Helvetica/Processing Mashup a.k.a Twartistatment from christian mclean on Vimeo.

    For my upcoming collaborative show at Miami University, I wanted to do something other than just have a comment book. Because of the nature of what we are doing with technology in the form of installation and involving the user in the environment, and because I want to be the best genY’er I can be, I wrote a sketch in Processing that uses the Twitter4j library for processing.

    What happens in this sketch is it is actually two sketches. The first sketch runs in the background, kinda like a separate thread, this sketch runs the queries to twitter, writes them to a file; then finds all of the unique words within the whole document. It then compares each of those words to each tweet, and uses that count and an index of how relevant the tweet is in relation to the other tweets that showed up in the search. It then writes those numbers to a file indexed the same way as the whole file that contains the tweets, to keep a one to one correspondence. The second sketch is the visual part. This is the video shown here. It grabs all of the tweets and counts and pair them up in an object, and then displays it to the screen. Remember that number from the unique comparisons earlier, well it is used to determine the size of the rectangle drawn to the screen, as a visual way to see how relevant the tweet is within each of the other tweets.

    Well thats the long explanation of what is going on behind the scenes, but what I intend to do with this is have it replace the comment book is in a gallery setting, because these days there really isn’t a need for a physical comment book when we can always have our comments in the cloud and access them anytime we want. Because o this non-spatial comment book, anyone in the world can has a direct impact on anyone else in the world who has viewed the show, either by video, photographs, or were actually there. Breaking down barriers of the specific gallery “space”.

    There are a few problems I see. One, well twitter is free and it might be really busy that day. Two, it seems like everyone I talk to around here doesn’t use twitter, nor would they get an account just for the opening. Three, I have written the code so fat that it locks up, hopefully I can solve this problem, but you can’t change humans.

  • Dilemmas of being an art student… taking a paid gig while you are still in undergrad

    You get what you pay for

    This letter came across via email at the Miami University Art department. What it literally says is that a woman is looking for a student from the art department, that was able to do a photography wedding gig. What I read was that the woman was looking for less expensive way of getting her wedding photographed, hoping that a student would want to do this for less because it would help the student by being able to put it on their resume.

    I agree that it is very important for these opportunities come across for students, but this also brings up a gray area; when does someone become a professional artist??? I’m not sure that there is a clear cut definition for this, but for me it was when I wanted to become a professional artist. The day I wanted to become a professional artist was the day I decided to. Even-though I was still in undergrad, I decided that I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist. So I did.

    There are many times in school where we feel like we are just practicing for the “real” thing when we graduate. The real thing is practicing, each piece is an exercise in how we express ourselves. Each piece, if we deem it so, is a professional piece. Along with this, I recently gave a lecture on Social Media and the artist for upcoming graduating art majors. Most of them didn’t have a site, which meant that they didn’t have a way of making them professionals. Am I saying that you need a website to be professional? No, not really, I am saying that as someone in undergrad it helps define you as a serious practitioner and allows you to open your audience to more than just the people in you temporal location.

    At the end of the day, you are only a professional as you take yourself. If you know you do quality work, charge that much for it. It takes a long time for an artist to cultivate the skills they need in order to do what they do, and no one usually pays them to learn theses things. Keeping that in mind always charge what YOU are worth, not just the specific job at hand.

  • Hot off the critique floor..

    Here I have a video courtesy of Mr. Geoff Riggle. We set this installation up for a graduate critique last night. This is the first time that we have been able to get a half-way decent installation of this piece.

    We have been working with the arduino hardware, and ceramic materials, mainly ceramic fire brick, in order to create an interactive environment. What happens here is the board controls the fading of the light, and when the P.I.R(infrared sensor) is tripped the board fires the secondary light. There is still a little issue with the timing due to the hardware and the fact we are using ac current.

    It’s hard to talk about these conceptually right now, because we have been so involved in how to get these things to work. Especially with using newer technologies, you tend to get wrapped up in making it work, that’s fine. The idea was to create a monolithic element contrasted with a more ephemeral element, hence the large brick structure and the dimming light. From that ideas of breathing, life, cycles start to enter the frame. A comment came up that these things start to reference cities. That is the closest metaphor for what we are making. Just like a city, these modularly built structures that begin to have a life of their own. Without people the city would have it’s character that it has, trying to incorporate that further into the installation I am working on a twitter and processing mashup to allow visitors to participate in writing the artist statement and have live commenting. Because the viewers will be able to immediately see comment of other viewers we are able to more quickly share the ideas embodied in the experience.

    The show will be up from April 25th to May 9th at Hiestand Galleries, located at Miami University, Oxford Ohio. We hope to have a large gathering, and maybe enough tweets to summon the FAIL WHALE.

  • What if terroists twittered

    Lets put down the guns and pick up the tweets
    Lets put down the guns and pick up the tweets

    Ok I admit, the title is a little misleading, but I was going for shock and awe. But I recently saw Salmon Rushdie speak at Miami University, in Oxfod Ohio. The speech was well composed, full of cracks of conservative cracks and some godless comment, which definatly increased the tension in the room.

    He talked about how we measure the cost of safety. Briefly put, the fear of getting hit by a truck shouldnt keep us from crossing the street. Talking about issues ranging from domestic to india, kashmir and pakistan. A few points came to light, the first, the worst of the west is at war with the worst of the east. This is key to understanding in order to moving forward with the “war” on terrorism. Rushdie pointed out that recruits for terrorism are people that feel like their life is hopeless, and they have no voice. When I feel I have no voice, which happens from time to time I look at my twitter stream and ineveibtably find something funny, exciting, engaging. If people in this situation twittered would they become terrorist recruits?

    Answer: Maybe, Maybe not. When someone is able to see an influence on the world around them, or in the case of these social networks the world surrounding them, it makes them feel better (at least me). It allows people to interact in a way they would normally with people, just not with the normal people they would meet.

    ***Disclaimer I just thought the photo would add a little meme and levity to the post***

  • More sound Iterations

    var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”);
    document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src=’” + gaJsHost + “’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”));

    try {
    var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-8008936-1”);
    } catch(err) {}
    Sound Creatures from christian mclean on Vimeo.


    Ok everybody, finally got the creature wrapped up in its own class, and spawning and dying. Needs a little adjustments, but the next step is to get it working on multiple screens across a space creating an environment for these guys to live. Hop you like. 🙂

  • New Print from my drawing program

    built with processing
    built with processing

    I have been dealing with a visualization of sound for a while. This one here is an image of what an hour at Kofenya, my local coffee shop, looks like. I adapted the pillbug sketch to “record” the sounds of life around me. What is happening here is that about 50 “chains” (stings of drawn lines) are drawn and follow a vertor path affected by the noise in the room. The noise also affects the size of each link, resulting in the varying line weights giving a us this image. What’s fascinating is the incredible variation of the lines weight, allowing the viewer to compare to amount of quiet and noisy times. I will be posting the source code and the application online, when I can get everything cleaned up, and also add controls to allow the viewer to be the composer of the random acts of noise. Please leave a comment, and let me know what you think.