Thursday, November 17, 2011

Assignment 7: Michael Strickland, New Media Readings, and More

Michael Strickland on Quidditch, Data Visualization, And New Media Journalism:

  • Michael demoed his website that he'd put together for the Quidditch world cup event, held on Randall's island.
  • A main goal of his site seemed to be participant/event-goer interaction, or ease of use, as far as getting event info, real-time stats, etc. goes.
  • The ipad app seemed like a very clever way to maintain the mentioned real-time stats.
  • Michael mentioned that he did a lot of research before making the site, to see what others offered, compared to what he thought people wanted. Working with that, (borrowing heavily from a NY Times Soccer stat data visualization) he created his own site, conducive to his own needs.
New Media Reader:

Chapter 14: Four Selections by Experiments in Art and Technology

  • EAT - experiments in art and technology
  • Played a pivotal role in advancing tech and art since 1960's
  • Founded in 1966 by by Billy Kluver, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Fred Waldhauer.
  • Emphasizes the importance of the relationship between the actual art and the technology that goes into a piece. Looking at the 9Evenings exhibit, it is stated that the audience automatically jumped to the conclusion that there were technical malfunctions, instead of questioning the integrity of the art.
  • "The Garden Party":
  • Kluver starts off here by pointing out that the piece isn't a finished work, and reminds us that it was after all, an experiment. Just as with a scientific experiment, it is something of a work in progress, where there is no true failure, as what would be considered a failure could still be viewed as something gained, knowledge-wise.
  • The machine was conceived "out of total anarchy and freedom"..
  • Looking at the press release for the event, it seems to strive to get the individual more involved in the idea of technological change and innovation, as opposed to technology being something that is being advanced somewhere off in the distance on its own. This makes me think of contemporary consumer ignorance, and how companies and brands generally don't want the consumer to be too involved with a product, other than using it for its intended purpose. i.e. how hacking and modding things tend to void warranties
  • The Pavilion:
  • a piece that involves choice, responsibility, freedom, and participation on the visitor's end.
  • With today's advanced means of sending and receiving info, there is a particular emphasis on the individual's relationship to the environment.
  • the pavilion was a living responsive environment.
  • Artists, in groups of four, would take shifts within the environment to maintain an organic or live program, manipulating the fog, lights, sound, etc. Interesting to think that they needed people to do it. After all, it was to accommodate other people's decisions and such, something an A.I. couldn't conceivably do at the time? -Who knows, not even now, maybe.
Chapter 15: Cybernated Art
  • Nam June Paik - considered to be the first video artist. First to use TV's in art pieces, integrated video into live performances, etc.
  • Uses a cybernetic/Buddhist context for his work, as put forth in his manifesto.
Chapter 31: Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space?

  • Starts by mentioning that interactive video art can be a medium conducive to thinking about new media on a broader scale.
  • Bill viola - high profile video artist.
  • Essay itself starts by commenting on how our existence is continuous. Saying that our entire lives have been one long instance. This seems immediately relevant, especially within the context of video art, where editing and rearranging existing instances is something of a cornerstone.
  • Data space refers to the pre-allocated space or field that is necessary for an idea or concept or even computer graphic to be. Viola seems to be questioning then, the origins and significance of said space.
  • First experience with computer videotape editing in 1976. Holism - the idea of being able to edit and rearrange something while making it, as opposed to making a product, and then having to go back and fix things. Focused on having a WHOLE all along, like with the example of the jigsaw puzzle: you need to see the whole image before you know what to work towards.
  • Seems to relate to hypertext again, with branching, and the possibility of non-linear reception of information.
  • In the end, viola discusses the significance of perception of technology, and how things can be multi-purposed. But we must remain aware of ourselves, to know what we want from technology as it develops.
  • Who doesnt love a self-assured porcupine?
Delicious Posts!

Why your next phone may be bendable:

  • Discusses the potential of phones utilizing bendable-display technology, commenting on things like durability and new forms of input (twisting, etc).
  • Goes beyond phones to speculate how pliable digital screens can also serve to replace tings like newspapers, where they might even be bendable, or conformed to many different surfaces.
Hacking the drug cartels:

  • Someone claiming to be a member of the "hacktivist" group anonymous threatened to expose various data relating to the "Los Zetas" drug cartel.
  • Spokeperson for anonymous has stated that the member in question is acting on his own, and is not backed by anonymous.
  • there has been speculation that the video wasnt by anonymous at all, based on its apparent production value.
History of the Guy Fawkes Masks

  • The mask is representative of Guy Fawkes, 17th century conspirator, a revolutionary of sorts
  • The obvious connection would seem to be the revolutionary bit, overthrowing an oppressive regime, etc.
  • There happen to be some subtle undertones though, as the mask has been adopted by anonymous, and other 4-chan lurkers.
Floating Cars -- Quantum Levitation

  • First things first, I would absolutely love to play with one of these...
  • One thing that comes to mind regarding cars is how our roadways and infrastructure would have to be reordered. Since these wouldn't quite be independent flying cars, in that they'd always need the proper surface for the super conductor to react with, there'd be a need for a massive restructuring of things like roads and highways.
Hacked Kinect -- Projection Device

  • being that this is a very rough prototype, I'd hardly consider something like stylishness as a worthwhile factor.
  • It is interesting to think of a world where we wouldnt need anything physical to carry around as far as media goes, when we'd have the ability to project anything on any surface, including your own body.
  • in the end though, as far as I can think of it now, i think that there is still something more intimate and personal about having say, a book, or phone to fiddle with.

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