Major Studio

Translate / Transform
the 7by7 project of Ayodamola Okunseinde

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

-Frank Herbert 

One year before applying to graduate school I embarked on a stringent regiment of mental and physical exercises.  I read, I wrote, I ran, I biked... all in an effort to focus my mind in preparation for re-entry to academia. This experience yielded perhaps some of the most focused months of my life, it was refreshing and transformative.

I have decided to continue my 
exercises . Restricted to the domains of "mapping", "Arduino / Processing", and using my body as a metaphor for change, I have devised a series of projects that will push me physically. I will map and translate my efforts using both physical computing and non-traditional materials. The maps will represent my continuous quest for focus through the transformative power of change.

My Own Bodily Fluids [1]
I always considered sweat as a measure of my physical efforts. As I push myself during my runs I give myself mental challenges  i.e. reach my way-point by a certain time. In this way the accumulation of sweat is also representative of my mental efforts and the possibility of change. In My Own Bodily Fluids, I collect the sweat in absorbent patches sewn to the armpit area of my running shirt. After each run I seal the patches in a zip lock bag. The collection of patches represent my physical trials over seven days, in the same vain they measure my mental challenges and quest for transformation over that period. Viewers are invited to determine the most challenging day by smelling the absorbent patches.

Water Out Water In [2]
I have always been fascinated by the notion of homeostasis and a systems ability to regulate itself. To replenish the water lost on my runs, my body must find a source of water. In Water Out Water In I examine the loss and search of moisture as a basis for creating a moisture detector. Understanding that human sweat contains salt, I collected and evaporated my sweat over a 7 day period. Once evaporated, I scrape the salt crystals and attach them to electrodes. This device now acts as a moisture sensitive resistor thus serving as a means for measuring humidity.

Salty-Sweet [3]
In an interest to present my physical efforts in non-traditional methods, I attempted to represent the amount of exercises done over the 7 days in terms of taste. I found a suitable medium would be gumdrops. Each day I cut a small cube of gumdrop and suspended it in the sweat collected from my physical exercises that day. I kept the solution saturated for 24 hours (I found a longer time period would dissolve the cube). After 24 hours the drops infused with my workout are frozen, they are then wrapped in foil/plastic wrappers to preserve freshness. They are presented as gourmet treats.

Do you Think I am Sexy [4]
I remember reading articles about roman gladiators using a scraper to collect sweat.

"They used to sell gladiator sweat as a beauty treatment, they would sell it in souvenir pots"

"In the steamy hot room of the Roman baths, a muscular gladiator sighs as a slave scrapes the sweat, oil and dirt from his skin"
Re-reading these articles sparked an idea, I could not only use the collected sweat to create aphrodisiac or sympathetic salves, but also design my own strigil for future use. Using a non scented salve, I mixed varying quantities of my collected salt crystals to create lotions "TRANSFORM" and "TRANSLATE". By rubbing on these salves, participants may transform themselves by vicariously accessing my efforts of mental focus and transformation. The aphrodisiac "SEXY" is created from the test gumdrops that dissolved. I added a scent and sealed it in a vile with a roll on fixture. Participants are advised that this concoction is extremely potent.

Breathe [5]
Riding my bike daily across the Williamsburg Bridge. I breathe in. I breathe out. I breathe in. I breathe out. The steeper the incline, the larger the breath... the declines yield shallower breaths. To map this action of my lungs a result of my physical exercises I devised a contraction affixed to my bike helmet. An Arduino board measures and records each exhale. The data is then visually represented in a simple Processing sketch.

Food Log [6]
Over the period of the week I logged my food consumption with the app Lose It. I then collected the data via a .csv file to make a data visualization with Processing that shows, amongst other things, protein, fat, sodium, and caloric consumption.

Strigil [7]
I had difficulty collecting my sweat during this project. I resorted to wringing out my wet shirt into container, which I felt was unsophisticated and too inefficient for this project. Looking to the ancient Romans, I started creating my own strigil. I started by looking at ancient (now sold for thousands) and modern strigil. I made sketches and produced some 3d designs. To complete the process I plan to create strigils for the 21st century using materials such as 3D, metal and wood.

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