My [Free] Isadora Wallpaper

I decided I did not have a nice wallpaper for Isadora. So I made one, it’s nothing fancy but I wanted to share it anyway. Free download as .PNG file 1902*1080, 150dpi.




Don’t let Apple kill Open Ni

Written by Mark Coniglio:

Artists, designers, makers, and tinkerers around the world have leveraged the power of 3D cameras like the XBox Kinect and XTion Live to create innumerable interactive installations, performances and other compelling works of art. The OpenNI SDK is a key technology behind many commercial and open-source software programs that have empowered this artistic expression. So, we were surprised and shocked when we saw the notification on the OpenNI site that said the web site would close on April 23rd.

Apple, you bought Prime Sense, and now you want to kill this critically important technology. We’re respectfully asking you: don’t do it.

Many of us in this community remember a time when Apple was our champion. You provided us with a truly innovative operating system that offered unforeseen ways to interactively control and present media. This in turn led to the development of of thousands of applications that empowered tens of thousands of artists to inspire and entertain audiences around the globe. (And, by the way, help you sell millions of computers.)

Mr. Cook, your action to take away OpenNI runs counter to that history. We know your priorities have changed. We know that it’s all about mobile devices these days. We understand that you likely have your own plans for 3D imagining technology.

But, empowering personal expression through technology was one of the core values that made Apple the great company it is. We are asking you to remember that part of your history today, and to support us by changing course. Keep OpenNI open and available to us.


Eye-Fi card, WIFI, Isadora and a USB dilemma!

It’s not that often that my 9-5 day job crosses paths with my interest and passion for Isadora. But this mini project did and I am happy to share it all with you today.

At work at York Museums Trust I work as a Digital Creator. One of my new tasks has been to train up as a collection photographer. I’ve had a lot to learn and lots more still to come! Anyway, I have been researching lots of software because in my head it made sense to feather my funky new Nikon D300s to my mac and watch all the pictures magically appear on my laptop. I managed to do this using a few demos and found that:

1) USB cables are a bit of a pain – especially around priceless museum pieces.

2) You need a long cable one moment, the next a short one, then an extension, blah blah – again a real pain.

3) No matter what price the USB cable – they are easy to come out, a slight tug and it’s all over, even a wiggle can name it go crazy. I know some are *bit* better but they are not lockable. And no I am not sticking tape on my work mac! No way – this is not a tacky windows machine….

4) Similarly; the mini USB, or Micro USB, tiny mini small USB or whatever type of USB it is, really isn’t located in the best of places on the camera. I can’t complain at this really – it wasn’t designed to be used at the same time as me taking pictures was it? (Or was it? In which case – what stupid place to put it, smacking me in the cheek, getting stuck under my elbow… )I’m sure given half a chance it would try and attack some priceless pot and throw it on the floor. These cables do have a life of their own I’m telling you! If you are smiling or laughing at this right now then you know EXACTLY what I am on about. Anyway….

5) Some tethering software is good, some bad, some glitchy and some are £2000+ for stuff I don’t need. All I wanted (for now) was the last picture I took nice and big on my screen close by… so I know it looks good, needs adjusting, checking for shadows, contrast, etc. I figure if I have a super sexy Mac Book pro retina scree why not use it?

6) So, USB is also fairly slow. This can’t be helped.

7) Did I mention the USB cable was always getting in the way….?

So… I found out about these things called Eye-Fi cards. Not cheap but less than £100. So we ordered one. I created a closed network on my Mac, jigged around with the card – by jigged I mean set-up without reading the instructions. This was problem 1 out of 2 solved. No more cable, no more tripping up, no more USB extensions, silly connections and hazards.

So the full screen software? Well this is where Isadora came in. If you have not heard of Isadora then you can read my blog or visit the website.

So here is how I linked it all together.

– WIFI card is connected to my mac via WIFI (or adhoc network)

– Images are dropped into a folder.

– Using this action script kindly shared by Jamie Griffiths then isadora automatically imports the picture into a folder.

– My Isadora patch ‘watches’ the folder and indexes the pictures.

– Every time a new picture is added and then imported it tells a counter to show that image full screen.

– If I want to go back and forth then Z and X keys on my keyboard can be used to do this for me.


Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 14.50.45


I do have plans to develop it but for me, this is all I need.

So here is my patch, it’s free! (But donations welcome…)


Random & interesting links.

A bit of a mish-mash of videos and links here. They all speak for themselves really, take a look.


The Mother of All Demos, presented by Douglas Engelbart (1968)

“The Mother of All Demos is a name given retrospectively to Douglas Engelbart’s December 9, 1968, demonstration of experimental computer technologies that are now commonplace. The live demonstration featured the introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor.”


How to scare the crap out of terrorists and your citizens


Talking train window adverts tested by Sky Deutschland

More info here:


Photoshop Live: ‘Prankster Photoshops People Into Ads While They Wait for the Bus’


Simon Wheatcroft – &Adapt

I don’t really blog stuff like this; my blog is mostly about Isdaora and technology but I simply had to post this.

It slots in nicely as it shows just how powerful and useful technology can be; not just in the ‘arts’ but for everyday people.

Simon is a good friend of mine (who I don’t see enough of). He is a ultra runner. He is a self-obsessed apple mac fan like myself and a very clever guy. But he is also 90% blind due to a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Technology is helping in many many ways and if nothing else I just wanted to share this video and show you how cool he is!

You can find out more about him at his website:


It’s (all) about time! [Isadora and Duration – a new paradox?]

Approximately 4 months ago a new discussion came up on the isadora forum regarding Duration a ‘timeline for creative coding. Create live performances, interactive installations, and music visualizations by synchronously composing servos, lighting, and projection’ At first I will admit I though; thats nice, a cool tool and one to remember. Bookmarked the website and that was that.

A few weeks later whilst going through the Isadora forum I spotted that this discussion was starting to develop more and more and as I helped (a tiny amount!) to unwrap the OSC capabilities was it then that I though just how powerful this could be with Isadora.

As you can see in the post it was March when I commented on just how powerful this ‘time’ business could be. Now I know first hand that Isadora was not originally made not to conform to ‘normal’ time, let me explain… Reading Marks paper/work and talking to him first hand on a fair few occasions; Isadora works in percentages (%) because the time aspect is almost irrelevant as its a live, real time performance software. It troubles some users at times, but of the 9+ years i’ve worked with Isadora it has never stopped me doing anything. In fact eliminating the time factor has made things a little less complicated for me. Instead of triggering the next ‘thing/action’ at 1 minute and 29 seconds you just trigger it at 99% (if the video was 1 minute 30 seconds long for example) The only time (pun intended!) that it causes me trouble has been dialogue between dancers or actor who are using the end of a track or video as a cue to walk of stage…. at 1 minute and 29 seconds!

So anyway. Duration. Duration can, is, going to, might, change Isadora and turn this perception on it’s head; because it can control Isadora using a *drum roll* timeline. It does this by using OSC and the timeline can be anything from 1 second to days upon days, weeks, a month – ideal for instillation and commercial work.

This means you can create your Isadora scene(s) and then using a few OSC listeners and if you are clever like the guys on our forum, you can create your own users actors. Thus; playing back your Isadora stages in order over a fixed period of time. Because Duration is obviously a software it can, doesn’t have to be,  be looped. So there actually is no end point.

There is also Iannix; but its more more complicated, but same principle.

So maybe Isadora will no longer need a space to jump to the next scene? Maybe setting up lots of complicated MIDI triggers, DMX triggers and HID triggers will be solved once a show has been sequenced? But does it make it boring, too easy? It’s not really what Isadora is about but the fact that you can do it now is nice. And who am I to say it’s boring, if it’s what the job requires then do it I guess.

Duration and Isadora, working together, control time – a new paradox?


Future TV?

I have been keeping an eye on a few things lately that I do not normally blog about.

It all started about three weeks ago by randomly finding this video:

As I imagine it did for some of you, it blew me away. What an amazing project.

I then spoke to a friend called Gavin from the Digital Fun Fair who said he had developed something quite similar and we had a good talk about it.

Then I found this on kickstarter…

There are lots of demo’s on YouTube but this seems to be the best i’ve found:

Now this is seriously cool stuff. Plug and play functionality, affordable, multi platform, etc.

Then I found this….

This idea has been looming in my head for a while now after I had seen this from Sony;

All this stuff is amazing and right up my street. There are obviously huge technological costs for this kinda stuff, never mind logistics – who has space for projector behind the sofa? Not me.

I can imagine playing an xbox game with practically every wall being projected onto. Combine that with a xbox Kinect and the room would spin and rotate based on your head position… scary! A truly immersive, reactive and spacial aware experience could be created with this technology.

I think this stuff will happen in one way or another.

What are your thoughts?