Author: Karahann Kiser

Karahann Kiser

About Karahann Kiser

I am a creative from Bristol, TN. I enjoy: typography, geekery, design history, music and sarcastic remarks. I have an Master of Arts in New Media and am currently serving as the Chair of Graphic Design at Sullivan College of Technology & Design. I love to freelance -let’s build something together!

Kingsport Theatre Guild

A Branding development project in collaboration with Kontos Creative.

A Study in Hysteria – Process & Art Show

Working with the Digital Components

The Arduino Uno R3 was soldered and tested (fig. 1) with the Proto Shield, which was hooked up to the stackable components (fig. 2). These components included an Electrit Microphone Amplifier, an analog LED strip, and a mini metal speaker. We tested the Microphone with a script that printed it’s output to a dialog window. The challenge was, that it was measuring the sound levels much faster than anticipated, at an iteration of hundreths of a second, as opposed to a range of 1 to 3 seconds. With some adjustments to the code and a little math, the microphone was measuring the sound in the room for 1 second, averaging that with decibel range and outputting this average to a print window.

Now that the Electrit Microphone Amplifier was measuring the sound at a reasonable interval,  there was another problem. As it turned out, the voltage of the Arduino uno was not enough to power my LEDs without the use of transistors. so another order was placed and shipped overnight. The new transistors were then soldered to the board and tested with the LEDs, which worked beautifully. The the code could be altered with hexadecimal, producing the blue, pink, and red flashes for the heartbeat loop. Being somewhat dissatisfied with the default 8-bit tones of the Arduino, I sought out a heartbeat sound effect to use instead. Upon locating a high-quality heartbeat effect, I edited the clips down in Adobe Audition, timing them to three different timing signatures: a calm beat, an agitated beat, and a panic beat. (fig. 3)


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A Study in Hysteria – Progress Update

Interactive Embroidery with Light & Sound – Components Are Working!

The Arduino Uno R3 is soldered and functioning (fig. 1), along with the Proto Shield which will be used for the stackable components (fig. 2). After several test commands, the the Electrit Microphone Amplifier began reacting to sound. (Video 1) The LEDs have been tested, but require more power to be controlled by the Arduino, so transistors are on the way. I thought of using the 8bit sounds as my heartbeat, but found them a bit harsh. It was really entertaining playing around with the melody function (Video 2). Also, in a first-ever Arduino serenade, here’s a rendition of “Always,” courtesy of Andrew’s programming (Video 3).

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Projection Map Infographic

Zero-Footprint House Projection Mapped Info-graphic Display

Over in the technology and geomatics wood shop in Wilson Wallis, I worked with Bill Hemphill to cut out the different components of my projection map stage. The vector line image I created in illustrator from my drawing (fig. 1) were imported into AutoCad. I cut two sheets (fig. 2 & 3 and Video 1) one of the house and the system components, and another of the exterior wall structure. These two fourth inch wooden layers will be stacked and glued together (fig. 4) to create a 3-dimensional stage to project my house info-graphic videos on.

I brought the same vector drawing that I cut the stage with into Photoshop and painted it with a Wacom Cintiq to mimic a watercolor architectural rendering style. Each layer of this colored illustration was imported into After Effects (fig. 5) and I have begun creating a series of 3 animations that will depict how the house functions in conjunction with its surroundings. (fig. 6 and Video 2)

Video 1

Video 2

Concepts: Public Art Project

Cher, Julie, Laura and met with the Johnson City Public Art Committee this morning to talk about the expansion of the concepts for the interactive public art project. Laura’s 3D renderings of the kinetic wind-driven sculpture turned out beautifully.(fig. 1) She tied in the regional fly fishing as well as the indigenous brook trout colors (fig. 2) into her design. Julie’s interactive topographic map of the regional mountains (fig. 3, video 1) impressed the board and made them question whether the project could be scaled to be incorporated into another regional park. The LED component illustrations (fig. 4), the led grid calculation and logistics (fig. 5) and LED light animation (fig. 6, video 2) were my contributions. The board was so enthusiastic about the 3D visualizations that they want to commission our design team to help them with the visuals for the park on Commerce street, translating the CAD plans into a textured and fully realized model. Overall, the board felt that the kinetic sculpture was a better fit for the space and chose this project to expand and develop a full-scale feasibility study and proposal.

video 1

video 2

Full Presentation 2

Zero-Footprint House Illustration

Higher resolution images below.

  1. Sketch / Linework Traced
  2. Ground / Setting Inked
  3. House Exterior Inked
  4. Systems Inked




Interactive Embroidery with Light & Sound

“A Study in Hysteria”

In this project I will be manipulating LEDs with sound and playing with the translucence of fabric with lighting. The content addresses violence inflicted upon southern women, who are often idealized and subjugated.

The heart by default will loop a calm pulse-rate, with the LED lights flashing blue at intervals with an accompanying heartbeat sound effect. A programmed event listener will measure the sound in the gallery space. Once the threshold of the sound tolerance is reached, or when the piece becomes startled, a panic reaction is triggered. The heartbeat will increase in volume, shifting from blue to red, beating and flashing at a frantic pace to simulate an over-reactive vigilance response found in abuse victims.

Downtown JC Public Art Project

Julie Woodburn Laura Osteen, and I accompanied Cher Cornett to the Johnson City Public Arts Committee meeting this past Wednesday and presented 3 concepts for the public art space renovation.

For the crime of cheating death Sisyphus is condemned by the Greco-Roman gods. He must push his boulder up the mountain each day, only to see it roll back down for eternity. This task is absurd -like so much of life- why else would we develop a sense of humor that laughs at absurdity?

“The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart, one must imagine Sisyphus happy. ” -Albert Camus


Downtown JC Interactive Public Art Project

Under the direction of Cher Cornett, the fall ’16 ETSU Experimental Media class is embarking on an exciting project for the Johnson City Public Art Committee. My colleagues Julie Woodburn, Laura Osteen and I will be working together on an interactive public art piece to be placed as a permanent fixture in downtown. These past weeks we have been gathering ideas, researching local history and sketching up concepts.

Our first meeting with the Johnson City Public Art Committee took place last night 9/15/16. Our initial presentation (see below) got everyone thinking about the possibilities. With an evident spirit of collaboration between the Digital Media team and JCPAC backed with the facilities necessary for production, our hope is to transform the now static space in downtown into a welcoming and comfortable public destination. Upon further discussion, the committee selected one of the two sites presented, the passageways to downtown, for us to focus on. More updates on this project soon! To follow the progress of this project visit: