Monmouth University professors Mike Richison and Marina Vujnovic and Kean University professor Ed Johnston have created an augmented reality model of the carousel that once stood inside the Carousel House on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Augmented Carousel requires no special hardware, just a smartphone and the free mobile app Layar. In the 1990s, the Asbury Park boardwalk carousel was sold to Family Kingdom, an amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The team traveled to Myrtle Beach to conduct research and collect reference images. When the team arrived, they were greeted by a gleaming carousel that was repainted and in complete working order. The colors in the digital model are a direct reflection of this new paint job.
The model was installed onsite via Layar in August 2013. It will remain active indefinitely. The team plans to augment other major landmarks on the Asbury Park boardwalk such as Palace Amusements and the Morro Castle.
Screenshots from Layar with Geo Layer and Vision Layer
Model of the first carousel horse, modeled by Ed Johnston
Reference images of the relocated Asbury Park Carousel — repainted, and in South Carolina
15 15s – an exploration of the AR 15
The artwork in this ongoing series appropriates the AR 15 rifle, an extremely prolific image. On a formal level, this is an investigation of the AR 15 as a shape or form, to be manipulated in order to create unique compositions. The formal exploration is evident in the series title, which refers to both the controversial weapon itself and the number of rifles used to create the compositions. Each is comprised of fifteen rifles, with the exception of the last piece, which is comprised of 1,515. On another level, the individual configurations can be interpreted subjectively. The guns either point outward in a defensive position, inward in an introspective manner, or at another gun, guaranteeing mutual destruction. This series exists in both sculptural and photographic form. The large scale of the photographs creates a disconnect with the small scale of the sculptures, creating an uncanny feeling due to the detail and surface quality of the plastic source material.
Exquisite E Pluribus Unum 2012
Utilizing current presidential campaign footage as raw material, this performance is a continuation of what began in 2008. The project samples words, phrases, breaths, pauses, and other sounds and silences in order to build percussion tracks, melodies, and solos.
Screenshots from the performances at Artist Outpost Resource (Ridgewood, NY) and 3 Legged Dog (New York, NY)
Monmouth University professors Mike Richison and Marina Vujnovic teamed up with photographer and local businessman John Viggiano to create an interactive video art installation in the Carousel House in Asbury Park. The installation, entitled The Living Carousel, pays homage to the carousel that once occupied the space. It features photographs and images of carousel horses projected onto a circular video screen. Motion detectors are used to sense the proximity of audience members and alter the audio component and the appearance of the video according to touch. The piece uses the Arduino and Max/MSP/Jitter.
This endeavor is possible due to the generous support of Madison Marquette, a creative grant-in-aid from Monmouth University, and the cooperation of The Gallery 13 and the Collective Art Tank.
This piece utilizes the Microsoft Kinect and Max MSP Jitter to track hand movements and trigger video collages of collapsing buildings. By moving their hands in front of the Kinect camera, audience members can control the placement and height of imaginary buildings. The structures, which resemble abstracted houses and apartment complexes, appear to be "rebuilding" themselves until they crumble and fall off the screen. Altbauten aufbauen was created specifically for the 2012 faculty show at Monmouth University. It features footage of the demolition of the 800 Building, a well-known landmark on Monmouth's campus and home of several classrooms and studios within the Department of Art and Design. The title is a play on the name of the German industrial group Einstürzende Neubauten, which translates to “collapsing new buildings.”
Wobble Tumble Slide, also combines video, performance and sculpture. This piece, however, relies entirely on audience interaction. Rather than involving one performer and one controller, this new installation consists of three controllers, three video channels, and multiple performers. When viewers enter the installation, the video screen show a silent instructional loop. By picking up the sculptures and manipulating them by shaking, rocking, and otherwise interacting with the moving parts, participants alter and edit the sound and appearance of the projected video clips. Like Simulsuck, Wobble Tumble Slide is a performance, but a performance that requires the participation of the viewer. The audience member is simultaneously the viewer and performer. This is documentation from an interactive video piece that was installed at the carousel house in Asbury Park, NJ at the end of September, 2010.
This piece utilizes a custom video controller comprised of discarded vacuum cleaners. The controller houses interactive electronic meters and dials that feed information such as volume and rate into the computer program Max/MSP/Jitter. The program then outputs the video while altering it according to the incoming data. For the video component, I gathered television commercials for cleaning products such as mops, sprays, sponges, and, of course, vacuum cleaners. The result is a rhythm-based improvisational musical performance. This clip (7 min.) is from a performance at Grizzly Grizzly Gallery, Philadelphia in August 2011.
Ongoing collage series started in 2012 consisting of images cut out from automotive advertising.
Housekeeping Hero is an original, artist-designed videogame entitled Housekeeping Hero created in the GameMaker Pro environment. To add a layer of physical interactivity, I created a custom joystick made from a discarded vacuum cleaner (clearly one of my favorite materials). In order to provide the piece with a bright, cartooned appearance and to reinforce a sense of brand-recognition, Monmouth graduate Amanda Smith was hired to create the illustrational elements and the logo. Housekeeping Hero was featured in Game Show NYC, a 2011 art exhibit at the Teachers’ College at Columbia University that accompanied Creativity, Play, and the Imagination across Disciplines, a conference centered on the importance of games in the educational process.
A California Hotel
In late 2011, Public Fiction Gallery in Los Angeles invited artists from Philadelphia artist collective Grizzly Grizzly to participate in A California Hotel. Grizzly Grizzly asked me to come along for the ride. The idea involved setting the gallery up like a hotel room and encouraging the artists to stay in the gallery for a few days. My particular contribution was a two looping videos and an interactive art piece that all revolved around a frustrated-looking guy in a tie. A salesman? An undercover cop? A disgraced broker? Regardless of his backstory, he looked pretty tired and unhappy. One piece was projected against the wall, another played on a loop on the old TV, and the other inhabited a laptop. The Max MSP Jitter-powered interactive laptop piece featured our protagonist typing next to a group of unrolling ties that served as a stop-motion waveform. If the viewer made a loud noise, the necktie-waveform reacted and so did our strung-out hero. He stopped typing and looked around as if he heard voices. The video on the old TV showed stock market graphs, and two stop motion loops, while the wall piece had our poor character falling off a cliff — over and over.