Week 3: Interactive media websites (Krom)

One of the most intriguing sites with interactive media is http://weavesilk.com/

This website just like many others of its kind allows interactiveness to seep into the user’s experience. After creating their own custom picture, the user can then save their picture. Although this website and its concept might seem simple, it still manages to give the user a sense of ownership and originality into the things that they make, which in my opinion is the most important for an interactive website.

https://neave.com/

This website is the previous website and more. It is a collection of various small interaction-based arts and games that allow the user to indulge in various different activities. This gives me a feeling of a gallery, every piece an art in its own way.

Week 3: Javascript exercise (Krom)

Here is the link to my modified website from the Javascript exercise: http://imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~ece265/js-week3/.

I believe that Javascript has a lot of potential in terms of customizing sites, as we can see from the millions on millions of websites on the world wide web, and the exercise that we are talking about. Through javascript, I was able to show a wide range of customization to the already decent web page. In short, I was able to make the whole experience of a user who is going through this particular website a bit more “interactive”.

Because there were three different tasks that were given to us, I chose to go with making an alert tab as it seemed to be a rather easy one. However, I later realized that all the tasks were all the same in difficulty. Underlying all three was a fundamental line of coding or rather understanding, that would give us the capability to complete the tasks without much hassle.

Once again, I found that just like the previous CSS exercise, we must always label and isolate certain lines of coding in order to modify with precision and grace.

However, unlike the previous exercises, we had to deal with a very particular set of codes that were specific to the whole Javascript language. So functions such as “document.getElementById” and “onclick=’name‘ ” were new to me, but I was still able to find my footing throughout the whole exercise.

I now understand how Javascript can be specifically used in the creation of my sequential art. By creating buttons that will give the user options to proceed with the storyline, we will be working closely with javascript. Our project will be hugely dependant on our ability to use Javascript effectively to get our story across. As I mentioned, the sequential art will be focused on coding and texts, therefore a major role is, without a doubt, the javascript that we will be using.

 

Week 3: Personal website CSS Documentation (Krom)

I believe that through this whole experience, writing the HTML and then adding the CSS, has shown me just how much work goes into creating a decent skeletal website looks like. One of the more harder decisions that I had to make during the making of the CSS has been choosing the color scheme on the website. Which color do I choose? What kind of colors for the fonts? and so on.  In the end, I decided that going with the color grey would give the reader the sense of being in an extremely polluted city, seeing everything as grey. Therefore the body section of the website has the color grey. The other colors were chosen to give a bit more intense feeling.

One of the bigger adversities that I faced during this adventure would be understanding how to start the whole process, I struggled to really decide which aspect should I start changing and editing. Through the help of the IMA Fellows, a little bit of courage, and preparation to fail I started with the body. From there I felt like everything just fell into place.

A very important tool that helped me was the “Inspect” tool in Google Chrome. Although I did have prior experience in dabbling with the inspector to pirate songs and videos from different sites, I didn’t really think about the usage in defining aspects in my personal written HTML.

Using the ctrl+click function in sublime has also helped me organize my thoughts and the process of writing the HTML and CSS much smoother. When you have a lot of similar texts and functions that you need to sort out the ctrl+click can really help out for both files.

I realized that usage of CSS and correct implementation can tremendously affect how what you are saying and trying to convey reach and be perceived by the other person. From the color of the background to the font and placements of the various different boxes can add atmosphere and organization, making it both easier and helpful for the reader and creator. 

Also, I believe that I must give credit to color-hex.com for providing the different color schemes and simplifying the whole process of color.

Here is the link to my site: http://imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~ece265/week1/

Week 3: Photoshop documentation (Krom)

The photoshop assignment has been an experience, from deciding which pictures to use, to actually using them in photoshop. Because I had no prior experience in photoshop, it was a bit of a challenge to make all this work. However, with the help of some IMA fellows, I have managed to make my first photoshop photo manipulation.

Week 3: Response to McCloud (Krom)

Understanding comics was an amazing read, deep and intellectual to the point where anyone would have left with a positive insight on comics. Coming from the standpoint of a comic book’s  fan, I deeply and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and it has left me more educated about the art and intricacies of comics.

Going into understanding comics, I already knew that comics were deeper than the flashy graphics and artistry would make it seem in hindsight. In Japan, they have their own comic book counterpart known as the manga, but unlike how western society views comics as a childish form of art, every age group reads manga in Japan as it covers a wide range of topics suitable for every group.

Understanding comics gave a deeper psychological analysis of what comics really are. McCloud explains that because the human race is in constant search of visual images that help us attribute our identity with our surrounding, comic books allows the reader to grow with the character. In a way, comic books act as a medium to get a message across, and the way it does this is allowing the reader to identify with the character that is drawn in the comics. So, McCloud’s small figure actually helps us to engage with the comic even better by allowing us to identify with McCloud’s image. After every single frame in the comic book, we create the personality and identity of the main character along in our mind. This helps us to solidify our reciprocation of the idea that the author is trying to get across as the character is an empty “canvas” and we draw the idea on the canvas as we read through, frame by frame.  Understanding comics has allowed me to see and experience a more psychological side to the world of comics.

In communications lab, we see how media can be used to convey our ideas across to the mass. Comics has now been brought to the table as a means of getting an idea creatively across to someone else without the worrying about the various who, what, where, and why’s.

Week 2: Response to McLuhan (Krom)

One of the main arguments, or ideas, that McLuhan raises in his work is that the medium directly affects how the product or idea is interpreted by the people. In other words, the medium is not just a means of getting a product across, but rather the medium shapes how it is perceived, therefore the medium carries more significant weight that what we think it does. An example can be given by looking at cinematic adaptations of books, as they would act as a medium to send the main plot or idea of the book to the viewer by different means, but more than just getting the idea across, McLuhan suggests that the movie becomes the book. Movies tend to give a perception of the book through the director’s eyes, thus giving a different feel than reading the book for oneself. Thus, in McLuhan’s mind, the medium is far more significant than the product it is trying to get across.

This idea of the medium that McLuhan is trying to convey to us is significant to our lives and modern society in the sense that technology has allowed us to get our own ideas and thoughts out to people through various different means. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the medium necessarily is more significant than what it is trying to embody, but instead every single product, idea, and material that goes through the medium, holds as much significance as the medium itself.

If we look at what we are learning in Communications Lab, I believe that the key aspect that we must keep in mind is to not solely rely on the medium, for example web pages, to convey our ideas, but understand that the ideas and content that we are striving to create through the medium is equal in importance, if not more important, than the medium we are using. We must perceive these mediums as tools in order to allow the full development and nourishment of our ideas.

Week 1: Response to “Long Live the Web” and “As We May Think” (Krom)

Long Live the Web

In his work, Tim Berners-Lee shows essentially what his vision of the internet is: Free and Open. He goes onto show these two main characteristics of the internet are both violated and strengthened nowadays in the Modern Worldwide Web.

First of all, his idea of universality is an ideal that everyone can grasp once they start using the internet. We login to our computers, connect to the WiFi and immediately we are met with an overflow of information from every corner of the globe, what’s better is that language nowadays is not even an issue. Through these kinds of ideas, we can grasp a sense of just how universal the internet is. However, we also must understand the underlying issues that revolve around fulfilling and keeping the internet as it was intended to be. He goes onto introduce the concept of the “islands”, which are pieces of the internet that are cutoff from the rest of the ecosystem. This causes issues as universality is violated and not everyone can access each other’s information, although it was intended to be the latter.

Secondly, we are presented with the vision of being open to all. The internet existing harmoniously amongst each other, spreading information and giving every user a single, equal platform. However, once again we are faced with issues such as hackers and governments centralizing the initially decentralized ecosystem we know today. An example of this would be the great firewall of China. He says “We create the web…”, and “…this process is completely under our control”. We see that he still believes in the free decentralized internet. However, can the internet of today really live up to the expectations of it’s creator and will it still be such in the future? This is a question that remains to be seen.

“As We May Think”

Vannevar Bush cites and voices his opinion extraordinarily well on how technology in the future might lead to a certain disadvantage or the breeding of weakness among the human race. By building and allowing ourselves to build upon the advancements of technological advancements of the age, we must have to improve who we are and question whether our priorities are correct. For example, AI being an issue and robots replacing the jobs of human beings is all very possible in the future, but the one possible way to change this is by changing our education system to develop the natural born skills that we cannot input into binary and codes. Things such as compassion, love, and imagination are all necessities that the future generation of humans must develop if they are to succeed in this ever-growing world. Jack Ma, the creator of Alibaba and TaoBao, has stated the exact same thing. Dr. Bush also agrees that in order to compete with machines, we must develop the skills that robots and machines cannot have by default. We must develop the skills that define us as the human race in order to find harmony and stay on top of machines in this marathon. Therefore, this piece of writing is something that every human being must look into to get an insight of the general direction that we as a race must take.

Link to the Week 1 Final Project: imanas.shanghai.nyu.edu/~ece265/week1/

Week 1: Response to E.M. Forster and Jorge Luis Borges (Krom)

E.M. Forster – The Machine Stops (1909)

In this reading, we are essentially given a tour around the world that “The Machine” inhabited. This futuristic society, or world, that is being portrayed by Forster is a grim prediction of the future of mankind and it’s relationship with technology. Many different aspects of this reading struck me as alarming.

Firstly, the year that it was written – 1909. Forster has predicted the outcome and the potential direction that development of technology might bring to the world, which is the removal of all physical endeavors, of human connections with one another and our surrounding environment. If we were to look at the world and technology of today, than we will see just how much we have progressed in recent years, but, “Have we progressed in the right direction?” is what bothers me.

Also, the contradiction of the population living in “The Machine” that they have evolved past the point of believing in superstition, that things like religion is nonsense. Despite them saying that believing in religion is nonsense, they cling to their manuals of “The Machine”  as if their life depends on it and whisper mantras that call out to this abomination.

Another aspect that we must bear in mind is that in this story there is a committee, one that is comparable to the likes of our government that dictate what we do and nudge us towards their desired path, like a shepherd would to his flock, all the while thinking of eating the sheep in front of him. With their cries and chants that portray “The Machine” as an all-powerful omnipotent being, resulting in the brainwashing of the population. It is them who helped give rise to the “religion” and decides who dies out on the surface which is now uninhabitable. Therefore, I see this aspect as a cry from Forster to open our eyes to the reality around us and question the moves of the government and that everything has an expiration date, even an omnipotent machine.

This futuristic world also warns of the danger of losing ones sense of individuality. Not only has all the people that inhabit the world lost their sense of individualism, their aesthetic has also seeped into their environment. Ancient sites and modern cities are now plain, devoid of any culture and defining feature. Now that everyone thinks, imagines, talks and lives the exact same life, they are most vulnerable to destruction. As there is no one to challenge and criticize, there is no “new idea”.

Forster warns us of the dangers that technology might bring, while also telling us to stay vigilant and curious, as curiosity is what drove us to reach the stage that we are at today.

Jorge Luis Borges – The Garden of Forking Paths

This reading, when compared to Forster’s, shows us just how immensely important our decisions are and how little they are at the same time. The concept of parallel universes is one that has been very popular in recent years and each of them show a similar picture: the very thought or idea that someone conjures in their mind can be embodied as separate timeline. For example: Yu Tsun and Dr. Albert have different relationships in various different timelines as they are enemies in one, while in another universe they are friends. I believe that this reading tries its best to show how important our decisions really are and that ideas are powerful and infinite.