Category Archives: NYU


I would like to address the caveats which were passed on to me regarding my thesis proposal. The first thing I would like to do is to define a caveat. Merriam Webster returned:ca·ve·at noun \ˈka-vē-ˌät, -ˌat; ˈkä-vē-ˌät; ˈkā-vē-ˌat\ : an explanation or warning that should be remembered when you are doing or thinking about something
For us to use this in daily life there has to be enough radiation to sense, and a super super sensitive sensor, and it has to be something we could wear, not a haz mat suit obviously. Or is this for specialists, not ordinary folk? Seems really hard — the science is hard, the tech is hard, and the experimental bias is baked in (i.e. the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.) You need to discuss more about the research you’ve done and your tech abilities and, other than working with Eric, how you will get tech help if needed.
– the first caveat

I need to break this “caveat” down to better interpret and to reply.
there has to be enough radiation to sense.” The definition of radiation is the transmission of energy from some source in the form of particles or waves.

We are bombarded by and sense radiation from the moment we are born using our skin and the Human Vision System. What we detect is within the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with a little infra-red and ultraviolet. High school science informs us that we are surrounded by every manner of radiation: AM-FM radio waves, EMF from lamp cord to subway car motors and everything in between. We are routinely exposed to nearly every portion of the electromagnetic spectrum at some point in our lives. My project addresses the sensing of ionizing radiation. Sometimes we see the color blue. Sometimes we do not. Sometimes there will be ionizing radiation to sense. Other times not.

and a super super sensitive sensor,” This contradicts the preceding thought (there has to be enough radiation to sense, and a super super sensitive sensor, “) and isn’t worth addressing. Given that the project is specifically sensing Alpha, Beta, and Gamma radiation, if there is detection, then there is radiation present to sense – within the project’s range. The device is not intended to replace an orbital platform or the hardware which is routinely used in screening border crossings. In other words, it will be sensitive enough and doesn’t “have” to be any more than what it is.

“and it has to be something we could wear, not a haz mat suit obviously.

For a bastion of art and technology; an educational institution which brands itself as a “Center for the Recently Possible,” there are a heck of a lot of assumptions, conditions, limitations, and prejudicial thoughts promulgated by an anonymous individual who represents ITP, Tisch, and NYU. The entire first sentence of this “caveat” is ill-thought, juvenile and without merit.

“Or is this for specialists, not ordinary folk?

As stated in my thesis description, I intend to create a piece of wearable jewelry. With that as a given, unless the writer is disabled in a truly unusual manner, even they should be able to attach it to a garment or a body part.

Seems really hard — the science is hard, the tech is hard,

This is true. I purposely chose a project which was at the periphery of my ability. That is how I have worked since the 1970s. If it is easy, it isn’t worth doing.

and the experimental bias is baked in (i.e. the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.)

I am perplexed by the apparent objection referencing “experimental bias” in this project.

Again, the reviewer/critic/”adviser” has created yet another in a chain of assumptive propositions. Not unlike Oscar Wilde’s discussion regarding the nature of books, the device is an indicator of the presence of ionizing radiation. It does not presume to label radiation levels as “dangerous” or acceptable. Those valuations traditionally fall within the provenance of scientific bodies and governments.

Should an individual choose to subscribe to recently revised standards for radiation exposure by Japan, Professor Allison’s AHARS (As High As Relatively Safe), those proposed by the military, nuclear power industry, or the linear no-threshold model to ionizing radiation, that final qualification of dangerous is ultimately a personal decision.

The fact that industry – and the governments which it influences – creates and promotes its own standards is beyond this discussion. However this is part of a body of questions which I intend this object to create.

“….the assumption that there are dangerous levels of radiation, etc.)

This utterly specious comment is akin to saying that seventy years of internationally peer-reviewed data is somehow equal to that of an individual with a dissenting opinion.

I will take published peer-reviewed fact over opinion any time.

There are limits for exposure to radiation to bone, eye, organs, and skinx in most countries – even if these limits were raised after a nuclear event. If exposure to ionizing radiation wasn’t an issue, there wouldn’t be limits.

How exactly did the individual who voiced this “caveat” regarding my project enter the thesis review process anyway? The project’s stated purpose is to create a wearable radiation detector and to share that information with the greater community.

The bias which is “baked in” would be that of the reviewer’s response.

Public utility spokesperson Jennifer Manfre and Forbes contributor Tim Worstall) point out that there is already radiation in our bananas. Like the critic of my thesis project, they share the same line of reasoning which maintains that are safe levels for exposure to ionizing radiation. Marines After Atomic Test







There is another concept known as the “linear no-threshold model to ionizing radiation,” which is based on the physics of what happens when ionizing radiation interacts with living tissue. This is a schema which is at odds with a heavily subsidized industry.

As with the petrochemical and mega-agriculture businesses, the energy industry has effective lobbyists as well.

Congress told NRC to stop enforcing existing regulations or we’ll cut your budget 40%,” said David Lochbaum. June 4th, 1998. “That’s the day the NRC even stopped pretending to be an aggressive regulator.”

The video link below is of Thom Hartmann and David Lochbaum. Mr. Lochbaum is a Nuclear Engineer and the Director of the Nuclear Safety Project in the Union of Concerned Scientists (ucsusa) Global Security Program.

Center for Disease Control video series on scanning for radiation on people. Axiomatically if there wasn’t an issue with exposure to ionizing radiation, these videos wouldn’t exist.

You need to discuss more about the research you’ve done

The thesis section of my blog contains much of my research and includes the rationale for the project. While incomplete, the following table contains some research:

Gamma photodiode detector: Gamma/X-Ray detector with PIN PD X-ray Detector
Nuclear glossary Types of ionizing radiation X-Ray Detector 2
Alpha particles X-Rays Common Radionuclides
Geiger Counter History Marco Kaloften, PE Radiation Network
Crookes Luminous Sea Crookes Tubes Rutherford and Alpha Particles
Marines as Test Subjects Children of the Atomic Bomb What does radiation do to living things?

and your tech abilities and, other than working with Eric, how you will get tech help if needed.

I have been constructing objects possessing a distinct technological character since 1974. These have included interactive works of varying scale from the invention of electronic jewelry, wall-sized works, an interactive building, a flame which speaks the collected names of God, and the current series of monumental site specific installations and performances begun in 1996.

For years I worked alone, then eventually hired my first employee. We worked out of my NYC apartment until I had too many people to share one bathroom. My first studio space (apart from where I lived) was at 135 Fifth Avenue (20th St). When Mykro Dot and my studio was in full gear, I was selling to twenty-seven countries and represented by Alan Spiegelman who was headquartered at New York City’s Gift Center. By that time I had eleven full-time employees and was using a number of job-shops to help with assembly. My product line was represented in showrooms in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, and Dallas. During those years I did one and sometimes two trade shows every year (mostly the Fashion and Boutique shows in NY, San Francisco, and Houston). Robin Williams was my first collector of electronic jewelry. The countries I exported most to were Brazil, Iceland, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain. My designs made it into Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Mademoiselle, a number of catalogs, and a television commercial.

Beginning in 1993 I wrote and taught a series of courses at New York City’s School of Visual Arts within the MFA and BFA Computer Art programs. These courses included “History of Art and Technology of the Twentieth Century,” “Electrical Engineering for Artists,” “Digital Sculpture,” and “Advanced Computer Systems.”

Following my vision has created a career with a number of “firsts.” Psyche was the first interactive, computer-mediated sculptural volume (1994). It featured a helical electric arc which ran vertically through a three-foot long copper helix (which was constructed through electroforming over eight months in my studio). The sculpture was animated by one of the first Basic Stamps (buggy, btw) shipped by Parallax and programmed in Assembler.

I have exhibited work and had residencies in ten countries. My work is featured in Art of the Digital Age by Bruce Wands and most recently 3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers: Technology Crossing Art and Industry by Stephen Hoskins.

Before there was an internet, there was Thomas Register, trade shows, showrooms, manufacturing in the United States, and plenty of interesting technology for sale on Canal Street.

Within the polyglot which defines ITP, Professor Eric Rosenthal continues to be a source of information, support, and vision. I am fortunate to have access to physicists Francois Grey, Marco Kaltofen, Arnie Gundersen, and theoretical physicist and photographer, Manuel Rotenberg.

I should be able to figure the technical end of this project out.

(2) “Interesting idea. I actually am always curious how much daily radiation I am getting. It would be interesting if he could collect the readings and geo-tag the locations and allow people to add to a database of the radioactive areas around the globe. Kind of like with radiation detection.”

Listed below are a number of sites which currently map radiation. Subsequent models may be bluetooth enabled (or hard-wired), talk to an application, and plot in real-time (or after uploading). That aspect of engagement is beyond the simple scope of my project: create a simple wearable detector of ionizing radiation and to create additional discussion, interest, and investigation into an otherwise unseen world.

The EPA Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center Desert Research Institute BlackCat Systems
Earth Spiral Radiation Network Fukushima Prefecture Japan Radiation
Radioactive@Home Safecast Germany Not really a map



Directions of consciousness

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.   Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“Think bigger.” – Yasser Ansarivitruvian-man


Garth Lenz:
The true cost of oil

This is one of the most powerful presentations I have experienced in a long time.  It is also a living example of the cancer which defines the fossil fuel industry.

Foreign corporations (and nations) have been investing in petroleum in the United States and Canada for many years.  China invested 33 billion dollars in Canadian petrochemical interests from 2005 – 2012.  Canadian oil interests would like to see more investment.  China owns at least 40% of the tar sands production at Athabasca Oil Corporation (formerly Athabasca Oil Sands Corporation); a company which sold China all of its holdings of the McKay River tar sands development3.
McKay River In 2013 China purchased 100% of Canada’s tar sands operator Nexen for $15.1 billion1.
Canadian interests favor these purchases – otherwise they would not have been approved2.

Not to be left out of courting Chinese dollars, President Obama is selling the United States as a better place to invest4.   Considering how heavily invested China already is in fracking operations within the United States, the President’s position makes little sense6.

They came, they drilled, they left:
There is the question of just who will be left to clean up the mess left behind – if this is even possible.  Once China develops fracking within its own boundaries5, why would it pay for more expensive energy elsewhere?

The only way out is to develop a new source of power; something other than petroleum that will not poison our biosphere.



Need to bend and melt borosilicate glass for experimental apparatus. Turns out that I need to get my material to 1510 F for forming. Made the mistake of asking a question of my thesis adviser which I should have first researched on my own. Will try not to let that happen again.

It’s been fifty years since I last worked glass; still have the scars in my hands and fingers. This time I need to use more patience.

Adiabatic flame temperatures for some common fuel gases:

Fuel Gas Combustion with Oxygen
Combustion with Air
Acetylene 3480 2500
Butane 1970
Carbon Monoxide 2121
Ethane 1955
Hydrogen 3200 2210
MAPP 2927 2010
Methane 1950
Natural Gas 1960
Propane 2526 2392
Propane Butane Mix 1970

A Fisher burner using propane will work.

WEAR Kickstarter: Eric Rosenthal and Michelle Temple

Wear – A wearable personal assistive hearing device
by Eric Rosenthal, Michelle Temple

I”m excited to see their project at this phase of development as I have watched the design mature since arriving at ITP in September of 2013 and for the simple fact that Professor Rosenthal will be advising me on my thesis project. Eric is a remarkable individual and in many ways he is ITP’s secret weapon of knowledge!

Click the image to head over to Kickstarter for project information.

Assistive tech wearable
Professor Rosenthal and Michelle announce auditory assistive device

DIY 3D printer

I was researching parts to build a stepper controlled coil winder and came across an interesting listing on eBay:

StepStick Stepper motor driver A4988 A4983 3D Printer driver module Reprap Prus

StepStick Stepper motor driver A4988 A4983 3D Printer driver module Reprap Prus
A little more research and I came across the site for a DIY 3D printer.  Don’t know if it will work or how well it will work.  From the photograph, it certainly looks good.  But then again I have also seen photos of aliens on the internet and videos of politicians promising things would be different.


The video looks great. Especially the part about being able to print electrically conductive material. I’m a sucker: The dispersion of this technology represents change I can believe in.  Especially if it can be scaled up and use materials which have or have not yet been invented.

Advanced Media Services

Artist and Professor Eric Hagan (check out the Make Magazine article on Eric) brought our class to New York University’s Advance Media Services Department (AMS) for a tour of both existing machinery and resources which are available to ITP students – as well as the rest of New York University (NYU).

Some things haven’t changed that much in twenty years.  Parts produced using stereolithographic techniques are still crumbly, yet possess amazing resolution.  Powder deposition machining/sintering  has become incredibly refined, as has the Stratasys photo-polymer rapid prototyping technology.

In addition to the incredible detail and off-the-machine surface finish of parts, there has been the addition of colors and the ability for some machines to actually blend polymers used in fabrication to print parts possessing different Shore properties than discrete compounds.  This means that you can have parts as floppy as a rubber band to “rock” hard within the same 3D printed part.

The addition of optional conductive materials is the burgeoning technology.  When these are introduced, it will be possible to print multilayer and three-dimensional circuit artwork (non-boards), wiring harnesses, electrical connects, and resistor networks as part of the rapid prototyping operation.  Add a pick-and-place rotary head and entire finished functional electrically operated models will be able to be manufactured.

As the technology stands of this writing, flexible tubing may  be integrated into an articulating object, with both being printed during the same operation.

When I first spoke about the technologies of CAD and CAM more often than not I was rewarded with looks reserved for the parents of challenged children.  An exception to this was the reception by Bruce Wands, (then chair of the BFA Computer Art program, now chair MFA Computer Art Program) at New York City’s School of Visual Arts.  Bruce funded the first classes in CAD CAM for artists in New York City which we called Digital Sculpture   We had several seats of AutoCAD and were able to run .dxf drawings on a 2.5 D machine.  Our CNC machine was kept in a utility closet where hands-on classes were held.  Our end of the hallway, next to the fire escape, didn’t have heat.  Hah! Those were the days!

Peter Terezakis
ITP Master’s Candidate
Tisch School of the Arts

This is my Laser…

Well, it’s not mine.  Just the one that I am able to use while at ITP.  Nonetheless – it is AMAZING!

Here are some tips that I have learned from others and from experience.  I hope you find something useful in here.

Learn Illustrator!! You can work in any version of Illustrator – but you need to save your file as a 5.0 version for the system to print.  Draw so you can see things, but prior to printing set your vector lines to (stroke color) to 255, 0, 0  (ff0000), .01 point in thickness.

You can bring your files to the work station on a USB, email them over, etc.

Follow the ITP materials cutting guidelines for speed (rate of mirror travel), power (strength of laser), and frequency (firing time per second of laser). Do not get creative with these settings.

NEVER leave the laser when running!!! It can and has jammed resulting in fire.

I use my own eyewear as a rule (No telling what was crawling around the previous wearer’s eyebrows/eyelashes!).
(not my eyelid!)

It is always good to drill/cut a test hole before cutting your material.  Had I remembered to do that today, I wouldn’t have had to run the machine for three passes.

On a separate file just make  small circle or other shape in area which you have reserved for testing.  Running your test will let you know if you have the settings correct for your material (thank you, John Duane!).

After the laser returns to its home position, allow the system to exhaust the fumes for at least two minutes before opening the hood.

Use sticky tape to pick up your cut parts from their matrix. If they haven’t cut all the way through, you can re-run your cut without moving your material any more than you necessary.

Cut a stack of material for prototyping and have it at the ready.Dick Blick, Bond Street

I use the material at Dick Blick Art Supplies which is a couple of blocks away from 721 Broadway.  Paper is located downstairs back left side (South East corner) of the store. I use the material which as of October 2013 costs $3.99 a sheet.  Every once in a while, I buy a few sheets, store them flat, and am ready to go.

It can take me over an hour to go out of my way to the store, pull the material, stand in line, pay for it, wait for someone who isn’t busy to go to the register where I paid for material, wait for them to take the material downstairs, cut it, then walk upstairs again to hand over the  paper.  Yes, I keep the cut-offs/scrap to use as well.

Blick charges .50 per cut after the first cut.  For less than twenty-five dollars I save myself aggravation, stress, and time: variables which will only increase as the holidays and project deadlines approach.

The good thing about working this way is that once you dial in how you want your material to be cut, the settings should be the same for all your pro to-typing (no three time cutting!).
Stacked and ready to go!

Should/when you purchase acrylic for cutting, there is a difference in the material’s behavior between cast and extruded.  Cast acrylic cuts/machines  cleaner on both the CNC and the laser.

Brancusi, imagined; not burned.

iPhone: the streamlined "I"

Funny thing about that best laid plans expression. Norah and I were waiting to use the laser cutter when its motherboard burnt out while the team before us was working.
It might be said that we were derailed.


Our presentation was in two days. Five minutes into a mild panic, we decided to cut our design by hand. Sometimes experience is a harsh teacher. Other times working in a manner that you did not first envision can be a process of discovery. That’s what happened for us.
Had we used the laser cut to create our parts, the challenge would have then been to accurately solvent bond the model’s edges, creating as nearly perfect a machine-made object as we could imagine. A streamlined object of perfect symmetrical beauty reflecting a self-referential existence. Removing the mark of the hand became the assumed goal in reproducing a signature work of art.
Why do we so want to be machines, to re-imagine our creative efforts to be without flaws, defect, or other marks of nature and process? I understand Minimalism, the machine-aesthetic, etc. it isn’t that I do not like the “look;” it is that I find it lacking. I found myself wondering when we might we move past our collective nineteenth century romance with conformity and return to an aesthetic which is less about sterile symmetry and more about the world in which we live.
Our ego is streamlined
We cut our cardboard, assembled our model with niobium wire, bits of drinking straws, glass and silver beads, magnets, and a judicious use of white tape. Instead of the joints being sealed, they were open; hinting at the possible life of the object as a light fixture.
Because of its imperfections and what we learned in the process, we found that we liked this finished work very much.