The scale of relativity, part II

At this point I have tried to transform my idea into requirements.

This has been a bit tricky to do, as it often is with art concepts. At the moment I am still attempting to document:  a microscopic organism , a small animal (maybe indoor cat), myself and a plane. Each of these needs a separate method for tracking!

More specifically what I have found so far:

  •  Outdoor Tracking (of my movements): Could be done with an app in iPhone (there are several around mostly for monitoring children and teenagers ). Only issue is to find (a free) one that allows you to export the path.
  •  Indoor Tracking (of a small animal’s movements): This is more tricky, but since I don’t care about actual location (GPS style), but rather the movement path, I can attach the phone (!) to the animal, and use the gyroscope / accelerometer (in this way: ). I would probably have to code the app myself, since it would need customization. I decided on OpenFrameworks, and this (links to github) plugin which taps into iphone’s core motion stuff. I still have to get some feedback on feasibility of that though cause I have the feeling it would include quite some maths!!
  • The flight tracking: This is somehow under control, I will try to “tap” into the database that the website or similar. There are still some parameters to consider for example the longest flight non-spot flight (currently) is between Newark and Singapore (almost 19 hours), which is considerably less that my first conversion table. So maybe I will not choose it to be non-stop or I will just reduce the whole experiment time..
  • Microscopic tracking: This is a bit weirder, I have contacted the Biofilia Lab and they informed me that they have a microscope that allows video recording and time-lapse movies which is great news! But I still have to consult them in what is the most kinetic and easily isolated organism so as to be able to easily track it..

Conclusion: I need to do some experiments and research (online and around) a bit more.

As an experiment, if it works it should be very interesting !
I am imagining a static version of this:

Portrait of the ghost drummer from odaibe on Vimeo.

(But I am also trying to find plan Bs)

Project Plan: The scale of relativity

I aim to collect movements from live beings and objects both smaller and bigger than me in size. The length in time of the movement readings will be relative to the average life span of the individual object/animal.

Meaning that if I plan to track my own movements for a week, I will track a cat’s movement for 30 hours and 14 minutes and so on according to the conversion plan below.

This project is inspired by the short film “The Powers of Ten” (1977) by Charles and Ray Eames, and attempts to give the movement (include therefore time aspect) of different scaled objects in our environment.

However, even though this process follows a scientific logic, it will not be based on actual scientific facts. Most of the information about life spans, sizes and volumes come from simple online question answering forums, wikipedia entries and my own measurements.

In the end, the shady information collected will be presented in a static scientific way, to contradict the actual experiment.

More details to come!

Conversion Table 1:

1 week human life =

0.18 weeks cat life  = 1.26 days in cat life = 30.24 hours in cat life =

30 hours and 14 minutes in cat life  =

0.004 weeks in blood cell life = 0.0028 days in r.b.c. life = 0.0672 hours in r.b.c. =  4.032 minutes in r.b.c. life =

4 minutes and 2 seconds in r.b.c. life =

0.3075 weeks of an airplane’s (B747) life = 2.1525 days of an airplane’s (B747) life = 51.66 hours of an airplane’s (B747) life =

51 hours and 40 minutes in an airplane’s (B747) life


Conversion Table 2:

4000 weeks in human life (75 years)

1230 weeks on airplane life (20 years active and another 3.07 years retired*)

720 weeks in cat life (13,5 years)

16 weeks in red blood cell life (4 months)


* human average retires at 65 and dies average at 75 so relatively an airplane is has an average economic life of 20 years and based on human relation it “dies” at 23.07 years.