Material Matters Talk

I am giving a lecture on Thursday evening at the Bartlett School of Architecture as part of Ruairi Glynn and Xavier de Kestelier‘s Material Matters series.

Ant Ballet

An entymological adventure coaxing choreography from a company of obstinate insects

As humans, we are used to hierarchical control systems. Ants are different – they use pheromones to communicate and connect with each other, building complex networks from simple feedback loops.

Working with a team of chemical scientists and entomologists, Ant Ballet is an attempt to ‘hack’ the communication protocols of ants. Witness the trials and tribulations of the first attempts to create choreography, and intercontinental ant colony communication through the use of synthesised chemical compounds.

The Bartlett School of Architecture
Royal Ear Hospital
21 Capper Street
London WC1E 6AP

Thursday 17 January 2013, 7pm

Bio
Ollie Palmer is an artist and designer. Based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, he is a tutor in RC3 on the Graduate Architectural Design course. He has travelled around the world, hitchhiked across Iceland and taught IT skills in the heart of the Amazon. He is a collaborator with Open_H20 (developing open source oceanic technologies) and a Getty Images contributing photographer.
www.olliepalmer.com

Demystify Remystify

I taught a workshop with Ruairi Glynn for the Adaptive Architectural Computation and our very own Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Over the course of 9 days, students learnt to prototype and build small interactive electronic systems. Among the machines were a candy floss thrower, an Aurora Borealis emulator, and a three-person ping-pong ball game.

IMG_0440 DemystifyRemystifyLogo

More details, and student projects to follow.

GAD Catalogue

Front cover Research Cluster 3 About our unit. Tutors: Stephen Gage, Ruairi Glynn, Ollie Palmer. Thesis supervisor: Sam McElhinney Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 Research Cluster 3 Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 student projects Research Cluster 3 student projects
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About our unit. Tutors: Stephen Gage, Ruairi Glynn, Ollie Palmer. Thesis supervisor: Sam McElhinney

The new Bartlett GAD catalogue is out, featuring the work of fifteen of our RC3 students.

Congratulations to all of our students, and welcome to the new set who have just joined us.

Many thanks to Simon Kennedy for his ongoing support and photography throughout the year, and Sam McElhinney for painstaking attention to detail with theses. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with Professor Stephen Gage and Ruairi Glynn teaching in this cluster.

The GAD catalogue is available to buy from the Bartlett front desk, or online from Amazon.

Ant Ballet at FutureEverything: Video

Here’s a video that FutureEverything made explaining a little about the Ant Ballet project, as installed at FutureEverything’s art exhibition earlier this year. It shows the simulation-version of the Ant Ballet machine in the spectacular setting of Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).

And speaking of MOSI, Here’s Jean Franczyk, its Director, talking through the exhibition, its links with FutureEverything, and some of the artworks on show:

There are more videos from FutureEverything’s exhibition and conference here.
Read a little more about Ant Ballet here.

Thanks to Heechan Park for the huge role he played in the assembly of the machine!

Posted: 2012-09-02

Categories: Blog

Ruairi Glynn at Tate Tanks

Recently I’ve been helping out my friend and colleague Ruairi Glynn with his latest installation Fearful Symmetry at the Tate Tanks, as part of the Undercurrent programme. Building upon themes from his earlier projects Performative Ecologies (the piece that got me into this world in the first place) and Motive Colliques, he has built the world’s largest delta robot, with the express intention of investigating our perception of movement.

Video by Ollie Palmer / 3D animation Diony Kypraiou / artist Ruairi Glynn / Camera Ollie Palmer & Ronan Glynn

The piece is currently residing in a warehouse somewhere in the east of London, but will be open to the public in the Tate Tanks between 21-22 August 2012. There’s a private view in the evening of the 22nd – if you’d like to come along, please do drop me an email!

NB – I’ll be updating this page as the project develops with more photos, videos, press clippings, etc.

Video by UCL News.

Press

BBC News, 28 Aug 2012
UCL News, 23 Aug 2012
FastCoDesign, 22 Aug 2012
Wired, 17 Aug 2012

Wilderness Festival

I have been invited to give a talk about dancing ants at the Natures Stage of Wilderness Festival, taking place between 10-12 August 2012 in beautiful Oxfordshire. I can’t wait to get there and take in a wealth of music, talks, food and country air!

More information and tickets available at the Wilderness Festival Website.

UPDATE: I’ll be on the Natures Stage on Saturday at 4pm. There are some other top-notch presentations there too, including Alan Moore and the New Dawn Traders.

Universal Tea Machine

I have been helping my friends at Westby Jones and Smout Allen to design and fabricate the Universal Tea Machine in time for the London Olympics.

Universal Tea Machine. Video © copyright Smouth Allen.

Installed in Victoria Park for the duration of the Olympics, the Universal Tea Machine is a computer that relies on teamwork and calculation to produce the perfect cup of tea. The Heath-Robinson-esque machine enables the audience to make their ‘perfect’ cup of tea by solving binary calculation maths problems. If their calculation is too high, they might get too many teabags; not high enough, and they may not get a teabag at all.

I designed and fabricated the mechanisms and electronics that enable tea to get made: the ‘kitchen’ unit. Here’s a short video showing the mechanisms in action:

The Universal Tea Machine is a collaboration based at the Bartlett School of Architecture between Smout Allen and You+Pea with Iain Borden. The UTM is fabricated by Westby and Jones and Ollie Palmer. It was commissioned by the Mayor of London for the Cultural Olympiad.

Photos

The Universal Tea Machine

Press

Please note: originally posted on the Smout Allen site). All images © copyright Smout Allen / You & Pea