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Karlijn den Hoedt
Graphic design
projects I have worked on before

Digital Craft 2018: Cybernetics




File:Research report digitalcraft karlijndenhoedt.pdf

PROJECT 1: Critical Making exercise

For our first assessment I formed a group with Annemarie (animation), Dieke (animation), Koen (animation) and Lot (graphic design). We received a couple of cards from the teachers for this project. There where three types of cards from which you had to choose one of each kind to reimagine a certain question, technology and platform.


We started this day playing with the cards to see what kind of interesting combinations we could make and what we could think of with this combination. After a while we settled with the idea of making an object designed for a tree to use. we all found it quit funny and weird which made it the perfect first project of this quarter. After thinking out loud which possible combinations a tree could use we finally ended up with:

 "Make an object designed for a tree to use 'Social Networking'. Use folded paper to create a physical model of this new thing."  

We just thought that this would be a funny thing to do, but the problem is that a tree does not give that much input to the world around him. One of the things I thought of was that the tree could many write comments with its twigs. But we came to the conclusion that the wind was the one doing it in the end. So we decided to keep it to just 'Yes' and 'No' decisions to keep it simple. This is how we arrived at Tinder, because not only is the idea of a tree on Tinder pretty funny, but it's also simple to use. You merely need to swipe to the left or the right whether you want to date a certain person or not. Maybe we could let the tree decide by letting it grow to either the left or the right...

For this prototype we decided to use a smaller plant instead of a tree, because it's much easier for a smaller plant to grow and to build an object for it. Our plan is to let the plant grow in a tube-like structure and let it decide to grow further in either the left tube or the right tube. In both tubes there is a sensor that detects whether it should swipe either left or right respectively. As of now we haven't figured out how to make the object swipe just yet. Today we made a prototype of the tube system out of paper, with one of the tube ways already being taken by the plant just to show what it would look like. We also made a Facebook and Tinder account for our plant: Clovis Clematis.

Clovisplant.jpg photos by: Lot


For today we had to present Clovis and her cyborg appendage to the rest of the class. The reception was pretty okay. The main question that was brought up was 'How can a plant know that it is using Tinder?' Obviously it doesn't, but maybe we can convert the Tinder profile picture into sound and give the plant a choice instead of letting it grow by chance.In two weeks we need to have a prototype that works as much as possible. It doesn't have to be a continuation of project 1, but it does need:

- to be somewhat related to these explorations on reimagining technology.
- to be 3D, a real thing.
- to be simulating interactive feedback loops.

PROJECT 2: Cybernetic Prosthetics


Today we were trying to figure out what our next project should be about. We could go further with our last project but everybody wanted to do something else. For this day I reached a bit with the last lecture from Ivan & Shailoh about feedback loops, machines, prothetics, autopoisis and bioart in the back of my mind and brought the best examples as inspiration to my other teammates. This inspiration was:

photo by: Annemarie

At first we all found the last link quit interesting. It was interesting that plants on urban grounds were going faster and also died earlier. For example trees in the city grow faster than trees in the forest, due to the amount of heat in the air around them, but they also have shorter lifespans. We thought about adding a meter to a tree for it to know the amount of heat around him to kind of search for a healthier environment, but it wouldn't really add some sort of feedback loop and it looked to much like the walking plant. Besides these ideas lot came up with some other ideas. One of these was that she read something about trees that could produce there own light through a chemical reaction just like in glimwormen. I really loved this idea but we didn't came up with a good feedback loop and not everybody saw something in it. The idea that we were most excited about was about a plant that grows meat instead fruit. This could be an alternative to meat from animals.

We decided to keep the project a bit more realistic and to focus back on plants making decisions. The idea was to bring the decision making more to the plants this time and present them two different kinds of music. We know that plants can detect vibrations, we want to know if they have a preference. We're also planning some experiments to see what kind of effects music has on plants. What's interesting as well is a way to record where you're touching the plant:

From this point we started with our own experiments to see how music affects plants.

I started planting my first test plants to look if the plants react to music vibrations from above instead of on the roots .

Today I stayed sick at home but the others went to the appointment with Javier:

They were trying to get a reaction from the plant by touching it, like in the video of "BOTANICUS INTERACTICUS". The technology they used to do this is called Touché and they tried to replicate it with Arduino, like Nick Arner did here: Nick Arner video

they got pretty far with the help of Javier, but eventually we found out that for this experiment to work, Arduino needs to be communicating with a different program we didn't have. So we couldn't continue but Javier did connect us with some very interesting and useful sites:

frequency capacitive sensing
Disney maakt elke plant aanraakgevoelig
Podcast - Smarty plants

After that we looked back at our Clovis experiment, trying to find a different way of making plants react to and decide their music. We thought of a way to create a feedback loop in which the plant is searching for his favorite tracks. The pot is seperated in two halves and each halve has a speaker playing its own distinct music. A bean/seed is placed above the seperation, allowing it to grow to both sides. Using some kind of transparent soil, a webcam and MAX7, we are able to distinguish the difference in color between the two halves. Roots have some kind of white color, so if one side contains more white than the other, we assume that the plant prefers the music on the whiter side more. Therefore, the music on the part with the most roots will keep playing and the music on the other side will switch.

Max.jpg Max02.jpg

I went to school so that I wouldn't mis to much. For this day we got together and made a list of things we need to do for next Thursday. After hearing there ideas I came up with the transparent growing ground so that we could easily watch the roots without damaging them. We also needed to build a box for the plant to grow in, a webcam to record the amount of white color and the code to recognize the change in whiteness and to switch music tracks if necessary. We made the design for the box today as well as the majority of the code needed to build this prototype. Koen and Dieke were working on the pot while Lot and Annemarie were working on the code in MAX. I was helping a bit on bove side because I had worked with max before and dieke and koen also needed some help in between. Togeter we came quite far this day.

Dancingpotboi.jpg Plant3ALT.gif Illustraties powerpoint 3.png

Drawing left: Annemarie | Animation middle: Koen | 3D Drawing right: Annemarie

For the last day before our presentation we came together to make the visual presentation. We finish the last points we had to do and we deciding who should talk about what. Annemarie and Koen made some drawings and animations for the presentation, Dieke had finished the box and Lot and me were working on a powerpoint.


The flowerpot is not yet the final version of the product. The future project will be less complex and won’t need a separate computer or webcam to operate. They will all be build inside the flowerpot itself. There will be two cameras in the front chamber that observe the roots of the plants. The technology will be needly put inside the little drawer on the bottom of the pot which makes it accessible at all times and at the same time open. This makes it easy for the user to see how it is working, to chance the technology when it is broken or to add extra features for ultimate plant growth.

we also got some inspiration from the teachers after the presentation.


after the second pard of the minor we had a workshop in which we created team's. Our team consists of: Ricardo (graphic design), Lianne (graphic design), Koen (animation), ... (fashion), Lot (graphic design) and myself. In this workshop we got some images which let us to fractals. We liked the tree shaped information graphic which shows the complexity of the internet. Also, the image where human parts where translated to a mathematic system gets our attention. We want to combine this two systems but did not manage to do so at first.

In the end we created a performance in which we started from the same position with a computer in our hand. we all started at the same wikipedia page and klikt to the next page while saying the word oud loud at every corner

PROJECT 3: From Devices to systems

At first I had no Idea which object I wanted to deconstruct or what I could add to a existing project. After hearing some ideas of my classmates I got into the flow of ideas. I started by checking all the devices that I wanted to trow out but I wasn't satisfied after I collected a clock, two mobile phones and a digital photoscreen. I was looking for something that felt good that gave me an idea on the spot and so I went to the kringloop. I ended up with a wheater station and a digital photo camera and started by taking them apart.


Weather station

Inside the Weather station I found some interesting parts, like the temperature meter and the humidity meter, that where collecting the data. there where also a lot of part that I couldn't name or what I didn't know the purpose of. by searching the internet for sensors and other part I got to know a little more. but some parts are still unknown to me.

Climate change is one of the things that kind of runs the news (NOS). every week there are a couple of collums that talk about climate change and solutions for it. The articles that I'm talking about are: [een halve graad meer] [running for the water] [trump said climate change is true], [less insects in rainforests because of climate change]

With these articles in minde I got the idea to create a Weather station that could show people climate change. To show it I wanted to create a graph from the temperature data together with the data from before to show signs of climate change. Next to it I wanted to add a warning system/ allert system that could give you advise to be better for the environment and a sensor for air pollution. Instead of a graph I could maby also use a screen to show a more visible climate change Warner by making it into something more interacting like a little pixel/ illustrated environment that could be sort of dying when things are getting worse. Next to it I could maybe add the data from the water uses to it and from the heater to make the house itself and the people more envior friendly.

Digital camera

Besides the weather station I deconstructed a digital camera. Because I kind of new how old school photo cameras worked I wanted to know how the digital ones where working and how the insides would look like. also the many things they have, like the screen and de camera could be used in many possible ways. At the graduation show from last year there were also some projects that used the camera. One could reconise objects and the other project was a camera that made photos itself and could photoshop them in the end.

With these to projects in mind I thought of a camera that could indeed make photos itself and could many photoshop all of the humans or trees out so that it could create a whole new world. But I also wanted to make it a bit more useful. So I thought of a camera for people who became blind at a certain age. The camera would then discrete the world around then to show them obstacles and to tell them what it looks like around them so that they can still experience that outside world. a inspiration source for this was also smart glasses for blind people

But after asking for advise in the interaction station I was told that all these things are way to difficult for the two days that where left and that they didn't know how I could hack the existing parts. with only two days left and a project that had to be working I started to think of a less difficult project to show at the presentation. with that in mind I started to think of a keyboard that I wanted to trow out and so I started deconstructing it for this project.


A keyboard is a lot like a miniature computer. It has its own processor and circuitry that carries information to and from that processor. A large part of this circuitry makes up the key matrix. which makes it possible for the computer to know which key is pressed. I was thinking a lot about what I could do with the keyboard after reading into it and deconstructing the keyboard but I did not know what to do with it. In the end I created a actual keyboard from the keyboard to make at least a working object.


And so I created a keyboard with some codes and a Arduino. It is still difficult for me to read or write Arduino code but with some turturials i managed to make a working keyboard that could play different sounds with a buzzer on every letter and that could play some tunes when you pressed the numbers.

PROJECT 4: Cartography of Complex Systems & the Anthropocene

I'm watching the news just like everybody else. But I'm not only watching it. But after reading a article I will search for every details that I don't understand. Why is there a war, how was it created. why are these people so angry? who made them angry. Why are they so angry that the start killing others. who will act up for climate change. What does it mean to have Donald trump as president and wat is the impact on the world with him as a leader for example cutting money for gaza. I always try to understand them even when it is not possible to understand them at all...

 This is why I started with a mind map about news and everything that's involved. You can find this map :here  

Within this map I made certain catogories to separate the different parts of the news. The most important once for me where: Imagery, Sound, Topics, Journalism, Designers and Medium. But after reading a lot and writing everything down I got a bit stuck in the subject. What was the story that I wanted to tell and even more important what topic would I go for. They where all so big and some where quit difficult when I dove into it. So I started to narrow it down a bit to make it possible to work with it.


First talk - introduction

After presenting the topic during the first group talk to Ivan I got some feedback to help me further with my research. These where : Semiotics, the connection between photos in a newspaper, twitterbot news generator, headlines. I also got a couple of question that i should be able to answer when choosing a topic: what do you want to bring the people? and why? After this first presentation I went deeper into the topic and asked myself the question: what intrest you the most about all these topics what comes back in the map and in your own work?

Second talk - questions in the making

During the second talk I spoke with Shailoh. I showed her the two topics that I wanted to work on ( branding a terrorist and The Middle East conflict )and told her that the Middle East conflicted was the one I wanted to work on and wanted to know more about. But of course it was way to big to be a topic which was also a part of my feedback but what struck me most was that I sounded like a western news watcher.. Which is basically what I am but what I don not want to be. I want to know what is happening with this western view by searching for news from all kinds of perspectives. It made me think about the news more and more and with this I created some questions for myself. I also got a lot of input from Shailoh witch extended the questions I created after the talk. These where:

Questions I made for myself after this talk where:
- How does the news look like when it is censured or made in a different country then where it is presented?
- how are divergent countries presenting the same news? and what does this say about the country?
- How do the make create the news ?
- Why do they choose a certain image for a news item?
- Why do we have so many photos of our king or president and almost none of terrorists?
- How would the news look like when it is created directly from social media without the interference of reports ?
- Why do we take the news so serious ?

But after making all these questions for myself I still got stuck not knowing what to do with it after reading lots and lots off articles, watching documentaries and researching more information. so I asked a college at my work for a little bit of more information on the production on news and its imagery because she did some work at the nos nieuws and is often working with news related topics.

for the first time in my life I stood still by the making of the news and how I saw it all this time.

Third talk - inspiration

during the third talk I talked to Ivan again. I showed all the topics that I had and told him about the things I found interesting in these parts. He gave me some great starting points with the things he said and gave me some great designers and a exercise to get me to work. The things we talked about where about: fear moving society (I read things before about that people need a common enemy to fight for to become one), that we can't leave our bag unattended because when it is everybody looks at it as if it is a bom and if I believed the news. Which I did until I learned more about the process of the making which become more true after watching the inspiration videos below.

A couple of inspiration's I got and collected after the conversation where:

I started to buy some newspapers and collected newspapers and images from the internet. With these items I tried to create weird news items and played with the representation/design of the news itself. Not every thing worked for me and the examples I loved the most didn't say anything to others like the 9/11 newspaper with trump images.

I was quit surprised when I put all the news broadcasts next to each other. What I see is that every news program is: using the same kind of studio's (shiny, tv screens in the back of the studio, most news introductions show a globe, every woman or man is needly dressed in a sort of suit (no tattoos, not too revealing, no punks as in hair, ), they all speek in a certain way, set up of the news itself (first this than we show something like this) , same sort of intro sounds, red and blue are used often (not everyone is using them), text bar is always comping in from the left, sometimes there is a moving text block (in the Netherlands on nos it is shown only when something serieus has happened),

but in the end I was still searching for a topic

Fourth talk - break through

I started my fourth talk with Shailoh with again a new kind of topics. The topics I was thinking about where: How would news personalisation look like?, becomes news more subjective if a robot makes it in stead of people?. Next to these topics I showed the things I made the week before in which I changed color, topic and a couple of other things in the news presentation. But as feedback I got the point that I actually got a topic already. I was searching to much when it was already there. I also went to Ivan for some extra feedback.

The feedback i got things I wrote down after the feedback from both of them was:

• What is the effect of showing different presentations of news?
how do people react on it? strip down the presentation of the news. separate the different components? and just make the news

What do you want people to feel?
do you want them to feel comfortable, horrified or something else?

How to activate your installation?
Will it be interactive or not? I was maybe thinking of showing a normal news broadcast when people walk by or look at it, but when they are not looking/or when they are looking at the screen the news will change en will become weird. Kind of like how I am looking at it now.

What do you want to tell with it?

With this feedback I started to deconstruct the different parts of the news. I could clearly see the divergent parts after this exercise. The parts that the news consist out are: person who tels the news (men or woman in a sort of suit), background of the studio, sometimes you can see the floor of the studio, one or multiple screens in the back of the space which shows the news, a laptop or a screen on de desk with information, often a glass of water or a mock on the desk, a desk they sit on (with chair) or a small table they stand next to, some have printed papers with text next to the screens or laptops, there is always a logo of the news in the left or right corner, inside other video then the studio they use little text blocks witch consist out of : 1. telling the name of the person. 2. tel who this person is (what, company, function, social status) 3. moving by text block with information of the other news (nos shows this only with emergency topics so that you can read into everything when you just tune in) 4. news topic (often shown only in the intro of the beginning of the news or when the change topics) 5. sometimes they show the current time, sometimes they show a smal wheater infographic.

Fifth talk - working

"News plays a significant role in our community as stories are central to human nature. Bell (1998) says that stories are told as a core part of people’s social identity, and for us, the composition of a life story is fundamental to our self-identity. Evidently, the daily happenings of our societies are expressed in the stories we are told in the media. The medium of news communication includes the news broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, talk shows, press photos, the Internet and even text messages on a cell phone. " copied from: Yunisrina Qismullah Yusuf

unfortelent I got sick and stayed home this day so I couldn't get any feedback. But I did make a bit of progress. I started with making a list with all the things that I could change in the presentation of the news. The things I could change are:

Person presenting the news:
- Hair (punk)
- Tattoo
- Clothes (bikini, revealing clothe)

Stuff on the desk:
- Change cup/glass/ computer/ paper for something else (bottle whiskey, knuffel, fruit, )

- Change news video behind presenter(porn, weird/ funny animals, something that could be related: trump -> 9/11)

- Use other typography
- Put in a different text
- Change color of the text/ text block

- Create a different studio
- Change color in the studio

- change speed or the way that the presenter talks
- change langues

Sixth talk - finalising concept

Conclusion after making the video's so far
The things that work the best in the videos so far is when you can actually see the things that are being told by the news presenter or when it is related to it.

with these conclusions I went to the feedback session from Ivan and I showed him the video's that I made so far. reference I got after the feedback where:

exhibition presentation

I was thinking about presenting the video on a tv screen which is attached to a Arduino and something like movement sensors and a sort of a button / sensor for when your standing in a certain spot. I want to use this because I think that when im only looping the video maybe even on multiple screens the audience is not triggered enough to come and see the video. to create a portable tv stand I watch this video: porteble tv stand link

Things I need to present are:
TV, Kinect, laptop to play the videos, hdmi cable, power cables, Stand for the tv, two headphones, explaining text and maybe a place with business cards.


I had to use a code to make the Kinect work in the way I wanted it to work. to make this work I had to use processing 2 and a library called: SimpleOpenNI. you can find this via google

You can find them here:
SimpleOpenNI library
Kinect video

RESULT: Final exhibition

We all know it. The introduction tune, the presenter in a suit sitting behind the desk, the rhythm of words read from the autocue and the news footage shown through the frame of a tv screen. Im questioning this representation and asked myself "why do we trust the news as it is presented to us?"