Net Art: What happened to the 90's Television?
This is a very simple piece but it holds a lot of memories and meaning to me. When I was younger, all I did in my spare time was to watch television and television back in the 90’s were not the fanciest or most advanced technology we would consider today. The music “Rick Rolled” used to annoy me a lot, hence, its basically a piece of art that represents all the technological frustrations I experienced in the 90’s as a little kid.
The interactive function in this piece is the middle fingers. It is explicit but it throws in a bit of humorous spin when you get to move the middle fingers around the “spoilt” television screen. The reason why I wanted to make this piece was because I felt that most net art were inspired by the psychedelic era, and most of the net art seemed arbitrary, and held some tinge of dark humour in it. With that in mind, I started to ask myself what technology I was often exposed to as a little kid. I think it serves as a form of irony as well, using modern day technology to re-create something in the past which we often took as it is. Now, on hindsight, I realized that certain images in the past represented not only my frustration but also a part of my childhood. What a 6 year old me used to be annoyed with seems so trivial to a 21 year old me now.
The Virtual Reality concept is very interesting and definitely bridges the idea of technology and reality, to the point where it could become morally controversial. That said, VR itself, is a growing concept, but I see it as challenging because it does not serve as a function to fill a pressing need in society today, which means that it is going to tough to find a consistent community in demand for VR.
In the interview with Brandon Jones, he brings up a very valid point about finding ways to make the transition easier and try to smooth over the gaps of attempting to make it more accessible for people to experience VR. It is interesting, that Google has come out with the cardboard VR device, allowing just about anyone to be able to experience VR at low costs. However, it is not really the issue of cost accessibility to VR, rather it is the usability and functionality of VR. Is it really a necessity? Or should the question be, should VR advocates be creating a need for VR in society today, or should it be trying to find a need and attempt to use VR to fill and answer that need?
I do see a prospective field in gaming for VRs to tap into, however incorporating VR into an everyday function can be kind of tricky. For the project in this recent class assignment, I found it almost unnecessary and redundant to attempt incorporation VR into social media, perhaps because, it requires an extra step in order to experience VR. Hence, Brandon Jones point on finding ways to make the transition to VR easier is definitely a valid and important concern, in order to see the viability of VRs in the near future.
The New Aesthetic
Sterling takes on a negative stance towards the rising concept of the New Aesthetic. He does not blame technology, rather, he sees it as a “ generational cluster of creative people who are perceiving important stuff that other older and dumber people don’t get quite yet”. Sterling contends that the New Aesthetics is controversial because it is trying to “ hack a modern aesthetic”, instead of “thinking hard enough to build one itself”.
In my opinion, I see the New Aesthetic as art incorporated into modern technology. Glitch art for example, is an attempt to combine a certain function of technology, and in turn, incorporate creativity and insight. Glitch art, may not be considered art to everybody, but then again art, itself is a very subjective concept. What should or should not be considered a work of art, is art supposed to be correlated to beauty? What then, is beauty?
To a certain extend, I agree with Sterling’s argument on the on the “New Aesthetic” being a “genuine aesthetic movement with a weak aesthetic metaphysics”, and I agree that computers are incapable of sound aesthetic judgments. With this in mind, it is true that computers or machineries itself cannot be considered an aesthetic, but I do believe that using machines to generate a creative form of aesthetic should be considered art in the very least. To put things in perspective, I see computers as a medium to generate digital art. Similarly, when compared to traditional forms of art, like oil painting or pencil drawings, pencils and paints are not considered art themselves, but they are used as mediums to create art. Media Artists are attempting to reinterpret modern art, using technology as a medium, and I do not see anything wrong with that. Whether it can or cannot be defined as art, is really up to the interpretation of the audience.
From what I gathered, Sterling’s opinion on how “The aesthetics of Surveillance cams are not value-free” is questionable. I think Sterling interprets the New Aesthetic as technology attempting to be art on its own. That, robotic vision, is not a form of aesthetic. However, I feel that that is not what the New Aesthetic is attempting to do. I see the New Aesthetic as a way of using technology as a medium to creatively reinterpret the way humans sees the world. The New Aesthetic, is definitely not for everybody to appreciate, it is a unique category of creativity on its own and it is definitely not worthless. Regardless of whether it can be considered as art or not, the New Aesthetic also reflects a moment in time of the modern age, and it definitely has both social and political implications as well.
Web Public Services VS SOPA/PIPAA
Web Public APIS, REST, AJAX encourages the freedom for anyone to retrieve the underlying operating system to perform basic functions such as accessing the file system. These web public services represent democracy and free speech, which is exactly what the SOPA/PIPA bill denounces. Passing the SOPA/PIPA bill meant censored search and threat to free speech and expression. What worries me is the ability for the bill to stifle innovation. Creative developers have the freedom to work around with useful web public APIs, REST and AJAX and create or innovate new ideas, art, technology. The freedom to speak, to write and be anything online has always been such an empowering feature of the internet, and taking that away could bode more ill than good. The United States of America has always epitomized the idea of freedom, the SOPA/PIPA bill could even lead to a bad global precedent for other countries to follow. Twitter, for example, served instrumental in the Arab Uprising. It was not only served as a tool for communication for the uprising, the medium itself, represented the freedom to speech. As Marshall McLuhan brought up the idea of “The Medium is the Message”, I think that Twitter, which was the medium of communication, represented a message of free speech and expression. Similarly, the internet, is what epitomizes freedom, challenging the essential purpose of the internet undermines everything that people of the world are fighting for. With information freely flowing, and of course, used to appropriate advantage, there can be so much that can be created and built to improve humanity. 3D printers can gather information on structures and templates and print out a prosthetic leg for someone in need, bio medical tools can be built instantly to improve medicine and aid doctors. I mean, Google is even creating cars that can drive on its own. If we, the users, are cut from democratic access to information on the internet, all this will slow down, it would even stop. We are living in an exciting era of start-ups and innovation, instead of banning it, we should be cultivating and promoting it.
Functions, Objects, and DOM
Function: Pure functions work like a machine. You feed a variable into the function and it churns out something it is regulated to do. Functions always return the same value when given the same arguments and never have side effects.
There are two properties to functions.
1) If a function is pure, and you are not sure that it is working correctly, adding a console to it can allow you to test whether it is working.
2) Non pure functions might return different values based on all kinds of factors and have side effects that would be difficult to be tested. Different functions can contain variables of the same name without getting tangled up, a function that calls itself is recursive.
Object: Complexity are managed by separating it into small compartments that are isolated from each other. These compartments are called objects. In order to get access into the complexity inside the objects, you have to go through a few knobs or connectors (known as METHODS) that presents an interface through which the object is to be used .An object is essentially an unordered list of primitive data types that is stored as a series of name-value pairs. Each item in the list is called a property, functions are called methods.
Methods are properties that hold function values, a method usually needs to do something with the object it was called on. When a function is called as a method, looked up as a property and immediately called as in object.method()- the special variable ‘this’ in its body will point to the object that it was called on.
Prototype is another OBJECT that is used as a fallback source of properties. When an object receives a request for a property that it does not have, its prototype will be searched for the property, or the prototype’s prototype etc.
Constructors: a more convenient way to create objects that derive from some shared prototype. Constructors automatically get a property named prototype, which by default holds a plain, empty object that derives from Object.prototype. However, it is important to note the distinction between the way a prototype is associated with a constructor and the way objects have a prototype. In summary,objects have prototypes, which are other objects and will act as if they have properties they don’t have as long as the prototype has that property.
Event: To add interesting functionality to a web page, you use event handlers. Pressed keys are events, mouse clicks and even mouse motion can be seen as a series of events. Whenever an event occurs, the handler for that event if any, is called. There are four event related actions, 1) Registering an event handler 2) Getting the event object 3)Getting the event object 4) Signalling that an event has been handled.
Document Object Model: The document object model is a platform and language neutral interface that will allow programs and scripts to dynamically access and update content, structure and style of documents. It provides a structured representation of the document and it defines a way that the structure can be accessed from programs.
The six articles shared a lot in common, especially with regards to what makes good interaction design. From what I gathered, the main gist of good design is that it must be consistent, effortless to navigate, reduce short term memory load and a goal driven design. I think that what struck me the most was the management of short term memory integrated into interactive design. With the advance of technology, people have started to become less capable of paying attention for a long time. People are easily distracted and bored, and we have become a generation of multi-taskers, where even interactive design have to take into account that aspect of society today in order to tailor to our needs.
In marketing, it is important to focus on benefits not features. Similarly, to sell a good interactive design, it is important to focus on solutions and not features. The articles focus a lot on the how important it is to make it easy and even effortless to learn the interface. A lot of creative problem solving goes into thinking thoroughly on how each interaction process is like with every click or every swipe on a mobile surface. At the same time, it has to look aesthetically consistent. More importantly, it is important to know one’s audience before diving into designing a interaction. Knowing your audience, means that the designer knows how to tailor a design that speaks to its audiences and making sure it works, just like how angry birds did it.
I think the greatest takeaway is just simply the realization that people in general are lazy thinkers, we are so accustomed to go with the flow of interaction design that we seldom actually realize that so much thought process goes into ensuring users get the best out of the interaction. Every single swipe or click is a form of design (be it good or bad), and the truly best designs are the ones we use and never question how to use it. The best designs are the ones that works subtly and stealthily.
The World Wide Web ReflectionIt took me quite a while to understand the article so I had to read it a few times to jot down my opinions on it. I have watched a video in IML 300 with regards to Tim Berners –Lee and the world wide web, and this article seems to remind me of it. The web is this virtual vast massive space that connects everything together. I see it as a sort of right-hand for the brain- the brain encodes a message and put it on the W3 via a universal language like the HTML, then the W3 decodes it and puts it into context on the web. The web is able to bring forth an intangible idea into something tangible and understood by users. More so, I think its really interesting how everything is coded into a universal language. Humans have technically created a set of language that helps establish communication between a non-living object and a living object.
This form of interaction between a computer and a human is possibly one of the most interesting concepts ever and this is what truly excites me about interactive design. Creating a form of universal language understood by anyone regardless of race is intriguing. It has broken down language barriers and it has even generated a demand for learning the language of computer. The future holds so much more possibility for the world wide web, the way we function in society has drastically changed because of a simple concept.
As We May Think Reflection
The ideas presented in the paper envisage future technology back in 1945 and how science can actually help the human race to grow in wisdom. It is interesting to think how Bush has predicted something similar to our form of internet or computer desktop today, and it is definitely food for thought because people today take whatever we have as presented on a silver platter plate without appreciation of such an amazing human invention. What is mind-blowing is that, if I were to be born in a different era, an entirely different period of time, my life experiences could have been so different.
As Bush presents his design for the Memex, which appears to be the early blue prints of a computer where he describes as one that can “store all his books records and communications” and is mechanized to work “with exceeding speed and flexibility”, people born in his time would have probably thought that it was preposterous or impossible. Today, we are equipped with smartphones, tablets, laptops and even gigantic desktops for gaming—it is funny to think that even the royal emperors or monarchies in the past did not even get to share a similar experience.
In today’s context, our life revolves around technology and it seems that there is a growing reliance and interdependence between human efficiency and technology. At some instances like “machines will have enormous appetites”, I feel that Bush is starting to personify the Memex which also sets a forecast for the development of the unhealthy dependency man have on technology today.As Marshall McLuhan once argued that “the medium is the message”, it is a growing concern as to how we are living in a world of technological hegemony. Our computers, our television and even our phones dictate the way we perceive information and sees things, we are unconsciously being governed and shaped by the information bombarded at us, and the mediums through which we extend an over reliance on.
Aesthetics of the Internet-Context as a Medium Reflection
The article's main focus is on how context drives the interconnectedness provided by the Internet. Context in this sense, represents the 'way and timing in which nodes are connected together'. In the early paragraphs, Ito brings up the topic on how new forms of media and communications tend to attempt mimicing what early forms of media did to effectively communicate to the mass public. This is a very interesting observation, and I would even see it as a form of appropriation. It brings up a controversy on how traditional modes of media are increasingly rendered less effective as compared to the internet, and so begins the struggle between traditional and modern methods of communication. In my opinion, I think that the Internet does offer convenience and faster delivery of information as compared to magazines or newspapers, but the Internet can never be able to replace traditional modes of communication completely. Or so, I hope.
There is a beauty in picking up old books and flipping through its tattered pages and soaking in its muskiness. There is a mystery in tuning to the radio station one loves and indulging in imagination as stories are being told. The internet may provided a sort of anonymity but this anonymity could be a double-edged sword. Today, people have learnt to dwell more in virtual reality than learning to communicate better in the real world. Ito mentions that there are communicites on the net, and this connects people toggether in the form of dicussions, games etc. Facebook, for example, sends me tons of Pirate Kings requests everyday, and I would see this as a form of connection that may or may not be intentionally created by the user who sent the request out. So instead of asking a fellow friend to play a game of good ol' monopoly with you, people are actually sending "requests" through facebook to gather participants or maybe even benefits for their own gaming points.
In essence, I believe that the Internet itself is such a beneficial tool to the public, and to the world. Ideas, and beautiful designs are shared and appreciated by the public rapidly. Information and knowledge are gathered and distributed a lot faster. However, as mentioned earlier, the Internet could be a double edged sword as it could not only provide a form of anonymity and hence potential to abuse, it could also create a form of excessive reliance on it for information. Then again, by understanding to use the Internet appropriately could offer an abundance of resources. knowledge and connectivity that the world has never experienced or seen.
Final Project Landing PageLanding Page Visual Design
Working first user experience functionality (landing page only)
I tested my landing page with my roommate. She clicked around, but only understood the purpose of the site until she clicked " what listen is about" to read up more on the site.
My aim was for the user to understand the elements of the page, and navigate through it to understand the following page that contained the audio responsive visuals. Since the audio visuals were not up yet, she was a bit confused with the true functionality of the site.
Also she was confused with the soundcloud api at the beginning of the page, because it started playing without any added functionality.
I am satisfied because Sophia managed to understand the functionality of the site through the description and overall presentation of the landing page, but she expected a bit more with interacting with the site, mainly cause the site encompassing the audio visuals were not ready yet. It was an engaging experience, trying to fiddle around the landing page, scrolling through the music list and the link to the description. Sophia's feedback, has made me realise the importance of getting the main crux of the project- the audio visuals, ready, in order for the landing page to make sense for the user. Also, Sophia's feedback also reassured me on the simple straightforward direction of the site. What needs to be worked on now, is the audio visuals, and also trying to incorporate the black/white feature, and a more interactive feature in the audio visuals page, like a microphone, or allowing the user to switch easily between music, or even upload their own music.
Final Project Pre Production Draft
Creative Direction & Design Proposal
The name of the project is called LISTN, Minimal, clean and simple to navigate. This is the visual mock up of the design of the website.
Two different user stories:
a)First User: College student into music/raves/festivals- want to use this to display/project on the wall for parties
Ultimately I hope to see it as a platform for anyone to be able to use to incorporate their music into, and create beautiful visuals with projection. Because of the simplicity of the platform, it is going to be available for all to use. The college student intending to throw a party and lack of lightings can consider projecting this onto the wall.
b) Second User: DJ collaborating with VJ, mostly indie starting- small djs looking to collaborate to put their music out there.
Comprehensive Content Outline
The content is fairly simple and straightforward, the first page will be one that documents the instructions to use the site and what the site is about, it will introduce a visual display of what the user can anticipate in the following page.
The first landing page will then navigate to the page where the audio responsive visual occur. The soundcloud embedded api player should be at the bottom of the page and plays automatically, allowing the user to see the audio and visuals reacting together. The user should be able to interchange between psychedelic colorful visuals and simple black and white visuals upon the click of the button on the bottom right. My visuals will be simple, geometric and clean.
Users will be able to navigate through the songs playlist, via the soundcloud api player. Also, the user should be able to opt for a microphone section, that allows the user to interact with the visuals when they speak. Overall, the content of the page is kept minimal and simple, with the focus on the audio repsonsive visuals.
Technical Requirements & Technical Scope
Songs: A playlist curation of songs from my sound cloud.
Final Project Plan
Letter of intent
My project will be one that incorporates music and responsive visuals. The kind of music I am intending to use is one that is heavy in beats and light in vocals, while the kind of visuals I want to use is a mash of 3JS and glitch art. I expect my user to be interacting with switching between the audio clips, and also moving the mouse around that navigates through the visual space. Every time the user clicks, a new visual will appear on the canvas, allowing the user to feel like he or she is in control of what appears. The user will also be able to interchange between a black and white mode and a range of very trippy visuals. It will be purely an interactive piece that brings together music and visuals through my creative expression. I personally feel that this can be an interesting field for current music videos to venture into.
Theme and Subject
The theme of the project will be the 90’s graphics, a mix of the psychedelic era and cubism. I enjoy geometric lines and trippy visuals, and I feel that it will be very emotionally engaging to throw in some 90’s graphics for my target users- college students. I think it will also be interesting to look into 90’s music remixes in the 21st century, and with the incorporation of 90’s graphics revised into a modern day interpretation, it would be interesting to see how the differences in the 20th century and 21st century can blend together and make art.
I will be making use of a mix of 3JS, Web Audio API, Soundcloud API whenever necessary. It will be an eclectic mix of trippy visuals that combines multi-colored visuals, 90's videos like "heman" and geometric shapes and lines, users will be able to click and scroll through the canvas as a form of interaction. Also users will be able to choose what song they want and the visuals will adapt accordingly.
Virtual Reality in Instagram