I was introduced to this painting of a pipe with a caption just below - "This is not a pipe. This is a picture of a pipe". The caption was written in French but translated by a friend of mine which introduced me to Rene Magritte two years ago and since then Rene Magritte has been a part of my life - sometimes in my bookshelves, in my phone wall paper, in the philosophies of my mind. Magritte paintings mostly include objects which are familiar to us but he keeps them in very unusual contexts. The paintings are intertwined with many philosophical questions related to our senses, languages and our reality. No doubt some researchers are still biting their nails in some part of the world figuring out the interpretation of his paintings.
This installation is inspired by one of the similar paintings by Rene Magritte - 'Not to be Reproduced'.
Not to be Reproduced
The installation was exhibited at WalkinStudios, Bangalore as part of a series - Future Foundations - Series 1. The name of the installation is "Can we talk?" which was also the prime intention of the installation.
This installation is an attempt to create a dialogue between people and my thoughts. Senses, Language and perception.
Live video of the audience was projected onto an irregular wall which over time explodes into different surfaces covering all the sides of the projection surface and finally distorts to a black hole over time.
The illusion of the video captured in a cuboid which soon converts into a torus which further takes shape of a ring questions our perception of space as these surfaces are seen as a 2-D projection on the wall.
Cubbon Park - "A Label or Beyond" ?
Cubbon Park is a recreational famous park in Bangalore city (Silicon valley of India). If you are in Bangalore and ask people how to reach Cubbon Park, you will be mostly advised to reach Cubbon park metro station and then its a mere walk. Of course this to avoid the city traffic but yet there is one more good reason to visit cubbon park metro station - Art. You will find many murals and ideas which can hit you philosophically. Some like:
One of the many interesting things happening at station is the festival of stories held by Art in Transit over the span of two three years. This time I participated in the festival of proposition held as a part of festival of stories event in September. Idea was to propose something related to city, aesthetics of the park or the metro station itself.
My proposition :
If you have been to Deer park (Delhi), Lal Bagh (Bangalore) or C.B you will always find a rustic map of the park standing outside the park. It shows you various areas of the park, trying to enact like a city but does it actually you convey the heart of the park? Do you feel the same when you see your city map on google ? When a park has a lot to offer than just jogging, walking, kissing, playing, photo shoot why the map is so static?
My idea is to bring into notice all such unnoticed things of the park. My proposal is to build a dynamic map of the park which changes as the activities of the people change in the park.
Visiting Captain Chand Lal Blind School in Gurgaon
After visiting National Association for blind as mentioned in my previous post (not detailed though) I wanted to visit a place for visually impaired where I can finds kids and learn different experiences from them about surroundings and their day to day life. Where as NAB mostly had people who were in the age group 20-35 Captain Chand Lal Blind school (CCBL) is just like a primary school where they teach children right from nursery to 8th standard.
So I will divide this post with various activities they do class wise explaining by some pictures.
These are some artificial props they touch from Nursery to Prep to understand how the world is around them. Different fruits / vegetables props are available in the classroom which they touch and have to tell the teacher about it.
Apart from the things like mangoes and apples which will really help them in future and will come across too in life , they are also exposed to some props of animals like elephant and giraffe which they touch and know the difference between the two animals.
Thing to think about is are they really gonna touch an elephant or giraffe in their entire lifetime ? But then there is this feeling of knowing how the creatures are different and similar in some respects. While elephant has a trunk giraffe has a long neck but yet both of them have four legs.
It is easy to say this is so obvious but can create confusion for a child who has not seen, forget about seeing he doesn't even know what you mean by "sight" to acknowledge the fact why is there a similarity as well difference too.
Moving to higher classes like 1-5 once they are equipped with braille they are taught all science notebooks through braille on a tactile book.
Maths book where one needs to make a line segment and also explain what they mean in the diagram, line segment is embossed on the right hand side and explanation is given on the left through braille.
They too have a library full of braille books which include books like champak also.
A Math 8th standard book where a line segment is drawn on the right hand side and explanation for the same is given on the left hand side.
Research Survey - National Association of Blind
I recently visited National Association of Blind which is mostly known as NAB. NAB is a platform given to blind people (from now on I will call them students instead) whom are given mobility training and skills needed to become independent in the outer world. It's like a course like structure which gets completed in 3-4 months until a new batch joins. People are trained to walk with canes,how to map themselves on urban roads since most people come from villages, how to get their hands dirty on doing their daily activities like washing clothes, shaving etc.
The idea was to have a user research on visually impaired people and learn about their daily lives. Me along with my friend Naren from Srishti college of Design had talks with the CEO of the organization, warden and many students who study there.
I made some good friends there and since we have been visiting the place for months now we have made good friends over there. Now I can only share some of the pics of the visit but I will continue to share more material of the talk in future.
Some iterative methods in NLA and intuition behind them
Do you remember solving the following equations in high school ?
2x + 3y =8
2x + 9y = -10
By solving I mean trying to find values of x and y which satisfy both the equations. But these are only two variables (x and y). What if I ask you to solve million equations containing million variables ? Any idea about it ?
We associate matrices with it. Matrices represent a collection of numbers but if you see it closely you can see N-dimensional vectors in K-dimensional space. Like if Matrix is square full rank you can say n-dimensional vectors in n-dimensional space. 2x+3y is a plane with normal vector (2i + 3j) and at a distance of 8 units from the origin. Millions of variables like 2x + 3y + 6z + h9 ... will make this plane no less than a hyper plane. So instead of finding where these two planes intersect as in above case we try to find where many (in our case 'n') hyper planes intersect in some hyperspace. If you scared about what I just said, consider I am just throwing some words at you and showing off !
We have algorithms to deal with this stuff. So I will be considering A as a square matrix (it can be symmetric or non-symmetric) with full rank (to avoid debates) and help you understand how some iterative methods work and idea behind them.
Let say you are in a 2-D plane and you wanted to solve the above equation at the very top. You can see solution is (17/2 , -3). Which belongs to the first quadrant. Say you are an ant and you can only crawl in that 2-D plane. Somebody puts you at the origin and tell you to reach the solution by moving in each direction only once (not necessary) you will go to (17/2,0) and from there you will be able to see the point vertically below that is going 3 units in downward direction you will be able to reach the point (17/2,-3).
Likewise when you are dealing with spaces which are not two dimensional you follow the same approach. (to be continued).....
NASA Space Apps Challenge 2017
Recently me along with three nerds participated in NASA Space apps challenge held at SAP Labs, Bangalore.
It was a two day hackathon from 29-30 April. People came from Pune, Chandigarh and many other states to make an app which goes in relation to the planet Earth and makes an impact in in preserving it.
The idea our team took was under the topic Earth and Us – You are my sunshine. We built tool which helps people understand how much energy comes from a solar panel. Why so?
You know Elon Musk and you know Solar city and you probably know how clean and eco-friendly is solar energy. But have you ever wondered how much energy could I produce if I install solar panels right now on top of my roof. Will my electricity bill will go down?
Or is it still limited to solar cooker that we studied in high school? The quest for such questions prompted us to took the challenge and make a very interactive and easy tool to help understand about solar energy and it’s power.
Next idea we were excited about was the energy consumption at Mars. Yes you heard it right – Mars. Soon we will take our next steps to colonize Mars. Elon says it will be 2022 whereas NASA says it to be 2025. Not much a time though. We don’t have electric grids up there on Mars and probably we are not even thinking of building one.
Right from our take off from earth till the day we come down back we will be relying on solar energy. But hey solar energy is inconsistent. You don’t know when it’s going to rain when it’s going to be a good sunny day. Oh yes weather prediction is all together a good dynamic problem. Enter chaos theory! Well people are already working on it and let’s leave it to them.
But what if we could only take weather forecast like humidity, wind speed, temperature and predict the radiation beforehand and make it possible to use solar energy effectively and at the right time?
So here we present our tool HELIOS. We developed a tool which relies on past data and uses machine learning and data analysis to give recommendations and predictions related to solar energy usage and pattern.
We believe HELIOS will be a very effective tool in the coming future!
A small video related to the project:
PS: WE WERE THE FIRST RUNNER UP FOR THE EVENT AND HELIOS IS A GLOBAL NOMINEE FOR NASA SPACE APPS CHALLENGE 2017.