Cyclograph of activity in Mary Mattingly's Flock House

The Rhythmanalysis Lab is concerned with the observation, representation, and interpretation of rhythms in everyday life. Inspired by the work of Henri Lefebvre, it is a framework for projects, workshops, and investigations at the intersection of urban research, sound, and data science.

Will the (future) rhythmanalyst ... set up and direct a lab where one compares documents: graphs, frequencies and various curves? ... Just as he borrows and receives from his whole body and all his senses, so he receives data from all the sciences: psychology, sociology, ethnology, biology; and even physics and mathematics ... He will come to 'listen' to a house, a street, a town, as an audience listens to a symphony.

- Henri Lefebvre, "The Rhythmanalyst: A Previsionary Portrait" in Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday life. New York City: Continuum, 2004. Pg. 22.

Project Created: 
April 2012

Designing interfaces between vegetal and device-related systems, between man and machine, is one of the greatest challenges of interactive technology. No differently than in the industrial context, here too, the use of intuitive and user-friendly control tendencies is supremely decisive. With Interactive Plant Growing, Sommerer and Mignonneau demonstrate an artwork of this species. Activating the plant triggers an image-generating impulse. This calls for neither the preparing of a symbolically conveyed action, nor the designing of ergonomically-formed pieces of equipment to make its control possible. The juxtaposing of the real plant and a computer-generated version of nature latently recalls explosive themes that arose when discussing the use of research results in the fields of natural science and technology.

Project Created: 
March 2004

Diskotron (2002)
Modified turntable, software, optical sensor and computer

Diskotron is an optical turntable that can play "records" which can be printed or drawn. The turntable is outfitted with a high-resolution optical sensor array and a speedy microprocessor, enabling it to turn visual marks and codes into MIDI sequences in real time. Connected to a computer, Diskotron functions as a live performance instrument combined with a hands-on tangible interface.

Pashenkov was born in the Soviet Union in 1975 and since 1991 he has resided in New York City .He has worked as a designer and site developer at methodfive and then PlumbDesign, both large web development companies in New York. In the fall of 2000, he joined the Aesthetics & Computation Group at the MIT Media Laboratory under the guidance of John Maeda.


Project Created: 
July 2002

Syuzi Pakhchyan is a media designer and tinkerer working and residing in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Media Design from the Art Center College of Design. Her MFA thesis titled SparkLab investigates the intersection between culture, technology and craft. Her designs explore and encourage ludic activities that celebrate the quirky and speculative, and reflect personal experiences and cultural narratives. Currently she is working as a freelance Media and Interaction Design Consultant and teaches a robotics class to children.

Eyebeam CV
SExhibiting Artist

Tactical Gizmology is a subcategory of Tactical Media. Beatriz da Costa and Critical Art Ensemble have facilitated a series of workshops in which interested participants could obtain basic knowledge in low- tech consumer electronics and use a series of different "gizmos" in political micro interventions. The aim of Tactical Gizmology is to introduce the use of electronic hardware and consumer products into the often software and print media dominated tool-kit of the Tactical Media practitioner.

Project Created: 
August 2002
Book Details
hardcover, 380 pages
Publication Date: 
April 2008
Media Theory
In Stock: 

In Closer, Susan Kozel draws on live performance practice, digital technologies, and the philosophical approach of phenomenology. Trained in dance and philosophy, Kozel places the human body at the center of explorations of interactive interfaces, responsive systems, and affective computing, asking what can be discovered as we become closer to our computers—as they become extensions of our ways of thinking, moving, and touching.

Performance, Kozel argues, can act as a catalyst for understanding wider social and cultural uses of digital technology. Taking this one step further, performative acts of sharing the body through our digital devices foster a collaborative construction of new physical states, levels of conscious awareness, and even ethics. We reencounter ourselves and others through our interactive computer systems. What we need now are conceptual and methodological frameworks to reflect this.


Light Reading(s): Visual Mix (2003) is a single channel video based on a live performance with a hand-held photocell that varies the flow of electric current according to the amount of light falling upon it. The resulting sound translation is sent through an assortment of custom sensors and vintage processors, generating a luminous single channel video projection and droning, delicate or scratchy surround sound.

Project Created: 
October 2003

Atau Tanaka bridges the fields of media art, experimental music, and research. He worked at IRCAM, was Artistic Ambassador for Apple France, and was researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris, and was an Artistic Co-Director of STEIM in Amsterdam. Atau creates sensor-based musical instruments for performance, and is known for his work with biosignal interfaces. He seeks to harness collective musical creativity in mobile environments, seeking out the continued place of the artist in democratized digital forms. His work has been presented at Ars Electronica, SFMOMA, Eyebeam, V2, ICC, and ZKM and has been mentor at NESTA.

Eyebeam CV
SExhibiting Artist

Together with pachube, a service to onnect, tag and share real time sensor data from objects, devices, buildings and environments around the world, you can write xml or “EEML” to link information between buildings sensors and devices. Cool, but i like the idea of simply a green code, whatever that means;.)

logo by Luma Eldin

littleBits is an opensource library of discrete electronic components pre-assembled in tiny circuit boards. Just as Legos allow you to create complex structures with very little engineering knowledge, littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make prototyping with sophisticated electronics a matter of snapping small magnets together. With a growing number of available modules, littleBits aims to move electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers and designers.

Project Created: 
April 2009
People: axel aesquite, Ayah Bdeir, Jie Qi, luma eldin, youngjin Chung
Research: Open Culture, Open Lab
Project Type: Electronics, Hardware
Tags: littleBits, physical computing, sensors
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