Cedes Reyes-Looking Outward

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Level of Confidence, 2015


For Level of Confidence Hemmer uses a face mapping program that analyzes the viewer’s face and then compares them to the faces of the 43 students who were kidnapped from the Ayotzinapa normalista school in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. While I think there are issues of using the faces whose families have not necessarily consented to it, I admire this piece for it’s effective use of graphic representation to commemorate the victims and connects the viewer to them literally face to face. The piece not only shows the viewer the the victim they most closely resemble, but also gives a percentage of how much they look like each student. The viewer is instantly affected on a visceral level.

Eyal Gever, Sublime Moments, 2014


Piece of the Ocean 2014                                  Sphere Pop 2014

This body of pieces surprised me because, I usually find hyperrealism (in both painting and sculpture) to be impressive but, ugly. However with Gever’s work I found his subject matter interesting as well as his execution and the forms he chooses to depict. The collection of pieces is enticing to look at as the forms suggest a movement but also give hint to a bigger motion yet to come. Gever Manages to capture the ominous potential along with a beauty and serenity of natural forms in an interesting juxtaposition.

Nobumichi Asai, OMOTE2014


OMOTE ses a code called Open CV which is used to map out physical objects and then project onto them while reacting to the subject in real time. Asai utilized this technology to not only map out the human face and project hyper realistic CGI elements, but he also developed an animation that would reflect the environment of the face, creating a realtime reflective texture. While I think the program is stunning and the CGI is executed excellently, I believe there is far more potential for this program as far as narratives and performance goes. The program allows for anybody to essentially become anything. As a very basic example a actor could essentially perform a whole multi character show with only the projection changing.

Looking Outwards

I mainly work on animations in 3D and it is really interesting to see a 360 video of things happening in every corner of the screen. Overall, this is a very sweet story with the music combines with compelling story telling. I admire how immersive this experience is as if your sitting in the car and just watch and feel everything happening around you.

I am surprised by this artists work  of combining fashion and tech. Her dresses dont just look very mechanical and futuristic, they have a function and appeal.One of the dresses the Robotic Spider one, can sense motion and the arms will interact and move. I think this dress is beautifully designed and functional.

I have experienced this piece at SIGGRAPH this summer and it was pretty cool walking through this ..it reminded me of the ancestral tree from avatar because if you touch these bulbs they light up and change colors. I think they could have pushed this piece more by creating a 3D form that could be seen at all directions and is animated. I think that would be cool or some other interactions with a phone!

Kianna Gonzalez – Looking Outwards

Admire – Light Kinetics by Espadaysantacruz Studio
This piece is an interactive installation that simulates physics in the form of light. A domino like reaction is set off by a tap on the first lightbulb causing a chain reaction as the lights “overcome the force of gravity” around the loop and back until the light runs out of strength.
Comments – The simplicity of this design is what I truly admire. This work is so technologically and scientifically driven but it is masked by the gorgeous presentation. I also really liked this piece because I am a sucker for artwork that incorporates light. This piece is hypnotizing and would I love to interact with it. It makes me see the connection between science, technology and art in a more interesting way.
Surprised – Uncivilized Yourself by Maverick Christian
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This 15 second video is a representation of an imaginary virtual reality system calls I/O. In this virtual reality you wear a device around your neck that allows you to see and transport into a world without rules, where the participant’s “inner wildness” could be “unleashed”
Comments –  Off the bat the video itself is very shocking due to its content. At first I thought it was an advertisement for people to engage in “Purge” like  activity. Upon further reading it seemed no different than a virtual reality video game just more realistic and scary. One thing that I found interesting and contradictory about this work was that the virtual reality is supposed to “unleash” you but the device that needs to be worn in order to enter the world is a collar.
Disappointed – random_sea (2016) by Semi Kwon
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This 3 minute video follows the journey of a small sailboat across bubbly water. As the boat travels the colors of the sky and the sea change to the rhythm of a song.
Comments – At first I was intrigued by the thumbnail of the video due to its interesting colors. But once I watched the whole video I was so bored with it. There was no added motion to the boat as it sailed straight over a bubbly sea. There was also just a chaotic flashing of bubbles thats were not limited to the sea in order to represent waves. The first combination of colors looked intentional then towards the end it just looked like the creator applied kiddish filters onto the projects like black and white or increased saturation. On top of it all there was a cheesy tumblr vibe added to the video with the inclusion of a song. This video could benefit from an addition of spacial depth and an intentional use of bubbles, filters, and removal of the music. Doing so would help bring this project to a higher level of sophistication compared to its current state.

Sofia Syjuco – Looking Outwards

Keichii Masuda
One project that I admire profoundly is Hyper-Reality, a concept film by Keiichi Masuda. The garishness of a virtual reality user interface overlaying everything that the main character sees is horrifying in its decadence, but still – the viewer can’t help but find it beautiful and feel a certain longing to try it out for themselves. I admire the artist’s ability to create something so horrifying, but so alluring at the same time.
Do Not Touch
One project that surprised me was Do Not Touch by Moniker. I opened the page not knowing what to expect, and felt like I was participating in this huge activity with many people. But after it was over, I learned that the other cursors I was seeing were the projections of people who had gone before me, which was really surprising. Do Not Touch was a really interesting and surprisingly voyeuristic experience, which allowed the participant the freedom to do as they wanted, but also allowed them to see in a very graphic and interesting way how other people reacted to prompts. The fact that their refusals to cooperate turned into very interesting and irreverant visuals, or the herd mentality resulted in a mesmerizing swarm, made this peek into human reactions incredibly beautiful.
Elegy for a Dead World
Dejobaan Games
One project that could have been great, but disappointed me, was the game Elegy for a Dead World, by Dejobaan Games. Elegy for a Dead World is a game where you explore worlds inspired by famous poets, and practice your creative writing along the way, theoretically sharing your writing with other players upon completion of each world. The concept was incredible, and the art captivating, but the game lacked the magnetic pull to keep players intrigued. There was nothing exciting or engaging about participating in the creative process of storytelling, which grew boring long before even the first level was completed. I was really disappointed by how they managed to make telling a story boring, even though they did a lot of things right.

Ariana Nathani – Looking Outwards

Choose one project that you admire profoundly:

I have seen some of Moniker’s work before and I am absolutely in love. I think the ability to physically engage the viewer in a work creates a visceral reaction that pure sight sometimes can’t do as immediately. At first glance the video seems somewhat kitschy, but it’s a really clever way to comment on the growing presence of technology based work-places, and the relationship between employees and their consequential companies. It also is incredibly intelligent- the studio who made this found a way to convert Adobe After Effect key frames into arrays that then converts to a timeline that updates every hour. It also consists of this technology overlaid on top of a vimeo video. The marriage of substantial code and simplistic video methods have created a piece that is fun and engaging to a viewer, as well as successfully relays a point.


out of line capture


Out of Line – Crowdsourced interactive music video by Moniker and Studio Puckey

one project that surprised you:



A project made to promote tourism in a city in America (namely Jackson Hole, WY) has become the most unexpected ‘art’ project I have come across. What started as a simple live stream of the Jackson Hole town square has now drawn thousands of viewers to watch a mundane video of cars and people mulling about. This obsession speaks a lot about our society now a day- our brain feels the need to take breaks, but we do this usually by taking up a less stressful activity than our prior one (instead of just taking a break all together), this means turning to social media, youtube, instagram, etc. as a distraction. Something about watching this essentially boring video has created a community of people on youtube commenting what they observe and that’s about it. As vice puts it- probably the nicest youtube thread ever. It’s amazing to think that people now only have a place of solace inside of the world of the internet, and how those places disconnected from it become undesirable. There are not 2000 people sitting in Jackson Hole’s town square right now- but there are 2000 people doing it at home over a screen and that’s scary.


one project that could have been great but disappointed you:


100 paintings gallery by Michael Manning (ft. within First Look: Brushes) at the New Museum came across as a cute idea, but lacked in substance. The site refreshes to create a new digitally created abstract painting. What’s impressive is the possible iterations (9 billion unique works), but the presentation and the content of the art is underwhelming. The stark white aesthetic of the site, coupled with the size of the painting seems very ‘microsoft paint’ rather than New Museum digital painting. I feel like the scale of this project needs to be adjusted to reach its full potential (i.e. projected onto a giant wall and is interactive in a physical space, not online).


100 paintings



Annie Huang-Looking Outwards

The project that I really admire is called “Chijikinkutsu”. This work is a sound installation that is based on the idea of geomagnetism, that is terrestrial magnetic properties that had always being affecting all things on earth though it could be detected by the human senses. Living in a fast paced world, we tend to filter out as much unnecessary information as possible to become more efficient. If we don’t even pay enough attention to the tangible things around us, then what about things that we don’t sense in the first place such as geomagnetism? This project then, becomes especially intriguing because it brings the unheard to the viewers through perceivable sounds. Viewers, though unable to hear directly from the earth, can now experience geomagnetism in a fresh way that they had never thought of before.

The project called “Omote / Real-Time Face Tracking & Projection Mapping” really surprised me. Omote is an collaboration project that involved media artist, make-up barista and digital image engineer. What it basically does is make the human face a platform for continuous projections.At first, it just seemed very cool that this technology can instantly change the look of someone. Especially because the model they used in this clip is a female, it reminded me a lot about  women’s obsession about beauty and that in many cases they are even willing to give up their own face for plastic surgery. With this technology of face projection, every one could have any face they want without pain or another sacrifices. However, what really caught my attention is the part where the “face” began to deconstruct and became a canvas for all kinds of digital manipulations. During the section called “Real-time Reflection”, the face even began to communicate with its surroundings at real time! That was absolutely amazing because now we are not seeing the face only by itself but all other things around it, providing the face more potential with remixbility.

One project that could have been great is a game developed by George Michael Brower called “Play Things”. This is a VR game that allows player to interact with the virtual world made up by candies and jellies through a head devise. Every object in the virtual world is associated with a different sound, thus players of Play Things are invited to hit these objects with virtual tools such as sticks to generate or even compose interesting music. However, this project is disappoint in a way that the interactions between the players and the virtual world is largely limited to hitting/touchings. There isn’t much to do besides the fact that you can generate a sound or two by hitting a gummy bear. This project then, standing as a interactive game, could quickly lose a lot of their players because the lack of new tasks and other features that can keep the users constantly interested in interacting with the game.

Grace Simmons “Looking Outwards” Assignment

One project I admire is Shylight by Studio Drift. The project involves a series of dynamic light fixtures that can be hung in buildings with high, vaulted ceilings. The lights descend 30 feet and mimic blossoming as they open, and then ascend and fold delicately back up to a close. Each light is held by an apparatus made from many silk folds; the folds can be moved by the millimeter using a robotic system (that can be run from a computer or iPhone). I really admire this work of art because it uses movement and lighting that’s elegant and organic, but in a way that feels convincingly “alive,” not just visually pleasing. The opening and closing is meant to replicate how some flowers close at night to preserve resources/protect themselves. They’ve made something that feels very natural, and seems imbued with some biological process. But rather than directly replicating a flower, they decided to focus on electrical lights, which gives the illusion that man-made infrastructure is its own mysterious ecosystem. I think it’s a conceptually interesting idea that could be applied to more static, industrial-type fixtures.

One project that surprised me is the Real Time Face Tracking & Projection Mapping video pieces by a group called Omote. Omote is the joined efforts of Nobumichi Asai(multimedia artist), Horoto Kuwahara(makeup artist) and Paul Lacroix (digital image engineer). In the video below, a model’s face is filmed and captured with sensors, and then, in that very moment, projected on. This creates the convincing impression of wearing a mask, looking robotic, or even having reflective-looking skin. It surprised me because I’ve obviously seen projects that utilize facial recognition before, but usually to interact/react with the viewer. I’ve never seen this kind of art, which modifies a human subject. Any person sitting in front of the censors and projectors, in this case, becomes the art. This would allow for so much potential in performance pieces (lots of movement would require even more precise technology, though).

One piece that I thought could be improved was Penguins Mirror by Daniel Rozin. Although I appreciate the kinetic aspects of the piece, and that the animals chosen provide a contrast of black and white to track movement, I still don’t know if the individual objects (the stuffed animals) were used to the best of their ability. This work seems to be in the same vein of his other pom pom mirror creations, that were typically hung on a wall. I believe that this piece is interesting to have on the ground, as though the penguins are potentially an army at the viewer’s command. However, I feel that if he wants to make an installation such as this, that perhaps it would have been better to be even more immersive. For instance, having almost the entire room filled with the animals, and surrounding the human who commands the sensory response. I want the animals to feel more like an overwhelming natural force, and make the mirror really feel like a mob, otherwise the animals feel like they could be replaced with any inanimate objects.

An Interactive Mirror Built from 450 Rotating Penguins by Daniel Rozin

Looking Outwards-Lucy Denegre

One Project I was disappointed by was “Bros Swiping On Bros”, in which an artist hacked tinder to get men to talk or flirt with each other, while they both thought they were chatting with a woman. While the aim of the project was to highlight the harassment experienced by many women on tinder and give men back a little of their own medicine, I’m not sure how well it worked. In the end the conversations between these pranked men were presented as humorous, and largely devolved into trying to clear up what gender the other person was, bringing along with it undertones of homophobia and transphobia.



One Project that surprised me was Jenna Sutella’s work “Orgs”. This is a body of work containing performances , sculptures and installations working with slime mold. Slime mold is a very simple organism with no brain, but is able to create a certain kind spacial awareness and memory including figuring out shortest distances in an effort to find food and favorable living conditions. Sutella makes works containing and growing slime mold, but also creates works and performances based on its systematic way of “thinking”, which she compares to computation. I thought this was an interesting conceptual leap away from just the literal use of the slime mold as material.


A piece that I liked a lot was Axon, by Joris Strijbos. This is a sculptural light installation. The structures are equipped with speakers, lights and sensors, and respond to each other as they move. The programming is inspired by the question of synesthesia would look like in machines. The patterns made by the sculptures are all generative and constantly changing as they interact with each other.

Oscillations. Or the grace of unpredictability


Looking Outwards Assignment

Project that I found surprising:

Battlefield 1 Virtual Photograghy


I have always dismissed in game screenshots as a form of art. I had relegated them to promotional/vanity shots that try to pass themselves as reality or as mere references to players who have played the game. Initially, I approached the work with the same apprehensiveness, but I was surprised by the focus of the work which fall into neither of my preconceptions. Instead, the screenshots try to capture oddities that could only exist in the game as opposed to trying to mimic reality. These oddities, coupled with the ever more realistic graphics of modern games create an uncanny valley effect that makes the pictures more compelling.


Project I Admired:

We See in Every Direction


This project is a web browser that allows multiple users from across the internet to simultaneously input commands. It started in 2013 and it precedes the twitch Pokémon site that utilizes the same concept in the context of a game. I think this project gives off a hive mind vibe which I found to be compelling. There’s a certain ironic beauty in how a collection of individual intent is able to produce randomness.


Project that could’ve been great:

Casey Reas, “Still Life (HSB B),” 2016


This is probably not a fair criticism as the project might be a test/experimental piece, but I feel that a strong narrative behind the work would make it better. I am not suggesting that the piece should have a story behind it in a traditional sense. Rather, I think it should have some sort of conceptual progression to accompany the visual progression so that the viewers would be more engaged and immersed in the changing patterns. I realize that this might be a personal bias but something as simple as a conceptual description might function as good flavor text for this piece.

Sarah Kim (Looking Outwards)

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Teresa Margolles’ Aire and What Else Could We Talk About left me with a lot of questions. She used the soap and water that was used at the morgue to clean the unidentified bodies as a form of medium for her art. The room was filled with vaporized morgue water and soap bubbles and this was her way of letting the society know the victims of today’s society’s violence. But unlike her strong concept, I was questioning if her way of displaying her art work and using such materials were a successful way of approaching her viewers and the society. I am afraid that the shocking fact that viewers just breathed in the morgue water and soap will overshadow her concept and message behind her art work. 

Following Margolles, the article also talked about Damien Hirst and Anthony-Noel Kelly, talking about the grey area of legal rights for using human remains as a medium of one’s art work. I do think this is a tricky area. Hirst and Kelly were involved in issues about disrespect for the diseased and the family and smuggling anatomical specimen. Interesting thing, however, is that Kelly’s conviction was overturned. The reason being that corpse cannot be a property and therefore cannot be owned or stolen. This might have been a great news to artists who wish to use human remains as their medium but for the families and the view from the society in general might take a while for it to completely accept the lack of its ownership. 

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DiMODA, ‘The Digital Museum of Digital Art’ captured my attention with its title. Just like its name, Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson created a virtual institution where they created a museum for digital art work. So a digital art work within a digital art work itself. DiMODA house virtual landscape and contemporary digital art, where New Media artists can exhibit their digital artworks. The idea of housing digital artwork in a digitally created space struck me because its obvious yet rare. If this digital space expands further where viewers can easily access the virtual institution like they can access modern day museums, that will be a huge step forward. 

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Most of the surveillance art I encountered, which aren’t that many, either recreated what the government was doing or shared the stories of those who have been effected by the government control. So for me, although knowing that it is true from the back of my head, it didn’t seem real enough, or I guess I should say I didn’t feel it at my skin. But after looking and reading about Trevor Paglen’s work, especially the images of NSA tapped undersea cables at North Pacific Ocean, which clearly shows the evidence of government surveillance and the nation’s connected digital information, as a viewer, the reality was clear yet shocking. Paglen also created series of landscape images that are created by the machine and only viewed by the machine which contains informations that are completely different than the regular landscape images we see on internet. 

Brandon Ngai

• The work of emerging media art that I admire most profoundly is the most recent installment in the Doom franchise, playable on virtual reality platforms. The first Doom game was released in 1993, and is widely known as the first three-dimensional first-person shooter game. The player would find himself alone in a station on mars, battling the undead forces of hell. The central themes and ideas that give the game its character have been carried through several sequels and subsequent installments for decades, and to find that same heavy metal thrill of the first Doom executed so effectively in such a modern platform is marvelous.
• One project that surprised me was Sara Ludy’s “Rooms,” from 2012. The steady, cyclic movement of a few sampled images of a door and some blue wallpaper is surprisingly hypnotic, giving the viewer the feel of movement through kaleidoscopic, impossible spaces.
• I feel as though Addie Wagenknecht’s “Black Hawk Powder” painting series  fell short of what it could have been. The project saw a small drone following simple flight commands, such as “barrel roll,” “take off,” and “land,” in order to create different marks with heat- and UV-sensitive pigments on canvas. As ballsy and original the idea may be, the marks that Wagenknecht’s drone creates look fairly limited to mists of pigment and splatters of pigment. I think that she could have created a much wider, more interesting, and more fun variety of marks had she attempted to get more representational with her images, or diversify the commands the drone would follow.