SPACEJUNK -2016

The 50 twigs in this installation point in unison in the direction of the oldest piece of human made space debris currently above the horizon. The debris being tracked are spent rocket bodies, parts from defunct satellites and wayward tools launched in missions as far back as 1958. When the piece of debris being tracked drops below the installation’s horizon the twigs go to a rested downward pointing position and await the next debris to appear. The composition is continually changing as it tracks the oldest discarded objects orbiting the earth that enter its point of view.

SPACEJUNK -2015

The 5 twigs in this installation point in unison in the direction of the oldest piece of human made space debris currently above the horizon. The debris being tracked are spent rocket bodies, parts from broken satellites and wayward tools launched in missions as far back as 1959. When the piece of debris being tracked drops below the installation’s horizon the twigs go to a rested downward pointing position an await the next debris to appear. The composition of the installation is continually changing as it tracks the oldest discarded objects orbiting the earth that enter its point of view.

landscape #1 - 2015

This work is a real-time video projection of point-cloud data streaming from a three-dimensional camera installed in an outdoor location. The video displayed consists of over 250,000 individual points, creating a 3D model of a living stand of trees. The color of the individual pixels shifts from blue to red to green in respect to their relative distance from the camera. This color shift illustrates the dynamic depth of the three-dimensional field giving the scene an artificial appearance and producing a formal contrast between the natural forms and the digital system collecting the data. As it monitors and collects real-time data from this location, the system relays an incomplete physical representation of a dynamic living landscape and fluid environmental conditions in digital form.

46°41'58.365" lat. -91°59'49.0128" long. @ 30m - 2015
refers to the source location where the water surface data was collected for this series. An autonomous aerial vehicle hovering 30 meters above Lake Superior captured still images of the water’s surface. For this series of five, the vehicle was deployed to the same location on different days and in different weather conditions. The collected images were converted into three-dimensional models using open source software. The models were then carved with a CNC router into a series of clear acrylic cylinders. This process captured the dynamic movements of the waves and ripples from a specific time and location and suspended this ever-changing water pattern into a static transparent form. 

Approximate dimensions: 152mm diameter x 150mm height

David Bowen is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of     Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

cloud piano - 2014
this installation plays the keys of a piano based on the movements and shapes of the clouds. A camera pointed at the sky captures video of the clouds. Custom software uses the video of the clouds in real-time to articulate a robotic device that presses the corresponding keys on the piano. The system is set in motion to function as if the clouds are pressing the keys on the piano as they move across the sky and change shape. The resulting sound is generated from the unique key patterns created by ethereal forms that build, sweep, fluctuate and dissipate in the sky.

This installation was commissioned by L’assaut de la Menuiserie, Saint-Etienne, France and completed with support from the Visualization and Digital Imagining Lab and Weber Music Hall, University of Minnesota.

water surface - 2015

This installation displays water surface movements collected by a 3D camera. The camera captures a grid of points from the surface as it waves and ripples. The movements are scaled and sent to a corresponding matrix of 1,215 LEDs installed in the gallery space. The color of the LEDs shifts from purple to blue based on the relative peak and trough of the waves according to the distance from the camera. Through the installation the dynamic and fluid movement of the surface of the water is simulated in three dimensions by artificial light in the gallery.

water_surface_detail(cropped).jpg


water_surface_detail(cropped).jpg

fly revolver - 2013
Based on the activities of a collection of houseflies, this device controls a revolver. The flies live inside an acrylic sphere with a target backdrop. As the flies move and interact inside their home they fly in front of and land on the target. These movements are collected via video. The movements are processed with custom software and output to a robotic device that aims the revolver in real-time based on the flies’ relative location on the target. When a single fly is detected the revolver simply follows the movement of that fly. If several flies are in the field of view the software moves the revolver based on the activities of the collective. If a fly is detected in the center of the target the trigger of the revolver is pulled. In this way, the flies are essentially the brain of the device controlling the revolver by determining where it is aimed and when it is fired.

biennale Interieur - kortrijk, Belgium - 2012

underwater 
is a large-scale suspended installation that is articulated using data from the surface of water. A repurposed Microsoft Kinect was used to collect three-dimensional data from wave action on the surface of Lake Superior. This data is used to articulate the mechanical installation consisting of 486 individual servomotors. The complex and subtle movements on the surface of the water are simulated within the installation by the servomotors moving according to the collected data. This version of the installation was commissioned for Future Primitives a group exhibition at the 2012 Biennale Interieur, Kortrijk, Belgium.

 

FURTHER WORKS IN THE UNDERWATER SERIES

Minneapolis Institute of Arts - 2013

underwater 
In this large-scale version of the work the
data collected by the repurposed Kinect is used to articulate the mechanical installation consisting of 729 individual servomotors. This version of the installation was featured in a one-person exhibition titled underwater at the Minneapolis Art Institute in 2013.

This installation was completed with support from: Biennale Interieur, Kortrijk,BE, The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, McKnight Individual Artist Fellowship and The Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program, Minneapolis Art Institute.

 

lentos kunstmuseum - linz, austria - 2014

underwater
In this smaller scale version of the piece the repurposed Kinect data is used to articulate the mechanical installation consisting of 81 of individual servomotors. This version of underwater was featured in Pure Water, a group exhibition at the Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria.

fly tweet - 2012
This device sends twitter messages based on the activities of a collection of houseflies. The flies live inside an acrylic sphere along with a computer keyboard. As the flies move and interact inside their home, they fly over the keys on the keyboard. These movements are collected in real-time via video. When a particular key is triggered by the flies, the key’s corresponding character is entered into a twitter text box. When 140 characters are reached or the flies trigger the “enter” key, the message containing the accumulated characters is tweeted. Thus live twitter messages are perpetually sent in real-time based on the simple movements of the community of houseflies. These constantly accumulating messages appear as records of random activity within the larger sphere of social media and networking.

tele-present water - 2011
This installation draws information from the intensity and movement of the water in a remote location. Wave data is being collected and updated from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoy station 51003. This station was originally moored 205 nautical miles Southwest of Honolulu on the Pacific. It went adrift and the last report from its moored position was around 04/25/2011.  It is still transmitting valid observation data but its exact location is unknown. The wave intensity and frequency collected from the buoy is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure, resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water from this distant unknown location. This work physically replicates a remote experience and makes observation of the activity of an isolated object, otherwise lost at sea, possible through direct communication.

 

image credit NOAA

image credit NOAA

 

WRO2011 NATIONAL MUSEUM- WROCLAW, POLAND - 2011

This installation draws information from the intensity and movement of the water in a remote location. Wave data is being collected in real-time from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoy station 46246, 49.985 N 145.089 W (49°59'7" N 145°5'20" W) on the Pacific Ocean. The wave intensity and frequency is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water from halfway around the world.

 

lake superior data version - 2011

This installation uses information from the intensity and movement of the water in a remote location. Wave g-force and acceleration data was collected during a voyage on Lake Superior. The wave data is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water.

David Bowen is a fiscal year 2011 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.


growth modeling device - 2009
This system uses lasers to scan an onion plant from one of three angles. As the plant is scanned a fuse deposition modeler in real-time creates a plastic model based on the information collected. The device repeats this process every twenty-four hours scanning from a different angle. After a new model is produced the system advances a conveyor approximately 17 inches so the cycle can repeat. The result is a series of plastic models illustrating the growth of the plant from three different angles.
 


tele-present wind - 2011
This installation consists of a series of 42 x/y tilting mechanical devices connected to thin dried plant stalks installed in a gallery and a dried plant stalk connected to an accelerometer installed outdoors. When the wind blows it causes the stalk outside to sway. The accelerometer detects this movement transmitting the motion to the grouping of devices in the gallery. Therefore the stalks in the gallery space move in real-time and in unison based on the movement of the wind outside. In June and July of 2010 this piece was installed at Laboratoria Art & Science Space in Moscow and the sensor was installed in an outdoor location adjacent to the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab at the University of Minnesota. Thus the individual components of the installation in Moscow moved in unison as they mimicked the direction and intensity of the wind halfway around the world. As it monitored and collected real-time data from this remote and distant location, the system relayed a physical representation of the dynamic and fluid environmental conditions.

fly blimps - 2010
This installation consists of a series of 3 to 5 autonomous helium filled blimps whose movements are controlled by small collectives of houseflies. The flies are essentially the brain of each of the devices, determining how they interact and respond to the space as well as the other devices. Up to 50 houseflies live within the chambers attached to each blimp unit. These chambers contain food, water and allow the light needed to keep the flies alive and flourishing. The chambers also contain sensors that detect the changing light patterns produced by the movements of the flies. In real-time, the sensors send this information to an on-board micro-controller. This controller activates the motors connected to the propellers that direct the devices based on the actions of the flies. The floating, wandering blimps are separate but intersecting community vehicles. The flies exist in their own self-contained and self-sustaining worlds, collectively creating an amplified and exaggerated expression of group behavior.

growth rendering device - 2007
This system provides light and food in the form of hydroponic solution for the plant. The plant reacts to the device by growing. The device in-turn reacts to the plant by producing a rasterized inkjet drawing of the plant every twenty-four hours. After a new drawing is produced the system scrolls the roll of paper approximately four inches so a new drawing can be produced during the next cycle. This system is allowed to run indefinitely and the final outcome is not predetermined.

cloud tweets - 2013
This installation sends twitter messages based on the movements and shapes of clouds. A video camera pointed at the sky captures the clouds. Custom software uses the real-time video of the clouds to articulate keys on a virtual keyboard. The system is set in motion to function as if the clouds are pressing the keys on the keyboard as they move across the sky and change shape. When 140 characters are reached or the clouds trigger the “enter” key, the message containing the accumulated characters is tweeted. The outcome is a series of continuous twitter messages representing unique keystroke patterns created by ethereal forms that build, sweep, fluctuate and dissipate in the sky.

camera device

custom software program

remote sonar drawing device - 2008
This device was a multinational tele-presence robotic installation installed at Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón-Asturias, Spain and the Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, University of Minnesota. This installation consisted of a drawing arm and sonar sensor array installed in Minnesota and a drawing arm and sonar sensor array installed in Spain. The information gathered by the sensors was sent via the internet to the drawing arm in the opposite location. Therefore, the arm in Spain produced drawings based on the inputs it received from the sensor array in Minnesota and vise-versa. The public was encouraged to participate at both locations producing gestural drawings halfway around the world.

Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón-Asturias, Spain

Visualization and Digital Imaging Lab, University of Minnesota

fly lights - 2009
This installation consists of a series of 6 devices each with lights arranged in a ring around plastic spherical chambers containing various sized swarms of houseflies. Inside the chambers, along with the flies are sensors that correspond to the direction of each of the spotlights. When the sensors detect the subtle movements of the fly a micro-controller in real-time will turn on a light in the respective direction. Thus the flies’ movements are amplified throwing light throughout the space based on their movements. The collective result is a chaotic series of lights being projected into the space at various intervals and directions based on the subtle movements of the swarms.

wind drawing device - 2006
This device uses three leaves to collect wind. It then produces charcoal drawings based on the amount and intensity of the wind on a given day. wind drawing device was created in Balatonfured, Hungary. It produced 60 drawings during a three week period in June and July 2006 on the Hungarian countryside.

swarm -2008
is an autonomous roving device whose movements are determined by a collective of houseflies. Sensors detect the subtle activities of flies housed in a spherical chamber mounted to a roving device. The device's direction and velocity are determined by the movements and density of the flies. The device can move about a space in any direction at any time based on the swarm's input. The collective acts as the brain of the device causing it to travel throughout the space interacting with objects and people based on the flies orientation and predilections.

Installation view at Exit Art, New York

infrared drawing device - 2003
uses four infrared sensors to detect people as they move in front of it. The sensors are programmed to move a drawing arm in real time creating a charcoal drawing based on a participants' movements.

phototropic drawing device - 2003
is a small robot which is solar powered and attracted to the most intense light source. As the robot moves from light to light a small piece of charcoal tracks its journey. Lights are connected to timers and arranged in various patterns causing the robot to create different compositions.

10 light drawing

fly drawing device - 2007

This installation produces drawings based on the subtle movements of houseflies. When flies enter a small chamber sensors detect their movements. A micro-controller articulates a drawing arm in real time based on the fly's movements. When a fly is no longer detected in the chamber the paper scrolls over and the device waits until a new fly enters the chamber to begin another drawing.

50 drones - 2002
consists of 50 aluminum and pvc units connected to 10' tethers. Each unit moves independently as they displace and arrange one another in random and unpredictable patterns.

24 leaves - 2002
uses muscle wire to make each leaf subtly bend in unison when the viewer pushes a toggle switch.

72 stems - 2005
is an installation that responds to the airflow in a space and the presence of people by emitting chirping sounds. The device uses 72 dried Queen Anne's Lace stalks to detect subtle changes in airflow created by movement throughout a space. The stalks are connected to a device, which was programmed to chirp when a movement is detected. As the activity and movement in the space increases the chirping becomes more intense and the cumulative sound begins to layer and become more complex. When the movement ceases, the stems slow down and eventually stop their chirping chorus and await their next stimulation.

8 switches - 2002
is constructed from steel and consists of a series of switches arranged around a ring. When the viewer pushes a switch into the on position the mechanism rotates a twig around the ring and turns the switch back off again. In this way the piece is continuously changing its position due to viewer interaction.

5 branches - 2007
This device uses a sonar ranger to produce an inkjet rendering of branches placed at varying distances in front of the device. The drawing shown was produced in 48 hours.

networked bamboo - 2007
This system provides food (hydroponic solution) and physically arranges 7 bamboo stalks in relation to available light in a particular space. The composition of the piece is determined by the growth of the bamboo and how it and the device collectively respond to their surroundings.

remote infrared drawing device - 2004
consists of four individual drawing arms which are installed in a gallery space and are connected to four different infrared sensor arrays. The sensor arrays are mounted in different locations throughout a particular building. The information gathered from the sensor arrays, through people's interaction with them, is sent to each corresponding drawing arm. The drawing arms move in real time based on the information they gather.

This map shows the location of the drawing arms and sensor arrays as installed in the Regis Center for Art, Minneapolis

sonar drawing device - 2002
uses a sonar detector to take a distance reading of a space, the people and objects within it. The device renders a circular wax crayon drawing based on the information the sonar distance sensor gathers. Each drawing it renders is specific to a particular space and the activity that takes place within it.

material removal device - 2003
slowly lowers thirty small devices into a block of foam. The devices rapidly dance as they eat away at the foam. After several hours of activity a uniform concave void with a ring of particles emerges.

untitled

lanscape #1

October 2011 - Recorded aboard the “tall ship” Antigua off the arctic islands of Svalbard which is a location 9 degrees from the North Pole.

October 2011 - Recorded aboard the “tall ship” Antigua off the arctic islands of Svalbard which is a location 9 degrees from the North Pole.

pink trees 
An installation of cut styrofoam forms.

 

8 rings