Tech Art by Rob Gonsalves
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Diary of a Crossword Fiend, Mar 29, 2019, by Judge Vic

Rob and Jen are new to the biz, having debuted with a Puzzle Society crossword back in December. With this puzzle, they soar to new heights with a heads/tails Schrödinger of all things.

39a [Result of a coin toss] HEADS / TAILS–Hitting this one early, I confidently inserted TAILS and moved on. That totally screwed up my time, as, getting no Mr. Happy Pencil, I raced around the grid, second-guessing other answers. Of course, we need to acknowledge the crossers here: 28d Inhibit CR A/I MP 29d Antagonize RI D/L E 36d Large quantity M E/A SS 39d Giggle syllables H/T EES

Outstanding! The real beauty of this theme, though, is in the creative entries employed to flesh it out: 17a [1903 Kitty Hawk honor given to one brother over another by coin toss] FIRST FLIGHT 59a [Triple Crown winner whose ownership was decided by a coin toss in 1969] SECRETARIAT 23d [Pacific Northwest city christened by coin toss in 1845] PORTLAND 25d [An Alaskan incumbent lost one by coin toss in 2006] ELECTION

Good fill! Nice clues! To boot, we find elsewhere BARE BONES; ZOOT and SUIT, clued with cross-references; and DESTROYER … and that’s more than enough, with this nice gimmick! full story...
Fiber Art Now, Apr 01, 2017, by Trudi Van Dyke

Anna Kristina Goransson has recently found a new direction in her successful collaboration with tech artist Rob Gonsalves for an interactive work. Swarming, which has shown in three venues, is an arrangement of 13 red and orange wall-mounted, felted forms. These pods are home to flocks of red and orange animated “boids.” Visitors are invited to step in and interact virtually with the boids as they dart about exhibiting flocking and feeding behaviors. A computer rigged with a Microsoft Kinect interface monitors the motion of human visitors and controls the video projection and the immersive soundscape. (Visit and select “swarming” to view a shortvideo.) Gonsalves and Goransson currently have their heads together and are both excited about their next venture. full story...
USA Today, Mar 22, 2017, by Linda Marston-Reid, for the Poughkeepsie Journal

As the connections between art and technology have strengthened over the years, we see more artists merging the two in their creative practice. This month, at Barrett Art Center, "Digitalia" is a showcase of art that explores the intersections of technology and contemporary art. Bruce Wands, author of "Art of the Digital Age," served as curator for the exhibit, selecting 57 digital artworks from 900 entries.

Rob Gonsalves exhibits “Reach, Color, Repeat,” an interactive video installation that allows visitors to create a digital abstract painting by using body gestures. The artwork reflects back the viewers’ shape on the projected screen and captures the gestures and patterns as they draw in the air. The installation invites collaboration among gallery visitors to create an artwork that begins with their gestures, capturing these as patterns of colors through a watercolor simulation, creating a colorful abstract painting. full story...
Boston Globe, Jun 09, 2015, by Cate McQuaid

The geeky artists at COLLISIONcollective have put together a show at Boston Cyberarts Gallery on the topic of simulation. But all art is simulation, one way or another, and the exhibition is less a probing examination of virtual worlds and the way they reshape our lives and imaginations than it is a playful catchall.

In "Swarming", textile artist Anna Kristina Goransson and tech artist Rob Gonsalves present warm-toned woolen chalices lolling on the wall like giant flower petals as tiny, digitally projected insects or birds hover and scatter around them. If you wave your arm in front of it, you’ll draw bubbly bolts of light through this whimsical bouquet. It’s fun and a bit goofy, like much of the work in this show. full story...
Surface Design, May 15, 2015, by Deborah Corsini

The artistic team of Rob Gonsalves and Anna Kristina Goransson created the playful interactive piece Swarming. Thirteen red and orange wall-mounted, hand-felted "pods" are home to flocks of animated boids-or lights.The animation comes to life as visitors approach the sculptures. The light boids dart around the sculpture, exhibiting behaviors reminiscent of flocking and feeding. A computer rigged with a Microsoft Kinect interface (programmed by Gonsalves) monitors the motion of human visitors, which then controls the video projection and immersive soundscape. full story...
Spartan Daily, Sep 24, 2014, by Samson So

On the corner of South First Street, San Jose’s Museum of Quilts and Textiles, a safe haven for art lovers, sits in serene solitude apart from the usual Downtown San Jose traffic.

Scattered neatly across the walls are several quilt pieces and textile art, each with its own unique design story.

One such art piece is “Swarming,” by Rob Gonsalves and Anna Goransson, which provides an interactive experience with visitors.

The design consists of “pods” that light up the walls like red and orange lanterns, while the projected “boids” are constantly fluttering around as if they were tiny, koi fish darting away.

The boids are controlled by a Microsoft Kinect system that monitors human movement and reacts to viewers who are up close. full story...
BostInno, Sep 20, 2013, by Marian White

This was me last night as I entered the "From Paper to Pixels" art show in Jamaica Plain, an art initiative created by Infrared5 CEO and Creative Director, Rebecca Allen.

But what I ultimately found was a playful, fun and fully engaging interactive show. The exhibit pairs ‘traditional’ artists with new media artists to create an interactive piece inspired by the traditional piece. Many of the artists were present, explaining their work to the perplexed onlookers, including myself.

The creatures in the exhibit above are “Lightdrop Encounters,” interactive artwork that features brightly colored felt sculptures of an organic and playful shape by artist, Anna Kristina Goransson. And they are (as you can see) brought to life in an immersive audio-visual environment by Rob Gonsalves. The seven lightdrops interact with visitors exhibiting four behaviors: sleeping, chattering, observing and dancing.

So how do these creatures move? According to the artist, a Microsoft Kinect interface detects human movement, which in turn controls the Lightdrop creatures. In addition, there is a soundscape and video projection of “virtual Lightdrops” behind the 3D creatures. I would think of it as something like when Wii meets art—to sum it up in simple terms. full story...
Intel Software Blog, Sep 03, 2013, by Wendy Boswell

What happens when you take the technology behind perceptual computing and pair it with cutting-edge, exploratory art works? That’s the question Infrared5 CEO and Creative Director Rebecca Allen decided to explore with a new art exhibit coming out September 20, 2013 titled "From Paper to Pixels"; "an initiative to create collaboration between traditional artists and new media artists."

Two artists, Kristina Goransson and Rob Gonsalves, graciously took the time to answer a few questions about their work in the show:

What was the planning process – how did you come up with this sort of interaction?

Rob Gonsalves: I saw the call for work for "From Paper to Pixels" on the Collision mailing list with the intriguing premise of pairing new media artists with traditional artists. My first thought was to pair up with Kristina, as I am good friends with her and know her work.

Kristina kicked off the collaboration by sending photos of her recent felt sculptures. I was drawn to her Lightdrops, and we discussed the possible options of incorporating elements of new media: video projection, interactivity, sound, kinetics. They all sounded good, so we decided to do all four!

full story...
NVIDIA Blog, Jul 02, 2013, by Harel Kopelman

Ever wanted to see what your portrait would look like if painted by Vincent Van Gogh? The Boston Cyberarts Gallery display using CUDA was created by Robert Gonsalves, who describes his Dial-A-Style piece as an algorithmic portrait studio. Dial is an interactive video installation that allows visitors to create a digital self-portrait in a variety of artistic styles, from Vincent van Gogh-inspired Impressionism to comic book fueled Anime.

The visitor starts by spinning the Dial-A-Style wheel. The wheel might stop at four artistic styles – Impressionism, Cubism, Pointillism or an Anime theme. The wheel can also stop in between styles, resulting in a hybrid portrait.

Once the wheel stops, optical detectors send a signal to the computer, which triggers a webcam to take a picture of the visitor. The computer then runs the selected algorithm to create a stylized painting, which is displayed on a screen. If the viewer likes the portrait, he or she can upload it from the artistic display and then download it for themselves from full story...
Metro Boston, Jun 27, 2013, by Barry Thompson

A singularity even in culturally rich Jamaica Plain, Boston CyberArts Inc. continues the 15-year tradition formerly managed by the Axiom Group (and the Green Street Gallery staff before them) of hosting cutting-edge art in a room often stumbled upon by confused commuters. Until July 28, techies and art connoisseurs can check out “Collision: 19,” an interactive collection from what CyberArts director George Fifield describes as “artists who are engineers, or engineers who make art.”

To cite a pair of favorites on display, “Dial-A-Style: An Algorithmic Portrait Studio” by Rob Gonsalves allows passersby to instantly download an impressionist, pointillist, cubist or manga-style portrait of themselves. Say hello to your new Facebook or Twitter default? You betcha. full story...
The Arts Fuse, Mar 20, 2013, by Margaret Weigel

The current Boston Cyberarts show The Game’s Afoot: Video Game Art ... features six games: Debtris, Into the Void and Sisyphus by local developer Anthony Montuori; O.f.f.i.c.e.A.n.t.s. and Campaign Horse by COLLISIONcollective favorite Rob Gonsalves; and Airlock Park by Brooklynite Victor Liu.

Rob Gonsalves’ game O.f.f.i.c.e.A.n.t.s. continues [the show's] theme of work-inspired angst; when the user “shakes” the Office Worker Kibble into the maze (caution: don’t actually open the canister!), small human figures rush over to “eat” it. I get it: corporate cube life sucks, and success/release is impossible. Gameplay was minimal. Conversely, I couldn’t lose Campaign Horse for trying. Campaign Horse is a digital version of the classic playground game, where the user flings a rigged basketball towards a screen-based net to earn a letter. Two teams—the red and the blue—represented the political parties, and the winning team got to trash the defeated in a media frenzy. full story...
Boston Globe, Mar 19, 2013, by Cate McQuaid

“The Game’s Afoot: Video Game Art” at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery, features art games for viewers to play.

Rob Gonsalves’s “Campaign Horse — 2012 Election Edition” has players tossing a foam basketball tethered to clotheslines toward a net on a screen. Sensors attached to the lines determine whether you make a basket. If you do, you get a letter toward spelling out an insult hurled during the last election. The game is a hoot, but I had no desire to recall past vitriol. Gonsalves needs to come up with some equally pertinent, but more evergreen, content. full story...
Boston Art Underground, Mar 16, 2013, by Sam Nickerson

Video games usually create breaks from daily life, but Boston Cyberarts Gallery’s The Game’s Afoot: Video Game Art provides no such respite. Together, the six games curated by George Fifield make a solemn arcade.

More intriguing on a technical level, Rob Gonsalves’ games ditch joysticks and buttons for more participatory interaction, whether it’s feeding an office full of software developers with a canister of virtual food in O.f.f.i.c.e.A.n.t.s. or tossing a basketball hooked up to x-axis accelerometers in Campaign Horse—a game of virtual Horse where missed shots spell out actual insults exchanged during the 2012 election. Between the more realistic mechanics of participation and the subject matter, neither feels much like a game. full story...
Boston Globe, Mar 15, 2013, by June Wulff

Game on Rob Gonsalves’s O.f.f.i.c.e.A.n.t.s. might turn us into a video gamer. The acronym for organized, fast, frantic, intelligent, corporate entities acting in a novel technology simulation stars worker ants who do things over and over and over (we can relate). This and other games are on view at “The Game’s Afoot: Video Game Art.” full story...
The Arts Fuse, Nov 17, 2012, by Margaret Weigel

Collision18:present curated by COLLISIONcollective members William Tremblay, John Slepian, and Bob Kephart offers something for everyone, a potpourri of mediums, techniques, narratives, and technologies

. Rob Gonsalves’ “JitterBot - A Dialog in Dance” may harken some back to the balloon figure constructions of early 80’s digital renderings. The program translates the user’s kinetic gestures onto a green balloon figure; a companion red figure “follow[s] the visitor’s lead and sometimes JitterBot busts a move on its own.” The user can also select from a menu of music styles. Thankfully, this display was walled off from the rest of the gallery, allowing this reviewer to engage in an array of graceless twirls, karate kicks and booty-shaking dance moves. In short, it was great fun and a tribute to technological mastery. full story...
Southern Maryland News, Dec 23, 2009, by Pat Ullberg

"Glow," is the title of the splendid winter exhibition in the Arts building [of Annmarie Garden]. Thirty-three artists from all over the nation portray some aspect of light in many different mediums, both two- and three-dimensional. Among these outstanding works are a few sculptures and electronic pieces that leap out and grab the visitors' attention.

...[one] installation allows the visitor to make an electronic painting. A large light table on the floor is connected to a computer monitor. By moving special tools — small cube[s] and a spool-shaped piece — across the light table surface, the viewer changes the colors and shapes and shapes on-screen, in endless different abstract compositions. The viewer can even "own" his work by sending an e-mail to a home computer for screen wallpaper. This entertaining work is titled, "LumaTouch Expressionist," by Rob Gonsalves of Massachusetts. This viewer made a nice Jackson Pollack abstract to send to her home screen. full story...
Wellesley Townsman, Oct 22, 2009, by Elana Zak

For almost a decade, Halloween on Hillside Road has been marked by jack-o’-lanterns, changing leaves and a large sculpture glowing brightly against the dark sky. Since 2001, Rob Gonsalves and his wife, Jennifer Lim, have set up light exhibits in their front yard to celebrate Halloween. Using rope lights, the two make a different image each October. One year it was a witch with red eyes that seemed to follow the viewer; another time it was a skull. This Halloween, the light installation isn’t an image, but a phrase. Seen from one angle, it reads “trick.” From another perspective, the word is “treat.” full story...
Big Red and Shiny, May 06, 2008, by Matthew Nash

In Masked Thoughts, Gonsalves has set up two white cutouts on the tops of poles. One cutout is in the shape of a head, with two holes for eyes, and the other is in the shape of a thought bubble from a cartoon. Looking through the eye-holes, one sees their reflection in a large mirror, with images projected on the two cutouts: faces of politicians, historical or pop culture figures appear, while bits of text fill the thought balloon. Rotating the cutout changes the image or text. Masked Thoughts is a fun and funny play on the identities we adopt when we place an intermediary technology between our selves and others. full story...
Boston Globe, Aug 16, 2007, by Cate McQuaid

Tremblay and Rob Gonsalves offer "Wave Puppet," in which horizontal cards mounted on several mechanized rods replicate the undulation of a wave. Tremblay said it specifically refers to the Asian tsunami in late 2004, but this version is small and soothing. It's an enchanting robotic seascape, but it is not anthropomorphic. full story...
Boston Globe, Apr 26, 2007, by Cate McQuaid

The Collision Collective has been around since 2001, and it has a following. Last weekend "COLLISIONeleven," its exhibit at the MIT Stata Center, saw throngs of visitors. Almost as many kids as adults passed through the show, part of both the Boston Cyberarts Festival and the Cambridge Science Festival. Nearly every piece begged to be played with: There was "ai8ball," Rob Gonsalves's high-tech, large-scale version of the magic eight ball. full story...
New York Times, Apr 27, 2005, by Sarah Boxer

Then there is "Janken" (Japanese for "hand game"), a game of rock, paper, scissors created by William Tremblay and Rob Gonsalves. Your opponent is a skeletal hand wiggling on a screen. You compete by sticking your own hand in front of a light sensor in the rock position (a fist), paper position (flat out) or scissors position (two fingers ready to snip). It's creepy and awesome. But there are two hitches: the skeleton will, with no apology, choose its hand position after you've chosen yours (isn't that cheating?); and you've got to orient your own hand exactly or the sensor won't read it correctly. full story...
Boston Phoenix, Mar 25, 2005, by Randi Hopkins

Then in an example of interactive art that is indeed "hands-on," artists William Tremblay and Rob Gonsalves address the expressive range and power of the human hand in their video installation Janken, which takes its name from the Japanese word for the game " Rock Paper Scissors. full story...
Boston Globe, Dec 30, 1999, by Cate McQuaid

Techno artists William Tremblay and Rob Gonsalves hit their conceptual mother lode when First Night production director Gina Mullen urged them to come up with a proposal for the millennial shindig.

After all, says Tremblay, "this was going to be the big one." Cogitating about what to propose, they cast a wary eye at our era's version of apocalypse: Y2K.

"This time last year, there was a spate of news stories about how the world would end. Elevators would plummet, things like that," says Tremblay. "We felt it was highly overrated, and a bald-faced marketing strategy to get everybody to buy a new PC."

In fact, says Gonsalves, "The average Joe at home using Word and Excel won't run into any problems. Most applications don't care what the date is."

Tremblay and Gonsalves decided to test the doomsayers' theory - while still making merry. They've collected 101 older computers, dating from 1987 to 1992, most of which are not Y2K compliant. Each has been programmed to sound like a particular musical instrument; together, all 100 will sound like an orchestra. Each will also project a visual element corresponding to the musical note it plays. Starting at 1 p.m. at the Hynes Convention Center and going until 1 a.m., Y2K Pops will play a loop of 15 songs under the guidance of a robot, called the "semi-conductor."

At midnight, any number of the computers may come down with the millennial bug. Gonsalves and Tremblay plan to monitor all the hardware and software, and to see what hits the double-zero wall and what passes through it when 1999 gives way to 2000. Boom or bust, it ought to be a good show. full story...