Talk to Me

Chris Crawford defines interaction as a cyclic process in which two actors alternately listen, think, and speak.

This exhibit is centered around the communication and interaction of the object, film, sound, etc. to the user. In this interaction the artist is attempting to better the lives of the person being spoken to, or in some cases involved in a conversation with the piece.

There were many pieces in the exhibit that really “talked to me.” The first that really jumped out and that I loved was the Tweenbot project which actually came out of ITP. Tweenbot is a very simple robot that really only goes in one direction with a flag on the top telling any one who passes by where its final destination is. Because the Tweenbot only goes in one direction it depends on the kindness of strangers to point it in the right direction. I believe that this project is a great example of physical interaction between person and bot.

Secondly the all the augmented reality pieces like the interesting yet some what scary project Augmented Hypercity shows a possible scenario for our digital future. Along with some mass crowd augmented reality projects that have the user interact with the screen as well as the screen interacting with the people in the public space.

Lastly the section on music I found to be a successful project on interactivity, particularly the MO Musical Objects by the Interlude Project. These instruments took the idea of electronic musical instruments and brought back the idea of using ones whole body and movements to create the sound rather than just pressing a button.

But overall I thought the exhibit kind of generally failed when it comes to interactivity. Everything was either behind glass, heavily guarded or plastered with DO NOT TOUCH signs. Then again the exhibit is called Talk to Me so it never really was promising any visitor interactions with the artwork.

Tom Igoe posed three questions for our class to think about as we experienced the Talk to Me exhibit at MOMA and based on what was on display and the help of Chris Crawfords, The Art of Interactive Design, I hope I will be successful in answering these questions to you the readers satisfactory.

How would you define physical interaction?
I believe physical interaction can use any of our 5 senses, or all of them, to communicate with any other device or living creature.

What makes for good physical interaction?
To really have a successful physical interaction the conversation really would ideally be just that a conversation. One person or object stimulates another and then receives a converse reaction in return, and then back again.

Are there works from Talk to Me or others that you would say are good examples of digital technology that are not interactive?
The Lost Tribes of New York stop motion video really didn’t seem to work under the definition of a interactive digital technology in my eyes. I really only watched and listened, but it really didn’t make me think about what it was trying to say if anything. Also the Pretty Maps, which took city maps and overlaid data visualizations that applied to that area. I think the idea was interesting but the execution really failed and was just confusing and didn’t not really succeed in a interactive way.

Ding freaking dong!

Soooo. I decided to take my simple LED switch project one step further and mess with my broken (has been for 5 years) doorbell. Simple but AWESOME. Cant wait to expand on this even further and maybe have a teched out doorbell that all my 70 year old and up neighbors will be confused by, ha.

Intro to Physical Computing
Tom Igoe
Week 1 Lab on Roids

Inspired artwork or creative thievery?

The question of who owns what, when it comes to the creative world has always been a touchy subject. There has always been a very fine line between inspiration and plagiarism, whether it is a printmaker using a photographers image, an songwriter using a line from a novel or a dj sampling another musicians song. Although some artists and musicians completely support the idea of open source creativity (i.e. Radiohead, David Byrne, Robert Indiana) there are still many, and will always be, people and companies (i.e. Disney, U2, all the large record labels) who refuse to share anything without a significant price tag attached.

I personally am completely for the idea of creative mash ups, creating something completely different, and possibly improving on what already exists. Over the last few years I have become obsessed with DJ mash ups and mixes by artists like Girl Talk, DJ Danger Mouse and Cecil Otter & Swiss Andy. These producers/DJs have created some mind blowing albums like Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, a mix of the Beatles White Album and Jay-Z’s Black Album, along with Cecil Otter & Swiss Andy’s amazing creation, Wugazi: 13 Chambers, which takes songs from Fugazi’s kick ass catalogue, deconstructing them and melodically head butting it with Wu-Tang’s hip hop verses.

Music is certainly not the only art form to use existing creations and twist them into something completely different. Street artists like Space Invader, Shepard Fairey and Banksy use preexisting images and graphics to tell a completely different story or poke fun at the originals. Filmmakers take from novels, novels borrow from articles, songwriters quote poets, and the endless stream of creative inspiration, or thievery (depending on what side you’re on), continues.

So as the battle will inevitable continue I hope that the fear of being sued will not stop the creative industry to continue stealing, tweaking and improving each others artwork. A lot of DJs and producers have decided to make any of their questionable creations free for download to avoid any greed fueled corporations or artists with an army of snarling lawyers knocking down their door. So go out there and steal, borrow, be inspired by, deconstruct, pilfer anything and everything you can get your creatively worn hands on and make some awesome shit.

Stolen from/Inspired by:
Marianne R.Petit’s Video and Sound Class
NYU ITP Week 1

Hello Grad School!

So I just completed my first week at ITP and cant wait to jump into the second one. So far we have had our Lecture Application class with Vito Acconci who went through his lifes work from his performance art pieces in the 60s to his more architectural and design work today. The first Video and Sound class focused on the legalities of sampling using DJ Danger Mouses Grey Album as an example, as well as a introduction into the audio recording equipment we will be using through out our time in the program. Intro to Physical Computing was fascinating but totally overwhelming, we went through the basics of electrical engineering and wiring, a lot of it went way over my head but I think I understand most of it and will understand it all very soon. Still have not had my Intro to Comp Media class yet which is tomorrow. So, so far so good!