error:data underflow


error:data underflow explores the problem of representing the analog in digital and the inherent loss of resolution in doing so. Both bandwidth and quantification of humans examine how a loss of resolution can render life ridiculous. In both installations the resolution of a signal is reduced to the point where it becomes meaningless: an underflow error, when a number becomes so small a computer cannot represent it.


opaque plays with our trust in the encoding of digital information. We invest considerable trust in objects like magnetic strips on credit cards and bar codes on products. Is that trust so well founded? As in our general experience, opaque is trustworthy most of the time and faithfully encodes a visitors name as a bar coded nametag. However, a significant number of barcodes are not trust worthy. The interactions between visitors with ‘good’ nametags and those with ‘flawed’ nametags are often amusing.

opaque consists of barcode generating software, a grocery store barcode scanner and an electronic pixel sign. The software encodes people's names to barcodes - sometimes with error. Using the generated barcode, a name label is printed. Users can then scan the printed nametag to display on the pixel board.


photo: S. Sinclair

quantification of humans

photo: S. Sinclair

Quantification of Humans (qoh) is a measuring device. qoh measures the quantity of humans in a set area. Like all digital devices, qoh loses fidelity as it converts an analog signal to a digital one. The resolution of qoh is one bit: it converts a person into a single digital bit. All of an individual's aspects, all of their myriad characteristics are converted into a single change of state: high or low, zero volts or five volts.

qoh consist of two major components: a four-by-four grid of weight sensitive floor mats and a primitive terminal consisting of four-by-four dots. There is a one-to-one correspondence between a mat and a displayed pixel: a weight on a given mat causes the appropriate pixel to activate; without weight the pixel is black.



Bandwidth is a an interactive installation that attempts to explore the issues of information poverty. Information is becoming increasingly important and concrete in our society and culture. Those that cannot access and manipulate information technology are forming a new lower class. There are many causes for not being able to access information: monetary poverty, educational poverty, sensory and physical poverty... Bandwidth addresses a type of sensory poverty, that is, blindness. The disabled are one group that are prime (but not automatic) candidates to join the ranks of the information poor.

The braille pad (pictured) has six metal pins that can form braille letters that a user can experience with the palm of his/her hand. A computer can send any type of information to the pad through a parallel cable. Although no information is destroyed, the information transmitted to the pad is rendered useless: the bandwidth is so narrow that reading text with the pad is impossible. It is this ironic aspect of the pad (useless but complete information) that I feel makes one ask questions about accessibility to information in our increasingly information centric culture.