Michael Ang

A breadcrumb trail of project notes

Recent Entries


Ich bin ein Berliner

General - No Comments » - Posted on October, 2 at 3:12 am

Currently living in Berlin. Check my project page for recent work!


Speaking at Make:SF June 8

Electronics - No Comments » - Posted on June, 7 at 7:04 pm

I’m a special guest at Make:SF at reMake Lounge this Tuesday. I’ll be talking about a few of my past and current projects. You can see some more details on the Make:SF Meetup page.

Make:SF June 8th @ reMake Lounge
Jun 8 – Tue 6:30 PM
reMake lounge
50 Post St Suite 9
Crocker Galleria (near Sutter St)
San Francisco , CA 94104

Who’s coming?
12 New Technologists

Who’s hosting?
Inna Leavitt, Make:SF Founder, and Malcolm Knapp

Hello Makers,

Maker Faire is over (boo!) but Make:SF continues (yay!). We want to see all the stuff you did not bring to Maker Faire and of course anything new you all have made. Also if you are in the middle of a project bring it in and get feedback on it. We have a whole bunch of people who can help troubleshoot any issue you have.

After project demos we will have Michael Ang speak about his techno-art projects. You can check out his wiki to see some of the cool stuff he has done.

Finally we have this months mini-project where we will be making TV-B-Gones. This device can make any TV switch off which I am sure you can find uses for. The kits will be $30 dollars for non-members and $10 dollars for members.

This fun-for-all-ages event starts at 6:30pm. Children under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult.

New to Make:SF. Here is what you can do:
- New to making? Come and explore with a fun mini-project.
- Have an idea? Come and we will help you get started making it.
- Making something? Come and demo it. Get feedback and network with the Makers.
- Come to see the speakers we bring in talk about their projects, tools you can use, etc.


Over 1,000,000 Digital Books Available Free to the Print-Disabled

General - No Comments » - Posted on May, 6 at 4:00 pm

The Internet Archive is now providing more than 1,000,000 digital books for free to the print-disabled:

More than doubling the number of books available to print disabled people of all ages, today the Internet Archive launched a new service that brings free access to more than 1 million books – from classic 19th Century fiction and current novels to technical guides and research materials – now available in the specially designed format to support those who are blind, dyslexic or otherwise visually impaired.

Read the full press release on archive.org

There are some more details over on the Open Library blog post about 1 million digital books for the print-disabled. I got a shout-out on that page (thanks, George!) and it’s a privilege to be a very small part of the team making it happen.

To add to a blockbuster day, the newly redesigned Open Library launched today as well. The new design is really fantastic and fun to use.

For example, here’s a subject page about Gliding and Soaring:
Open Library subject page for Gliding and Soaring

Congratulations to the Internet Archive team and collaborators for these bigs steps towards universal access to all knowledge!


Internet Archive Salon at GAFFTA – Mar 3, 2010

General - No Comments » - Posted on February, 26 at 3:56 pm

I will be presenting at the Internet Archive Salon at Gray Area Foundation For The Arts in San Francisco. The salon is part of an outreach effort at the Internet Archive to have its materials more widely used. I’ll be showing how to access books stored at the Archive and embed and reuse/customize our open source online BookReader. There’s an embedded example of the BookReader below.

The Internet Archive is building an Internet library offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. The Internet Archive includes texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages. Much of this store of human knowledge is available for creative reuse. The Internet Archive Salon hosted by Gray Area Foundation For The Arts will discuss the resources available at the Internet Archive, how artists and creative people can access and contribute to the Archive, and our Open Library and BookServer projects.

The Internet Archive contains more than 100,000 hours of television, 200,000 moving images, 400,000 audio recordings, 1,800,000 books and 150,000,000,000 web pages (through the Wayback Machine). In addition to providing access to these materials the Archive can be a resource for storage and bandwidth for appropriate publicly-accessible projects (for example the Electric Sheep distributed computing artwork and Creative Commons licensed feature film Sita Sings The Blues). The Open Library aims to have comprehensive information about every book ever published. It is wiki-editable and provides a data API that can be used to retrieve information about books and authors. The BookServer initiative aims to create an open ecosystem for vending and lending digital books.

We hope that you will join us in our mission of Universal Access To All Knowledge. Perhaps your project can help others access the resources of the Internet Archive and even help build it.

When – Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Where – Gray Area Foundation for the Arts @ 55 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Map)
Please RSVP to salon@archive.org

Internet Archive presenters to include George Oates of Open Library, Peter Brantley, Raj Kumar and Michael Ang of BookServer and Ralf Muehlen and Sam Stoller of Petabox.

Petabox Storage Cluster

Electric Sheep by user brood

Example of an book scanned by the Archive shown in BookReader:


Megashear Open Studios

General - No Comments » - Posted on October, 24 at 10:08 am

Megashear Open Studios

I’m showing a collection of gigapan prints at the Cataclysmic Megashear Ranch open studios. Here are the show details from the Megashear blog:

Wide Open At The Ranch: Who’s Showing

For Open Studios 2009 (Oct 24, 25), we’ll be filling our walls, shelves, nooks, and crannies (and we do have the best crannies) with our art and that of our friends. Here’s who’s showing:

raNcH caTs-n-RatS

and guest artists

with intermittent live and electronic music by
The Old Joe Black Eyed Amy Pea Clarks, Craig Dorety, Rocky Mullin

Cataclysmic Megashear Ranch (Studios) Open Studio Poster


BookServer launched!

General - No Comments » - Posted on October, 21 at 8:49 pm

On Monday the Internet Archive launched the BookServer initiative for distributed lending and vending of ebooks over the Internet.

I’m proud to be part of the Archive team on the project! Here’s Brewster Kahle and a few of the people (Mike, Sam, Raj) behind the BookServer:
Internet Archive BookServer Launch

Here’s the blurb from the BookServer page:

bookserver diagram

The widespread success of digital reading devices has proven that the world is ready to read books on screens.

As the audience for digital books grows, we can evolve from an environment of single devices connected to single sources into a distributed system where readers can find books from sources across the Web to read on whatever device they have. Publishers are creating digital versions of their popular books, and the library community is creating digital archives of their printed collections. BookServer is an open system to find, buy, or borrow these books, just like we use an open system to find Web sites.

The BookServer is a growing open architecture for vending and lending digital books over the Internet. Built on open catalog and open book formats, the BookServer model allows a wide network of publishers, booksellers, libraries, and even authors to make their catalogs of books available directly to readers through their laptops, phones, netbooks, or dedicated reading devices. BookServer facilitates pay transactions, borrowing books from libraries, and downloading free, publicly accessible books.

Who Benefits?

Authors find wider distribution for their work.
Publishers both big and small can distribute books directly to readers.
Book sellers find new and larger audiences for their products.
Device makers can offer access to millions of books instantly.
Libraries can continue to loan books in the way that patrons expect.
Readers get universal access to all knowledge.

Search for books:

Video from Dorkbot Talk

General - 1 Comment » - Posted on October, 21 at 8:10 pm

Video from my Dorkbot SF talk on Light, Electrons and Emotion is now online on ustream.tv. Thanks to Karen for organizing, Tcho for hosting, and the video team for broadcasting live!

My slides are available and also embedded in this page below!


Mang @ Dorkbot SF 7/23/2009

General - 1 Comment » - Posted on September, 22 at 12:38 am

dorkbot san francisco
People doing strange things with electricity

7:30pm Wednesday
23 September 2009

Pier 17
San Francisco, CA 94111

FREE ADMISSION but donations to our host Tcho much appreciated.

Michael Ang – Light, Attraction and Emotion: Projects with Photons,
Biology and Electrons

Inverse Parasol is an illuminated parasol that becomes a portable
space for personal interaction on dark nights. Strange Attractor seeks
the intersection of human and insect aesthetics as an intended object
of desire for both humans and butterflies. Mang’s recent work with the
GigaPan robotic camera system explores how the tool can be used to
capture story, emotion, and discrete moments of time. Together these
projects represent the use of technology to explore and interact with
the physical, biological, and social world around us.

Michael Ang (http://www.michaelang.com) is an artist, hacker and
engineer working at the intersection of art, technology and human
experience. He is a graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications
Program (ITP) and currently works at the Internet Archive in support
of its goal of Universal Access to All Knowledge.

Inverse Parasol

Mark Pauline – Survival Research Labs

Mark will talk about what ever the hell he feels like. Probably the
robot-building business, large scale machine performances and 30 years
of intriguing machine prank/art anecdotes…
Mark Pauline (born December 14, 1953) is an American performance
artist and inventor, best known as founder and director of Survival
Research Labs. Pauline founded SRL in 1978 and it is considered the
premier practitioner of “industrial performing arts”, and the
forerunner of large scale machine performance. SRL is known for
producing the most dangerous shows on earth. Although acknowledged as
a major influence on popular competitions pitting remote-controlled
robots and machines against each other, such as BattleBots and Robot
Wars, Pauline shies away from rules-bound competition preferring a
more anarchic approach. Machines are liberated and re-configured away
from the functions they were originally meant to perform.

Pauline has written of SRL, “Since its inception SRL has operated as
an organization of creative technicians dedicated to re-directing the
techniques, tools, and tenets of industry, science, and the military
away from their typical manifestations in practicality, product or
warfare.” Since its beginning through the end of 2006, SRL has
conducted about 48 shows.

In August 1990, ArtPark, a state-sponsored arts festival in Lewiston,
New York, cancelled a Pauline performance when it turned out he
intended “to cover a sputtering Rube Goldberg spaceship with numerous
Bibles” that would “serve as thermal protective shields” and be burned
to ashes in the course of the performance.[1]

According to Pauline “I like to make machines that can just do their
own shows… machines that can do all that machines in the science
fiction novels can do. I want to be there to make those dreams


Timothy Childs – Technology and Chocolate

Timothy will talk about different technologies used in the making of
Tcho chocolates!
Timothy is the Co-Founder and Chief Chocolate Officer of Tcho!

Timothy leverages his experience as a serial entrepreneur, super
taster and inventor to engage a multidisciplinary community around the
art and science of making the world’s best chocolate. As a founder and
Chief Chocolate Officer at TCHO, Timothy is the creative force behind
the company.s vision and strategy, including TCHO’s Flavor-driven
approach to chocolate making as well as TCHOSource, the company’s
project to improve livelihoods and generate prosperity throughout the
cocoa value chain.

Prior to founding TCHO, Timothy launched the successful retail brand
Cabaret Chocolates, where he co-pioneered single-origin marketing with
distribution through national outlets. He is also the founder of early
stage companies in the Internet and computer graphics industries and
also co-founded VeRGe and the Web3D RoundUP. Before becoming hooked on
chocolate, he developed machine vision systems for NASA’s Space
Shuttle program.

Timothy is a sought-after speaker whose other obsessions include
community building, artistic and cultural movements, paragliding and
multi-camera video time-lapse projects.


Please mail Karen Marcelo (dorkbotSF [at] dorkbot [dot] org) if you
would like to open dork (10-15 min mini-presentation)

Update: Video and slides from the talk are now available!


GigaPan of Guillermo Carrion’s studio at Espai Carolines in Barcelona

General - No Comments » - Posted on August, 25 at 11:01 pm

Guillermo C was kind enough to let me take a GigaPan inside his artist’s studio in Espai Carolines in Barcelona. Guillermo’s work includes three-dimensional paintings of the city and you can see some (completed and in progress) in the GigaPan. Guillermo added some snapshots on the gigapan.org site picking out some details like Michael Jackson and white on white gigafunk. The full image is 770 megapixels (almost 100 times larger than the image below).

Guillermo C's Studio at Espai Carolines in Barcelona

GigaPan of Guillermo C’s studio at Espai Carolines (gigapan.org)

See also the GigaPan of Carl Pisaturo’s 2881 Gallery in San Francisco, California.


Blue Flower at Maker Faire 2009

General - No Comments » - Posted on May, 30 at 12:25 am

Blue Flower will be at the Maker Faire this weekend (May 30/31) in San Mateo. Look for it in the Expo Hall near the giant Maker Faire banner between the signs for the cafe.

Maker Faire 2009

Blue Flower is a possible answer to the question: what would a flower look like if it were electronic? The physical structure of the flower is also an electronic circuit. Without a circulation of electrons (current flow) through the structure of the flower it remains lifeless. As current is induced in the flower the LEDs begin to glow, providing a visual signal similar to a biological flower’s display.

Blue Flower is the first part of an envisioned ecosystem of interdependent electronic flora and fauna.

Blue Flower