Category Archives: LO-1

Zach Rispoli

20 Jan 2015


Novice Art Blogger is a bot with a tumblr account that uses deep learning algorithms (super cool new stuff that only recently is starting to work pretty well) to blog its thoughts on various works of abstract art. This project was interesting to me because I’ve been really interested in bots lately, having recently found out about Darius Kazemi’s Twitter bots. Also, this is the first project I’ve seen to use image recognition software creatively.
The idea is very interesting, but I feel like the way the bot describes the artworks could be more complicated. The reason I think bots are so enjoyable to make is because, with a complex enough system, every now and then the program will spit out something surprising, funny, poetic, etc. This bot hasn’t really posted anything too crazy yet.


Adam Ferris’s 100000000 pixels is a giant explorable generative image. A sort of tiny universe is contained in the 10000×10000 frame, and the algorithm is complex enough to make the universe interesting.
I really like this project because it does something clever with algorithmically generated art. Many times generative images are simply just nice to look at, and most of the enjoyment comes from the novelty of the image or forms being randomly generated/infinitely many/created by a computer etc. This piece is visually influenced by op art and makes references to famous images taken by the Hubble Telescope (also, the artist has worked with ideas about space before) which made me imagine that the piece is more than imagery, and what the artist is actually doing is creating an entire world that, although not designed by any individual, is still a world filled with mystery and is something that people want to explore.


18 Jan 2015

Patterned by Nature from Sosolimited on Vimeo.

Patterned by nature is a 10′ x 90′ ribbon composed of 3,600 glass LCD tiles. By varying independently varying the transparency of each tile, animations can be displayed on the ribbon surface. The installation runs through 20 pre-programed animations that celebrate abstraction of nature’s infinite complexity into patterns through the scientific process.

My favorite aspect of this installation is its simplicity of form and integration into the space. The use of varied transparency to create figures allows the environment to interact with the animations in a compelling way.

The piece currently cycles through 20 pre-programmed animations. I wonder how the viewers experience might change if they were allowed to interact and create their own patterns. What if the installation reacted to patterns occurring naturally within the space, such as, the spacing or motion of people below it.

Vanishing Point from United Visual Artists on Vimeo.

Vanishing Point creates a space within a space using light. With the use of projection mapping, arbitrary vanishing points are chosen to define new volumes and spacial divisions to be explored by the audience.

I was most struck by the way light can be used to manipulate our experiences of reality and relationship to a physical space. Makes me wonder how much of out everyday experience is a result of our individual perception and how easily it can be manipulated.

I wonder if the experience could have been made more dynamic by adding animations to the projections that simulated motion. This could have added to the distortion of space feeling. It’s hard to tell without experiencing the piece in person though.

Amy Friedman

15 Jan 2015

“Wanderers” by Neri OxmanChristoph Bader & Dominik Kolb (2014)

This project is a digitally grown wearable the can allow for living bacteria to live inside its chambers. The growth is based upon responses to their programmed environment based on biomass, water, air and light necessary for sustaining life. This project inspires me to think about conditions affecting the human body and how wearables can become more personalized if programmed to a specific environment and need. It gives power to the computer to grow organisms which can be 3d printed. Many have created duplicated patterning but this adds multivariants into the equation to allow for growth on its own to allow for life to grow.

The project could be more effective is you saw the inputs of how each example were changed, and a user interface was created to change the environments to understand how the living matter differs in other climates. How will it grow differently, how can we better understand what affects us as people, organisms, nature from this?


“Armstrip” by Fitlinxx (2015)

This is a wearable body monitoring device that can be wore throughout the day, located on the ribe cage. This product using a heart rate monitor, and seems to allow for accurate understand of what activity you are doing throughout the day whether sleeping, working out, or working. We are seeing alot of wearables coming about now such as Sensoria, Fitbit, Jawbone all based upon sports performance. If Armstrip is accurate and provides a strong service design along with the product, it will differ from others as man have trouble differentiating between what type of activity is being done. The importance is that if the product isnt reliable we wont trust it to accomplish what we expect it to. Another critique is these are all methods to better understand out bodies but it doesnt mean we will from the data unless there is a critque of what we are doing and if our movements are correct. I appreciate that this is the first product Ive seen that focuses on letting you know if you have worked out too much to allow for the body to have a break. It inspires me to know more, and as how can we better ourselves through technology? What do people really want?


15 Jan 2015

Daniel Tempkin – Entropy

“Entropy is about giving up control”

Entropy is a programming language in which program data is mutated every time it’s accessed.  Programming in Entropy is, by design, imprecise and unreliable.  It forces its programmers to abandon traditional assumptions — “the rigidity of logic” — and instead “compromise with the computer in order to get it to understand us”.

I love this project, because it doesn’t merely attempt to use technology as a novelty or a black box; instead, it examines the program for what it is and challenges some very software-specific notions to make an artistically rich statement about culture.  The experience is interactive, and forces users to, through the act of writing a program, encounter uncertainty where there typically is none and reflect on how their experience with the computer changes as a result.

While I think the idea and aims are great, it’s never been clear to me that Entropy actually does what it promises.  The sample program, Drunk Eliza, simply outputs increasingly mutated strings, but it’s never clear whether imprecision actually affects execution in any compelling way.  Either the project needs inspired programmers to craft more compelling examples, or the artist needs to find a better way to inspire programmers to write their software differently.

Miranda July – Somebody (2014)

Somebody is a mobile app for passing messages.  When a user wishes to send a message, it gets sent to the app user in closest physical proximity to the target, who delivers the message face-to-face.  It aims to create an experience that is “half-app, half-human”, and promises: “every conversation becomes a three-way”.

I love that this project makes such effective use of the app as its medium.  Somebody takes a tool we use constantly — the instant messaging application — and twists it in a way that truly requires engaging with others in a novel way.  I like that the artist has identified a medium that is so critical to the way we interact with others, and altered such that the experience really changes and requires new kinds of interaction.

While I like the concept for my own reasons, I’ve never managed to get behind the artist’s own justification for her work.  She calls it “the antithesis of utilitarian efficiency that tech promises”, and I think not only that tech is in no way utilitarian nor efficient by nature, but that this technology has far more interesting implications that simply making communication more difficult.





15 Jan 2015

Automated Beacon
project site

This project is a website that displays search queries it collects in real time. It “acts as a silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time”. When I think of searching for something online it seems like an extension of my curiosity/need to know more about a topic. It feels like a private event to enter a question or phrase and get results on it. Viewing it from this perspective makes Automated Beacon feel like peering into a global brain and its collective curiosities. The aesthetics are, if not outdated looking, bare and minimal to complement the kind of poetic premise. It also doesn’t provide much information beyond the search query itself which makes it a project you don’t necessarily spend more than a minute with. I’m not sure if it’s necessary or would ruin the mystery to try to add more, or slow down the display of different queries.

A Sense of Patterns
project site

This project is an ongoing series of visualizations of movement through urban spaces. I found the initial description provided for this project really compelling: “The visualizations have a focus on the patterns of moving entities in public like commuters, cars and public transportation vehicles as well as the interaction between these entities and physical structures like roads, sidewalks, buildings and parks.” I’ve been fascinated by this idea of a city as a pulsing system of movement and energy and to see that visualized sounds very exciting. The static visualizations have an interesting aesthetic that seems to refer to neurons, webs or other biological imagery. But most of the data represented so far relates to taxi routes. I was expecting more novel visualizations different types of “entities” movements  so that we could see some of that interaction between physical structures, moving people and objects. While these are visualized by overlaying paths, I wish for example, that there was visualization of entities moving inside structures and out of them, some added dimension. This is one way it could differentiate itself from other mapping projects, given that mapping one’s path is becoming easier and easier to do as its integrated as a standard functionality in devices.