The Recipe: When mail is received by a certain Gmail account, tweet the title of the email.
The Gmail account: The email address is submitted to the mailing lists of ad websites to receive spam.
The Twitter account: The account of a 34-year-old businessman obsessed with best offers, limited time events, and consumer surveys in which his opinion is highly valued.
Meet Fred Bogo here!
This was my attempt at using If This Then That in order to create an interesting character that exists on the internet and whose personality is generated by random input from the web. The API is the perfect medium to explore this idea because it enables the users to gather data from many places and feed it into a simple program. This process is described by Jim Campbell’s formula, which may be interpreted as a critique of computer art (suggesting art made with computers is formulaic or predictable). However, once the chaos of the real world is injected into the program, beautiful and unexpected things can happen.
My first recipe on IFTTT was all about utility. The one which I currently have running saves all of the photos taken on my mobile device to my cloud storage account. I like that a lot because having a reliable way to backup my data (especially after multiple recent hardware crashes) is a top priority. IFTTT’s formulas all have utilitarian roots.
The idea of having a “formula” for art seems a bit out of whack. Add a touch of composition here, a bit of color here and *bam*, art. While Jim Campbell’s infinitely looping “formula for art” does express common themes in the realm of computer art it leaves out vital portions of the art itself. The response and interactions which the art elicits. Jer Thorpe’s “Art and the API” effectively communicates how artists can design seemingly impressive technical projects, which can still hold an impressive amount of weight in an artist context.
I automated my Facebook birthday messages based on the contacts in my google calendar. Social media takes the personal aspect out of a birthday wishes as it is, so I thought I would just automate them completely so I wouldn’t have to think about it.
I used IFTTT to see more of our fine galaxies! Everyday when NASA posts their astronomy photos of the day I immediately get to see them. For me IFTTT has been a good way for me to see beautiful things I wouldn’t normally. I also subscribed to a cloud observational website IFTTT so I could see beautiful natural sensations.
IFTTT so far has been a very good experience I enjoy the concept of the site so much too. Applying if-like statements to my internet experience will help cut my browsing down as I’ll get real-time updates from the things I want to see.
If new post on Facebook then send me a text message
So I was trying to make the IFTTT app text message me when my brother posts something on my wall, or when he chats me on Facebook (because he uses Facebook chat instead of messaging) but I couldn’t find it or didn’t know how to set it up properly that I’ve been bombarded with messages that I had to turn it off for now. I think it would be great and efficient if one knew how to use it properly.
I think that the introducing the APIs made software and programs easier for the people who don’t have a lot of knowledge in the field. With many people using the API and experimenting with them I think they can use it to the full potential of it. Due to this fact I think that IFTTT is something that can expand the potential of the softwares and program. Since IFTTT allows the user to customise the program her or his own need and without the burden of programming it will bring more convenience and a chance to further use the full potential of the programs. The programs have been around for quite some times, but I think API will make it develop even more.
My recipes, half functional half personal, are two so far:
One saves my iPhone’s camera roll photos to my dropbox as I take them, the other alerts me when my girlfriend makes a post on Instagram (so that I can like her picture, otherwise I’m in trouble lol).
I think IFTTT is a wonderful idea that I never knew existed before and wish I did know. The concept of it, the way it helps ease day-to-day activities, actions and mundane tasks. I created the photo to dropbox thing because I want my photos to instantly be on my computer after I take them, without having to plug them in. As for Campbell’s formula, I think it’s pretty accurate. Most computer art, if it’s not programmed using only computational statements and random generators, its using variable input data, and nothing screams varying data than nature and the world. Temperature, sound, etc are all variable and the perfect data to manipulate into visual elements.
So the IFTTT recipe I made is one of a pair:
Recipe 1: If new photo by [my Instagram] is tagged #natdraws, then create a photo post on [my tumblr account].
Recipe 2: If new photo by [my Instagram] is tagged #natdraws, then post a tweet with the image to @Natroze [my twitter].
The intent was supposed to be that every time I Instagram a doodle or sketch that I’ve done, it gets cross-posted to my tumblr and twitter so I don’t have to waste time making three separate posts. I like its convenience, but in the case of tumblr I have to go in anyway and add more tags to the photo post, so it’s also kind of difficult.
My thoughts on all of this are pretty much that, while IFTTT is a really good idea, and I can see how it’s incredibly useful in some cases (for example, some of the recipes you can make will give you iOS alerts if the weather forecast changes). However, at least for my personal use, it lacks a lot of options that I’d like to implement in order to make my life easier. As far as my thoughts on the “Formula for Computer Art,” I like the concept of using computer art to demonstrate how computer art is made, but I feel like it’s kind of difficult to read due to the constant movement and the sideways panels, and the fact that it’s not easy to read makes it feel less productive and provocative than I think it’s intended to be.
The article “Art and the API” by Jer Thorp describes an API (Application Programming Interface) as a conduit or a connection which can bridge or transform data from one source to some other place.
IFTTT provides a service or system where you select two API’s and connect them with some simple rules. I like the simplicity of the idea and that it can expand into a large system where you could possibly have all your social feeds documented in a google doc.
The two are comparable in that IFTTT is a work that just bridges connections between APIs.
My formula adds the name and information of any new follower on twitter to a google doc.
So for my IFTTT account I created a recipe which I vaguely understand how it works. Not being a very frequent Instagram user, I created a recipe that might interest me in the app more. Basically how it works is every time I like something on Instagram (I’ll make an effort to actually use the platform), it will update my profile picture on twitter. This recipe was mostly a test recipe to see what results I would get from IFTTT. I’m chronicling this recipe and another one I’ll explain later on below for a week to see the results. In general I don’t really pay attention to social media so my hope is that if and then can serve as a surrogate me and post and like things for me. I hope to create a digital version of myself that completely functions and exists on the internet with little to no prompting from me. My second recipe will aim to do this even more by posting automatically on my tumbler whenever there is a sunrise in my area based on the weather channel app. Hopeful I will have a completely automated tumblr that posts stupid pictures of sunrises and weather updates.
I created my recipes before I read Jim Campbell’s Formal for Computer Art Post however, after reading the post it really gave me insight into how IFFTEN functions. From what I can make out, essentially the website is retrieving and sending information based on a certain set of parameters, or recipes, the user makes. All of this is based off of the open API from it and other websites like twitter and Facebook. I find API to be a form of welcomed hacking in a way, especially when it comes to retrieving secret information from the government. However, on a social media terms, I also find it slightly unsettling. Even using the website IFTTT to essentially automate tumblr posts for me is in a way unsettling. Essentially it is connecting all of the information you have on social media websites and linking them, inherently creating a completely digital database of you online which I find unsettling.
If you would like to see what IFTTT has posted for my tumblr so far, or you would like to know what the weather is today, you can check it out below!
If my Alarm turns on, then my house phone receives a call.
I wanted to create a sort of disruption in my household, where my parents and siblings receive a reminder that I still exist, but in a form that brings them anxiety and worried thoughts. Considering I probably sleep much later than they do and they really want to forget this fact and believe that I sleep at the nice hour of 10 pm, every single time I decide to go to sleep and turn on my alarm, they are notified by two house phones ringing an 8-bit Liszt’s Liebestraum (yes, this is our home phone’s ringtone), echoing and disrupting their sleep.
I think IFTTT and API’s provide users with the means of customizing their networked experience, rather than to have a set experience that we must navigate through. But in addition to this, they allow the experience to transcend functionality and become conceptually driven as well, in reference to Thorp’s article. Campbell’s Formula for Computer Art is a means of showing the simplicity and straight-forwardness that might be assumed of Computer Art, but in this simplification he undermines any form of conceptual thinking, and brings this issue to light. Everything can fall under input and output, but what really allows a work to speak for itself, complex or not, is the critical thinking backing it.