I created a creature that interacts with the user, that grows when fed and speaks using the user’s information, which thus far only includes first name and age. I had originally wanted it to engage with user information that did not have to be put in manually but I have included the last email I sent, as well. This creature makes noise, originally intended to be connected to its y position, and as she is fed, her dialogue changes. I wanted to play with narrative and ghosts of oneself/ the abstraction of one’s digital self using the creature I started earlier, and this is a preliminary phase of what this project will end up like in the end.
I looked for some weird internet data creature material for this looking outwards and found a lot of interesting work. Logistically I would share this basic project by Rob Dubbin, found here: https://twitter.com/oliviataters. A twitter bot that approximates a teenage girl, more and less convincingly depending on when you catch her.
More excitingly, I also found Mirthe Berentsen’s Ouranophobia or the right to be forgotten super relevant/cool – a short surreal fiction piece about a ghost of the protagonist’s mother made from her internet data trail. Find it here: http://aksioma.org/pdf/aksioma_PostScriptUM_21_ENG_Bridle.pdf
I think tonally that is something I am more interested in – a kind of earnest pulling-apart of a sort of absurd dissonance that lies very close to ‘real life’. But I want random sentence generation/ word association stuff to happen too.
I want to create a sort of spambot creature. It will grow when fed user information for different websites, or pieces of data about the user. As it grows it will mature from spitting out useless lines about losing weight and attaching links or whatever to making money on the internet. Maybe it will become a twitter adbot, or spam youtube comments or something similar. I want to play with the evolving tone of internet bots right now, who are now super excited and always happy to share their information with you (where old bots used to provide strange critiques of internet content with their links, now they are happy and affirmative for the most part). So on one half of the page there would be a little organism that acts in this online space, whose ease of access to resources and content I would like to juxtapose with what it means to exist in the real world – I might choose a specific legal framework/ economic limitation, etc… What I want to convey is that these bots are so happy, making space for themselves in their world, affirming everything indiscriminately, where human life has to work through so much for pure subsistence. Not sure about how it will look yet. But I want the botcreature to be an amorphous blob with a framed picture of the user in its little house, I think.
I wanted to make a simple blob creature that could be fed with the cursor. Many helpful examples were provided and I did not deviate very far from the model provided here: http://cmuems.com/2015c/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/springs-blob.js.
The creature follows the cursor around and when her mouth is close enough to food (if she is eating), her nucleus should grow. I am not exactly sure why this nucleus (whose x and y positions are averaged from blob particle x and y positions) doesn’t work. Her membrane should be responsive to the image behind her – pores opening wider for bluer backgrounds – but this feature also does not work. My .get values are returning ‘null’, though they are arrays with four null values. She has hairs that correspond to the velocities of the particles. I will edit her hairs so they splay outwards.
The background image is Cecily Brown’s “You Can’t Make This Up” (found here: http://www.christies.com/lotfinderimages/d54789/d5478931a.jpg). Statuses flicker on the screen that describe the creature growing or feeling agitated. These statuses and the legibility they provide help to promote interactivity between the user and the creature.
I have chosen to look at the project ‘the k-thing,’ which was a secret net-based piece in which the duo 0100101110101101.org (Eva and Franco Mattes) switched the names of the artworks in a show with one another. They were commissioned to create a piece for this show. Though this gesture was very simple, the work had much larger consequences than intended: the Korean Ministry of Culture laid off the curator and cancelled the festival. Many of the artists in the show were very upset, and fragments of the ensuing email thread (addressing ‘ownership, the potential of online art, censorship, and identity’) can be seen on the documentation page of the piece – http://0100101110101101.org/the-k-thing/. I wanted to look at this work and its documentation as an example of the generative potential of failure.
Eva Mattes is an artist born in Italy in 1976. She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work generally undermines the workings of familiar institutions, some of them being the Vatican, the art world (consumption, display, reverence), social media, the movies, large corporations, etc. Some of it can be seen here: http://0100101110101101.org/works/.
This project was an attempt to create a field of mutually attractive particles flying around and getting sucked into black hole attractors. The result was supposed to be lines that would demonstrate the relationships of these particles falling into some sort of clumped equilibriums.
This is a picture of me and my sister. The intent was to have two things happening concurrently – a user-controlled revealing of the image as well as a continual obscuring. I elected to achieve the former with a rectangle at the mouse, which can be used to reveal portions of the image. I tried many things for the latter effect, but all of them are based on elliptical pixel objects that pull color along their paths. Below is the code for the effect that can be observed in the first image in the post, which has a kind of echo effect that I like.
I looked at Jen’s post on sound – Looking Outwards 04. In her post she described Quartet, a sound environment first installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2012 (see video below). In this project the plants are outfitted with sensors that (explained in a very reductive way here) respond to interaction with/ presence of humans and produce MIDI tones. I appreciate this project for revealing plant properties that are intangible unless given these MIDI voices. While I do not think that data presentation always translates to some kind of appreciation or usefulness I feel like this project is very successful in expanding one’s notion of a plant’s existence. This expansion is conceptually simple but pretty exciting.
I watched Eva Franch i Gilabert’s eyeo lecture: https://vimeo.com/136017049
Eva Franch i Gilabert describes herself as an architect, professor, curator and cultural mediator and is the director of Storefront for Art and Architecture, a space in New York used for events and as a gallery. I had never been particularly excited by Storefront’s exhibits or events but I find Franch’s lecture and body of thought stimulating, specifically when it comes to the way that she conceptually positions herself as a participant in the production of space and culture. In the lecture she (admittedly vulgarly) categorizes people into Enablers, Iconographers, Agitators & Utopianizers – the last being a product of the first three. I found the way she described these categories interesting to wrestle with: enablers are the most conservative, and concerned with gathering and presenting opinions (in the present); iconographers with representation of the present; agitators concerned about the present but unable to make true progress. When they come together and question each other, she explains, the utopianizer can materialize.
Her website is linked here: http://eva-franch.com/
Originally I had intended to make a little family of amoebas and give them all cute names. While writing this code my mood took a turn and I decided to write the mild frustration onto some proxy for banality rather than the endearing creatures I had hoped to make. So I looked up “things one should have in one’s house” and found this silly list (//http://www.stlmag.com/home/The-Ultimate-Checklist-What-Every-House-Needs/). I wanted to represent these “necessities” with blobs made from a circle equation, with each circle’s vertices randomly walking, but found the randomness hard to work out and circle-blobbiness unappealingly regular. Instead I use jittery decagons.