Jen Hsu 250B

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This is Jennifer Hsu's 250B page (sorry for all the rotated images, I'm trying to figure out how to rotate them properly)

Update - March 10, 2013

I connected the water jugs to the copper mounting and also added a chain thing so that the jugs cannot keep rotating and tangle up the wires. Here are a few pictures:

Jhsu 250b hourglass assembled.jpg

Jhsu 250b hourglass chain.jpg

This following week I will work on sound design. I also need a way to make it so that the hose things connecting the jugs do not bend. Hopefully these problems will be solved over this week and the next.

Update - March 6, 2013

I made my copper counting rectangular cube! Here are some pictures:

Jhsu 250b coppermount1.jpg

Jhsu 250b coppermount2.jpg

I cut up copper tubes, filed and sanded the ends, and connected it properly. It was a lot harder to connect them because the connectors had a bit of a tight fit. I still need to glue it all together. I also prepared the jugs to be able to fit onto this copper mounting (cutting a hole in a tube and connecting the jugs with some hose connectors). Pictures of that will come up soon. Here's another picture of the copper mounting that I'm very happy with:

Jhsu 250b coppermount3.jpg

I am a bit worried about the stability of the mounting, so I might tie some wires on the side in the shape of X's to create this constant tension to increase its stability.

Here is a list of the things that I need to do:

  • glue the copper tubes to the connectors after attaching the jugs
  • get tilt switches working
  • make one speaker out of a jug
  • make one more piezo mic
  • connect piezo mics to speaker through amplifier
  • create a stopping mechanism for the rotation of the jugs so that the wires do not get tangled (use a chain?)

Update - February 20, 2013

I cut up about 200 Mardi Gras beads, added 2-12oz packs of other pearly beads, 2-7oz packs of rinestone shiny things (one pack was all silver, and the other was a mess of colors), 2-7oz packs of wooden beads, and a package of vintage buttons and poured this all into a water jug. Here's some pictures:

Jhsu 250b hourglass beads1.jpg

Jhsu 250b hourglass beads2.jpg

Also, here is a summary of where I am currently at with the project:
I've decided to use these black hose things to connect the jugs together. I will use two piezos, one on each of the bottoms of the water jugs. Using a tilt switch, the piezo will only send the signal to the speaker if the piezo is on the jug on the top. That will give it the best resonating sound. I also plan to fashion some speakers out of the water jugs. The mounting will be made of copper. When the project is done, I will probably put a light source on the bottom or side so that it will reflect off of the beads and rhinestones.

Hourglass - Aesthetic (February 11, 2013)

I thought some more about the hourglass idea. For the aesthetic, I want to pair the ugly, junkyard scrap visuals with rich and bass-y sounds. I think that the act of watching time pass by is an ugly act (or I do not really like doing it), so I like the idea of pairing that with staring at junkyard items. I want to contrast that though, with pleasant, full sounds. The following images are just thought blurbs that I wrote out while thinking about the idea



Hourglass - Mounting ideas (February 11, 2013)

I think that at the most basic level, I would have something attached to the wall, a thing that rotates (half a circle of rotation) attached to that base, and something that connects the jugs to the rotating piece. I could connect the jugs through the base of the jug or from the necks. I want most of the sides of the jugs to not touch anything to preserve the natural resonant sound. Here are some sketches of ideas for mounting.




Hourglass - Preliminary list of supplies needed (February 11, 2013)

  • 2 water jugs
    • something to drill a hole in each
  • rice
    • I think it would be great if I could find a bunch of old looking jewelry to fit the aesthetic more
  • 2 microphones
  • 2 microphone covers/protectors
    • what should this be made of?
  • 2 speakers
  • something to attach the jugs together
    • (tape? a container? -- talk to Sasha about this)
  • something to put in between the jugs to let the rice fall betwen the two jugs)
    • cloth?
    • 2 funnels?
  • mounting materials (see sketches)
    • junkyard scraps to fit the visual aesthetic
    • something that only turns 180 degrees
    • need help with this

The following is the list that I originally wrote up on paper when I did not have internet:


Hourglass - updated idea and todo (February 11, 2013)



Current top three ideas (January 30, 2013)

Electromagnetic string vibration with ferrofluid
Violating binaural expectations

Electromagnetic string vibration with ferrofluid

I do not have a drawing of this, but I thought it would be interesting to place some string in ferrofluid and electromagnetically vibrate it. I would have to first figure out if it actually works and what kind of sounds come out of it. I like the pairing of the natural visuals that emerge from the ferrofluid coupled with whatever sound may come out. I do not have much experience with magnets, so it would be fun to learn more through this project.

Hourglass 1

Attach contact microphones to the ends of the hourglass. As the sand falls, the resonance of the chambers should change, so this would be kind of like amplifying the sounds of the sands falling in the hourglass and listening to how the resonance changes. The sounds would go out through speakers.

Jhsu 250b hourglass1.jpg

Hourglass 2

This is a modified version of the original hourglass idea. The concept is the same, but we add shakers onto some part of the hourglass to get feedback. I like the concept of this idea (involving the hourglass) because it forces the viewer to stare at time passing by. I think that this would be a fun thing to make and I would enjoy spending the time to tune the feedback.

Jhsu 250b hourglass2.jpg

Reverberant Plate

Jhsu 250b plate.jpg


Jhsu 250b gourd.jpg


I want to make binaural microphones each of which would be attached to the outside of some headphones (or sound cancelling head gear stuff). Then we would switch the output between the left and right ears to give the listener a strange experience. This would violate their expectations of resonance and room reverberation. I think that this would fit the space because there are bound to be a lot of sounds in the installation space and that is the kind of environment where this idea would do best. I talked to Jonathan about this idea as well and how I could offer a switch or slider to change the experience (one side is normal -- left mapped to left and right mapped to right, and the other side is the switched experience).

I would be interested in adding feedback to the sound as well. I'm not sure how I would accomplish this since the microphones are on the outside of the headphones. I'll have to think about this part a bit more.

Jhsu 250b binaural.jpg


Jhsu 250b teapot.jpg

Modified Spring Reverb

Jhsu 250b springreverb.jpg

Design Experiment 2

Jhsu 250b roomreverb1.jpg

Jhsu 250b roomreverb2.jpg

Class Design Experiment 1

Jhsu 250b springs.jpg