Monday, December 19, 2011

ITP Showcase


Digidrench was one of the first displays upon entering the exhibit. It consisted of a tv screen, the image split into thirds, each third containing a person onscreen. In front of the screen, there was a setup of three pitchers and containers, each holding a different colored liquid. When the liquid was poured from pitcher to container, which held a water-level sensor of sorts, the onscreen person was drenched in something similar to what was being poured from the pitcher, with the video being played in accordance to the water level. As the container was drained however, the video of the onscreen persona would play in reverse, effectively resulting in a dry person. I found this display to be rather interesting because it seemed like a playfully simple concept overall, om top of which it incorporated an element of interactivity between the physical and the digital.

Tweet Laser-Scribe (what I call it):

There was the  display that consisted of a mechanism which used a laser pointer to write out certain tweets that it would pull from the twitter API, containing the word "fade", on a phosphorescent board. What resonated most about this was the fact that each letter that the mechanism wrote had to be manually programmed in. -I'm assuming it was something along the lines of letter by letter telling which gear/motor/what have you, to turn just the right amount to form the letter. For some reason I found the idea behind that to be somewhat intimate, for lack of a better term. -It was something that showed a certain level of personal involvement that I especially appreciated. I don't however mean to say that the other projects didn't show personal involvement, because surly they were all hand-built for the most part, I guess just the fact that the output seemed to have somewhat human qualities struck a chord.


Lastly there is eyeware, something that I right away recognized as none other than the eye-writer that had been demoed in class. It turned out that this was actually a modification to that existing code. This display consisted of the wearer/creator wearing a pair of glasses with a camera facing her eye, and facing out. A monitor that she'd been wearing on her front side displayed her eye, and its position, as well as what the second camera was looking at. This second output would pan relative to where the eye was shown to be looking. Ultimately, to me, this created the illusion of seeing through someone else's eyes, or at least, as portrayed on a screen. This resonated with me simply because of the fact that it offered this perspective of someone else, or proposed the idea. Because really, you can never really in a literal sense, see things through anyone's eyes but your own, which silly as it seems,  had honestly been a thought that's bothered me since I've been about four or five years old, thinking about life's big problem's already. Thank you, eyeware, for letting me sleep just that little bit better at night!.

Favorite Themes/Concepts, New Museum, Post-Digital

  • Augmented Reality: I can say that this has been something rather influential this semester for a number of reasons. For one, I'd never heard of it. I may have been exposed to it previously somewhere or other, but my experience with it has definitely blown up this past semester. I find augmented reality particularly interesting because to me, it really seems like a next-step of sorts, as far as introducing digital media into a new dimension or plane goes: the physical. Or at least, what we consider to to be the physical plane. 
  • Data visualization: Again, not something that I'd been explicitly familiar with prior to this semester. Of course I'd seen many visual representations of data before, but actually going out of my way to examine new and innovative ways in which different kinds of data is being depicted in comparison to others has definitely proven interesting. With all the data that we're generating, and all the ways that we have to show it, I think it's especially interesting to think about data visualization as an art form. 
  • Ken Perlin: As mentioned in an earlier post, I especially appreciated Ken's lecture because he really seems to live the rule of "if you're not doing something you love...". Particularly, what resonated with me as far as the content of his lecture goes, was the idea of being able to manipulate things such as animations in real-time, deviating from the sort of standard of a linear grind to get something done.
Relational Aesthetics:

Relational Aesthetics, deals with the idea of something being interactive, and as such the question comes up of why we as people are so attracted to that with which we can interact. Holler plays very much with this idea in his exhibit, and admits to go out of his way not only to examine how and why people interact with things, but more importantly, to see how he can modify what is being interacted with, and the non-conventional results that are bound to occur. By non-conventional, i mean that he focuses on taking regular reactions and feelings that the exhibit-goers might have, and try and either amplify or distort them in various ways, hopefully making even the person question hi or her own reactions. 

Eric Rosenthal: 

I must say, what stands out to me the most about Mr. Rosenthal, the one definitive factor, is his history as the vice-president at Disney imagineering. Having an aunt that works as an administrator at one of the disney resorts, always going on about how they're working on this or that crazy new and innovative ride, this seems to paint quite the picture in and of itself. Judging by the webpage, he seems to know his stuff when it comes not only to being somewhat technically savvy, but practically and aesthetically innovative as well. 


Post-digital seems too deal with a sort of regression back into being human, so to speak. In a day and age where we rely as much as we do in ever-improving technology, it is interesting to think that people have begun to consider it as becoming to be something bad. This is to say, in my opinion at least,  post-digital isnt necessarily something to be considered as a regression, but more as a progression in terms of acknowledging our reliance on technology, and potentially using this as a gateway not necessarily to renounce all technology as we know it, but to begin to gain a better understanding of just how we crutch ourselves sometimes, and how we can continue to use tech in a way such that we don't end up being helpless when something that's been long-automated would need to be done manually. Shortly, I see this as a way of stepping back, acknowledging a weakness, and using that insure a fail-safe.