"8. The ideology of the interface is always embedded in the interface itself, but it is not always visible."
The interface directs the user's attention to what it intends; it allows the user to manipulate whichever variables the interface intends and prohibits the user from accessing or manipulating whatever the interface desires. The interface is thusly a form of control on the user, an imposition of the programmer's will, their ideology. This ideology is typically subtle but can be made transparent under close examination. The interface of Instagram, for example, is minimalistic, dominated by simple icons which replace text. This would suggest that Instagram's designers have a fervently anti-lexical ideology. This absence of words in favor of symbols emphasizes the aesthetic, graphic nature of Instagram, serving as evidence in support of the widely-held belief that a picture is worth a thousand words, implying that verbal communication is not necessary for humans to share interpersonal and sublime visual experiences.
Link to Project: https://www.creativeapplications.net/environment/uncanny-rd-drawing-tool-to-interactively-synthesise-street-images/
Uncanny Rd. is a project by Anastasis Germanidis and Cristobal Valenzuela meant to explore the capabilities of machine learning. Users are prompted to create a semantic colormap of a scene in which each color represents a different kind of object, and the algorithm subsequently fills in each region with a photographic rendering of its corresponding object type. The neural network was trained on a number of images of German cities.
In particular, I like the post-apocalyptic, decaying atmosphere depicted in the unsaturated images produced by this project. The mosaic-like composition and warped objects are reminiscent of surrealist and Dada artworks. Due to the limited source material on which the neural network was trained, the images consistently retain a sense of place, independent of their composition or level of abstraction. Both the intricate detail and blurred ambiguity of the images allow for users to use the images as brainstorming material for constructing fictional environments.
I wanted to combine the face tracker and the body tracker, so I added their code together into one file. That was relatively simple. I wish I could have used a more sophisticated body tracker which had more skeletal points and wasn't so jittery. Originally I wanted to make a 3D skeleton and skull which moved with the viewer, but I was unable to implement this. I added a 3D model of a penguin character I had made which moved with the tilting of the head to add an extra element and make the piece slightly more interesting.
Link to Project: https://editor.p5js.org/rsunadaw/sketches/_HzJPPzHj
Kimchi and Chips, Light Barrier (2014), Convex mirrors, projection, scanning
I am very intrigued by how Kimchi and Chips managed to create floating three-dimensional objects which traverse space and time by meticulously calibrating beams of light. The piece is able to create three-dimensional animations and depict a variety of shapes. The lights achieve a holographic effect, and some of the animations are reminiscent of nebulae and supernovae. Creating a mirage of three-dimensional objects is something I would personally be very interested in making, as they are immersive.
Link to Project: https://kimchiandchips.com/works/lightbarrier/
I wanted to make a project which emulated life, and the relationship between living things and time. Originally I'd considered simulating population growth over time, or depicting sperm fertilising an egg, but it was hard to conform those ideas with the 60x60x24 clock concept. I thought the idea of a cow endlessly pooping was funny and settled for that. The number of flies represents the seconds; the number on the most recently pooped poop is the minute; the number of clouds in the sky represents the hour. If I had more time, I would have tried to make the animations smoother and the shapes more aesthetically pleasing. Right now it looks very crude. I would have tried to define the cow's udders, tail, and body better; I would have had the clouds loop more seamlessly; I would have added more details to the ground to reinforce its scrolling feature.
Link to Project: https://editor.p5js.org/rsunadaw/sketches/D0YrI0fgz
I locate my interests more along Last Word art than First Word. I am not too interested in experimentation and innovation, but in refinement and mastery of media which already exist, and combining preexisting conceptual elements in unique combinations. I suppose I value quality over novelty, though for some they are one and the same. New technologies shape culture by influencing the methods by which we communicate and by determining which industries will become the most prominent. Technologies also affect our security, transportation, militarisation, education, and so on. Some ways in which culture shapes technological development would include the concept of supply and demand. Markets will always adjust to what there is a demand for, and therefore only products which the culture is interested in will be manufactured. The culture will determine which technological developments to invest in.
When our work is technologically novel, this is an example of First Word art. We have introduced a new medium, but have not necessarily refined it. For example, Pong, which was revolutionary for its time, can now be considered a very boring game compared to the MMORPGs and VR games of our time. Novel technologies of the present will eventually be considered crude in the future.
Note:Quality of colors, shapes, and fps has been greatly reduced to compress file size. For the original file project, visit this link.
Initially, I began trying to create a precise fire by programming each flame individually. The endeavor seemed too tiresome to complete, until I realised I could simulate the particles using randomised variables. This greatly reduced the amount of time required to code this piece. I particularly enjoyed playing with gradients using essentially only fill() and arc() and creating an atmospheric animation. I also enjoyed implementing subtle animations such as the twinkle of the stars and the shooting star. 80% of creating this piece was refinement. Using mathematical functions to simulate organic, fluid fire required a lot of toggling of different variables and trial and error. I used sigmoid functions to control the size of the flames as they burst into and fade out of existence, as well as to control the size and position of the shooting star. These sigmoid functions gave the appearance of acceleration and deceleration.
I am proud of how well the fire turned out. It looks organic yet also stylistic. The light emanating from the fire and the shadow the log casts on the ground are effective at giving the fire an appearance of warmth. I like my use of bright, warm colors against dark, cool colors. I wish I could have added more elements to the scene, like a caveman cooking some meat over the fire for example, but the fire and the rest of the background proved too time consuming for that. I would have also liked to pay more attention to the shooting star, which could have had a longer trail and maybe a twinkle as it fades. I think I could have also added more detail to the trees, the ground (adding plants or rocks) and the texture of the log, while maintaining the Adobe After Effects-like animation style.
The artwork is square, composed of a virtual grid of n^2 cells.
From a cursory glance, n looks to be roughly 50.
The artwork consists of many short black lines, each occupying a virtual square cell in the grid.
Each line has the same length.
There is a natural disposition to each of the lines; i.e. many of the lines are oriented in the same direction, with outliers turning a random angle from this reference angle.
These "default" directions are cardinal; i.e. they are horizontal or vertical.
The background is white.
Random blotches of lines are absent.
There are several of these blotches, each of varying sizes and shapes.
The lines are just long enough to barely intersect their adjacent neighbors.
My process was this: Create a grid which is n x n. Each element in this grid represents a line. Each element in the grid contains two values: both are based on noise(), the first determines the line's angle, the second determines whether or not the line will appear. In an imbedded for-loop, draw each of these lines if their second value permits. Toggle noise variables to get desirable blotch frequency and line angles.
It was fairly difficult experimenting with the noise variables to get a desirable appearance which emulated Molnar's work. Unfortunately, I think my piece has a lot of homogenously-sized blotches, whereas the blotches in Molnar's works vary a lot. I think if I were to reattempt this project, I would instead of having a noise-based value which determined whether or not the line would be drawn by binarily comparing it to another cut-off value, I would make the probability of the line being drawn dependent on the noise-based value. I better appreciate the sophistication of Molnar's work, especially considering that I was able to use built-in functions on my laptop, which is much more accessible and efficient than the proto-computers and printers of Molnar's time.
This project proceduraly generates 3D-models of stylistic, fully-rendered buildings which are all thematically, tonally consistent but structurally unique. The produced objects look as if they could be used as assets for a video game, and their implementation could greatly reduce the amount of time which goes into creating immersive, unique gaming environments. I admire how well-rendered each of the iterations are, and how each of them look intentionally structured, as if made by a human. Each building is visually unique while stylistically homogenous, giving it a medium-low information complexity and a medium effective complexity. I know that the algorithm was made in Houdini, a 3D animation software which emphasizes procedural generation. The procedure which Opara utilises includes four primary steps: (1) creating the sillhouette of the building, or blocking out its overall shape; (2) adding common elements such as doors, windows, chimneys, staircases, etc. (3) carving in wood patterns into the faces of the buildings, and (4) texturing, coloring, and shading, as well as slightly warping the house to appear crooked. Opara implements many restrictions, but allows for variety through the use of randomised variables which determine which elements will be included and in what fashion. I am impressed by this project's potential to save game developers a lot of time and money, while maintaining the same integrity of quality, and I am intrigued by how Opara's procedure reflects the process of building a house.
On her website, Opara provided an interesting quote which concerns how software is capable of subverting its creator's expectations, and therefore appearing to have original ideas of its own: "One of the most satisfying part was, when generating the final lake houses, the network would give me unexpected, but very creative results that I simply didn't anticipate or take into account when writing the rules. And those outcomes still had all the rights to exist and, in fact, looked extremely curious. If that was a person, who built the house, I would praise him for originality! Does it mean that the systems can be creative within the constraints that we give them? I like to think of Houdini as a student, and you are a teacher, who can put any information in a student's head and it will be perceived with 100% accuracy (for the worse or the better). And, as many teachers know, students have a tendency to really surprise you with the things they come up with."
Link to the Project: https://www.anastasiaopara.com/lakevillage