light portrait
light portrait
 
 
 
These images are from a project I did, a final portrait for my "inscription technologies" art class. 
 
each set of rings is a translation of a stream of recorded data.  the recording was of the amount of light reflected off my face and hands, over a 2 hours period on the night of wed. dec. 6.
 
using a parallax basic stamp 2, i wired a simple RCtime circuit (with a small photocell as the variable element), and programmed the stamp to output the (short) integer value of the circuit resistance through the serial port.  the data was streamed in almost realtime (i believe it took between 1 ms and 700ms for the circuit to reset after each reading), and was logged into an ANSI terminal on an iMac at 56kbps.  the darker regions of each image represent times when the photocell was in the (relative) dark, and it was during these periods that the capacitor took the longest time to drain, so the images don't represent entirely linear time, but it's close enough for rock 'n roll.
 
the images were generated by this hideous mangle of "code."  I laid out consecutive rings, arranged radially from the center in relation to time.  the brightness of the ring (that is, the 0-255 gray value) is the recentered and inverted value for that time, from the basic stamp.  so, when the ring is light, my face (or hand or mouth or whatever i pointed the lamp and photocell at) was light.
 
some of the recordings were made to the beat of some techno that was being played at the time on grooveradio.com.  others are me talking (i forget what i was saying).
 
nevertheless, the intention of this project was that these images (and especially their prints) be a residue of my presence and action at a time.  particularly, they are the re-representation of information; they are a visual expression of non-visual data (the stream of numbers), derived from visual sources (light and the photocell, and my face).