BIG BANG on 10/10/10


Composed & directed by Patrick Grant
Text by Patrick Grant and Charles Liu with Brian Schwartz

Performed by Patrick Grant Group: Patrick Grant, Kathleen Supove, Marija Ilic, & John Ferrari
Charles Liu, narrator

Technical assistance: Erick Gonzales & Jocelyn Gonzales
Performed May 21, 2006 on the One-Two-Three-GO! New Music Concert Series, NYC
Video editing and post-production 2010

BIG BANG was commissioned by the CUNY Graduate Center Science & the Arts performance series in NYC, an initiative of the Science Outreach Series, presenting programs in theatre, art, music, and dance that bridge the worlds of art and science. Supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the Lounsbery Foundation. For further information on Science & the Arts at:

Complete project info at:

© 2006 Patrick Grant/sTRANGEmUSIC



1. Prologue

2. Running the Film in Reverse

3. The Quantum Gravity Era

4. The Big Bang

5. The Universe Takes Shape

6. Formation of Basic Elements

7. The Radiation Era

8. Beginning the Era of Matter Domination

9. Birth of Stars and Galaxies

10. Earliest Life

11. Homo Sapiens Evolve

12. The Stellar Era Ends

13. Epilogue

Patrick Grant

The Art of Toyz

Last week, after too many coffees and a slushy walk through the wintry East Village, I stopped by NYU to warm up in the digital glow of the ITP Winter Show. Up on the 4th floor of Tisch School of the Arts, the scene was crowded and upbeat, as the department showed off its latest explorations into technology, media and art.

I tend to think of ITP’s huge loft space as a high-tech romper room, with its computer labs, circuit workshops, and reactive sculptures lining the halls. This “engineering for artists” program was founded in 1979, and since then has become a tight community of technologists, programmers, designers, and theorists experimenting with mechanical and digital technology. Using up-to-the-minute developments in software and hardware to inspire wonder and share information, the department describes itself as a “Center for the Recently Possible.”

Below is a video of some of the projects in the winter exhibit and conversations with a few of the many artists who showed their work (yes, it was very loud in there, almost like a New Year’s Eve Party!):

The projects in the show come out of ITP courses such as Introduction to Physical Computing, Virtual Worlds Workshop, Live Web, Live Image Processing and Performance, New Interfaces for Musical Expression, and several others. These include web-based experiments, gameplay, robotics, interactive objects and mobile applications.

Please check out some project pages by students in the Interactive Telecommunication Program, as they do a much better job of describing their work than what I was able to pick up on the fly. You can find all of the projects listed on the main ITP exhibit page as well:

Human Wind Chime
Historical Radio
Interactive Triangle Matrix
Beat Feet
Dynamic Ground
Borealis MIDI Controller
The Bed
fridgebuzz MK1


Wii Will, Wii Will Rock You

I can still remember my grade school self hunched low in the glow of the TV screen, muscles braced & straining, thumbs aching as I defended the world from space invaders and incoming asteroid attacks. Atari’s joystick controller was my small body’s extension into the video-game universe, while the rest of me remained slouched in the living room cushions. Although I graduated to a Sega Genesis, my brother’s first Nintendo, brief dalliances with Myst, and a few frustrating marathon sessions with Sony Playstations, I can’t say I ever did become a hardcore gamer. But I certainly knew the pain of controller induced carpal tunnel syndrome.

I took note of cool developments in gaming technology and culture as years went by. I admired the perseverance and ingenuity of both designers and players, but weren’t we all still stuck at a desk or in an easy chair, tethered to the console by a wire and a controller?

When the Wii game system with its wireless Wiimote was introduced, gamers finally got off the couch to physically interact with their favorite games. You didn’t just press a button to swing a digital golf club, you had assume the STANDING position, put the device in hand and ACTUALLY SWING YOUR ARM. The Wii remote uses an accelerometer that detects and measures speed of motion and infrared sensors to gauge the device’s position in space when you point it at the sensor bar on the console. Wii’s peripheral controllers allow players to use more than their thumbs to manipulate objects, shoot lasers, play sports, dance, do yoga or conduct an orchestra.

Although the Wii remote’s been hacked to perform non-gaming tasks, like controlling a robot lawn mower, I’ve been noticing how programmers and artists exploit the Wii’s motion control capabilities in their work. The Wii remote devices seem to be especially popular with those who use Ableton Live, Max/MSP/Jitter, Serato Live or similar programs for live audio and visual mixing.
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