Urban Tumors by Sebastian Morales

Urban Tumors is a hypothetical series of artworks emerging inside the decadent MTA infrastructure. The project was inspired by a couple of thoughts:

  • Decadence of current affairs
  • Vacuum as the seed for life.
  • Tumors as a self generated condition 
  • Maintenance as art 
  • Increased digital shadow

Download obj.

Vacuum as the seed for life

Yaxchilan Mexico








Tumors as self generated condition


Maintenance as art

Mierle Ukeles1

Mierle Ukeles1


Increased digital shadow




Decadence of MTA

Pictures 2 and 4 photo credit, Melissa Orozco

This a rendering of how the new wall might look once the tiles are maintained. 




https://www.cgtrader.com/free-3d-print-models/art/scans-replicas/face-and-neck-study Face and neck study free 3D print model-  ClayGuy

Face and neck study free 3D print model- ClayGuy

Using some quick pictures I took from the area, and using a metro card for sense of scale, I was then later able to model an approximation of the the actual tile missing.

I then removed the eyes section of the face and merged it with the brick model.


After considering milling I decided to 3D print instead. This way I could move a little faster. The CNC machine has been really busy lately. 

I was actually surprised on how well the scale turned out after my basic "scan".

The actual mold was a real failure so I ended up just using the 3D print instead. 

Matching color 

I never realized how difficult it could be to match a color without a sample. The only samples are form photos of the station that I had and although being underground the lighting is always artificially the same. My camera showed dramatic differences between shots. I ended painting a couple of wooden blocks and comparing them against the actual bricks. Thank you to Akmyrat for his good (color blinded!!!) eye and help matching colors.

Priming and painting 

Now you can go and do your own hypothetical Urban Tumor! If you actually wanted to install it you can go to Canal 6th station in NYC and find the perfect place for it. You can also modify it to replace bricks at home or to build an entire wall and divide a continent!

SMMM Kinect Alternative Skeletons by Sebastian Morales

Forward Kinematics

For the following exercise I wanted to experiment with idea of linking every joint of the body to another, in a linear fashion.   

Graphics by Ron Rockwell

The idea is perhaps inspired on concept of industrial robot arms where the position of the end effector is a combination of all the previous joints. The first joint having most effect on the final position and orientation.

Forward kinematics calculations consists of finding the end effector position and orientation by computing the joint parameters. We are most interested however in finding the joint parameters based on a desired end effector position and orientation. This is known as inverse kinematics (IK).


Another interesting video showing a similar concept of kinematics is the X125, in particular the series 2. 

Kinectron + p5js

The forward kinematics for this sketch are quite simple, based on Mimi's code, I simply did another function and passed all the joint values in my desired order (arms first, legs second, spine third and head last) to achieve the widest range of movement. 

To create the single line of joints I only had to simply push and pop the matrix once for the entire set of joints.

I realized that the order of joints is not as relevant in the program above, this because I am only translating position but not adding rotation depending on joint orientation. (Full code)

Hacking the Browser final proposal by Sebastian Morales

For my final project I have two ideas. I should probably stick to one but what the heck. 

Idea no. uno!

Have you ever thought about how the future affects the present? Hmmmmm. What??? What if events happening in the future could ripple their consequences into today... I am afraid that if I keep going deeper into this subject I might start making terrible youtube videos about how the government is traveling through time to stop free thinking, free energy, elect trump and hide extraterrestrial evidence from the rest of america. 

Anyways. How would I make this into a chrome extension? in a week... "a week", I guess time has a different meaning if you can move freely through it. Ahhhh! Back to chrome extensions.

Spoiler alert: [I am not really sending messages from the future.]

What if searches from the future could show their results today? What if one day you open a new tab and see this:

Weeks later, long after you have completely forgotten about that Sri Lankan politician, you open a new tab only to be redirected to a wikipedia page:

What do I need to achieve this?

  • First learn how to use the wikipedia API, find articles and extract the description out of them
  • Store this search terms/pages in a server or a database for the future redirection. 
  • A chrome extension with basic new tab redirect
  • Some js program in the extension to decide when to redirect you to a new hint from the future, or full search. 

Idea número dos

This would combine my class of Rest Of You with Crazy DanO as well as some pcomp madness.

The idea consists of utilizing galvanic skin response sensors to constantly monitor your internet experience. If the sensor detects a rise in arousal over a define threshold, it would send a signal to the chrome extension to record the value of arousal as well as a screen recording of the active tab.  

Constant Galvanic Skin Response Measurment 

If the reading goes past a threshold save screen capture to server. Also record reading value. 

  • The most complicated part for this project, based on my expertise, might be get the arduino constantly sending values to the chrome extension. 
  • I would also need access to the tabs and all websites
  • A way to save images into a server or data base. 


Just Not Sorry by Sebastian Morales

This is a quick analysis on the Just Not Sorry Gmail Plugin chrome extension. 

What does the extension do?

It matches words or sentences as you compose emails to a list of predefined insecure words. If the match exists, the words are undefined for the user to become aware of their language use.

questions for our Guest 

One of the developers for the extension will visit today in class, here a couple of questions I have for him:

  • What is the "_metadata" folder, I wouldn't let me load the extension. 
  • Google analytics? Trying to track how many users? What kind of info do you get from this. 
  • Storage? 
  • What is going on in the script loader? Why have it instead of naming them on the manifest?
  • update_url?? In the manifest

Example of JustNotSorry in action.

Getting 3D models from Google Earth by Sebastian Morales

Update: There have been some questions about apple maps vs google maps and which will return better results. I haven't yet tested apple maps but judging by the picture quality I am guessing that it will give better results (at least for the texture).

Google left vs Apple right

Google left vs Apple right

Original Post

Thinking about it, this method can be applied to a lot more than google earth models... In this particular case I just wanted to get the corner of a particular building in the city of New York. 

In the past I remember people using programs like 3D ripper that would try to capture the geometry directly from openGL, I actually tried it once but without any luck. The other problem with that approach is that you need a windows machine. 

In this method we will use a photogrammetry approach. 

Start by scouting your building.

Identify what you want to capture and what is irrelevant. The clear the idea here the better the chances of success. 

Start a Quicktime screen recording 

Try moving at a regular speed about the object of interest, I would say that you have about 1.5 minutes to capture all the geometry you want before you run into problems afterwards. Maybe you can push it up to 2 or 2.5 minutes. I really haven't pushed the method to it's limits.

Move around and make sure to get all the different angles you may need. 

A good tip here is to only capture the section of the window with no words, logs or icons, this will save you time later and increase your chances of success. 

This is also one of the reasons why I like using google earth better than google maps, you can turn all icons off. 

Here is the actual video recording I used if you want to get an idea.


Isolating Frames

The free version of Autodesk Remake (formerly Memento) will only allow you to upload up to 250 frames. Now, our screen recording is about 1.5 minutes long, at 60fps, it means we have about 5400 frames. Truth to be told, most of those frames are repeated since we were moving slowly compared to the screen recording. 

There are probably a couple of ways to do this but the one I am most familiar is using photoshop. First import the video frames as layers, limit to every 20 frames or so (5400/20=270), let it run and then export the layers as files. This last step might take some time but that is it.  


This is one of the easiest steps to follow, open Remake, select Create 3D from Photos. Select the images and Create Model. The defaults work fine.

You are almost done but this step actually takes a long time, hours. Go out on a date, have some nice dinner, and get back to work. 

Hopefully if everything went right, the moment you open remake you should be able to open your new 3D model. 

I hope it this was helpful! 

Old Memories I didn't know I had by Sebastian Morales

Going back into memories while revisiting old data which I didn't know I was sharing. 

You can download your own data  here

You can download your own data here

There is all kinds of data you can download, from you search history to your entire email, from your pictures to every single move you have done (location). Select the data you want to get and simply download it. This step might take several hours or even days (for me it took a little under 1 day to process).

Different types of data come in different formats, location for example comes as a JSON

Interestingly enough, the last entry for my location was back in 1398884229139, that is April 30, 2014 for those of you who don't keep track of time as ms after 1970. 

What happened then? Why did it stop logging/tracking? 

Let's take a look at the map.

It looks like I left home around noon and walked very slowly to what seems to be my girlfriends (at the time) dorm... Then radio silence.

I decided to check my email to see if there was some evidence of what could have happened.

Well there you have it. Got an iPhone and the tracking stopped logging. 

Before I jump into other things however, i wanted to share some days.


Like the day we traveled almost two hours just to get some good churros! Then somehow eneded up going twice to the same restaurant up in the north side. 

...or the day that I was trapped in the US (waiting for my OPT) but Christmas was still happening and all my Muslim and Hindu friends showed up, went to target, bought some frozen Pizzas, had a "family dinner" and ended up at one of the best Blues clubs in the city. 

Thinking about other interesting ideas that could be hidden inside of the massive amounts of data I decided to take a closer look at my email. In this case I was using immersion, a tool developed by the MIT Media labs to portrait your networks of emails.

Screenshot 2017-02-23 12.52.14.png

It looks at whom you are sending and receiving emails from. It actually looks at the From, To, Cc and Timestamp sections of every email. If a particular email was sent to multiple people, then connections start to form among those people, the more emails, the stronger the connections and the bigger their bubble. Take a look at the image above for my last year or so. If you feel like your bubble should be bigger, send me an email (or a hundred). 

For privacy reasons, the Immersion project won't look into the content of the emails, but DanO will. I decided to take a look at the email word count code he made available:

After logging in, it will start analyzing in batches, I am not exactly sure how this works exactly but here some results. Clicking next again will add another batch of words the already listed. The list keeps going for what feels forever but here are the first 50 words. 

Over 300 000 words are listed in what looks to be almost 2400 emails. Not sure about this but judging by the appearance of "www", more important "mailto" I am assuming this represent one appearance per email.

What does this all means?? No clue... but I am reading the secret life of pronouns... maybe something will be revealed. 



Screenshot 2017-02-25 22.25.04.png

I have been thinking about the 14 "the" I write in an email and really find it impossible to believe that my average email has those many "the"s. I am starting to believe that the "mailto" word only appears on replies and forwards, but not when you first send or receive an email. I believe this is true if the code only looks at the body of the email, then the body would only include this information if it had been recorded in the chain.

Midterm Ideas + Isadora HW2 by Sebastian Morales

Midterm Ideas!

For the midterm Roi Lev, Akmyrat Tuyliyev, Ari J Melenciano and me will be working together. For this first week we were tasked with coming up with 3 ideas for projects as well as locations to do them at. 

The ideas are quite challenging but very exciting, props to Akmyrat for coming up with two of them, and two Roi for thinking of the concept for the other. Left to right, for the first one we would install mirrors along the train platform, the mirrors would be pointing to cloud images in the ceiling. 

The second idea consists of projection mapping an elevator in the exact place where the elevator used to be before ITP became the entire 4th floor. Then we could project ITPers throught the history of the program. 

The third idea, by far the most challenging one, consists of remembrance for the catastrophe of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The concept still needs some working due to the importance of the event. If we are going to do it, it needs to be done properly. 


For HW2 we had to create a simple patch with at least two scenes and one effect. 


The piece has actually 3 scenes, the first two can be observed in the following video.

Study of Pathways Post-mortem by Sebastian Morales

It is that time of the project that rarely ever comes. Time to be critical of what worked, what didn't, and what surprised us. All in the hopes that next time will be much better. 

What pathways did you see?
The pathways observed can probably be divided into two main categories. There was a lot of back and forth motion, a lot of linear movement. This was particularly true of David as he moved around the room. Jade however, tended to move more about the same area, orbiting around in what could be consider circles or eights.  

Which ones did you predict and design for? Which were surprises?
Thinking back, we predicted a lot more of circular motion. But more important, we predicted a lot more collaboration among the users. We expected physical contact between them, at the end, they didn't even touched once. We predicted a lot more of pushing and pulling, perhaps some rolling on the ground and a lot of expanding and contracting, both in a personal but also in a collaborative way. 


What design choices did you make to influence the pathways people would take?
It is hard to say if there was a decision that influenced more than the rest but there were a couple that had a lot of weight.  Moving the kinect from the ceiling to the wall in front of the performers had an immediate effect on how they would move. It literally shifted gravity, the range of possible movements. In retrospect, perhaps not really a conscient design choice, showing the performers on the screen in front of them really affected the way they moved.  They seemed to be more interested on how the technology was capturing the movement than the movement itself.  

Thinking about design choices it is relevant to talk about the code, even if it did not turn out as expected. The idea was to make a polygon by joining different body joints of the two performers. By showing previous polygons, the performers could see the history of their movement. This is important because it makes them aware of how their motion is not limited to space but extends through time. The visuals are a consequence of the movement but in turn these inform future possible motion.

What choices were not made? left to chance?
We only designed the interactions involved with one or two people, so the third person's joints would not be shown on the display. And the joints selected to form lines were only left shoulder, left wrist, left hip, left foot, since we thought people might move these joints a lot. However, when the users started, they waved the hands and walked around to discover the space, with little focus on the shapes they formed.

What did people feel interacting with your piece? How big was the difference between what you intended and what actually happened?-Jade

We intended to project the screen to the wall which faces to the users, but due to the equipment locations, we could only project it on the floor. In this way, they firstly expected to see some visuals shown  on the floor, but it seemed hard to understand the connections between user behavior and the projection because the visuals projected were reversed. We didn't expect people to pay attention to the floor, but instead, we hoped they could watch the visual changes on the two computers. It might have affect how long people may understand the interactions.

After we suggested them see the computers, people could soon get the idea. But one of our programs with floating curves can only catch one user's joints and thus couldn't show an enclosed shape, while the other one showed a changing hexagon. We also intended that people held their hands together, and touched each other's foot, but people tended to stay away with each other. And the shapes they formed became much wider.

Provide BEFORE and AFTER diagrams of your piece:

Performers on the floor, connected by foot-hand action

Performers on the ground, connected by hand-hand foot-foot actions


Performers detached, walking and moving in very independent ways.

Alternative motions considered:





Important Acknowledgments:
Professor Mimi Yin  
Tiriree Kananuruk for the documentation
Lisa Jamhoury for the development of Kinectron
Class of Sense Me Move Me

Galvanic Response by Sebastian Morales

This is the second post on the series of Talking to the Elephant. in this case the first results of the Galvanic Skin Response sensor are shown. The axis are fairly arbitrary.

First test abandoned after user was asked an personal question. 

Pulling hairs out of leg, causing pain and spikes in the graph.

Discovered that heavy breathing, in particular exhaling, will cause peeks on the graph as well. 

Bookmarklet by Sebastian Morales

I found this amazing bookmarklet by Aram Bartholl  (FFFFFAT) that with the help of Ai Weiwei lets you say fuck off to any page with inappropriate content. 

Original photo

Drag Ai Weiwei – FUCK OFF to the bookmark bar to see it yourself!

The bookmarklet itself was inspired by another one before it, where you could see any page through Kanye vision (back in 2009).

Tools to reverse engineer bookmarklets:

Here the code:

javascript: (function() {
    kanye_sunglasses = "<a href='javascript:(function(){document.getElementById(\"glasses\").style.display=\"none\";return})();'><img src='http://datenform.de/ai-weiwei-finger.png' width='100%' heigth='100%'></a>";
    var div_popup;
    div_popup = document.createElement('div');
    div_popup.innerHTML = kanye_sunglasses;
    div_popup.id = "glasses";
    div_popup.setAttribute("style", "position:fixed;z-index:1000;top:-10px;right:0px;width:100%;height:100%;");

Here is mine bookmarklet AreTheyWatching?

Eye by http://oodigi.com/shop/eyeball-3d-model/

javascript: (function() {
    kanye_sunglasses = "<a href='javascript:(function(){document.getElementById(\"glasses\").style.display=\"none\";return})();'><img src='http://s3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com/itpnyu/HackingTheBrowser/HW2/eye1.png' width='150' height='150'></a>";

    var div_popup;
    div_popup = document.createElement('div');
    div_popup.innerHTML = kanye_sunglasses;
    div_popup.id = "glasses";
    var eyeR=0;

    document.addEventListener("mousemove", mouseM);
    div_popup.setAttribute("style", "position:fixed;z-index:1000;top:-75px;left:-75px;width:150px;height:150px;transform:rotate(0rad);");
    function mouseM(e) {
      eyeR= Math.atan((e.pageY)/(e.pageX));
      div_popup.setAttribute("style","position:fixed;z-index:1000;top:-75px;left:-75px;width:150px;height:150px; transform:rotate(" + eyeR + "rad);");

    div_popup.setAttribute("style", "position:fixed;z-index:1000;top:-75px;left:-75px;width:150px;height:150px;");

Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. by Sebastian Morales

For me, the reading started with a fruitless trip to the library, well it is difficult to really know if the trip was in fact fruitless. Lets say I didn't find the book as I was hoping for since the 3 copies were checked out... I did however, find something else. 

Back to the reading. Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees. Here embedded the older version of the book, easier to read than pixelated copies. 


One of my favorite quotes form the reading is about how artists "build energy by the interaction between things, that one and one don’t make two, but maybe five or eight or ten, depending on the number of interactions you can get going in a situation". When he makes this quote he is referring to how he is placing the dots on the canvas, but I really like how it resonates with a earlier quote in the reading, a warning to the reader:

"You have to make it very clear to anyone who might read your essay, especially any young artist who might happen to pick it up, that my whole process was really an intuitive activity in which all of the time I was only putting gone foot in front of the other, and that each step was not that resolved."

I think together these two thoughts express the importance of the process. And how ideas and questions tie together, not in an additive way but perhaps in a more unpredictable way. In a way impossible to foresee but non the less possible to follow. 

Finally, I want to mention a thought that I wound really interesting:

"The civilization that you and I live in makes most of its critical decisions based on logic. I feel that maybe a hundred and fifty years ago [art] began to drop out of that; it began to become less logical. Even though it proceeded logically, it found questions that could not be answered logically”


Making the Galvanic Skin Response by Sebastian Morales

This sensor is based on the one described on Make magazine by Sean Montgomery. The following pictures are taken from there. 

I was looking to spend about $0 in this circuit so wanted to use only components found on the ITP shop. The circuit diagram calls for a MCP6002 Op-Amp but I could only find the IM358 in stock. I also didn't find the resistors so I combined my own. 

I also added a k-pot to control the threshold of the sensor.  In the picture the LED is disconected form the circuit, insetead i connected a wire into the an arduino to later plot the values. 

Live from Kennedy Space Center by Sebastian Morales

It is this time of the history once again!!! 

Live from Kennedy Space Center, the launch of Space Shuttle Decipher is about to take place.

About the mission:

The Space Shuttle is equipped with two independent containers, each filled with close to 3.4 billion pamphlet manifestos. The manifestos are printed in single atom-thick sheets of Graphene capable of withstanding temperatures higher than the surface of our Sun, graphene is also the strongest material known today, ensuring its existence.  

Decipher is schedule to release the first container at +18:00 minutes after liftoff. Once the desired elevation is reach the first sonic detonation will take place sending the pamphlets in container 1 (C1) in a distributed cloud-sphere across the universe. Due to the physical properties of Graphene, the pamphlets are expected to last over 1.5 billion years, reaching as far as Luhman 16, the 3rd closest star to us, about 6.5 light years away.  

The second container (C2) will be stored in the ISS. Unlike C1, these manifestos have not yet been "printed" on the graphene sheets. As mayor developments here on Earth occur, batches of 10 million pamphlets will be printed and launched, keeping a physical printed floating record for the next 4 to 8 years. 

The goal of the mission is to keep records for future species (terrestrial or not) of who we where and what went wrong. This way they could Decipher what happened to humans and hopefully avoid the same fate. 

Skepticals in the mission argue that even if the records are to be found by intelligent forms of beings, they are still bound to repeat history.   

A copy of the manifesto can be found here.

Live from Kennedy Space Center:

Countdown to Launch


Missed the launch? No worries, click here. Missed it again?

F for Fake- Orson Wells by Sebastian Morales

The movie is an interesting commentary on the perspective of reality. As well as in the importance of such reality. 

It make particular emphasis in the importance of experts, especially in the realms of art. How this people who in a pretentious way are the guardians of the truth, and in this case, art world, can be easily tricked. Yet their authority is rarely challenged. Meaning that if one is able to get through them then there is no one to stop you. 

The movie documents the stories of two master forgers, the first one Elmyr de Hory. Who although talented, failed to create his own style and lived to copy masters and humiliate critics.

The second one, Clifford Irving, makes the world believe he is Howard Hughes through a series of fake telephone interviews and myths. 

Through out the movie, it is hard to tell what is truth and what it is not, Orson himself plays with this concept thought the movie going through absolute lies to what he calls truth. This strategies could however be used to set base lines and easily pass a possible lie as truth. 

There is a [63:15] story of Picasso(probably fake) (besides the main one with Kodar) that really spoke to me. The story where Picasso is being asked to identify if a paining is a real Picasso or not. He keeps denying all of them until the person asking tells him he saw him paint that particular painting. Picasso simply responds: "I can paint false Picassos, as well as anybody". 

It is hard to tell, but I have the impression that today we live in more honest days, I mean, I know as well as you do that it is all lies. But that is my point. We all know it is all lies. 

Inserting link: alternativefacts.com, I just wished it redirected to the white house website...

Setting up the server by Sebastian Morales

The feeling is a little silly...

Following the instructions: http://itp.nyu.edu/~sve204/networkedmedia_spring2017/week1.html we created our own server that runs forever.

The reading for this week is actually quite comical and very revealing. It starts narrating the future as possibly seen 50 years ago, before the digital era was in sight. It describes how humans in the future will have a small (walnut size) cameras (think spectacles or google glass) with perfect lenses and amazing film capable of recording rich images just by pressing a button with cables running up the wearers sleeves. Then the author describes tiny books with incredible amounts of information, in tiny font. There is also an impossibly complex automata which can help you find the information you are looking for.

The article basically goes about describing our digitally infused modern live through the spectacles of a steampunk dreamer. 

Absurd in every way, except to prove that even today, we keep transforming our digital world to consume it physically through matter. Whether is by converting bits to sound waves that a hear can then transform back to electrical impulses inside the brain. Or electrical impulses that transform into light in our screens to be transformed back into electrical impulses in the back of our eyeballs. The reverse is also true, electrical impulses travel and make our fingers type on a keyboard that translate mechanical energy into more electrical impulses.

Unfortunately it looks like my server is not very secure and it won't accept https requests (only http).

Art Strategies by Sebastian Morales

Breaking the urban environment 

Brings Chernobyl 27 years after into mind.

Nature begins to swallow human evidence.

3D printing as nature. Not to fix 




Alternative: Pollution in our digital environments.


[puh-loo-shuh n]


The introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment.


What about our digital environments?