Android Application Rundown for 2013

Android applications have improved considerably in last two years as the Android Ecosystem developes beyond 4.0, with that in mind, I’ve constructed a list of my Favourite android apps of the year. Some apps may be pre 2013 but have greatly benefitted from the bump in processor speeds with the new android hardware.

Games

1. The Silent Age: Incredible art direction, an inventive storyline, and great sound design combine to make this a really appealing point and click adventure game that encourages you to jump between the past and future. http://bit.ly/1a8dqwl 

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2. Splice: This game is an artistic puzzler complete with Glassian type piano ambient music. The main screen resembles what looks like DNA strands that have to be matched to solve the puzzle. http://bit.ly/1eEzbM1

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3. Osmos HD: This year Osmos was ported from iOS to Android. The game employs an amazing physics engine. You play a darwinian mote that absorbs other lifeforms. Physics plays a major part in game play, with absorption, repulsion, and gravity dictating your position on screen. http://bit.ly/1ihBRQh

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Liliane Puthod - White Cool de Lux @moxiestudios

Bio - Raster-Noton is a German electronic music record label founded in 1996 by Olaf Bender, Carsten Nicolai and Frank Bretschneider. Based in Chemnitz, Germany, Raster-Noton merged in 1999 from separate labels Rastermusik and Noton.

http://www.raster-noton.net/ http://www.discogs.com/label/Raster-Noton

The first half of the mix is more ambient in nature whilst the second half is a bit more rhythm orientated.

Bio - Raster-Noton is a German electronic music record label founded in 1996 by Olaf Bender, Carsten Nicolai and Frank Bretschneider. Based in Chemnitz, Germany, Raster-Noton merged in 1999 from separate labels Rastermusik and Noton.

http://www.raster-noton.net/ http://www.discogs.com/label/Raster-Noton

The first half of the mix is more ambient in nature whilst the second half is a bit more rhythm orientated.

Emma McNallys beautiful work with Cartography. http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmamcnally/

#Photography #Cathography #Art

Overview of Processing / Libpd based Android Apps

As a precursor to my Final Year College project I’m currently researching App Development on the Android platform. I’m interested in melding the Processing visual library with Pure Data’s audio library and to use Android’s SDK to provide the glue and also to access the SDK’s extensive code base. This appeals to me because all these platforms are Open Source and can be freely distributed anywhere. The Android platform is growing at an exponential rate. At this point in time nearly 1 Billion Android Devices have been activated with 50 billion Play Store downloads

Apps that I’ve come across that utilise these libraries are still relatively few in number but are increasing all the time. One such development house that uses both these libraries is the Binaura art collective based in Hungary. They’ve developed 3 apps that use both Processing and libpd they are Soundbow, Flux and rOtal. They also have also a fourth app that utilizes Openframeworks and libpd called Spheretones. Grab them from the Play Store here.

Soundbow uses an interface drawn in Processing. You can create music by drawing curves to the screen. It has 8 bars that are used as strings that can be moved anywhere. Your gesture will be remember and played back continuously. Each time your ever looping gesture crosses a string a sound is produced thereby generating sound from a Pure Data patch.

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Another such app developed by the same company is Flux. Its an ever-changing digital sound sculpture. Draw a simple gesture that defines the overall shape and structure of the evolving composition. The sound synthesis is structured as a flux of material similar to a waterfall, the initial white noise serves as the source for all sounds. Its then filtered through several layers, flowing and travelling through filtered paths and probabilities to reach their destination through the speakers. The visual field is mapped to the sonic structure: filter values, probability intervals and logical decisions are controlling the minimal, pulsating environment thus creating a contemplative, synesthetic experience. The interface for this App is pretty amazing and visually stunning and its definitely gonna prove an inspiration for my own designs. 

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Another interesting App from TwoBigEars is Circle Synth. Its a grid-less sequencer synthesizer that makes quirky musical sounds. Draw shapes, choose presets and apply effects. Its a simple idea but executed perfectly on this platform. The interface is simple clean and effective. The Accelerometer controlled Filter Sweep is a nice addition and adds another way to interact beyond the usual touch gestures and is something that can be explored further in my own designs.

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Pulsate is a simple app which allows you to create musical patterns from randomly colliding circles. The sound engine is Pd and it sounds powerful on the higher end devices. The circle collision points provide the data Pd needs to generate sound. Of particular interest to me is the the way the menu drops down over the collision area and is semi transparent. The app provides controls of reverb, delay, bpm and Synthesis wave type, shape, and slope. 

Using Processing in Eclipse for Android Development on Windows 7

After a bit of experimentation and good deal of reading around the Processing forums i finally got this up and running and its a good working solution. To start with I downloaded the most up to date version of the Android Developer Tools. This is now conveniently packaged as one download. This includes the right version of the Eclipse IDE which has been updated to be more streamlined for Android, it also includes Android’s SDK, NDK, and AVD. You can download this from here.

You’ll also need to have a copy of JAVA’s JDK. I’ve installed jdk1.6.0_33.

When this downloads and you fire up Eclipse for the first time it’ll ask you for the jre folder from Java’s Development Kit. This just needs to be copied over and placed within the Eclipse folder. When you open it again it asks you to set your workspace. The default is fine. 

Next step is to download Processing. I’m using the latest version. Get it here. At this stage i tried a few different methods. One such method was to navigate to the Processing folder and go into the core folder and library and then copy the core.jar file into the Android Eclipse project. This did not work for me. Instead I opened the Processing IDE Switched it to Android Mode (you’ll need to download this mode in top right hand corner), you can write anything and export the file as an Android Application to the desktop. In this file named Sketch navigate to the android folder then to libs. Copy the file processing-core.jar to your desktop.  

When this is done go to File, New, Android Project and create that. In the package explorer on the right click on your folder to open the folder tree. Drag and copy the processing-core.jar file to the libs folder of your project. Now go to File / Properties / Java Build Path and click on Add Jars. Navigate to your project’s lib folder and click ok to add Jar to the build path. If that was successful you’ll now see the processing-core.jar icon in the references library folder of your project. 

Now open the src file click on main activity and copy in some processing code. My code is below…

package com.example.realtest;

import processing.core.*;

public class MainActivity extends PApplet {

float y = 100;

public void setup() {

size(640, 360);  // Size must be the first statement

 stroke(255);     // Set line drawing color to white

 frameRate(30);

}

public void draw() {

background(0);   // Set the background to black

 y = y - 1; 

 if (y < 0) { 

   y = height; 

 } 

 line(0, y, width, y); 

}

}

The beauty of this is that you get to utilize the power Android SDK’s within Eclipse in combination with Processing’s extensive motion graphics helping you to create animations easily. 

La Citta Nuova Exhibition Lake Como

Saw this exhibition on Tuesday, well worth a visit. 

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The first thing visitors will encounter is The New City, i.e. the series of twelve drawings presented by Sant’Elia at the Nuove Tendenze (New Trends) exhibition in Milan in 1914, which encapsulated the urban visions of this young Como native who had then just drawn up his manifesto for a Futurist architecture.

Ever since its advent during the nineteenth century, the metropolis has been considered to be one of the most spectacular and contradictory manifestations of the modern era, featuring unprecedented and dramatic hygienic, moral, political, cultural and functional problems that called for radical reforms in the areas of roads and transport, of housing and of the organisation of everyday domestic life.

Attempts were made to offer radical responses to these challenges by such great architects as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, with the extraordinary visions of the Contemporary city for three million inhabitants by Le Corbusier and Broadacre City, the ideal American city based on the single-family home and the car as means of individual transport, designed by Wright, whose large model is on show here. The future of the city was long a burning issue of the discussions and questions that agitated the neo avant-gardes in Europe, but also in the United States and Japan, until the beginning of the seventies: the Dutch architect Constant, his Franco-Hungarian counterpart Yona Friedman and the British from Archigram imagined cities suspended above the ground, whose inhabitants could organise their lives freely, not unlike what was proposed by the German Walter Jonas or the Japanese metabolist Arata Isozaki. In the tempestuous context of Europe’s 1968 upheavals, Italian groups like Archizoom and Superstudio then also developed an uncompromising critique of the capitalist city, questioning its very structure and meaning.

Since the middle of the nineteenth century, the modern city has been attracting the sometimes fascinated and often shocked eyes of generations of artists. The great boulevards of Paris packed with crowds and traffic were the undeniable stars of much of the work of the Impressionists, while the Futurist Umberto Boccioni interpreted their explosive growth in such paintings as The City Rises – a rare preparatory sketch of this work is on show here – and Mario Sironi followed suit with new cityscapes taken from outlying industrial areas. Nor were the Cubists insensitive to the suggestive growth of urban agglomerations, as demonstrated here by the oil on canvas by Fernand Léger, on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1926, the German film director Fritz Lang made his masterpiece Metropolis against a backdrop of visionary, expressionist scenery, while only a few years later Erich Kettelhut and Hungary’s Moholy-Nagy celebrated the luminous, febrile panorama of the contemporary city in the sequences for the film Things to Come (1936), which the artist Jan Tichy has now re-used in a spectacular three-channel video.

The exhibition ends with a series of key pieces of artistic research conducted in recent years: Pizza City, the boundless model of a city made of nothing but hundreds of toys by the American artist Chris Burden and the video by the Chinese artist Cao Fei, which depicts a city suspended in the virtual space of Second Life. In an attempt to bring the experiments conducted by the avant-gardes in the twenties together with the conditions of the present, the German artist Carsten Höller has “reconstructed” the fantastic project conceived by the Soviet architect and artist Krutikov in 1928 for a “flying city”, setting it free to waft above the skies of Como today.

http://www.lacittanuova.it/eng/lamostra.asp

Manifesto of Futurist Architecture 

Antonio Sant’Elia 

No architecture has existed since 1700. A moronic mixture of the most various stylistic elements used to mask the skeletons of modern houses is called modern architecture. The new beauty of cement and iron are profaned by the superimposition of motley decorative incrustations that cannot be justified either by constructive necessity or by our (modern) taste, and whose origins are in Egyptian, Indian or Byzantine antiquity and in that idiotic flowering of stupidity and impotence that took the name of neoclassicism.

These architectonic prostitutions are welcomed in Italy, and rapacious alien ineptitude is passed off as talented invention and as extremely up-to-date architecture. Young Italian architects (those who borrow originality from clandestine and compulsive devouring of art journals) flaunt their talents in the new quarters of our towns, where a hilarious salad of little ogival columns, seventeenth-century foliation, Gothic pointed arches, Egyptian pilasters, rococo scrolls, fifteenth-century cherubs, swollen caryatids, take the place of style in all seriousness, and presumptuously put on monumental airs. The kaleidoscopic appearance and reappearance of forms, the multiplying of machinery, the daily increasing needs imposed by the speed of communications, by the concentration of population, by hygiene, and by a hundred other phenomena of modern life, never cause these self-styled renovators of architecture a moment’s perplexity or hesitation. They persevere obstinately with the rules of Vitruvius, Vignola and Sansovino plus gleanings from any published scrap of information on German architecture that happens to be at hand. Using these, they continue to stamp the image of imbecility on our cities, our cities which should be the immediate and faithful projection of ourselves.

And so this expressive and synthetic art has become in their hands a vacuous stylistic exercise, a jumble of ill-mixed formulae to disguise a run-of-the-mill traditionalist box of bricks and stone as a modern building. As if we who are accumulators and generators of movement, with all our added mechanical limbs, with all the noise and speed of our life, could live in streets built for the needs of men four, five or six centuries ago.

This is the supreme imbecility of modern architecture, perpetuated by the venal complicity of the academies, the internment camps of the intelligentsia, where the young are forced into the onanistic recopying of classical models instead of throwing their minds open in the search for new frontiers and in the solution of the new and pressing problem: the Futurist house and city.The house and the city that are ours both spiritually and materially, in which our tumult can rage without seeming a grotesque anachronism.

The problem posed in Futurist architecture is not one of linear rearrangement. It is not a question of finding new moldings and frames for windows and doors, of replacing columns, pilasters and corbels with caryatids, flies and frogs. Neither has it anything to do with leaving a façade in bare brick, or plastering it, or facing it with stone or in determining formal differences between the new building and the old one. It is a question of tending the healthy growth of the Futurist house, of constructing it with all the resources of technology and science, satisfying magisterially all the demands of our habits and our spirit, trampling down all that is grotesque and antithetical (tradition, style, aesthetics, proportion), determining new forms, new lines, a new harmony of profiles and volumes, an architecture whose reason for existence can be found solely in the unique conditions of modern life, and in its correspondence with the aesthetic values of our sensibilities. This architecture cannot be subjected to any law of historical continuity. It must be new, just as our state of mind is new.

The art of construction has been able to evolve with time, and to pass from one style to another, while maintaining unaltered the general characteristics of architecture, because in the course of history changes of fashion are frequent and are determined by the alternations of religious conviction and political disposition. But profound changes in the state of the environment are extremely rare, changes that unhinge and renew, such as the discovery of natural laws, the perfecting of mechanical means, the rational and scientific use of material. In modern life the process of stylistic development in architecture has been brought to a halt. Architecture now makes a break with tradition. It must perforce make a fresh start.

Calculations based on the resistance of materials, on the use of reinforced concrete and steel, exclude “architecture” in the classical and traditional sense. Modern constructional materials and scientific concepts are absolutely incompatible with the disciplines of historical styles, and are the principal cause of the grotesque appearance of “fashionable” buildings in which attempts are made to employ the lightness, the superb grace of the steel beam, the delicacy of reinforced concrete, in order to obtain the heavy curve of the arch and the bulkiness of marble.

The utter antithesis between the modern world and the old is determined by all those things that formerly did not exist. Our lives have been enriched by elements the possibility of whose existence the ancients did not even suspect. Men have identified material contingencies, and revealed spiritual attitudes, whose repercussions are felt in a thousand ways. Principal among these is the formation of a new ideal of beauty that is still obscure and embryonic, but whose fascination is already felt even by the masses. We have lost our predilection for the monumental, the heavy, the static, and we have enriched our sensibility with a taste for the light, the practical, the ephemeral and the swift. We no longer feel ourselves to be the men of the cathedrals, the palaces and the podiums. We are the men of the great hotels, the railway stations, the immense streets, colossal ports, covered markets, luminous arcades, straight roads and beneficial demolitions.

We must invent and rebuild the Futurist city like an immense and tumultuous shipyard, agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail; and the Futurist house must be like a gigantic machine. The lifts must no longer be hidden away like tapeworms in the niches of stairwells; the stairwells themselves, rendered useless, must be abolished, and the lifts must scale the lengths of the façades like serpents of steel and glass. The house of concrete, glass and steel, stripped of paintings and sculpture, rich only in the innate beauty of its lines and relief, extraordinarily “ugly” in its mechanical simplicity, higher and wider according to need rather than the specifications of municipal laws. It must soar up on the brink of a tumultuous abyss: the street will no longer lie like a doormat at ground level, but will plunge many stories down into the earth, embracing the metropolitan traffic, and will be linked up for necessary interconnections by metal gangways and swift-moving pavements.

Choatic Waves #sand #sea #sandymount #dublin #ireland #waves #patterns

Beautiful form in this processing sketch