Masterpieces, the Classics and the Quest for Innovation

Over the past couple of weeks I have had some experiences that have gotten me to think about the roll of masterpieces and the classics in our creative culture. Last week while I was in NYC I visited the New Museum to see the inaugural show called Unmonumental at its new building on Bowery around the Nolita area of downtown.

While the exhibition had no shortage of artworks by contemporary artistic geniuses, identifying which artist was associated with each piece was a difficult task. I found myself ignoring identification tags all together, since matching them with their respective artwork was next to impossible. I wondered why a museum, an institution traditionally with a mission of educating, might place such a low importance on the title and artist being associated with a piece of art.
Unmonumental
Rachel Harrison, Huffy Howler, 2004

I reached the resource center on the 5th floor (which was beautiful, by the way) and decided to see what information I could dig up on the museum’s curatorial staff. What I found intrigued me…

In an article by Richard Flood (Chief Curator of the New Museum) he quoted Antonin Artaud’s, Theater and It’s Double (1938).

“Masterpieces of the past are good for the past; they are not good for us. We have the right to say what has been said and what has not been said in a way that belongs to us, a way that is immediate and direct, corresponding to present modes of feeling and understandable to everyone.”

I wondered…Have we placed such a high value on masterpieces and the classics in our creative culture that we have forgotten to look for new solutions? Read the rest of this entry »

Tying up loose ends

I just got back from a week long trip to NYC Sunday night. It was an amazing week filled with interviews and the assorted cultural activities that go along with being in New York. It was great to see some of the people at Rokkan again! I also visited R/GA, Firstborn and Big Spaceship….all amazing companies. I should also mention that while I was there I went to go see Cai Guo-Qiang I Want to Believe exhibit at the Guggenheim, the New Museum and the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibit at MoMA curated by the always amazing Paola Antonelli. All in all it was a much needed break from Rochester to see some friends that I really have missed and a city that I absolutely adore.
Saki Bombing

Me in the midst of a sake bombing outing Saturday night with some of my best buddies and fellow New Mediaites.

I should also mention that I am currently beginning the last 10 weeks of my college studies…and it sure did creep up. I’m really excited to graduate, but at the same time I know that no company will ever give me the creative freedom and time to explore RIT has. Many of the projects I have been working are gravitating towards a more experimental, harboring on the fringe of the art realm influence. In many ways these projects are much more fun and leave me feeling very satisfied at the end. I thought that I should mention a few of my most recent projects.

Untitled Looks (aka: the Vag Cam)

Untitled Looks
Untitled Looks is an interactive installation art piece that focuses on human voyeuristic tenancies in order to examine the relationship between exploring and being explored. The piece is a 5’9″ mannequin wearing a short skirt and standing on two 44″ pedestals. Two cameras are used (one positioned to record footage of the spectators experience in the space (voyeur cam), the other positioned in the vagina of the mannequin (vag cam) taking a snapshot of the spectator as they look up her skirt). The spectators experience is then projected into a golden frame in a near by location for all to see. I am working on this project with Nathanael Wolfe (who sparked this idea) has been in charge of managing the physical aspects of the installation thus far and Graeme Reed who has been working on getting the Flash Media Server to sync up 3 separate SWFs (one for each camera and one for the projector). The project is still in progress but we expect the installation to be polished up by May 3rd for the Imagine RIT Innovation + Creativity Festival on campus where we will be exhibiting our creation. Read the rest of this entry »

Deep Linking in AS3 with SWFAddress

I was working on some sample code for my library and I though it might be a good idea to keep the files, documentation and samples in a place where I could get to them at any time…naturally that place is the internet. I figured while I was at it I might as well share those examples with the world. I’m hoping to eventually establish a page with a link to all the code samples on it for easy reference, but for now I’ll just post links here.

I recently figured out deep linking for myWeathertower and I’ve had a couple of New Media people ask about it…and given that I’m going to be incorporating it into my portfolio soon I though easy, quick and clean reference as to how to deep link a page would be nice to have for future reference.

For my sample code of Deep Linking in AS3 with SWFAddress please go HERE

Way to go Xerox!

Kodak + XBox = Xerox

In the words of Jonathan Larson, “I expect games and photos from Xerox now”

Visual Headlines

Finally I have Visual Headlines (VH) polished up enough to post it here.

Visual Headlines Logo

Summary: Basically what VH does is take a headline from CNN, separate that headline into an array of relevant words (words like ‘of’ and ‘the’ are excluded) and searches Flickr images for those tags using Flashr (an AS2 wrapper for the Flickr API). An array of images is returned for each individual word in the headline. Images are then displayed next to each other in a strip below the original headline.

Flickr + CNN = <3

Results: The result is pretty interesting and sometimes funny or even shocking. While presenting this project to some freshmen New Media students the headline I clicked on was “Six shot at Nevada school bus stop” and a couple of the images that were pulled back were of a gun and children, of course seeing the images next to one another with the headline above enhances the meaning of the headline. When I first started testing Nathanael Wolfe suggested that I try an RSS feed from somewhere other than CNN like Perez Hilton’s site usually those headlines yielded funnier results.Future Plans: Aside from speeding up the response times for getting images I would really like to give the user a way to input their 6 favorite RSS feeds, or select from a list of approved feeds so that they have a customized visual headlines page. Also I think deep linking would be a great way to bookmark your favorite RSS feed and only view that.If you have any suggestions for Visual Headlines please let me know. I would love to hear what you think! :)

TheCampains!

theCampains Logo

As many of you know one of my project, theCampains.com has been needing a bit of love for quite some time now. Finally in the process of polishing old projects up for my portfolio, I took several hours and cleaned this site up. It still needs a lot of work in my opinion, but its definitely better than it was, and it works now!!! I really want to add a scoreboard to see who is leading the campain with the most painpoints and I want to record a female voice for the torture chamber….so ladies let me know if you’re interested in helping out! Go check it out!!!

If you want to check out the politician I made.

Emotipaper Tests

Right now for Virtual Entertainment I am working on an experimental project that uses the We Feel Fine API and Adobe’s Kuler API. By taking some of the emotions expressed in the most recent blog posts and then visualizing those emotions using color palettes tagged similarly from the Kuler data the user is able to render a visualization of how people are feeling around the time they are using its. I’m still experimenting but click here to see one of my tests.
Emotipaper 1

Fight for Kisses

If any of you haven’t checked out the Fight for Kisses site you really must. It’s probably one of the better campaigns I’ve looked at this year. Plus I LOVE LOVE LOVE the trailer!

Fight for kisses

Experiment with Drawing API

New Media Quilt…getting there

I haven’t quite finished yet, still a lot I would like to do, but check it out newmediaquilt.radiesel.com

In Everything there is Design.