21 Jan 2013

1. Second Surface by the Tangible Media Group at MIT
Second Surface is a project that creates an interactive virtual environment layered over-top everyday environment. It allows the user to generate content to add to the environment in real-time and this content it shared across devices so that other users can view and add to content created before them and further, that users can collaborate on this artwork in real-time. What is really cool and innovative about this project is that AR recognition technology is used to determine the pose of the user’s device, so that the content one adds is embedded more smoothly into the virtual environment. Personally, this project is really interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, I envision users utilizing this project as a kind of graffiti that could create really interesting dialogues across users. Secondly, and this stems from my background in architecture, I find that the project is a response to an open-ended question I’ve had since switching into BCSA which is how to bridge or intersect physical and virtual space. In one of my studios, we spent a good deal of time dealing with differences on the range between private and public space and it seems to me that this project works to overturn these distinctions and allows any space to become a new sort of public space.

Second Surface from Tangible Media Group on Vimeo.

2. Playmodes by Eloi Maduell, Santi Vilanova, and Jordi Teixidor
Playmodes is a cool tool/installation that acts as a sequencer for your body movements. It allows the user to specify certain parameters to capture their movements and piece them together in different ways. So far it has been used as an installation for multiple users to play with and enjoy and for a performance piece, as shown in the video. I think that this project could be extended to be used in conjunction with music sequencing and allow the user to use their body to create music in a way that I have not seen before.

3. Optical Flow by Denis Perevalov
This project is an experimentation that has not yet been applied to a project but that I think is really cool and has a lot of potential to be used in interesting projects. It basically allows the user to manipulate a grid using his body movements but the grid has an elasticity to it that causes it to bounce somewhat as it responds. I see a lot of potential for overlaying the grid with images or environments that can be instilled with an immersing dreamlike quality. The creator provides a link to the source code so I may try using it for a future project in the the class.