DIVA 300 – Final Report

December 8, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click final_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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Did you have a transformative experience over the internship? How you may have changed since starting the internship?
MoCap – “John has grasped the principles of motion capture quite well. He has already exhibited thoughts of how to use the technology in areas outside the norm.” The paradigm shift for me in working with Rick in the school’s motion capture lab was seeing the ways in which the technology can be applied to multiple products, company and individual requirements. From biofeedback, to ergonomics, the applications for MoCap are endless.
CODElab – I and the CODELab artists mutually admitting errors were made and working to rebuild our collective relationship together.

How you may use the skills that you’ve learned in the future?
MoCap – I am presently building my own company to provide ongoing project management consultation with some key friends of mine; Paul Cordick who was a Producer/Project Manager at both Mainframe Entertainment and Electronic Arts along with Kirk Hutton, who just completed his MBA. Both of them will be assisting me in developing our business plan, scope/vision of the company and identify key clients and competition – having my own company will allow me the freedom to create and develop the projects that I truly want to work on.
CODElab – Learning how to setup and edit a Wiki page will greatly help me in the near future as one of my company’s first clients requires a wiki page to be setup and content input and maintained.

Do you have goals for continuing with the internship? Was there an on-going relationship that was developed or a network of contacts that will benefit your practice?
MoCap – Not directly with Rick in the MoCap lab, but he asked that I keep him in the loop as to the progress that the company makes moving forward.
CODElab – I will be doing some additional research for the CODELab artists later on this week for the project Wiki page and will be meeting with Simon later on in order to finalize what he needs me to look up. On a long term basis, I am not sure if I will be working with them down the road, but if our paths cross in the future, I would be open to talking with them to see if there are areas in which we can join forces.

Comment on the working relationship with the organization, working in a collaborative environment, the organization’s flexibility and communication about the projects.
MoCap – Not really applicable here as Rick and I were 1 on 1 all of the time and did not have a major project that needed to be worked on or completed by the end of the internship. That being said, I had a very good working relationship with him and would definitely work with him again in the future.
CODElab – There were a few bumps along the road in my internship with CODELab but at the end of the day, we were able to move forward based on mutual respect for one another and a common interest in putting forward a kick-ass art piece.

How your expectations of the internship changed over time? (what you ended up actually doing vs. what was initially proposed.)
MoCap – The complexities of the software itself are so immense that constant trouble shooting and tech support was required. In those instances where Rick was madly working away to try and solve the problem, rather than pester him with questions, in some instances it was better to just stand back, shut up and let him work the problem.
CODElab – Do to some miscommunications, the only concrete item that I have produced so far for CODELab was the Wiki page that I briefly showed during the mid-term assessment: http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games

Mention the tasks and accomplishments that occurred after the midterm presentation
MoCap – Working with Rick this week to ascertain whether data could be captured without the black rubber mats being laid out in the studio. By moving the mats off of the floor and dialing up the threshold of the cameras, we were able to prove that while possible, the square footage of area that is seen by the cameras is greatly diminished which would result in limiting the movement of the actors within the space.
Since the infrared cameras are very light sensitive, a potential project coming down the pipeline was looking to see if they could do mocap without the mats, as they are cumbersome to move and stack and also emit a fairly potent smell each time they are moved. The studio needs to be aired out as a result which means more time is lost
CODElab – still to be determined…


Internship Mid-Term Report

October 28, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I am working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click mid_term_report_john_deveaux for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship
http://crossfitmocap.wordpress.com/
– blog setup to provide project info to participants and show progress
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=177700972600&ref=mf
– Facebook user group setup as well with video links on group wall

LEARNING OUTCOMES
– Rick’s philosophy on learning is to be fluid and allow for creative freedom
– he did not want me helping with mundane tasks such as answering email
– seeing as how he has no set schedule, he wanted to have as much fun in the process
– on his own, he would calibrate the cameras by running back and forth = boring
– having me working with him, gives him a greater chance to explore new outcomes
– “If I have to do one more damn US Marine with a machine gun walk cycle again…”
– CrossFit coaches and athletes were brought together with artists for group meeting
– much easier to learn by bringing in and suiting up actors to have them perform
– ability to work with the performers and fine tune walk cycles or isolated movements
– unfortunately, we had a major software glitch which nixed our live MoCap filming

– Rick pulled up some pre-recorded footage to show multiple data captures instead
CFmeeting2a
CFmeeting3a
CFmeeting4a
CFmeeting5a
CFmeeting6a

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 1

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 2

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 3

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 4

CrossFit – Motion Capture – group meeting 5

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CODElab Internship
UPDATE
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
– Wiki page setup as a collective of project information and outcomes
http://codelab.blprnt.com/wiki/index.php/Information_on_the_Olympic_Games#Olympics:_
Secured_.E2.80.94_Past_and_Present

– researched previous and future Olympic cities’ security and surveillance activities
LEARNING OUTCOMES
– overall project is still open-ended as far as final outcomes
– I foresee my continued responsibilities as becomming a researcher
– our first task was to get a video camera and go around Granville Island and record
– criteria asked for unique and creative locations in order to record people and events
– possible location of setting up a “Ministry of Mis-Information” at Granville Island info board
surveillance1a
surveillance2a
surveillance3a


DIVA 300 – Internship Scope of Work Report

September 29, 2009

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Here are the details on the two internships that I will be working on this semester for my DIVA 300 class – the first being the Motion Capture Studio at Emily Carr University and the second being CODElab, a look into surveillance during the Olympics taking place here in Vancouver in 2010. Click John DeVeaux – Scope of Work Report for a PDF download.
– FlashAddict

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IDS Motion Capture Studio Internship

OVERVIEW
– Motion Capture Studio located here at the ECUAD Intersections Digital Studio
– Rick Overington is the studio tech who runs the operation
– major motion picture and local computer games companies use the studio space
– 20 Infared Passive Optical System to cover most of the floor space in the studio
– Motion Buider is the software application and is also good for pre-visualization
– full body suits which have 30-50 sensors sewn in are used to capture the data
– the system is unable to capture both bodies and facial features at the same time
– computers, cameras and the studio space need to be calibrated for each shot

– wand wave / L-Frame / Floor Calibration are the steps used to calibrate

Mocap

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I want to incorporate CrossFit athletes and coaches into the Motion Capture Studio to serve both as a diagnostic tool to help provide real-time live data to athletes and coaches on their body dynamics as they do individual exercises, but to also merge this data into an artistic format as well.

I would like to work with some of the animation students at Emily Carr and create 3D character avatars which could then be animated with the motion capture data recorded from the original athletes to either match their actual likenesses or go really crazy and make the avatars look completely different (ie: men becoming women, humanoid looking animals, aliens…you name it).

I ran my idea by Rick on Monday and he said it would be great to work together on a collaborative project so that I could have an actual self-directed portfolio piece at the end of my internship, rather than just work on other peoples/companies’ projects. In addition, the owner and coaches at CrossFit are also very interested in what the Motion Capture Studio could provide to help enable their athletes propel themselves even further.

http://www.crossfit.ca
– CrossFit Vancouver homepage

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=crossfit+vancouver&search_type=&aq=f
– YouTube page listing of the CrossFit Vancouver workout videos

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CODElab Internship

OVERVIEW
CODElab will be a large-scale participatory new media artwork that will coincide with the Olympic and Para-Olympic Games from February 5th to 22nd, 2010 and be part of the larger CODELive event going on throughout the Vancouver area. Live capture nodes will be installed throughout Granville Island where visitors will be able to interact with artist and student facilitators via custom-designed balloon cams, umbrella cams, shoe cams and the like will record, transmit and present video with nontraditional perspectives and cutting-edge visuality.

CODElab

WHAT THIS ALL MEANS
– evolving process – the project guidelines will be set by the group
– roving, moving capture nodes for CODELab between the observer and the observed
– bodystorming vs. brainstorming – quickly create a conceptual idea and take it into the public sphere and test it out to see if it will actually work
– who will be our audience – project workers, ECUAD, Granville Island, Vancouver residents, 2010 Olympic visitors, the interwebz…
– orange and white colour scheme was decided upon for CODELab
– orange is significant of colour coded terrorist alert / being on alarm (CODE ORANGE)
– orange is the rabbit hole to engage the audience and bring them in further once they more and more CODELab orange coloured objects

PROJECT DELIVERABLES
http://delicious.com/search?p=codelab+ecu&chk=&context=main|&fr=del_icio_us&lc=
– setup a delicious site to bookmark important corresponding information
– a project Wiki site is being developed as a base for final outcomes and data captures

INTERNSHIP OUTCOMES
I had the opportunity to see the artists’ previous project, GLOCAL, at the Surrey Art Gallery last year and was absolutely blown away at what they had achieved. I hope to get hands-on experience and knowledge on building an immense data capture project and to further visualize it with Processing so that I can create and expand my own projects to their full potential.

http://www.glocal.ca/


DIVA 300 – Officially back to Skool!

September 9, 2009

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Here are my notes from the first day of classes at Emily Carr this fall semester – I am Officially back to Skool!!!
– FlashAddict

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DIVA future course offering orientation next wednesday at 3:20 – room to be announced

electrodiva.wordpress.com (DIVA 300 class blog – send Julie link to mine)

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Interactive Futures – started in Victoria at Open Space Gallery – now run by my teacher Julie Andreyev here at ECUAD

http://www.interactivefutures.ca/

– thematic is stereo in a broad sense
– 3 day conference made up of daytime presentations by artists, designers and researchers working within three thematics
– also a number of exhibitions taking place throughout the conference as well
– internship involves managing and learning how to stream the event to the public
– e-presence = remote live stream capabilities used for this conference in conjunction with IDS
– intern would work with Maria and Greg via Interactive Futures and IDS

Responsibilities for Internship:
– videographer archivist + broadcaster
– still photographer
– administration assistant (document, printing assistant, registration)
– curatorial assistant (help install/curate the exhibitions)

Significant keynote speakers:
– George Legrady (utilizes data from satellites)
– Paula Levine – mapped Jerusalem/Palestine wall onto San Francisco
– Munro Ferguson

Wednesday, November 18th, whole class would work at the conference and help set it up in lieu of class time.

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Glisten Hive – by Julie Andreyev

www.animallover.ca

– looks at animal consciousness – do they share human emotions
– part of the CODE (Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition) and shown here at ECUAD during the Olympics

Additional Components to the project:
– Aria – HD audio/video installation filmed in Banff National Park
– Wait – interactive video installation (activated space that reads visitors interaction with the space and plays a video reaction of the dogs to their interaction)
– Rockstar – work in progress – short HD video with the dog’s head out the car window while driving
– Bikeride – bike mounted camera filming the dogs running with the backdrop of the city changing behind the constant of the dogs

Intern Responsibilities:
– design and build the physical structure used for the project (arching, sculpted pieces to show the displayed data)
– Max MSP to be used to collate and display the data
– create a blog and populate it with information and testing the data within Max MSP for the installation

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Jonathan Aitken, artist/designer in residence at ECUAD researching a project involving animated typography and dance/theatre

http://www.jonathanaitken.ca/

Typographic Play

– text rain – camille utterback and romy achituv installation

– dumb type – memorandum

Flavia

Theatre Gargantua – interactive play with type

Liquid Journey – open source code to create visualized poetry

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Kika Thorne, Programming Coordinator/Curator of VIVO Media Arts Centre

http://www.videoinstudios.com

www.signalandnoise.ca

– looking for interns to help reinvent the VIVO website (new content management infrastructure)
– archival, project management, content management opportunities
– Ryan Trekartin and Willy Lemaitre – upcoming artists coming to VIVO and part of the internship

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Alex Beim, Creative Director of Tanglible Interaction

www.tangibleinteraction.com

– Zygot ineractive balls – inflatable balls with electronics inside that change colour whenever they are pushed
– Sensation White rave party in Amsterdam
– Graffiti Wall – done in the mocap studio here at ECUAD
– created graphics for the Olympic Oval (logo, letterhead and interactive displays/projections)
– Light Beat – interactive ball that flashes to match your heart beat
– Sun-Rype interactive Kiosk – people were made out of fruit – reproduce pixels of people with fruit
– empty bottles with L.E.D.s inside – Baccardi

Current Projects for internship:
1. Lighting Device (LED) that responds to sound

2. Tangible Interaction QB (cube) – system of lights that respond to interactions

What they are looking for:
Graphic Side – help with graphic identity of the company (logo, identity, branding) – create a new experimental identity for the company

Industrial Side – research new materials and techniques to work with for projects

Explore the Space – they are in residence at Lumen Gallery at Tinseltown – they are looking for graphics to be placed there – so not really an opportunity to utilize space there 😦

http://www.lumengallery.org

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Maria Lantin, Director of Intersections Digital Studios on the latest stereographic technologies.

http://www.ecuad.ca/research/ids

Opportunities:
– 3d printer – work with Simon and learn how to utilize them – Figure Prints for THELORAS!!!

http://www.figureprints.com/

– WHIP studios is for wearables/textiles and electronics

– working in MOCAP studio / FID technology to track people as they enter the space

– stereoscopic projection system (full HD)

– Breath IO – virtual video sculpture of lungs

– E-Presence System – allows you to capture live presentations and web casting

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M.Simon Levin and Jer Thorp, head researchers/artists of CODELab an experimental project that looks at surveillance during the 2010 Olympics.

– project commissioned by VANOC and presented during the 2010 Olympics
– social engagement project = art that is designed to be presented in a public space as opposed to a gallery

Project Specifics:
– network of nodes positioned around Granville Island with cameras attached to them (Capture Nodes)
– each node has a mini CPU, GPS, camera and XBee Radio (allows them to talk to the other nodes and relay data to the main CPU capture node located at ECU)
– allows investigation of Neural Networks / Vision / Surveillance
– they developed the GLOCAL project that was shown at the Surrey Art Gallery last year

Opportunities:
– Directed Studies
– Informal participation
– Contribution to research

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Malcolm Levy, Lead Curator / Producer: CODE on the Ground, an exhibition of new media to be held during the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games

www.vancouver2010.com/en/culture-and-education/cultural-festival-and-events/code-/-/57316/mrhe7c/index.html

CODE Live – interactive, visual art performances (at night light works as well)

Connect Create and Collaborate
– create an interactive and inspiring experience for a broad international Games time audience
– showcase innovative and interactive installations and performances from Canada and select international artists
– theme of bridging between people and technology
– 3 Venues (ECUAD, Great Northern Way, Woodward’s / W2 in the downtown eastside)

Internship Opportunities:
– exhibition design intern (comm design)
– video documentation
– docents (ambassadors to art pieces)
– artistic management internships
– web editing and photo based online design work
– video editing for web
– technical install assistants
– print design interns

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Henry Tsang and Glen Lowry, researchers on Maraya, a large-scale new media experience that links Dubai with False Creek.

http://www.interactivefutures.ca/tsang.htm

Maraya – arabic for Reflection / Mirror

– telephone pole will have a CPU and video camera (robust, keep it dry)
– tv screen under a grate will showcase the view from the opposite city’s telephone pole portal

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Cheyanne Turions, Programs Manager/Curator of Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society

http://www.cineworks.ca/

Internship Opportunities:
– helping Meet the Filmakers salon presentation
– Production Registry – needs to be put on the website every year
– Series of programs dealing with World AIDS Day – research around media art dealing with AIDS – help implement that programming

Film Festival going from October 1-16
World AIDS Day is December 1st

Thought on Film – monthly meeting of film theorists and enthusiasts

SWARM – Thursday is concentrated around Main Street – Friday night around Gastown


Growing excitement, expectations for green jobs corps

March 2, 2009
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Seeing how much the previous article I posted about wind power drummed up quite a bit of responses, here is another article from CNN that I came across today for further reference about wind turbines and the green economy. Let me also state that while I admit many issues and stumbling blocks remain on how to best address the issues surrounding renewable energy, at least people are starting to take things seriously and actively trying to make a difference for a better tomorrow – on that, I trust that we can all agree upon.
– FlashAddict

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By John D. Sutter
CNN

(CNN) — When Rita Bryer sees 300-foot-tall wind turbines sprouting up from the prairie near her home in western Oklahoma, she can’t help but wonder about the view from the top, where blades the size of semi-trucks spin.

Schools are adding courses to prepare wind turbine mechanics and other green workers.

Schools are adding courses to prepare wind turbine mechanics and other green workers.

“Out here, you can see the wind turbines from 10 miles away,” she said. “Think about how far you’ll be able to see when you’re at the top.”

So, partly out of curiosity, partly because she wants to be part of something new, the 51-year-old is leaving behind a career of odd jobs and oil-field work.

She’s going back to school to become a wind turbine mechanic — one who’ll have to scale the turbines to make repairs.

Across the country, people like Bryer are looking to the renewable energy sector in hopes its “green-collar jobs” will offer them stability in this shaky economy. Some are signing up for community college or apprenticeship programs that train students to be wind turbine mechanics, solar panel installers, fuel-cell engineers or energy efficiency experts.

Video Watch how the green economy is growing in Pennsylvania »

Government support has rallied excitement for the prospect of a green jobs corps, as President Obama’s stimulus package puts about $20 billion into greening the economy, according to the White House.

Video Obama says country will double renewable energy in three years »

In his recent speech to Congress, Obama said the U.S. will double its supply of renewable energy in three years. To do so, he’s calling on a new class of workers to be trained in environmental fields. Green jobs training programs will get $500 million from the stimulus.

At a summit in Philadelphia on Friday, Vice President Joe Biden said people who make $20 per hour before a green jobs training program can make $50 per hour after. On average, the clean-energy jobs pay 10 to 20 percent more than similar work outside the field, he said.

Video Watch how to land green jobs »

Adding to the enthusiasm, Biden cited a recent case in Chicago where a maker of energy-efficient windows intends to gradually rehire 250 workers who were laid off when their window company closed late last year.

There is a “very direct” correlation between the stimulus package and Serious Materials’ ability to reopen the plant, said Sandra Vaughan, chief marketing officer for the California-based company.

But not all signs for green industries are so positive.

Wind and solar companies have cut staff and stalled new projects as the credit crisis has tied up money, meaning banks are less able to invest in renewable energy.

In the short term, that will make things difficult for the newly trained green work force, said Kathy Werle, dean of applied sciences and technology at San Jose City College, in California, which offers associate degrees in solar panel installation.

“Right now, money is so tight. People can’t borrow money to put solar on their homes,” she said.

Werle said she expects Obama’s stimulus plan to help jump-start the industry. Within a year or so she expects the graduates to be able to find plenty of green jobs.

The uncertainty appears not to be tempering student demand for green education, though. Earlier this semester, 260 people showed up for 44 seats in solar panel installation classes at San Jose City College, Werle said.

“Anything green is very popular,” she said.

Meanwhile, some schools that train the green-collar work force are billing their programs as near-guaranteed ways to find stable jobs.

Sidney Bolfing, chairman of the Texas Renewable Energy Education Consortium, an association of community colleges, said nearly 100 percent of his graduates find jobs in the fuel-cell industry — many before graduation.

“Typically all of these students all get jobs,” he said.

Bolfing is so confident in the idea that he markets green-collar careers to high schools and elementary schools in the area.

He hopes that the standard list of childhood dream jobs — astronaut, firefighter, police officer — soon will include things like wind technician and fuel-cell engineer.

Even if there’s trouble in the short term, green jobs are needed to fight climate change and spur economic growth, he said.

“We need to develop these new technologies like there’s no tomorrow,” he said.

Matt Raines, 31, of West, Texas, had a career as an auto mechanic. But that didn’t seem to be going anywhere, so now he is enrolled as a community college’s hydrogen fuel program.

He said local people look at him funny when he tells them about the decision because they don’t understand what he’ll be doing.

“I had one lady who actually asked me if I was building hydrogen bombs. I was like, ‘No ma’am, it’s energy production, green energy,'” he said.

Raines finds the program exciting, and says he’s been contacted about jobs by three companies, even though he is yet to finish his two-year degree.

Maria Kingery, co-founder of Southern Energy Management, a North Carolina company that installs solar energy panels, said schools need to catch up with the changing industry.

She applauded money in the stimulus package that will go to green job training programs, but said “training is going to be a real challenge” in the coming months.

Her company has a hiring freeze in place at the moment because of the economic downturn, but expects to grow in 2009, she said.

Some green jobs are low-tech and require little or no specialized training.

A former construction worker could easily take up a career in home weatherization and energy efficiency, said Bob Logston, owner of Home Energy Loss Professionals (HELP) in Baltimore, Maryland.

Some weatherization steps are as simple as shoving newspaper insulation in a home’s attic, caulking windows and repairing ductwork.

More than $11 billion of the economic stimulus package is intended to help people make their homes more energy efficient, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Because of those efficiency provisions, Logston said he expects his business to quadruple.

He employs six people now and expects to hire at least 12 more, he said. He also plans to offer his employees insurance for the first time.

“Everything’s budding, so to speak, everything’s in bloom even though it’s winter,” he said of green jobs in the home weatherization business. “The energy costs are so high people can’t afford” not to increase efficiency.

Part of the trouble with estimating the profitability of green jobs is that no one seems to be able to agree on a definition for the term. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not separate data on green jobs or jobs in renewable energy, and economists disagree on how many new green jobs the stimulus package will create.

In such a murky situation, community colleges often network with the local business community to gauge their interest in students from green-jobs programs. Many have banded together to dig up regional knowledge.

“The students always ask, ‘Can you guarantee job placement?’ No, I can’t guarantee it, but I can tell you I’ve spoken with local wind farm managers and everybody I’ve spoken with says there is a need, (and) there will be a need,” said Kimberlee Smithton, director of business and industry services at the High Plains Technology Center in Woodward, Oklahoma.

That school, where Bryer is taking classes, is offering a wind turbine technician program for the first time this year.

Bryer said she doesn’t know how much money she’ll make in the wind business. She doesn’t much care.

“To me, especially, it’s going to be a job — a good job I think I’ll like, and I just look forward to doing it,” she said. “It’s always nice doing something different, not the same old thing.”

The woman who’s always been seen as a rebel because she was the lone female working tough jobs in the oil fields now feels like she’s part of a movement for change

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/03/02/green.jobs.training/index.html


Wind power helps ski resort during recession

February 27, 2009
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“Zephyr (nickname for the wind turbine) works its magic to produce about a third of Jiminy Peak’s electric needs, shaving $450,000 a year from the resort’s energy bill. To put that in perspective, the energy from the turbine is enough to power more than 600 homes.” – that is some serious savings there to say the least!!!
– FlashAddict

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By Ayesha Tejpar
CNN

HANCOCK, Massachusetts (CNN) — Imagine climbing 276 steps to change a light bulb. That’s all in a day’s work for Rian Harford.

The Zephyr wind turbine towers over Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts.

The Zephyr wind turbine towers over Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts.

He’s a mountain operations mechanic at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort. And that light bulb isn’t just a regular light bulb. It belongs inside an air-traffic warning light that sits 253 feet high upon a wind turbine.

Jiminy Peak, in Hancock, Massachusetts, touts itself as the first ski resort in North America to feature such a structure.

The idea to build the turbine came to company president and CEO Brian Fairbank after years of struggling with the astronomical cost of making snow.

“Somebody suggested we take advantage of the wind. You use the energy the most in the winter,” Fairbank said. “That’s when the wind blows the most.”

But such a simple concept wasn’t so easy to execute. It took more than three years to take the idea from conception to fruition.

Video Watch what it’s like on top of the giant turbine »

Before even placing an order for a turbine, the resort had to study everything from Federal Aviation Administration regulations to the structure’s effect on airplanes, birds and endangered species.

Once everything fell into place, Jiminy Peak was tasked to get 500 tons of parts and equipment up the mountain, via a two-mile-long gravel road.

“Once we got everything to the top of mountain, putting it together only took a couple days, but getting it up there was the biggest challenge,” Fairbank said.

In fall 2007, the $4 million project was complete. The turbine is nicknamed Zephyr, after the Greek god of the west wind. And Zephyr isn’t afraid to make its presence known.

The tower is more than 250 feet tall. The hub adds 10 feet, and the blades extend an additional 123 feet, creating a 386-foot green machine.

Zephyr works its magic to produce about a third of Jiminy Peak’s electric needs, shaving $450,000 a year from the resort’s energy bill. To put that in perspective, the energy from the turbine is enough to power more than 600 homes.

And Zephyr’s power doesn’t stop there. It has also drawn the interest of many visitors. Louise Pinho did her homework to find out how effective the wind turbine really is.

“When you read about what it’s able to do for the resort, that it can take up to 33 percent off of their bills, then you realize that there is more of a need for this,” Pinho said. “With what’s going on right now, we have to have some alternatives to our energy sources that we have available to us.”

But Pinho isn’t blind to Zephyr’s visual and environmental drawbacks. Studies show that wind turbines destroy the habitat that many animals live in. Bats, which play a large role in consuming insects and pests, are an example of a species that’s most affected.

According to Thomas Kunz, a biology professor at Boston University, these bats aren’t necessarily being struck by the blades of a wind turbine. Their bodies are affected by a low-pressure system caused when the blades move through the air.

“They die from hemorrhaging,” Kunz says. In areas close to wind turbines, “80 percent of the bats that we know about today are killed in that fashion.”

Kunz says that specifically, migrating bats seem to be more affected, mainly during their fall migration, which lasts from late summer to early autumn.

At Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, the turbine produces electricity year round, but more than 60 percent of its output takes place in the winter months.

Regardless, Fairbank is no stranger to negative feedback. Some people in the community didn’t want the turbine to obstruct their view of the mountains.

But he says that only a small part of the community complains. In fact, some neighbors reap Zephyr’s benefit. In the summer, when the resort’s demands are lower, Zephyr’s electricity trickles downhill to power local homes and businesses.

“So all those communities become green when we’re not using the power,” Fairbank said.And when it comes to being green, this Massachusetts resort isn’t new to the game. Since 1985, the company has implemented various environmentally friendly practices. From recycling motor oil to heat lodges to installing waterless urinals, Fairbank says, the business is always looking for ways to conserve.

And that may be paying off. In a time when many businesses are closing their doors, Fairbank said, “we’re 12 percent ahead of our best year ever.”

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/27/ski.wind.turbine/index.html


Future outcomes for the Personal Journeys project…

February 10, 2009

Hello everyone,

I wanted to take this opportunity to once again thank you all for participating in the Personal Journeys art project. The stories that I received from have been heartwarming, inspiring and tragic at the same time. For those of you who have not submitted their stories yet, there is still time to send it in as I am now in the process of compiling the information together. Furthermore, if anyone in the group has reservations about me publishing their names in the final piece, please let me know and I will post your story as anonymous.

To that end, the final piece will be presented to the public a month from now and will be displayed in a blog that I am creating, but I do not see that as the end of this process. My mind is simply on fire with ideas about how to push the envelope of this project further and further. We here at Emily Carr and the entire city for that matter on the verge of a once in a lifetime opportunity because one year from now, the eyes of the entire world will be focused on Vancouver for 16 straight days when the 2010 Winter Olympics begin.

What if we went to the Vancouver Olympic Committee and setup within the athlete’s village to record and document the Personal Journeys that each athlete had to go through in order to make it here to Vancouver. What a wonderful gift that would be to share not only within the village, but to the world as a whole.

Here are some other future project avenues that could be explored:

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>>> To be done for the in-class presentation <<<

1a. Create a blog to document, list and display incoming Journey stories along with the associated graphical line plots – to be then presented to the class and to outside viewers who are invited to participate virtually.

1b. Enlarge and print a few selected Journey stories and graphical line plots and put them on display for the class when the project is presented and possibly the school gallery at the annual student exhibition in the spring.

>>> Pitched the idea to several Emily Carr administration and faculty last week – waiting for results and will followup <<<

2a. Actively seek Emily Carr participation from an administrative level to fund, market or otherwise advance the project to greater reception and accessibility.

2b. Form a team of 3 to 4 dedicated Emily Carr students to go on a road trip to recreate select Journeys in order to document them and in the process request school administration to setup a self-directed co-op program so participating students can get school credits. Outside corporate sponsors in the region could be located to help fund the endeavour and the project scope can be expanded to create a documentary film, book, website or other type of media device.

2c. This team of students would interview the original Journey authors and document the sights, encounters, people, places and otherwise meaningful moments along the Journey. In addition, this team of student artists would cover a wide range of talents and disciplines in order to provide a greater canvas to document the process and scope of the Journeys (ie: Photographer, Videographer, Musician, Writer, Digital Artist…) Each member would add their own unique flavour to the project and allow for inspiration from the Journey itself to drive their own personal art and life experience gained as a result.

2d. Select Journey stories and graphical line plots can be enlarged, printed and put on display in major art galleries, providing greater exposure to the original and subsequent documentary projects. Journey authors could be invited to give guest lectures on their respective Journeys and input kiosks could be installed in galleries to allow viewers to enter their own Journeys and graphical line plots into the database as well, after being inspired from reading of the Journeys of others.

>>> Future possibilities down the road <<<

3a. Pitch the Google Journeys idea directly to Google themselves – seeing as though they have a tremendous budget to work from and http://maps.google.com/  only provides a singular and not immediately meaningful attachment to the graphical line segment produced by the mapping software (ie: it creates a graphical representation of a Trip, not a Journey and certainly not one that is easily linked to others) – whereas if both Google and we as artists could create an immense database of Collective Journeys for people to read through and visualize graphically and tied into other similarly meaningful Journeys.

3b. Google Journeys could become a living and breathing Artwork existing purely on a virtual level and being on display to people around the world 24/7 while constantly being added to and upgraded. Participants would continue to add their own Journeys to the existing project whole and the graphical line would get bigger and bigger. Visual representation of the immense Collective of Journeys could be displayed in real-time as either 2d or 3d display.

3c. Visitors to the Google Journeys website could browse through the database to look up individual Journeys or run searches based on input parameters. As mentioned above, the tree branch analogy is a fitting one, seeing as how jagged and random the waypoints turn the graphical line plot every which way. Individual or select group Journeys could display as being colour coded and then zoomed in on in the 3d display of the Great Tree Branch, where the viewer could then click on and then bring up the author’s individual Journey story.

3d. Similar to a blog setup, visitors could then leave comments for the Journey’s original author and a global dialog could be achieved along with new friendships and greater understanding for one another. Authors and visitors alike could formulate new Journey plans amongst themselves – Shared databases between Google Journeys and Google Video could be extrapolated and linked in order to provide video responses to individual Journeys – the project could become viral in its outcome and scope.

3e. The inherent search engine and search results would provide local companies, hotels, and travel services to be immediately directed to those particular areas covered in the Journey display, allowing ease of use in planning not just a regular trip, but a Journey of your own.

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There you go – these are the thoughts racing through my mind on how to expand this project further so let me know what you think of these options and let’s see how far we can push this because the sky is limit!

Sincerely,

John DeVeaux