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    Hacks, Trauma, and 3 weeks to go.

    Arjun Bhat May 2 '07 9

    so i've been very slack in updating my blog. I'm sorry. It hasn't been a design oriented semester for me, which is weird. my time is spent mostly reading, writing, and thinking somewhere in between. its both refreshing, and incredibly disorienting. Studio used to be my spine, structuring my day to day routine, my semester, my academic life. Without studio, my life is spineless. This semester has been an exercise in navigating the unfamiliar.

    What's happened in the past few weeks? reading. lots and lots of reading. mostly for both my thesis research/theory of city form class. More on that in my next post (i have a meeting next week where I need to turn in a proposal).

    Also have a paper/presentation due soon for my Traumatic Urbanism seminar. I'm investigating the relationship between national identity, consumption, and how the dynamics between those two were affected by the death of the American myth, post Vietnam -- specifically, the role mass media has had in its mechanics. As for the urbanism part? I hope to relate trauma/consumption/lost identity to an affirmation of the suburban ideal, and the generator of new forms of "communities" and notions of "urbanity" via cyberspace.

    my media lab class, "Other Product" has been my other big time sink. we've been learning electronics and programming the past few weeks. I just finished repairing my project that was due last week (that i'm showing tommorrow). The assignment: find a product at WalMart or Target that costs less than $20. Hack it, possess it, and exploit its mechanisms to alter its function/perform in an unexpected manner. I bought a 10 dollar children's toy phone, shaped like a crocodile. It made a bunch of crazy sounds when you press the keys. I took over the key pad using a microcontrolling unit and my computer, and both increased the speed and control one has over the sounds made by the toy. The result? a primitive beat box. You can hear a trial run on youtube here:



    I've also started working on a personal website. While its not finished, I've got some projects uploaded. www.abfolio.com I'm updating it in between working on my various papers/projects, so please forgive its incompleteness. I'm horrible at self marketing, i suppose, otherwise i wouldn't have uploaded anything till it was all done. oh well.

    3 more weeks. AAAAAAAGHHH.

     

     
    • 9 Comments

    • Danny WillsDanny Wills
      May 2, 07 2:53 pm

      that's pretty awesome.. can't wait to hear some sweet beats.

      David CuthbertDavid Cuthbert
      May 2, 07 10:33 pm

      that's actually really really cool

      reminds me of those things you find on ikeahacker or something like that.

      liberty bell
      May 3, 07 12:06 pm

      Love the toy, I want one for me and one for my son sop we can make music together!! So cool.

      I'm also very interested to hear more about your urbanism project, especially after having spent a day in my car chasing aorund teh suburbs trying to get my cell phone (consumption) fixed. Constant barrage of more things I need to buy (drive by trader joes and remember we're out of cheese, drive by Lowes and remember the oven hood light needs a new bulb, drive to imported rug store for a client and realize they will spend more on one rug than I did on my car). it's a damn isolating and annoying existence in the burbs.

      jackalope
      May 3, 07 8:42 pm

      Damn. I belong at MIT.

      guiggster
      May 5, 07 9:36 pm

      Your website taught me nothing about how to develop my abs. Lucky for YOU my abs are already awesome.

      Arjun Bhat
      May 5, 07 11:20 pm

      as your TA by proxy, my job is to get you to realize the potential you already have. Congratulations, son -- you're ready.

      guiggster
      May 6, 07 10:08 am

      You're trying to say that I'm the best student in the studio, right?

      Arjun Bhat
      May 6, 07 10:40 am

      ... um, sure.

      columnos
      May 8, 07 3:47 pm

      tell me more about your feelings...

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