For my conference project, I plan to create a visualization of something that we all take in on a daily basis, and experience through a variety of senses, but never manage to put into a concrete, tactile format: a song. I’ve been playing and listening to many different genres of music lately, and I’ve found it difficult to put my finger on what makes a song appealing or unappealing to a listener. There is a practically infinite amount of factors that can determine a song’s “listenability” including tempo, harmonic character, instrumental arrangement, playing style, length, volume, etc. I want to make a map that visually represents the components of a song. My plan is to make sort of real-life audio regions, like the ones you see when digitally recording audio in a program such as ProTools, but to color and texture them in a way that makes them feel hand-made rather than recorded and digitally rendered. By hand-drawing, cutting and mounting these regions, I want to capture the imperfections of any man-made craft. Often we allow ourselves to be dazzled by musicians for their seemingly flawless execution and airtight playing, but this view distances musician from listener, and belies the wonderful imperfections that make live music what it is. I want to highlight the idiosyncrasies of performance, the revealing moments of humanity when a drum groove skitters or a voice becomes momentarily hoarse. My hope is to install this project in a way that brings musical performance into the arena of visual art, and bridges the gap between different disciplines.
My conference project is centered around the theme of being overwhelmed by facts, more specifically statistics concerning the state of Syria and Iraq during their “war” with the IS. On TV and through other media sources we are reminded of the horrors that occur in places that are safely contained in the frames of our devices. We never expect to experience the horror, much less think about it in any more terms that the “factual evidence” given to us. More attention is paid to the numbers, the data that events produce, rather than understanding or even delving into their constructive nature—it doesn’t so much matter why the IS is on the offensive, but the deaths, or more correctly the number of deaths, is what we use to measure our horror. I want to highlight the many aspects of life in the war effected areas that go unrecorded- just because a country is at war does not mean that war is what constitutes it, I plan to bring to the viewers attention the “invisible” but very real, statistics of the lives lived as a juxtaposition to the overly paid attention to negative “death” aspects of war. It is hard to begin giving agency and legitimacy to peoples or cause if they are only seen as victims (like most of the effected peoples in Syria & Iraq), the other that must be saved. In order to engage this conflict I want to create a structure that will be an interactive (sort of) sculpture/installation intended to overwhelm the senses on the issues of war (paying particular attention to the IS situation in Syria and Iraq) using the most beloved tool of news reporters: statistics. The structure itself will be a large rectangular structure that a person can enter and be able to turn and view all sides. As the person enters the first thing they will encounter is a screen with slowly increasing numbers, this will reflect the real time death toll [one person every 10 minutes, 3 people become refugees every minute]. This will be the first jarring image, I want the viewer to be consumed at first by this changing number, it should disturb, but then encourage the eye elsewhere. Behind the screen will be a chicken-wire fence (attached to the metal structure) with barbed wire on top. Through the holes of the fence will be very gorgeous pictures of the places destroyed and pillaged during the fighting (many Babylonian and Assyrian sites have been damaged, temple of Ur, Mosul) to really create that sense of unease—you are seeing at once both the rising death count and the beauty that there was, diminishing more and more as each number changes. The walls on either side will each also have monitors and will be playing scenes of violence from the wars on loop, volume on. This will be accompanied by stereos that will be within the structure that will provide a constant mélange of sounds and voices (guns, bombs, traditional singing, birds, prayers, political activists speaking, riots, chants, children…), in conjunction with the monitors the auditory as well as visual effect of this collaboration will hopefully overwhelm the viewer. On the walls behind the monitors there will be recorded statistics regarding the two countries and the area on varying topics that do not necessarily pertain to the horrors of war, but still reflect its impact (such as, how many marriages were performed? Or how many houses had lights in the evening, how many olives were cured? How many students graduated?) to contrast the blatant war and violence being shown on the monitors, the ticking death toll flickering in the periphery. With the way we are bombarded with images, statistics and “data” in our everyday lives, we do not pause to think perhaps their true importance or weight- the only difference between 200 people being dead and 1,000 is the amount of breath you take to say it, it doesn’t really affect you any less or more. I want to take the singular statistic and make the viewer engage with it in the multiple- will you feel it more if it’s bigger? We take in world horror so easily because to many, it’s just a number, but what happens if we multiply? One becomes movies and shots and screams, laughter and agony. By bombarding the viewer with all the information s/he is paralyzed, forced to stop and really look, look at war (the screens), and look at everything you’ve missed (the backdrop).
Here’s a very early outline of what I have planned for my conference work. I have noticed that many people use public wall space as a canvas for expressing themselves around campus. People are compelled to speak their mind, and as a result there are a lot of messages, doodles and scribblings all over the place. I am planning on making a map that shows some of these messages and draws interesting relationships between message types. I’m definitely not set on these types being Band Name, Doodles, and Political Messages, but I used them to develop an early sign system and method of encoding information into my draft above. I am going to go out some evening this week and take pictures of everything I can, and then go to work sorting through and drawing some interesting connections to map out. Thinking back, I have always found something amusing about the graffiti in bathroom stalls around campus (not that this project is limited to bathroom graffiti). However it wasn’t until checking out Everything Sings and seeing Dennis Wood’s graffiti map that I realized this could be interesting to do around SLC. I hope to take this map a few steps beyond his, and map some connections between the underlying themes that I discover in the messages, and use the project as an opportunity to connect with the thoughts of those who write on walls around these here parts.
For my conference project, I decided to keep working on the game I’d started working on for the Black & White Exercise #2 assignment. I wanted to expand on the game and make it more interactive and playable. I want this game to be more exploratory – I want the player to have multiple choices and goals and outcomes. Since I want the game to invite users to explore I’m titling the game “Come and Play.” (I also think that title is a little bit creepy, and I want this monster game to be a little creepy.)
My main goal for my conference game was to make a game that I would want to pick up and play almost without thinking, the kind of game I see people playing every day to breeze through life’s more mundane moments – on the subway, standing in line, etc. One of my first ideas stuck with me: a kind of single-player pong game where you control the movement of the puck by constantly redrawing a paddle. You would collect gold coins/tokens by steering the puck into them wit your paddle, and for each one you collected a new mine would appear at a random point on screen. Touch a mine and you’re toast. I thought this kind of gameplay would work particularly well on a tablet. I also liked the idea that the length of the game was only limited by player skill: like Snake, you just keep going until the increasing difficulty does you in. The swiping mechanic involved in drawing a line feels intuitive on a tablet, and is the foundation for some very popular games, like Fruit Ninja – I was sitting on a gold mine! I even expanded on the original idea and came up with another game using those same mechanics. In this one, the puck is initially sitting still, and needs to be guided around a minefield of “dead zones” (those large circles with skulls and crossbones in them) to the gold coin/token, again by using paddles you draw. Once you’ve set up your paddles, you release the ball and see how it plays out. This one would involve actually creating mazes/levels for the player instead of letting the challenge develop through the course of gameplay. There might also be a scoring system where you’re rewarded for making it through in a short amount of time, or using the least amount of paddles possible. I wanted the overall aesthetic of the game to be like the vector graphics of old, or at least similar to other games of today that hark back to them, like Geometry Wars: Black background, objects made of bright primary colors (red, yellow) and neon-ish ones, too (cyan, magenta). The overall idea intrigued me throughout the semester.
While conceptualizing this project, I had Starseed Pilgrim on the brain. Putting together a musical puzzle platforming game would have been way over my head. But I wanted to create a mechanic similar to that game’s perpetually-expanding black hole, which ends your game if you touch it. No matter how many platforms you build, no mater how far you go, eventually you’re going to touch the black hole. It’s an inevitability, and if it’s not then I haven’t gotten far enough to know that yet (it’s a hard game). The point is that Cosmic Armageddon is coming for you, and that you will eventually lose no matter what. This was to be the crux of Space Crisis I decided on a minimal geometry aesthetic because it fit the space opera theme (I wanted it to look something like an old vector game) The premise is this: two giant and mysterious celestial bodies (represented by big circles on either side of the screen) are at war. The aggressive one is constantly expanding, threatening the other one. If the circles touch, the universe ends and the game’s over. The player represents the more passive space-circle on the other side of the screen (or it represents the player). I devised a planet-throwing mechanic (which amounts to ‘tap to shoot’): the player flings planets (smaller circles) at the enemy circle to keep it away. The dead populations of those planets then fly at the player circle and if they touch the player circle, it grows. You can block ghosts by throwing more planets, however. So the idea was that you’d be throwing planets at the enemy circle to impede its growth, but then the ghosts would punish you for it be punished for it by forcing you to grow and come closer to the enemy circle. And the only remedy is to keep throwing planets, which repeats the cycle. The only other option is to embrace doom. You can’t win but you can prolong the inevitable for as long as you feel like it.
Eclipse began with our first black and white exercise, after we had begun to read Chip Kidd. It was almost entirely influenced by my want to use negative and positive space heavily within a game. Here’s my first entry for it in my sketchbook. At first I thought it’d include multiple shapes, and perhaps a time or size limit. However, in the beginning the game was very simple. You play the circle on an otherwise empty screen. There’s a smaller circle, camouflaged by the background, roaming around semi-randomly. The only parts of the roamer you can see are those overlapping with your circle. If you manage to envelop the circle, your old circle expands to become the background, and you become what used to be the roamer. Eventually, as the circles become smaller, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find the roamer. And that is where I ended my first draft.
For my conference project, I designed a game called “A Cup of Rain.” On the screen, there is a “measuring cup” on the bottom, collecting the falling “rain drops.” The rain drops are generated with different sizes and moving speeds, so they will collide into each other, and when that happens, two events will take place. Firstly, they will merge into one, larger drop, and secondly, the speed of the larger drop will be the sum of the previous two drops (so it will fall significantly faster than before.) When a rain drop falls in to the measuring cup, it will accumulate so the water level will rise according to the size of the drop. At the same time, the water in the cup will gradually increase its darkness, turning from light blue to black. The goal of the game is to prevent the water in the cup from turning completely black, and in order to do so, the player has to create blue drops to “dilute” the water. When the player taps any raindrop, it will turn into a blue drop, with increased size and speed. When the water level reaches the top of the scale, the player wins the game. There are also two additional objects. One is a ring that will turn all drops into blue. Another is a triangle that will speed up all drops on the screen. A successful game play will depend on tapping speed and appropriate use of these two objects.
When we were on “Race to the End” earlier this semester, I’ve made a game called standoff. It was a pretty good game overall (I think it was the best thing I’ve accomplished so far) but I thought I could make it better. Honestly it wasn’t enough of a time for what I could have done and besides that I heard some really good feed backs about it which motivated me to work on it again. I was also told from my classmates that I could make it better if I made some changes. All these reasons made me want to work with standoff again. First off I think game like standoff shouldn’t be just black and white therefore I decided to add color. Secondly when I presented standoff during my conference I could not make it run on a tablet, so the goal is to fix that of course and make it a proper tablet game with needed additions. One of the suggestions from my classmates was I should add something that shows the cop is shooting (either a bullet or a line) so I think I will try to add it to the new version as well. The main goal is to make standoff a better game. It might end up being quite different but I think it will be overall a better game. If I can I honestly would like to put it on the store.
Isaac and I are working on a conference game together. The entire semester we have been working on an idea called BridgeBuilder. I’ve mentioned it various times in earlier posts. However, we have finally decided to not do BridgeBuilder we have been back and forth about doing it, but in the end we aren’t ready to make BridgeBuilder exactly the way we want to. So we decided to use our hider seeker game into our conference work and really flush out an idea and incorporate a lot of what we have learned this semester. Looking out both of our first hider seeker programs and other classmates programs we noticed that there weren’t a whole lot of games. We saw a lot of really cool code art, but we really wanted to make sure that we made a game out of this. So we came up with the idea of Attendance. The basic idea of Attendance is that you have to get all your classmates in their seats before the teacher gets to class. This screen right here is the beginning interface of the game. We hope to program it so that each triangle stops in the same colored circle. You will also have 15 seconds to get to your seats.
This is the initial sketch I drew after we experimented with hider/seekers using vectors. I wanted to experiment with lots of particles seeking around a central point. I began trying to implement seeking into a particle system, and this was the first program that came of that: Around the same time I was thinking about various ways to visualize sound and sound processors in a visual environment: I decided to look into audio generation in processing because I figured that there would be some way to generate audio in real time. I was chasing after the idea that I could either affect the audio with the visuals, or the visuals with the audio.
While sketching in my book, I stumbled upon an idea for a conference project that I immediately fell in love with: I would make a game about a lady bug that gets its spots. Aside from that, I had absolutely no notion of what the game would be like. My initial thought was to have the lady bug crawl up a flower (the bud would be the end point), while avoiding bees and picking up black spots that would fly through the air. You can see this idea in the sketch I drew here: However, I soon realized that trying to code such a game in a few weeks might actually do me in. I then settled upon a more reasonable idea that would allow me to combine ideas from the two group games I have worked on. The spots would still scroll around the screen, and they would still show up on the ladybug as it touches them (echoing the circle-appearing aspects of BubbleTower). However, the bee will follow the ladybug and kill it if it touches it — adding a hider-seeker aspect to this game. The new concept is shown below: It was around this time that I came up with the name for my project: Bug Spotter! (Because…ladybug…spots…yeah….)
I have always had a strong fascination with advertisements, and the power dynamics the symbolize. To give context briefly, some of my first small acts of unsanctioned public art was in high school, when I was tired of looking at ads at the train stop by my house. It was empowering to see what a small amount of house paint could do to transform a space. And the ease of it kind of amazed me, like “Why isn’t everyone doing this all the time? No one enjoys ads…?” It turned me on to larger and more ambitious forms of culture jamming and public intervention, and the interest eventually led me to this amazing class! For this project I will be replacing the ads on the Metro-North with works I create. One of the main factors for this project will be audience. I realize that I had a reductive and oversimplified view of the riders of Metro-North, North White Plains line: rich, white and corporate. Perhaps that is a significant portion of the riders of the train, but as my classmates pointed out, the janitorial staff and cooking staff from various places also take that train from the suburbs back to the city, which is a completely different audience. I’m taking this into consideration as I put together my ads. Another thing I considered is the content of the ads themselves. What are they? Is it for food, products, services, broadcasts? One of my classmates suggested something brilliant: instead of replacing the work completely, why not work with the material that’s already there? Perhaps twisting the message. This would be similar to the work of PosterBoy and Ron English. This project is, in a way, an extension of my sticker project since I decided to replace a bus stop ad with art for that. I am inspired by the work of Jordan Seiler and his project Public Ad Campaign. Jordan is much more articulate than I am in describing why it is important to reclaim the spaces which are dominated by advertisements.
For our (Grace and Mathilde) conference project, we want to make a sticker story, explaining what Remix The City is, and the notions of space. The notions of space as in how we interact with it and how it impacts our daily life even if we don’t always realize it. We want to focus on the subtleties of how space impacts our responses to society and our creativity. Our sticker story will wrap the main aspects and notions we have studied and realized in class. Our goal is to mess with people’s subconscious and force them to question all these subtleties that they dismiss because society, whether we realize it or not, forces us to dismiss them. We want to follow the style of the situationists in the sense that they create things that might seem like complete non-sense at first sight, but have a very in-depth and complex underlying meaning. Our sticker story will be installed around the first (main) floor of Heimbold, around the base of the walls. We want to make it not too big, but still demanding attention, so people are forced to pay attention to it, without it screaming at them either. As people follow our story, they will at certain points have the option to go one way or the other, and determine their own ending to the story. Our story revolves around what we have to say about space, but also a main contributor to the overall meaning of the work is how our audience perceives it and interacts with it. In that sense, our project is quite playable, but we are shaping how it is “played” with.
Based on ancient brass doors that told a narrative within its panels, I plan on using a concept manga for an instillation. I’ll be crafting a door made of heavy cardboard in the fashion of the ancient brass doors and inserting my work in the panels, to be spray painted as to appear metallic, reworking the images from the comic so that they are bold and visible against the metallic color, and adding symbols/detailing over the entire structure. I’ll be installing this somewhere in Heimbold with a cardboard stand/ standing apparatus. (Could travel)
Approach: Every ritual demands some sacrifice. For artists, sacrifice ignites a transition of their artistic output into our commodity culture, and further their commodification of themself. Art, is extracted from the artist by the market, leaving a creative gap to be filled, a void to be programmed, the artist becomes known not by the medium or quality by/at which they produce work; rather by the records of sale, the provenance which has developed around their work, and the persona which the artist projects into a commodity market setting. As an artist, how do you set your price? Where do you choose to sell your intellectually and aesthetically manifested ideas/ideals, and in which way can you define yourself in order to defy yourself? Can you take control of the opportunities provided by the market? Will you let it control your productive output? How can an artist’s personal aesthetic choices affect their work? How does their charismatic manifestation play into the price which their work reaches and the notoriety they have achieved? How can an artist’s brand affect their product? Now, the artists role is to proclaim value, to place meaning in commodity, to develop a new associative capital system derived from strong contextualization and locationality. It cannot be assumed that cultural value can be linked to the value of financial capital, in fact they could not reflect each other. The strength of art is its context, no matter if it is literal, surreal, abstract, historical, societal, or anthropological context builds character and is the foundation from which art is constructed. There is value in making connections, and that is the role of the artist. Forming webs, ebbs, and flows between thoughts and ideas, both sensorial and intellectual, acknowledged and subconscious. Conference: I plan on creating a psychologically probing intervention in the space of Heimbold, by inserting a performance into the atrium in the form of either a video or a live. I will be distributing fabricated methodologies with which to value your artistic production, based on a series of questions which lead you towards a phantasmagorical journey of self awareness. I mean to inspire questioning of why you produce, and why the value of intellectual work has been removed from our daily lives. In addition to the creation of a performance, there will be literature and documents prepared to accompany the valuation process. All elements of the project will fall under the same aesthetic umbrella, and will be presented as a uniform branding strategy for the work itself, and in turn the artist. Criteria For Evaluation: This project is inherently satirical and therefore the questions are meant to be questioned rather than taken literally or in an outwardly offensive manner, they are meant to be questioned and to probe the assumed societal norms and structures which are used to evaluate commodity values in culture. Context of the Artist: What is your name? Where are you from? What is your date of birth? Are you religious? Are your parents? Does your ethnicity affect your work? Chosen Pronoun? Where do you see your work going? Are you authentic? In a few sentences describe the space you feel most aesthetically in control of? Describe 3 objects which stick in your memory? (In detail) What do you think your value as an artist is? (scale of 1-10) Yes/Frequency or No: Do you smoke cigarettes? Do you drink alcohol? Do you take drugs? Are you mentally stable? Are you diagnosed with a personality disorder? Have you ever wanted to die? Do you think you have romantic baggage? About the Pieces: Have you ever sold a piece before? For how much? How many pieces have you made this year? In total? how long have you been practicing for? What is your chosen subject?
According to Saskia Sassen, branding is the basic mediation between individuals and markets. In order to have a successful urban intervention, it is important to understand the relationship between the people and the society, the connection between men and objects. Sassen says that it is central to the experience of the urban, and it makes legible transitions and unsettlements of specific spatiotemporal configurations. For the conference project of New Media Lab: Remix the City. I am making a series of stickers. I always pay attention to the contents of labels on the clothing, which inspired me to play around with idea of components in objects. For a label of a clothing, it always includes the brand of the cloth (ex, Abercrombie & Fitch), the materials and the percentages of materials are used (ex, 100% cotton), the direction of washing (ex, machine wash cold, do not bleach), and country of manufacture (made in China). I am going to look for other objects in life such as a suitcase, a water fountain in Heimbold, or a bench in a park. I will be printing my labels to sticker paper, and also sketching some designs of pattern or icons to include on my labels. For installation, I want to divide my labels into three groups and install them separately: one in Heimbold, one in sites in the city, and one on personal things. I will photography them after the installation. And upload them to the Internet, also as a part of my project. For digital networks are contributing to the production of new kinds of interconnections underlying what appear as fragmented topographies, whether global or local. By using the Internet, I will be able to strength communications and transactions globally and locally. Label on cloth Sketch of my cup label My initial designs
For my conference i wanted to experiment with the way i could affect or cause interruptions in the naturally occurring flow of conversation and other daily life activities. I want to specifically work with music and audio, as a source of interruptions. I think that some really interesting effects could be achieved with the right mixture of ambient and melodic sounds that develop and change over time. My aim would be to insert this, a predetermined musical progression, in spaces that would serve to affect other people in some way. I want to minimize elements of melody and replace them with texture, to essentially weasel their way into the undertones of a space, to add some observable dimension to the way the physical space is interacted with through audio.
I wanted to work with a space I have a lot of opinions about, so for a while I was thinking Bates. I wanted to bring to light the “come and go mess hall” nature of the place by creating a space where it’s the opposite. I was planning on using a small corner of one of the back rooms and mimicing a fancy restaurant, by covering a table or two in tablecloth, setting up menus and utensils and candles, etc. The more I thought about it though, the harder it seemed to manage. I kept thinking I’d have to get someone to play a waiter to serve people their food and talk about specials of the day and I had no idea who would agree to that. So during conference Angela and I decided to move it to Heimbold cafe. I will choose a table, cover it in the few essential items, and instead of having someone wait on people, I would get two friends to dress up nice and eat the cafe food with a knife and fork, as if they are at a fancy dinner party. This way, it would be more of a performance. Not only will this be easier to manage, I think it would be a lot more fun for people to witness, given the drab nature of Heimbold. Saskia Sassen talks about the “vague terrain” and the space between things. I think of spaces that are uniform or ones that follow a strict visual code. Because of that strict adherence they are silent and go unnoticed. I want to combat the cold and dry nature of Heimbold’s cafe by giving it more visibility. the page in my sketchbook where I worked out the idea: I want the table to look a bit like this – I find that making generic searches on google like “fancy restaurant” helps me figure out what items will send the strongest messages.
Reclaiming Place/Reframing Space – Conference Project This class has encouraged me to rethink the way i think and work in Heimbold. I will always stand up for Heimbold, but lately I have been more critical. Going beyond the water issue, and the fact that the structure is sliding apart.. I think that the SEATING must change. Reclining is important to me. Atmosphere is crucial for my contentedness, contentedness is crucial for my work-mode, and my work-mode is directly related to the chair I sit in. Whenever I enter Heimbold, almost always, I am bummed out by the fact that there is nowhere to sit, comfortably. The red and yellow chairs have got to go. So I am going to reframe the seating in Heimbold. I like the idea of using cardboard because I think that earth tones are what Heimbold needs most. This project is a way to reclaim space in a virtual world.