Tag Archives: conference project proposal

Systems Aesthetics: Corporate Bliss

George Washington - Mike Brondbjerg

George Washington – Mike Brondbjerg

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 12.02.43 PM

Thomas Jefferson – Mike Brondbjerg

Part 1 of the sketch

Part 1 of the sketch

Bliss with a quote by Robert McChesney

Bliss with a quote by Robert McChesney

The struggle of logos maximizing profit from the media and the Internet.

The struggle of logos maximizing profit from the media and the Internet.

Proposal: My Systems Aesthetic’s conference project has truly evolved. It began with some inspiration from Mike Brondbjerg, who created a project called Dead Presidents (http://www.kultur.design/portfolio/dead-presidents/) . He worked with portraits of old presidents and beautifully “distorted” their faces. In the beginning I didn’t really have an idea with what I wanted to do. Did I want to re-create Brondbjerg’s work? Upon our first conference project, I decided that I would need to convert original images into SVG images and then learn PShape. I created my first sketch with an SVG image of Homer Simpson and Friedrich Hayek. The Homer image was easy but the Hayek image was an actual portrait I wanted to use. I was inspired by Tim Wu’s book, The Attention Merchants. Tim Wu famously coined the term “net neutrality” which advocates free access of content to all Internet users. Within the depths and depths of content found on the Internet, such a stance is necessary. Tim Wu examines how private lives have been permeated by capitalism. The lack of space to breath from advertisements has encouraged people to stay less informed politically and diminished democratic participation. The evolution of the media of mass communications is primarily driven by technological innovation.Wu suggests that one of the first stages of grabbing attention came from newspapers, with the advertisements of Jules Chéret. Advertising brought me to my final project: company logos. I was also inspired by the television show Silicon Valley’s title sequence of Uber and Lyft struggling against each other.

  Digital technology has allowed humans to advance their freedom; however, capitalism limits this freedom. Robert McChesney, author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning The Internet Against Democracy, compliments Wu’s book by examining how companies control the Internet. Through lobbying, the government has allowed a few companies to control and regulate the Internet for profit. Advertising traffic is monitored and sold in order to commercialize the Internet. For example, Facebook likes are monetized for advertisers. A quote from McChesney’s book prompted me to choose these specific companies: Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google. However, 4 logos were not enough to take up a sketch. I looked up other corporate and media influencers and found: Twitter, Walmart, Snapchat, BP, and HP. These companies all have the power to influence public opinion.

  After the election, I was extremely angry at the media – because I spend the night at the Javits Center expecting Hillary Clinton to win. As she was losing the monitors were showing some political talk show. A political elite, either Rachel Maddow or Nicholas Kristof, stated that average Americans would blame the media for Clinton’s loss. While there are many factors behind Trump’s election, that statement angered me greatly. Between the end of November and February I stopped checking my social media accounts and by association the news. I was completely unaware of Donald Trump’s antics, the latest memes, and shopping trends. It was a blissful time but inconvenient. I had no idea about the Russia scandal. I had little to no knowledge of the officials Trump was picking. People need to know what goes on and that means sacrificing attention to advertisements. The blending of factual content and advertising in the media makes it difficult to escape. The Internet is becoming a less regulated place, in which large companies can control traffic and dictate who can see what. It is best to be aware of it.

  This project serves to show the world I think companies have the potential to take over our general day-to-day activities.

  Post-Mortem:   I learned a new concept in Processing for this project: Bounce. I also learned how to upload images and logos into an array. The system behind my project is the rules behind allowing the logos to bounce off the sides of the sketch. I also played with frame count, which I had used a lot in Pre-Frontal. I added a quote by Robert McChesney because I thought it would mean something against Microsoft’s Bliss background. All of these companies are competing against one another to see who can influence people more, and then in turn gain profit. Furthermore, the beginning of the sketch contains the drag of the logos because I felt that it created a sort of a maze. Internet users are stuck between Facebook and Google and the conflict between who can grab your attention more.

  Next semester, I do hope to learn how to take high definition screen shots of my sketches so that the movies made in MPEG Streamclip aren’t blurry. I am proud of this project because I feel that it conveys how I feel about corporations and the media. The title of this piece is “Corporate Mess”, which I think captures the struggle of companies to maximize profit from users of the Internet.     

Non-Linear Design Project Proposal: Migration

player-sprite-sheet My goal for “Migration” is to create a 2D side-scrolling RPG based on exploration and interaction. I’m aiming for a whimsical, fantastical aesthetic reminiscent of pages from children’s books. I will express the narrative purely through visuals and won’t rely on text or symbols. Movement and interaction will be the sole mechanics of the game. This will emphasize exploration and action, the two essential elements of the game. tiles The player’s actions will influence the game world, and the player will understand their role in the story through the changes the witness in the game world as a result of their actions. The ideas of breakage and repair will function as central themes of the game. One non-linear technique this game will make use of is central trauma: the player, and anthropomorphic hummingbird with a broken wing, helps other anthropomorphic animals to repair damage in their homes. At the end of the game, these other animals reward the player not by literally repair the broken wing, but by constructing a hot-air balloon for the player, thereby restoring the player’s ability to fly. cloth The visual art may be the most important aspect of this game. I’ve chosen to create sprites in 128×128 pixel resolution—higher than we often see in pixel-art-based games—because I see that level of detail as necessary for the creation of my characters. I created early prototypes of sprites in 64×64 resolution, but quickly realized I would need a larger canvass to properly enliven the characters I imagined in my sketchbook. Developing my color palettes was also an essential part of developing the visual aesthetic of this game. Animating with bright, expressive colors that avoid garishness is important to this project.

Conference Project Proposal: Control Your Illusion


What are you making?

For my conference project, I will be making a passive webcam interactive. When first looking at the screen, the user will see a still black and white abstract pattern. This pattern will have many freeform shapes that will draw the viewer’s attention to the screen. Then, the camera will pick up the user’s movements and distort the image on the screen in accordance to the person’s movement. The abstract pattern that was first there will transform continually into new abstract patterns, as the person moves in front of the webcam. This allows the user to create their own patterns.

Why are you interested in making this interaction?

I’m interested in making this interaction because I think it is something new and different that will draw people’s attention. I think that it is a fun approach to using a webcam because instead of seeing an image of yourself, you’re seeing your movements reflected through an evolving pattern. This allows the user to have direct manipulation, but also allows the interaction to be open ended. In addition, I’m interested in making this interactive because I was inspired by Bridget Riley and Ryoji Ikeda. These two artists both use black and white shapes to create abstract and uniform patterns. I was really drawn to this style because I think that there is something so simplistic, yet captivating, about black and white art. Bridget Riley’s artwork consists of paintings that have ornate patterns and optical illusions. While her work is still, the illusions that she creates makes it appear to be moving. I thought that the effect that her art gives to the viewer was amazing because it makes people see more than just still shapes. Ryoji Ikeda’s work consists of more simplistic patterns, like thin stripes. His work is projected in a large room. The projector moves the patterns along the walls and floors, creating an impactful effect on the viewer. Both of these artists use black and white to give more definition to the shapes and patterns that they have created. I decided to combine both of the artists’ styles into my conference project because my project will include black and white abstract patterns and movement.

unnamed-2        unnamed-1

How do you expect it to work in public space?

I expect my project to work in a public space because it has a low barrier of entry. This means that people will be more inclined to try it because there is no pressure as to what you are supposed to do with the interaction. People can act freely and use it how they wish. There is no right way to use the interaction; there are endless possibilities. I think that these type of interactions are the most fun because it allows people to be creative. This will enforce the idea of a magic circle because this design allows multiple people to be interacting with it. Since it is based on movement, there can be multiple people in front of the camera. This will bring people together because they can interact with this project at the same time to create a unique image on the screen. After reading Martijn de Waal’s article, it is clear that this idea fits into the category of a “playground/magic circle” because this interaction fosters a site of play, is a voluntary activity, isn’t rational, and forms community. Although this interaction fits into all of these aspects, it is not autotelic because there is no ending goal for the user. They can play with the interaction as long as they want to. Therefore, I think that Castells would like this idea because it displays a network. Castels believes that “the concept of network to symbolize a society that is increasingly de-centred, flexible and individualized” (Gane + Beer, 20). This project is definitely flexible because it is very open ended. The user(s) can make any motions they want to change the image on the screen. It can also be individualized, depending on how many users there are.


Norman’s seven steps:

Forming the goal: The user will see the black and white pattern on the screen.

Forming the intention: The user will approach the screen and see that the patterns moves.

Specifying the action: The user will understand that the pattern’s movement is controlled  by their movements.

Executing the action: The user will then move themselves in front of the webcam and move in front of it.

Perceiving the state of the world: The user will change the pattern present on the screen.

Interpreting the state of the world: The user will understand that they have the power to make new art based on their physical movements.

Evaluating the outcome: From this experience, the user will see that they can create art in a new way.


I choose this for my design because I thought that a webcam interactive would have the least barrier of entry required. I think that these are the most enjoyable interactive because people are the most comfortable using them. Another option that I considered was to create a black and white abstract pattern that was controlled by the movement of the mouse, instead of the person’s movement. This idea would not involve  a webcam and would therefore have a greater barrier of entry. Although both ideas are passive, I decided to go with the webcam one because it allows people to be more creative with their movements. A track pad would limit the movements they could make.


Draw(); The black and white shapes will be programmed to follow the motion picked up by the webcam.

Setup(); The background will be the webcam.

Variables: I will use variables for some of the shapes that will be repeated.

Color: I will only be using black and white in my project because I think that it will have the most impactful experience on the user.

Interactivity: The pattern on the screen with change according to the user’s movements.