Blog Archives

Syyner Eric Gradman Gets Kinect’d

Prolific Maker and Syyner Eric Gradman got his hands on a Kinect CV unit and within hours was “making art”, as he calls it. I always smile when Syyn Labs creators say that sort of thing. As another Syyner Dan Busby once said: “Some of us were trained in art formally, but the rest of us had to learn it on the streets…”. With a history of robotics and computer vision (not to mention fire spinning, circus performing, and professional whistling) Eric has quickly learned the joy of ‘making art’.

Describing one his first custom Kinect project, Illuminous, Eric says: “Remember that scene at the end of the matrix where glowing green symbols traced across an agent’s body? Well, this is just like that, but in realtime. What you’re looking at here is a particle system, where YOU are the source of the particles. Particles (seen on screen as dots) spring into being on the surface of your body. They then traverse the contours of your body until they reach an edge, at which point they’re flung into space and disappear. All this is possible because the Kinect lets me reconstruct the 3d geometry of whatever it sees.” More details here…

The Kinect also adds a new way of interacting with old projects: “Standard Gravity is an existing project of mine that until today pure image thresholding to determine where people are standing. I bought a new Kinect sensor this afternoon, and immediately set about adapting this code to use the new sensor.” More details here…

What will Eric come up with next? Keep in touch with him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/egradman and the rest of the Syyn crew at http://twitter.com/syynlabs.

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Syyn Labs Presents: A Night of Syyn

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Syyn Labs invites you to join us at our new warehouse space near downtown LA for a night of interactive art, DJs and VJs. We’ll be going from 9pm until late – drinks provided. More details at http://syyn.eventbrite.com.


$10-$15 RSVP here… // ABSOLUTELY NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR // REGISTRATION REVEALS LOCATION



Invite your friends via our Facebook event and we hope to see you here on the 6th!

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Syyn Labs DNA Sequencer at Santa Monica GLOW Festival



Syyn Labs had the pleasure of installing a new piece at the Santa Monica GLOW Festival this past Saturday – a beautiful, 100-foot-long double helix of colorful, synced lights.

There was over a man-year (more than 2000 combined hours) put into this project which used sophisticated custom software designed by our own David Guttman to control 512 computer controlled full-color LED’s, 32 LED controllers, 4 Arduinos, and 4 computers, with over 6000 wire interconnects and well over a mile of wire. This complex hardware configuration was masterminded by Chris Nelson and Eliot Phillips, based on a challenging design concept from the talented Eric Gradman who also developed a good portion of the support structure and final assembly.

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(under construction and LED testing…)

Once operational, it took inputs from the music for beat-matching and/or VU metering, a wireless iPad, and our beautiful 22-button console (also built by Gradman) – sometimes all at once! At the end of the night, our spectacular DJ Matt Davis had not only moved the crowd with his awesome music, but the twin-computer-based system be designed had processed and sent 53,477 beats to our tempo-synced light sculpture between 7:30 and 2am, when the excited crowd got a little “too excited”, and we were asked to leave the music off until we shut down on schedule an hour later.

We’re REALLY proud of how well received it was. Our favorite part? When our DJ would occasionally let a song end in silence, and it would be met with thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd surrounding the piece – sometimes as many as 7 people deep on both sides!

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(Being installed at the trellis on Santa Monica beach)

We’re planning to release a high-quality video, including a time-lapse of the build and operations. Until then, enjoy some of the videos that others took and posted online – mostly from the dramatic lengthwise view. A few of our favorites are here, here, and here.

Project leads Gradman, Guttman, Nelson and Phillips were supported by a herculean effort by Syyn Labs team members Dan Busby, Doug Campbell, Geoff Emery, Hector Alvarez, “Quin” Cabalquinto, Mat Heitel, Pehr Hovey and Richard Whitney and Sam Leventer, who put in many crazy late nights on this project. A very special thanks to Jennifer Jordan, Sena Koleva, Paul Grasshoff, and Kristy Hilands who pitched in at critical junctures. This really was a team effort.

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