Gabriella Levine

ongoing and past work

at the Climbing gym

#3 Cam
Things in the gym that have bearings, bushings, sliding things, springs etc…

and some more:
climbing Treadmilllevel

Many things I use for rock climbing are made up of bearings, gears, springs, cams, and other moving parts…


I built the beginning of a BEAM robot: it moves in the light. Using a blinking LED as a diode that allows it to pulse rhythmically. I’m using a small capacitor (2200 uF), but using a clamp light, the solar panel charges to about 4.5 V.

here is my circuit:

I’d like to use an oscilloscope to see more of what’s going on.

I used this circuit from this site

Here are some helpful links for the BEAM photopopper I hope to build:
Solarbotics tutorials
Beam circuits
Fred Photopopper
another Fred Photopopper tutorial

I’d like it to look something like this, and be a smart BEAM (that moves towards the light)
fred photopopper

Maybe my BEAM can even have this FM receiver circuit, for, say, a microphone, so it will respond to sound?


This is it
an ongoing interactive screen project.

RWEL poems turned sound

(see project site here)

The quality of digital representation is somewhat arbitrary, and always bits.

With three short texts: Yeats’ The Second Coming and Squirrel at Kyle-No-No, and the quote at the beginning of Nabokov’s Pale Fire, I made a new form of poetry: that in the form of sound. I generated binary data using Python, then attempted to use Python’s sound libraries in order to write my own sound files. However, instead, I ended up reading the text files representing the original ASCII in binary, I generated sound files in Processing. I experimented by using different sample rates to read in the data and play the sound, in order to start understanding how sample rate from digital data leads to affects the audio outputs. I used both a sin wave and a Audio Out pulse to show two different sound outputs possible. I also used the data to represent color gradients…

Listen to the text:
sample rate: 1, 256, 1024
2 sin waves

Look at the text:
Sample rate at 1024, 512, 256, and 1:

Here is my code in Python:

Here is a snippet example

Using sine waves and black / white, rgb

This reminds me of the ludicrous account he gave Mr. Langston, of the despicable state of a young gentleman of good family. “Sir, when I heard of him last, he was running about town shooting cats.” And then in a sort of kindly reverie, he bethought himself of his own favorite cat, and said, “But Hodge shan’t be shot: no, no, Hodge shall not be shot.

samplerate 1024
256 sample rate

some of what I was working with to write a sound file:

NOC from here on out

I probably will make these points move:
as well as continue what I did for the midterm with libraries and force fields

NOC midterm

Here’s a link to the screen recording

I went through many iterations of this project. This is what I ended up with. I would like to input bloodline datasets as well as using libraries to make biological animations of bodily functions.

see the applet

Here are some images of what I was working on:

kinetic energy HAND POWERED AM receiver

(see project site here)

design by Gabriella Levine, Emily Webster, Genevieve Hoffman

The concept for our Kinetic Energy project evolved from an interest in generating sound by hand. What we ended up creating was an AM frequency receiver that picks up all the frequencies in its bandwidth. It currently doesn’t have tuning capabilities but instead it is sensitive to all frequencies in its immediate vicinity.

In order to make the receiver we worked from the following circuit to create the portable “radio.” Rather than of using a walkman PCB, though, we chose to substitute the LM380N to amplify the signal.

The most complicated part of the process was generating enough energy to power our circuit by hand. We used a geared stepper motor from a printer as our supply voltage. The stepper motor created a decent amount of AC power but we put the stepper in series to increase the supply and then ran it through a bridge rectifier to convert it to DC power. We used a 2200uf 50V capacitor, large resistors and signal diodes which helped store, smooth and regulate our output voltage.

Our gear box was helpful to increase the revolutions on the stepper but we attempted to attach a pull start to make the revolutions more continuous. The mechanics of attaching the pull start to the gear box proved to be difficult since there aren’t any exposed gears that we could easily attach. We tried to create our own gears but the gears weren’t precise enough to line up with the teeth on the gear box.

We then attached a hand crank which made it easier to turn the crank by hand but wasn’t as continuous a motion as the pull start. We still had trouble making a secure connection between the hand crank and the gear we attached to we, though. This made it difficult to generate as much power as we had hoped for despite trying a variety of capacitors in an attempt to store energy before delivering it to the speaker.

Our ultimate goal is to transmit our own signal and tune the receiver. We’d like to do this on both an AM frequency and also explore the possibilities of transmitting a signal to a TV. Pirate radio/TV!

a weird robot – Blatella Mechanica

A design of two minds- Gabriella Levine and Alexander Kozovski– a mechanized creature of linkages.



NOC new direction

using my carpool data (which I finally cleaned up using Python and now have nice OOP Processing sketch to work with, I’d like to get my small objects to move and interact with each other…

Mechanisms midterm?

This light fixture I made, to represent a pixel, mixed light using a strip of red, green and blue light.

The result was fascinating, and using moving light in visualized 3D space, I would like to explore how light additively mixes.

HW RWET: until I figure out to do what I was trying to do…

(extracting all the words that are used in a newspaper article and in a few emails that are only in the OED as of this year, to sort of see who uses “new” words and where they are most prevalent)

I took a story that I really love, from my friend, and got rid of all the vowels. It is just as readable, and I can read it faster now. I might do this before doing any readings for class from now on:

The code was super simple:
#code to take out the vowels:
import sys

for letter in sys.stdin:
letter = letter.replace(“a”, “”)
letter = letter.replace(“e”, “”)
letter = letter.replace(“i”, “”)
letter = letter.replace(“i”, “”)
letter = letter.replace(“u”, “”)

print letter

And some of the story is here:

My gn pg s Amrcn. It mght b fnny to thnk bot t tht wy bt h lvs n cg n Amrc, whch s n my hos, whch s lso n Amrc. In ordr from smllst to lrgst, my gn pg’s world looks lk ths: cg, bdroom, hos, strt, town, stt, Amrc, North Amrc, world, Mlky Wy, nvrs. So h s ctzn of Msschstts nd ctzn of th nvrs, bt bng n Amrcn s th mddl pont of hs prsonl dntty.

Whn popl mt my gn pg thy rfr to hm s Mr. Fostr ntl thy gt to know hm. At crtn pont, whch I dtrmn, thy cn cll hm Pl. If h poops n yor hnd t conts s knowng hm. If h ps n yor hnd (nd yo forgot to pt th towl down), tht conts s knowng hm, too. Yo cold forgt th towl vn thogh th stck s rght thr by th cg, nd popl sy ll th tm, Hllry, pt th towl down, jst sprd t ot, t’s sy. Th p fls wrm t frst bt thn cold nd stcky, nd t cn vn mk yo cry. Not fll-on cry, bt yor ys mght brn. If yo go to th ktchn to gt strng chs nd my gn pg hrs yo nd strts sqkng lk fr lrm for lprchns, nd thn nstd of strng chs yo opn th crspr nd gt hndfl of kl, nd tk th kl to Mr. Fostr, wll I’d consdr tht knowng hm too nd yo cold cll hm Pl.

I’m stndng n front of my whol forth grd clss, nd I’m tllng vryon ll bot ths stff. It’s my trn to do prsntton on On Kd’s Lf Lvn’ In Amrc nd How Tht Kd Gts By. I don’t know f tht’s th tr nm of th ssgnmnt, bt t’s nr nogh to t.

replacing New Words in the media

I am writing a script that allows you to read in a text and if it contains a word that was only put into the English Language (ie, entered into the Oxford English Dictionary as of 2010), I print out that. This is the latest update for the OED, and contains a list of new words. I created a text file from all the new words of 2010.

In order to start to mess around with Python and see if I could pick out a certain word from a list, I just tried to replace every letter in a text file with a number : a–>z corresponded to 1–>26.

I am still working on this code (shouldn’t be too complicated…). I am also still working on conceptually, what to do… or why this might be interesting. More to come…

Here is the code: (I will shortly upload the plugin to allow me to write in legible code)

num = len(alphabet)
#print num
alphadict = {}
while i

What I have been working on mostly for the past week is to take a file of carpool data consisting of two zip codes, in for format |origin, destination|
and getting this: (FINALLY I cleaned up the data and got lat/longitude points
[origin_latitude origin_longitude destination_latitude destination_longitude]

See the code:

some more NOC work to work on

here’s something I’m working on, but many steps to go – I shall also use real origin and destination data
And I have to fix the spring like motion, give the creatures tails, make the Particle Systems interact, give an outside attractor etc…

NOC HW Applet Links

tried to make one object do what I wanted, then many objects do what I want, then put them together: much more work to do… (i want a bunch of sperms attracted to one egg)

one sperm

many things moving wth tails that are unattached from their bodies and don’t look like tails

Here’s one thing moving:

and here’re many things moving:

3 cultural themes the SNAKE has adopted

( progress)
predator? idol? people look with mix of fear, shame, reverence
The seducer:

Michaelangelo’s, Sistine Chapel, 1509

The biblical story of Eden depicts the snake as a deceitful seducer, who tempts Eve to disobey God’s command of refraining from eating fruit from of the tree of knowledge.

God punished the snake by removing his arms and forcing him to slither on its belly. This biblical myth represents the metamorphosis of the serpent from a handsome, wise seducer, to a voiceless, limbless pathetic creature.

It turns out that Eve then lures Adam in, rendering her as a seductress as well.

This image: shows the whole story; androgynous; human like; is he limited or empowerd?

The biblical serpent in the story of Eden also is rational and manipulative, therefore he could represent wisdom, as he is able to get his way with Eve (if we interpret his banishing Adam and Eve as intentional and calculated).

The Eden myth does not specify the serpent’s specific intentions – was he acting out of pure malice? Or was he jealous of the humans and trying to evict them from Eden?

There are other stories in Genesis with slightly different depictions of snakes (as evil plagues, for example), and different versions of Genesis depict the serpent slightly differently (for example, in the Brazen Serpent myth, it is a beast / plague that bites the Israelites because of their lack of faith, and they must worship and revere this creature in order to heal).

Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live” (Numbers 21:8).

The serpent is therefore a representation of power and control, and in this myth, the people are helpless to the will of the snake.

visual discourse:
High Renaissance, Medieval theology, 16th century painting, Catholic traditions, biblical refereces, (in a sense, this painting has become kitschy and mass-produced – I’ve seen it as a poster in a college dorm room, for example…)

Fiercely Sexy

This white albino Burmese Python is fear-inducing and awe-inspiring. Yet wrapped intimately around icon Britney Spears’ neck it signifies power, seduction, and allure. This python is at once the seducer (or the object of Britney’s desire) and a representation of Britney’s inner power. She sings,

I know I may come off quiet, I may come off shy.
But I feel like talking, feel like dancing when I see this guy.

chorus: I’m a slave for you. I cannot hold it; I cannot control it.
I’m a slave for you. I won’t deny it; I’m not trying to hide it.

This phallic, muscular python represents her inner desire (the id), that she cannot “hold” or “control”. The performance represents a fight between Britney and the python, but she is also taunting the snake (she does not want to hold or control it, and she fondles its muscular body throughout the performance).

The powerful snake transforms her into nothing but a helpless slave, making this performance somewhat ironic: She is wearing this extremely strong creature, presumably boosting her own inner strength; However, she asserts that she is nothing but a slave. Is she a slave to the python? or to the subject of the song? Or is the python the subject of the song? Who is really seducing whom?

The albino Burmese python is a rare breed of snake, although the typical Burmese python is overly-prolific, and becoming an invasive species. This is because of its adaptability to multiple environments (scientists even fear that these pets-turned-pests – as people set them free – which are becoming so ubiquitous along the southeast coast of America, will make their way to New York City!) This invasive quality of this particular creature also leads to an ironic aspect, in that this species is ubiquitous and annoyingly pervasive.

The fact that the python is albino makes him a rarity, and more alluring and hard to reach. The lightness of an albino might also imply innocence its innocence? (although that might be contrived):

Visual Discourse:
pop culture, low-culture, entertainment; people rush towards her – idolize her (like Michaelangelo’s painting above)

Other female icons wearing pythons or boa constrictors:


why did the snake become such an anti hero in comic literature?

The snake is known (from my experience in America) to be foreign and exotic, as well as creepy, slimy and gross. Possibly this is because it is is both similar and dissimilar – physically – to our own human form. They are vertebrates with bilaterally symmetrical bodies, two eyes, a nose, a mouth; However, they have no arms, segmented bodies, shiny, wet-looking skin, forked tongues, bug-eyes. They just seem creepy-looking. They slither on their belly in either a wave like “S” motion or a compression / expansion type of peristalsis motion. They eat creatures that are as big as themselves, and don’t even chew. Some snakes even kill their prey by suffocation (scary). Therefore, because they are not so foreign from the human form, humans might equate themselves just enough to be repulsed by the dissimilarities that make them helpless-seeming.

Additionally, snakes are one of the few poisonous reptiles in America, rendering them into a creature that historically has taken on evil characteristics, such as being the bearer of plagues, invaders, and malicious. Therefore, Venom makes sense as Spiderman’s enemy. Spiderman represents benevolence and anti-violence. Venom, on the contrary, represents malevolence, violence, destruction, and the anti-hero.

The most creepy physical attributes are depicted in Venom’s illustrations: a long forked tongue, venom and saliva spewing out of his mouth, bug eyes, bulging veins, giant jaws, drops of slime..

visual discourse:
venomous, disease-ridden, creepy, scary, repelling; high saturation, illustrations, comic art, geared towards kids: loud, bright, full of motion, violent

More snake visual references: snakes and ladders, ungrateful: the snake parable, blue cross / staff…

nature of code, HW – sperm meets egg?

Sustainable Energy – kinetics

Using this circuit I’m trying to light up an LED by spinning the wheel on my car – HOWEVER, it’s not working. I think I might be doing something wrong with the four diodes I’m using to try to make a full – wave rectifier. I shall later use a multimeter to see where I’m going wrong (as well as calculate the amperage and voltage I’m generating from spinning the wheel)…as well as try it with a single diode as a half-wave rectifier.

more python work

Just fooling around, and trying to learn Python: Super trivial stuff, I’m mostly putting it here as a reference to myself, but hopefully I’ll have something more complex, soon


Two super awesome machines

The assignment: Pick one impressive machine/mechanism you consider art, and one you consider practical/functional. They don’t have to be electromechanical, but they have to move. Post pictures/videos on your blog and your response to the pieces.

Alan Rath, autonomously mobile robots: Rover, I Want, I like to watch

I don’t know too much about Alan Rath’s work, but I do find it impressive. The kinetics of the robotic creatures are wonderfully inventive, and the machines move smoothly, sensibly and organically. There is an eerie unification of machine and organism, and I read it as a commentary or investigation on the relationship of humans and machines / computers.

practical / functional
My favorite mechanism / power tool:

the Stihl 261 chainsaw

The mechanics of it: A chainsaw (or chain saw) is a portable mechanical saw, powered by electricity, compressed air, hydraulic power, using a two-stroke engine. This means that in two strokes of the piston, it goes through the cycle of intake, crankcase compression, transfer/exhaust, compression, power (this is called the Ottos cycle).

Here are some images showing how a two-stroke engine works:

My pics :


Natalie and I built a simple machine out of legos using the technic set. Then we added a remote control. Simply, it is a remote control car. legoCar

Rube Goldberg machine

I worked with Christine, Ivana, and Hana on the following first assignment, which was captured on the video above:

Build a machine that cracks an egg
Your machine should be loaded with an egg. It should be reasonably quick to reload your machine with a new egg between runs (no disassembly of the machine). Acceptable triggers to start the machine include (for example) a button press, pulling/pushing a lever, or yanking a string. Your machine should consist of at least 5 energy transfers (steps). After the initial start no human intervention is allowed. You may use any materials you can find/make/buy. Each step should be unique and contribute to the goal. Basically this means you can’t, for example, have some rolling ball hit 5 pins on its way down a ramp and have those actions count as steps (lame). The majority of the egg and NO MORE than 1/2 of the shell can end up in the final receptacle to get full credit.
You will get 2 attempts. Your machine can take no longer than 5 minutes to complete the task from the time you initiate movement.

Mechanisms and Things that move

I can’t believe I got in??

Sustainable Energy

First Assignment HW

I made a simple program that reads in zip code data that pertains to carpool requests throughout the US and outputs the city and state name. The data I input (which I have from a wiki of a friend, and it contains about 40000 pairs of zips) is formatted as so: | zip, zip|

19446,19477| 19446,19477| 21224,20019| 90840,92660| 02114,02132| 17047,17128| 94612,94903| 94612,94903| 94612,94903| 62034,62035| 62034,62035| 94110,94403| 94110,94403| 07306,07059|

The first zip code is the origin point, the second is the destination. Lastly, I print out the location that occurred the most number of times, and how many times that location occurred.

Questions I have: How can I embed it online?
Next: Clean up the output. Get the lats / longs from the zips, and export it to a map of sorts.

Check out the is the python code on the next page: