David Rokeby - Minimal Object (with Time on Your Hands)
This piece specifically was very interesting to me. It tracks movement and manipulates the data it receives to produce different sounds. I love the idea of abstract physics formulas and the exploration of the unknown, so this piece has a very similar feel as the Schrodinger's Cat problem. The piece plays with both intangibility and tactility, where the piece is present but only truly visible once the viewer interacts with it. I also love the idea of manipulating sound in such a way that it can be perceived and felt by senses other than sight and hearing, and this piece delves a bit into that particular field. It was also unique in that this is one of the few pieces I've seen which peruses interactivity through a medium other than visual stimulation or without using video at all, and I thought that that was pretty interesting.
I initially clicked on this piece because it focused on Trafalgar Square, the area the street I lived on was named after, but I actually ended up enjoying the piece itself. Rokeby uses images and footage taken from above Trafalgar Square and slowly interpolates through time, revealing the patterns and trails the living things and the environment itself create.
Contellaction is a piece by panGenerator, consiting of multiple acrylic pyramids that light up individually in response to light. This results in a 'wave' of light patterns depending on their proximity to the other pyramids. What I particularly like about this work is that each of the pyramids can be moved and assembled into any location or pattern, allowing for those who interact with the work to actively take part not only in the initiating a 'light wave' effect, but in creating and interacting with the patterns and forms that they can then light up. It feels a little bit like a dominoes game.
I also think that there is something very beautiful about how simple the interaction and resulting reaction is, yet this allows for changing experiences and freedom to play for the audience.
I think that this piece is most effective when there is a large mass of clustered or patterned pyramids, rather than in the shorter lines/segments. In those shorter segments it loses the ripple element that makes this piece interesting.
ADA is an analog interactive installation by KARINA SMIGLA-BOBINSKI that creates art. ADA refers to Ada Lovelace who created the first prototype computer in the 19th century. The white room is the hardware, ADA the software, and the visitors are giving the input to ADA to create art. I like the aspect of play, and input from the user. The structure of ADA reminds me of a micro organism. Karina Smigla-Bobinski mentions that the art created by ADA resembles nanotech.
"Rain Room" is an installation where artificial rain is falling from the ceiling throughout the room, but when the viewer steps into the rain, a gap opens up around them so that they remain dry. The effect is achieved with cameras that track the 3D location of the viewers.
The sheer size of the installation and the power of the interaction with it is bound to create a strong effect. While I can't really experience it from behind my computer screen, even imagining what it would feel like to be in that room is affecting: being surrounded by the rain but not being able to touch it, the frustration of hanging a carrot in front of your face. Also realizing the imaginary experience of being in the middle of the rain and staying dry is cool in itself.
Pareidolium by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is an interactive mirror made out of clouds of vapor that ascend from the water basin. The fountain uses computer-controlled ultrasonic atomizers, placed under the reflecting water pool, which produce the plumes of cold vapor. As a visitor looks into the water, a facial-detection system extracts their image and creates an ephemeral likeness. The portrait becomes tangible, almost breathable, only briefly, then disappears in turbulence.
There are many other interactive artists creating similar interactive mirror in different medium, such as wood block or wool. However, I am particularly drawn into this one because of its transient quality and the way it merge and disappear is very soothing and elegant. Fog creates a sense of mystery that really draws audiences in to look at the installation and gives it a more self-reflective characteristic.
I'm completely enamored with 21 Obstacles by Daily Tous Les Jours. The project is a game projection installation, projected a building, with players using swings to interact with the game. The idea of using a swing as a controller is wonderful because it takes a usually relaxing, swaying motion and makes it energetic. Not only that, but the project begins to allow inhabitants of a region to have a loci of control over their environment, which one usually lacks in a city.
Ernesto Neto is a Brazilian artist who plays with audience's sense of space, texture, and smell. Anthropodino is one of his many interactive installations employing textiles, gravity, and amorphous forms. In addition to encouraging people to explore and play in the space, Neto fills his mesh sculptures with spices, ball bearings, and other unusual substances to engage visitor's senses in unconventional ways. In an interview with WNYC, Neto expresses, "I wanted to touch you with the smell." I admire Neto's work since I believe he calls attention to some of the untapped forces we can play with and explore as artists. While a vast majority of art is expressed through visuals or audio, it is often one or two dimensional and becomes predictable in the way we are expected to interact with it. By calling attention to aromas, tastes, intimate textures, and other neglected senses, we can challenge the boundaries of interaction.
Scott Snibbe's Boundary Functions is an interactive work that shows the "personal space" between people by drawing boundary lines between them. I chose this work because I like how Snibbe uses a simple algorithm to highlight and unspoken social convention, but I also chose this work because I believe it falls short in some regards. Maybe I am coming from a jaded perspective looking back from 2019 to the technical concepts of the year I was born, but Boundary Functions seems in practice to be just an algorithm to draw lines between people. I probably would not make an immediate jump to "personal space" if I were to step on the platform myself. There's a snippet in the video where children are playing on this platform thinking no more of it than as a bunch of pretty lights, which I find telling. I guess what I'm getting at here is that the idea of "personal space" seems superimposed upon the actual interactions encouraged by this installation. But perhaps that's the point; social conventions are really just superimposed on our interactions.
One such work is called "The Infinity Engine," a functional replica of a genetics lab. It is constructed from modular units used and is designed to show the potential that human engineering can bring by the creation of regenerative medicine, bioprinting, and DNA programming. The installation includes various genetic engineering tools, interviews with scientists, lab test information and even re-enactments of tests.
Areas of the installation are defined by color-coded areas which are enhanced with sounds of a genetics lab. Some of the things that the parts of the exhibit include are partly interactive multimedia installations, projections, wallpaper, electric screens, and 3D printed noses.
Visitors also have the option of discovering their DNA origin through reverse engineered facial-recognition software.
Leeson received a partial commission from a German museum ZKM and received contributions from The Wake Forest School of Regenerative Medicine and Organovo (they manufacture hardware for genetic engineers).