Category Archives: Uncategorized



For more information please see:

The Scrapyard Challenge Workshops are intensive workshops where participants build simple electronic projects (both digital and analog inputs) out of found or discarded “junk” (old electronics, clothing, furniture, outdated computer equipment, appliances, turntables, monitors, gadgets, etc..). So far the workshops have been in 14 countries, on 5 continents with 3 different themes including the MIDI Scrapyard Challenge where participants build simple musical controllers from discarded objects and “junk”, DIY Wearable Challenge where they create wearable tech projects from used clothing, and the DIY Urban Challenge where they work on public space interventions and other projects. The MIDI Scrapyard version includes a mini workshop where participants build simple drawing robots or “DrawBots” with small, inexpensive motors, batteries, and drawing markers that can also be connected to Serial or MIDI interface. At the end of the day or evening, the workshop participants have a small performance, concert, or fashion show (depending on the workshop theme) where they demonstrate and present their creations together as a group. No electronics skills or any experience with technology is necessary to participate in the workshops.

AGNT (2012)


America’s Got No Talent, 2012
A data-visualization that ranks reality television shows based on their social media exposure.

“America’s Got No Talent” is a web-based data vizualization project by Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki that continually synthesizes and processes the steady stream of Twitter feeds for American reality television show media sources such as “American Idol”, “America’s Got Talent”, “America’s Next Dance Crew”, “The X Factor”, “America’s Next Top Model”, and more in the genre. The project highlights when and how these shows gain notoriety through social media and followers by dynamically displaying when tweets are sent and how much bias is gathered for each program based on retweets from followers as well as fans. Each show’s virtual presence grows in size based on the amount of attention it receives from social media users worldwide creating a measurement meter that ranks popular media on their social exposure, rather than their credit as viable media sources.


“America’s Got No Talent” was created to highlight the increasing popularity of social media and how reality shows are gaining more notoriety from the Internet than actual viewers.The rankings are displayed in a horizontal bar graph in the shape of an American flag where small rectangles make up the larger “stripes” of the flag and each one represents a “tweet” sent that references one of six reality television shows that crowdsource the American population as their “contestants”.


JULY 8, 2011 – JULY 15, 2011


Funded by the Image, Text, and Sound Scheme, Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

As the world’s landfills swarm with millions of tons of discarded electronics, the examination of the critical and creative use of recycled materials becomes ever more important.

R.I.P. — Recycling Pervasive Media, Intervening in Planned Obsolescence, and Practicing Technological Sustainability will tackle the issues of recycling, art making, and sustainability practices. Artists, researchers, practitioners, academics, municipal workers, community leaders, and professionals are invited to come explore new ways of working with municipal waste management facilities to reclaim “good garbage”.

Over the course of this three-part, seven-day program, participants will discuss ideas, create new work, and present projects related to sustainable practice. They will collaboratively introduce each other to methods of recycling digital materials for creative exploration and produce art projects made from found or rescued waste. R.I.P. provides an exciting opportunity to learn and develop frameworks for communities and individuals working with issues of sustainability and waste reduction.



in collaboration with Thomas Bosket, Jonah Brucker-Cohen, and Chris Hennelly

The ColorBot is a modification of the DrawBot design by Jonah Brucker-Cohen, focused on the application and mixing of color for fun and educational purposes. These simple bots disperse customizable color upon paper and fabric substrates allowing individuals to explore relationships between movement, color, texture, and form.

ColorBots at Parsons Festival 2011




Commissioned by the Futuresonic Festival in 2007 as part of “Art for Shopping Centres”

Everything really is connected, after all is an emergent narrative based on movement and proximity. Project participants wander with one of five characters as part of a flock of mobile devices whose coincidental intersection triggers awareness and contemplation about the bigger picture.
Shopping centers are sites of consumption which despite their varied locations across the globe tend to share the same anonymous and homogenous features. As a backdrop for desire, projection, and the acquisition of material objects, the Arndale and the experience of shopping is explored in order to locate and find experiences and concerns that bind us together in small and large ways.

The project utilizes a wireless network infrastructure delivered through mobile body-mounted units. The unfolding narrative is intended to structurally resonate with the relative physical positioning and actions of those experiencing the work. Ambiguity and elision are emphasized in the piece, highlighting a culture of connectivity which often hints at a greater whole, but often eludes full apprehension.


Deploying a piece in a site like the Arndale is a rare opportunity, and ideally the technology employed recedes into the background. But in some way, should awareness of the network and its operational characteristics become a consideration in a participant’s experience, the title of the project would certainly then find its true embodiment.


umbrellanet (2004)
Katherine Moriwaki, Jonah Brucker-Cohen is a project exploring transitory or ad-hoc networks and their potential for causing sudden, striking, and unexpected connections between people in public and urban space. The project focuses on the theme of “networks of coincidence”, or how shared, yet disconnected activities can be harnessed into collective experiences. examines how the haphazard and unpredictable patterns of weather and crowd formation can act as an impetus to examine coincidence of need networks. In particular, when umbrellas are opened and closed in public space. The project will attempt to highlight these informal relationships by creating a system of ad-hoc network nodes that can spontaneously form and dissipate based on weather conditions.



in collaboration with Cati Vaucelle

Passing Glances enables users to create these ambient urban interludes through the use of SMS text messages. The Passing Glances system contains a wealth of keyword-associated imagery that is stored ‘in the city’. Images are revealed to the transient audiences when SMS message keywords trigger the system. The mobile phone therefore acts as an expressive device revealing hidden layers of the city to construct short-lived stories.

Passing Glances was created by Cati Vaucelle, Katherine Moriwaki, Sven Anderson under the supervision of Glorianna Davenport and Linda Doyle. It started as a collaborative effort between Cati Vaucelle, Glorianna Davenport, Alison Wood, Sven Anderson, Linda Doyle, Jennica Falk, and Katherine Moriwaki.


Ambient Urban Interludes: Passing Glances by Vaucelle, C., Moriwaki, K., Doyle, L., Anderson, S., and Davenport, G. In Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI ’04 Vienna, Austia, 24-29 April 2004. ACM Press.


Inside/Outside (2003)

Inside/Outside is part of a body of research that focuses on the behavior of people in urban public space. Inside/Outside integrates pollution sensors with an ordinary fashion accessory to provide an aesthetically and functionally integrated object. Personally invested technology and community networks combine to monitor environmental factors creating alternative city mappings based on co-location in physical space.


Urban Chameleon (2003)
Katherine Moriwaki & Fionnuala Conway

Urban Chameleon looks at the ability of reactive garments to influence and change perceptions of one’s surroundings. The Urban Chameleon is comprised of three skirts which are based along the themes of social interconnection.

“Touch” changes visual properties upon contact. “Speak” reacts to urban noise, and “Breathe” visualizes pollution and urban exhaust as it travels through the garment.

Urban Chameleon is part of an ongoing body of research which looks at how environmental stimuli displayed on the body can affect urban behavior and communication.

Women’s Wear Daily, July 12, 2005 (print)
Bits and Bytes (features Urban Chameleon) by Denise Power

Exhibit 3 @ The Digital Hub, July 10 – September 30, 2003, Dubin, Ireland
Wired Nextfest @ Navy Pier, June 24-26, 2005, Chicago, USA


Keeping Time (2002)

“Keeping Time” is an ambient media installation, which uses real-time weather data to evoke a sense of global interconnectedness. Five flickering lights hang suspended over small LCD (liquid crystal display) panels. The flicker rate of each light corresponds to the temperature report for one city, which changes periodically as planes land at Dublin Airport. “Keeping Time” retrieves the first five planes scheduled to land at Dublin Airport, determines which city they are arriving from, and logs the weather data for that city. The LCD panels indicate which city is represented for each light. “Keeping Time” allows visitors of the Digital Hub to tune into the relationships between the global and the local, experiencing a sense of unity as external processes are harnessed into an intimate reflection of increasing interdependencies.

Inspired by the global movement of people and large scale networks of transportation and travel Keeping Time is a personal welcome to the city of Dublin from one of its newest inhabitants. From the global (the broad network of airplane routes and hubs) to the local (the node at dublin airport) Keeping Time provides a sweetly optimistic remimder of the physical processes which increasingly bring people closer together.

Keeping Time was installed as part of Exhibit 1 @ The Digital Hub in Dublin, Ireland.
January 6th – March 3rd 2003