I am thinking of using p5.js, webGL and hopefully some other libraries to create shaders that give an abstract representation of places, times and color palettes that I associate with certain places and times in my life.
An important aspect of this project is going to be creating a representation of these places that feels true to me but is also relatable to other peoples’ experiences. I think that I will need to think a lot about sound, velocity and interaction in order to make this a satisfying experience for me as a creator as well as for the audience.
I thought that the feedback that my peers gave me was incredibly helpful. For the most part, the feedback seemed to fall under one of two categories. Some students felt that there was too much focus on the backend implementation of the app and that I should have focused more on the frontend and artistic statement of the device. That probably happened because I was unsure about how I wanted the app to look and decided to fall back into a space where I was familiar and knew that I could get right, and that is something that I am actively trying to improve on. Some students felt that the idea of what I was trying to implement was somewhat confusing and seemed to go into too many different directions. For example, it was unclear whether I was trying to make a game or a user-hostile chatbot; I believe I was trying to create something at the intersection of those things, but the idea of what exactly I was trying to create was never fully clear. I think that for the most part, this confusion came from the fact that I had stumbled upon a relatively rich problem space and was unsure about what direction I wanted to take my project. I learned a lot from this project about how easily ideas can evolve while they are being brought to life, and how important it is to have a clear plan of attack before I finish the ideation step.
I am interested in exploring one of two different ideas for this networking project. The first is a fun take on a chat application where some arbitrary value judgement will be placed on them by a computer third party. The main challenge in the piece is going to be choosing an absurd enough value to judge the “quality” of the conversation to make it clear that the overall interaction is made to be silly. I want people to change the way that they talk to one another to conform to the computer’s idea of a valuable conversation. The inspiration for this idea came from the frustration, competitiveness and finally relief that we feel when we are asked to create a “strong” password for any of the web services that we use. What happens when this extends to more than just our passwords?
The second idea has to do with the way that we cope with loneliness in the increasingly connected world. This work, Loneliness, by Jordan Magnuson. The piece is an experimental, minimalistic microgame about loneliness, made for the Korean middle school students the creator taught for a year. despite the very simplistic nature of the interaction with the game, it is very effective in making the player feel lonely and separated from the “human” interaction that is constantly just out of reach. This piece affected me more than I expected it to. However, I feel like a lot more could be done here with a deeper analysis of what it feels like to be “lonely.” Furthermore, I feel like adding a multiplayer aspect to the game would have made it more effective as well
For this project, I’ve been interested in playing with the idea of creating a lightweight VJ tool. Making a full functioning VJ tool would be too complex an endeavour for the short period of time that I have to work on this project, however I would like to toy around with the core concepts of transitions, looping and beat detection.
The first piece of inspiration came from the tool, boopy , which is a unique GIF drawing tool developed by Andrew Benson in collaboration with Giphy Arts. The tool allows users to commit drawings to a canvas that records the strokes over time so they can be replayed in a gif format.
The second piece of inspiration came from a piece by Corey Walsh where he used processing to make a visualizer that classified different kinds of drums (kicks, snares and flams).
Beat Detection in Processing
My hopes are to combine these aspects to create a rather simple but enjoyable VJ application.
For this project I thought a good deal about what a mask was and the different ways that they are used. At its core, I found, a mask can have two purposes. A mask can obscure the wearer, keeping his or her features and emotions a secret (e.g. ski masks). I began to think of these as utilitarian focused masks. A mask can also allow the wearer to embody someone’s presence or take on a persona. At first when I thought about this kind of mask I considered masks that are used in ceremonies and performances (e.g. Kabuki theater and traditional African masks) where a performer puts on the mask and loses himself or herself in someone else, but after thinking some more about it I realized that many people put on masks every day not like someone else, but rather to feel more themselves.
After thinking about that for some time I began to draw inspiration from these different kinds of masks. I began to think about how deeply cultural masks are. The way that a culture’s masks are designed and created reflects very much on the aesthetic standards in the cultures from which it stems. Therefore It felt wrong to create a mask based on a culture to which I did not belong. That became the seed for my assignment because after I came to that realization, I began looking for a way that I could the common visual language of these different masks to create one that belonged to me.
One common aspect of the visual language that I found in masks was exaggerated features, and so I used deep reds and yellows to convey emotion while also maintaining a distance from fully understanding the emotion by not using a traditional representation of a face on the mask.
In my mask, I used a design showing a QR code as the most prominent element because I liked how it alluded to this idea that in our data-driven culture a computer-readable symbol linking to my social media could be just as representative of my identity as my face is.
For the project I used Kyle McDonald’s FaceOSC implementation and Processing.
In my reflection on my goals and how they aligned with Flannigan’s propositions I had to think about what I wanted to create and I found that what interests me most exists in the space between “exposing and examining dominant values” and “toying with the notion of goals.” I want my creations to lead those who interacted with them to see what they want to believe and use their actions to lay bare what they truly believe in. I think that I’m interested in creating things that fall in that space because it is a process that I have had to go through before. And In my experience, even though it can be a painful process it is ultimately very rewarding as honest self-reflection like that is necessary for growth.
Lil Miquela is a fictional character, Instagram model and music artist created by the LA based transmedia studio known as Brud Lil Miquela is a virtual art piece that uses Instagram as a medium. She reflects society back on itself in a hyperrealistic way while deliberately never leaving the uncanny valley.
Burd claims that their goal in creating Lil Miquela was to develop “story worlds that have the power to introduce marginalized ideas wrapped in the familiarity of entertainment.” Which I found to be very in line with my own interests
Because of Brud’s rather secretive nature, it is hard to say what specific software they used to create lil Miquela, but it would not be outside the realm of possibility that they used any of the usual culprits (Maya, Blender or Unity) to create or design her.
Similar projects such as Hatsune Miku, and the Gorillaz have existed in the past, from which Brud must have drawn inspiration, however, the interactive nature of the project, the deep realism of her posts and the fact that she exists mainly on the world’s fastest growing social media platform sets her apart and makes her the most interesting iteration of the art form yet.
My goal for this project was to play with the concept of what 2D really is by showing that our eyes use certain cues such as size and shade to imply depth and 3D space even though the images are ultimately reduced to 2D images on our retinas. This fallacy of depth intrigued me and I wanted to see how I could use certain visual cues to my advantage in a way that made the viewer interact with a falsehood.
After a few iterations, I felt that the way that the balls grew and shrunk had a biological feel to it and seemed sinusoidal in nature, so I ended up spending hours to find the right pattern that would give a feeling of depth without seeming too rigid.
I tried to add another component where on a mouse click the underlying sinusoidal equation would be convolved with a Gaussian equation to give an added level of interaction, but the processing required to constantly apply the convolution was too computationally heavy for my machine.
This project was possible because of Dan Schiffman’s Box2D documentation