Monday, April 6, 2015

iOS Games – A new(ish) subgenre of New Media

Techniques: iOS games are unlike video games on any other platform. When it first came out, many people tried to port familiar games to the iOS like platformers and dragonslayers, but it was apparent for the players and the developers that traditional games don’t usually work great with two thumbs on a touch screen. Because of this, an entirely new strain of games and controls has developed around the strengths of the platform.

Interface: iOS touchscreen (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, between 4-10” screen) and their ten fingers. Multi-touch gestures are also frequently used. Multi-axis movement is also commonly exploited by picking up data from a gyroscope and accelerometer and using it in-game

Development: Since the release of the app store in 2008, different games have attempted various implementations of touch technology. When the app store began, many developers provided the users with the familiar A, B, start, select, up, down, left, right that are common to gaming controllers. But these controls are very difficult to use on a touch screen and have largely phased on in favor of more elegant, usually invisible controls that revolve around swiping, tapping, or movement of the phone itself

The Peak: I think that OS gaming has plateaued somewhat in popularity in the last few years since Angry Birds. The idea of motion and touch in gaming was very novel at first, but I think the honeymoon period of the technology has ended and is now experiencing the same expectations in design placed on traditional gaming styles.

Example: Rolando is a great iOS game that takes full advantage of the platform. As seen in the video below, you can move your protagonists as well as interact with the world itself with your fingers and various gestures.

Speculation: I think that as cameras, sensors, and the speed of iOS devices get better and better, we will be able to get rid of traditional consoles and instead of buying a Playstation console for example, you will buy the rights to have those games on your personal device, and perhaps pay for the drivers to be able to use a Playstation controller with your pocket device.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Gloves Project

The Gloves Project

The topic that I chose in representation of new media is The Gloves Project or musical gloves. These gloves are currently being developed by the singer and experimental musician Imogen Heap. The purpose of these gloves is to control different parameters of MIDI information through the movement of the arms and hands. What this actually means is a revolutionary way for artists to create music through dance and hand gestures. I believe we have not seen anything like this before and its going to open many doors to creativity.
These gloves are routed through a Digital Audio Workstation and they control many different parameters such as cutoff, resonance, pitch and different instruments through MIDI information. They are still being developed and the team behind this idea is working to improve the technologies and make it the best quality it could be. At the moment they count with sensor technology that converts the tightness of the grip and positioning of the hand to MIDI information that affects signal in many different ways.
This project is not yet out for consumers so we have not yet seen the impact that a product like this will have for music and art in general. We could speculate that something like this is going to revolutionize the way we make music and will be great for artists to make music while going with the "flow". We could go as far as thinking that music might not be the only thing these gloves are going to change. If we just go as far as looking at other art forms, this product could also control visuals in the same way. I believe a lot of people are going to want to incorporate this to their live sets and are going to get creative with in the way that they have always done it with every new technology that changes the game.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Reinterpreting Existing Art Through New Media

Experiencing & Reinterpreting Existing Art Through New Media

Computers and modern technology such as iPads and tablets allow us to experience already existing art in a new way. The way we look at art changes our experience: We can use a controller to zoom in, to interact with the piece. If we are using tablets we can even -though indirectly- touch the piece. 
Modern technology such as different analysis tools can give us new ways of experiencing art:
The website “Closer To Van Eyck” ( ) for example allows us to look at Van Eyck’s altarpiece in greater detail than ever. We look at the piece using X-Ray and Infrared.
The google art project is another example, that offers HD zoom into pieces. We can look at a piece in greater detail than we could when we were standing in front of it.
So through New Media, we gain a new insight into the piece. However, we stay detached from the physical piece. New Media doesn’t replace seeing the actual work of art. It merely offers a new, interesting perspective. 
I don’t believe ways of experience art through New Media can replace a museum visit, but they offer us an additional tool.

Digital Reconstruction

For my presentation I chose Digital Reconstruction. I’m focusing on The Last Judgment by Miao Xiachun. One of the awesome things that digital reconstruction offers is the 3D aspect. It takes the original and uses it’s depth perception to put the reconstruction in a real space. This allows the viewer the option of seeing the work from many more perspectives that couldn’t be seen in the past.

Interactive Music Systems

The topic I choose to talk about was interactive music systems. Though mostly found in video games, they can be utilized in a number of different situations such as art exhibitions or amusement park attractions. In most of these situations, you don't interact with the audio directly; it responds to how you interact with something else (a screen, object, button). These interactions will then generally send information to a computer that will interpret the data and use the system the artist created to play back music or sound. This is commonly done using either micro-controllers or a more complex middleware engine, that allows the artist to take a more musical approach. These systems have been developing since the days of pinball and early arcade games, as creators try to reach all senses of the interactee. The peak of this type of new media art has definitely not been reached yet. Modern software like melodyne is paving the road forward for interactive systems, potentially giving artists more ways to work with sound than ever before.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Physical Computing

     For my presentation I chose Physical Computing.  It's basically building interactive art with software and hardware that respond to the analog world.  In this case people,  for example the Camille Utterback piece we looked at in class (Text Rain).  Virtual and Augmented reality are included in this, but there is also a more traditional arts side to this including works like Danny Rozin's "Mechanical Mirrors" series.  This particular topic is very broad but I'll narrow down the topic a little more during my presentation.  Some of the works I really liked didn't have a specific sub-category that they really fit into, but certainly fit into the the category of Physical Computing.  Maybe we can iron some out in class!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MFA 3: Naked or Nude?

Good work.  You found the Kokoschka painting.  

John Berger argues that the nude is a convention, that to be naked is to be oneself, but to be nude is to become an object.

Are the figures in this painting naked or nude?  Talk about this question and your reasons for your answer with your partner.  Using the Layar app, vote on whether they are naked or nude. 

Now, if you are facing the painting, look to your right.  You will see Matisse's CarmelinaUsing the Strategies for Reading to help you talk about the works, as well as considering the 3 levels of Relations of Looking (gazes within the work, the artist's at the work/subject of the work, and your gaze), discuss how Matisse portrays the nude.

Is she naked or nude?  You can tweet your response to @loirl and with the hashtag #viscult15

Move through the museum to another area that interests you.  Look for paintings and sculptures of nudes or bodies that prompt interesting conversation about the topic of naked or nude?  How do representations change over time? With different styles and mediums?

Berger's book (and the video series it comes from) is from 1972.  Are his ideas still relevant today, forty years later?  Make sure you look in the Contemporary Art gallery on the second floor of the Linde Wing (above where we come in when we enter as a group).  In contemporary art, do “men act, and women appear,” as Berger asserts?

Finally, perform the experiment that Berger suggests at the end of his chapter on the nude, but with a painting or sculpture from the museum. 

Now comment here about the paintings and sculptures you discussed with your partner, and what your overall conclusions are about Berger's ideas. Topics to include (plus anything other insights): what works you examined, how did you decide whether naked or nude, is Berger still relevant, how representations change over time, Berger’s experiment.