This is an interactive installation work by Camille Utterback from 2013 entitled Flourish. It is a series of 7 glass panels, each with 2 layers, and 3 of which are interactive. The combination of colors and textures creates a sense of depth which is heightened by lights that respond to viewers' movements and travel between the panels. I'm inspired by the combination of materials and ideas in this piece. Painting, sculpture, interactivity, time-based media, and glass-work are all being combined to create what I see as a living painting with an incredible sense of depth. It's hard to know without seeing the piece in person, but I wish all of the panels were interactive, though perhaps it is more surprising if only a few are. I think the image of the tree is a bit cliche, and that the more abstract but still very natural elements of the rest of the panels are much more compelling. The idea of creating interactive paintings that change over time is one that is exciting to me, particularly coming from a painting background myself.
Daniel Rozin has created many mechanical "mirrors" using video cameras, motion sensors, and motors to display people's reflections. I had seen the popular pompom mirror before, but I was interested to see the other mirrors he created. One mirror that I found interesting was the penguin mirror. Rather than facing the user directly, this mirror is flat on the ground and takes the shape of a projected shadow. As the user moves, the stuffed penguins turn so that their white bellies are showing. I really enjoy how Rozin uses his mirrors to take a simple shadow and turn it into a huge mechanized process.
I think that penguins were very fitting for this mirror, because the colors of the penguin allow for a transition between black and white as they turn. The appearance of a huge group of penguins together also gives the appearance of a penguin huddle. The sound of this mirror is also very pleasant. As you move more, the clicking sound of all the penguins turning increases. There is something very soothing about listening to an army of penguins follow your movements.
We Make the Weather is an interactive installation made as a collaboration between Greg Borenstein, Karolina Sobecka, and Sofy Yuditskaya. It was made in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and uses breath detection, motion capture, and the Unity game engine. The user controls a figure crossing a virtual bridge with their breath, where each breath makes the bridge longer and further from the figure. The user wears a headset that sends the sound of their breath to Unity, which controls the 3D environment projected on a screen. This is a particularly clever and unique way of interacting with the environment, and it plays perfectly into their concept and its environmental themes. It's also notable for both its visual simplicity and conceptual complexity.
I looked at Danny Rozin for this Looking Outwards, as I recognized his name when I saw it on the list of artists Golan provided. When I clicked on his website, I realized that I knew him from my Art and Arudino class -- I am working on an "Interactive" project in that class right now as well, and my professor had also used the wooden mirror as an example of what kinds of interactivity can be achieved with Arduino (Rozin made the wooden one just with servos). It amazes me how basically anyone could make this kind of art, since Arduino is so accessible and easy to learn. There is a beauty to how simple it is, yet this idea is so creative.
I love how there is a juxtaposition between the facts that many of his "mirrors" are made with natural or recycled materials, but they are technically put together and controlled in a calculated and digitized way with software. I also like how Rozin questions the self in his artwork, as he has come up with so many ways to represent reflection. It's interesting to discuss whether he is trying to critique society and its narcissism by showing how we interact with our reflections even when we are reduced to just shadows, or if he means for individuals to look deeper within themselves and discover things they couldn't see on their obvious surfaces.
The project I selected is a kinematic maze called Landscape Abbreviated created by Nova Jiang. I think the interaction here is extremely interesting because, unlike many other interactive work, the initiative is held by the art work itself. The installation purposefully fills the room so that the visitor has to walk through the maze before going to the next room. Yet which specific path they will eventually end up taking is determined by the installation itself. The modular elements that consist the work can individually turn at different angles and different time thus forcing the visitors to his/her unique path. The simple yet effective unpredictability of this piece makes it an extremely intriguing work to interact with.
Aerobanquets RMX is an immersive VR/gastronomy experience by Mattia Casalegno. The participants sit at a table and are served food on small platters, while wearing a VR headset. The headset displays forms that were generated based on the flavor profiles of the food items. The recipes and cooking were made by chef Flavio Ghignoni Carestia based on the Futurist Cookbook. The futurist cuisine fits perfectly with the rest of the concept, somewhat alien and pretty dang cool.
While I think the implementation of the project could have been pushed further, with a more seamless way of consuming the food, more refined graphics, and potentially more interpersonal interaction; the concept of involving food with a VR experience is a very good one. Taste and smell seem to be the most neglected senses in interactive art, so I really like the idea of integrating food into the experience. I also like the idea going the other way, integrating visual experience into eating a meal.
This piece suggests the possibility of a full sensory experience, and only with fairly recent technologies could the senses could be very carefully calibrated and coordinated. We could move beyond the visual/olfactory of scratch n' sniff markers or auditory/gastronomic of a restaurant with live music, and into an artificial and hand-tailored world that incorporates every sense.
Fragments of RGB is an interactive installation made by Onformative which experiments with the concept of human perception. In this work, projected light points on an LED screen react to the viewer of the work by changing the content as they approach. I find the concept and the commentary of the piece extremely interesting and intriguing to consider the relativity of the world based on our perceptions. Although the topic is large and broad, the execution of the piece is very elegant and communicates that idea subtly but clearly. I appreciated how the creator of the piece left the message they were trying to communicate not be simply stated but required to be discovered through interaction which I think makes the piece more powerful. However, I think the piece could have been stronger if there was something that indicated a bit clearer that the viewer was in the variable controlling the perspective changes but there is equally something to be said about elegant simplicity. Overall, I thought it was extremely inspiring how combing RGB values and having human influenced transformation of the perspective had not only an extremely beautiful result but also carried a lot of meaningful commentary.
This is a project that came out of Hiroshi Ishii's incredible Tangible Media Lab. It explores how far we can push interactive surfaces and proves that they don't have to be confined to pixels on a screen. The possibilities of the concept really excite me. Imagine if every surface was covered in this material. Our future could contain interactive spaces that have a physicality to them in a way that doesn't exist in most contemporary visions of the future. One disappointing element of this project was that it was put out in 2013. I'm unsure if any improvements or compelling use cases have been created since then. I'd like to see this concept move beyond an interesting research project and into the public sphere as a consumer product, but I'm unsure when that will actually occur.
I played flute for 8 years but still only have surface level knowledge of music. I think this exhibition, which takes a rather abstract concept and turns it into concrete physical representations, is neat. Music and sound usually exist invisibly, without physical indicators. Even when playing instruments, there is a disconnect between where to move your fingers and the ink on the page. By linking different aspects of sound and music to physicality, it makes the process of learning and creating intuitive. If created on smaller scale, I could see this becoming part of early music education.
Another reason why I like this exhibition because it is very simple on the surface level, and any person with any amount of music knowledge can interact with and enjoy it, but if you're practiced and educated in the craft, the exhibition also has a lot of potential to create great compositions.
The eyewriter is a collaborative project that allows individuals who are paralyzed but still retain full brain function and eye movement to draw with the movement of their eyes. Initially teaming up with LA graffiti artist TEMPTONE, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, the project aimed to get the artist to be create again despite his condition. I love how the vast respect for this singular artist and the empathy for his condition inspires a hugely impactful project.
I find this project exceptionally praise worthy for its aim to get those who have been given a horrible card in life to fully realize their creative desires and share their creativity with the world. Along with this, I find the parallels between the emotional range that eyes can present in relation to the creation of projects entirely with eyes vastly intriguing its potential. This is one element of the project that I wish was explored more, but given the circumstance and what the EyeWriter accomplishes that is a very minor aspect. The notion of turning this project into a wide bracing international framework is also hugely admirable, sharing this wonderful technology with the world. I find that a-lot of the time we expect the viewer to be able to interact with a work of interactive art, but in this case the viewer interacts with the work through a larger social context which amazed me about this work.