Final Project Documentation (Vasudevan)

Final Project – Globe Trotting on The Web


For my final project, I wanted to play with travels. I created an experience where the user can navigate the world and obtain a vague idea of each country’s essence. In my web-based art project, I signaled out typical features of my chosen nations. By reaching out to friends and asking for footage, advice, and input, I managed to gain an understanding of each site’s traditional features and distinctive habits.

The project itself consists of a globe where the user inputs the airport code of the country they want to explore. Thereafter, the user is led into the homepage of that site where he can choose between “Food”, “City” and “Night”. The first category describes the typical foods of the site while the second plays a video of the city’s main landmarks. Finally, the latter takes the user to a video of the city’s nightlife.

In terms of chosen locations, the locations featured on my map were the ones I originally got footage of from friends and family. Thereafter, due to layout issues (it was very difficult to create a consistent layout with videos filmed with different devices) I chose to recur to YouTube Videos to create more coherent videos that would easily adapt to the layout of the locations.

The project itself is organized in a way that the user has absolute freedom to navigate from the home page (the globe) to the locations’ main pages, to their videos, then either back to the home page or to the site’s main website.

I played with CSS, JavaScript, HTML, and P5.JS properties to include all the material learned throughout the course. For the main page, the rotating globe is founded on p5.js. The rest of the webpages are a mixture of functions written on html, JavaScript, and CSS. I also used illustrator to create each icon visible on the screen and Premiere in order to edit the videos accordingly.

All in all, I am very satisfied with how the project turned out. However, if I were to do something different, in the future I would prefer to get original footage from each location as opposed to using borrowed videos from the browser. To carry this out, I would have to either assist these places myself or require volunteers to provide me with videos of a specific minimum quality.

Week 12: Response to Greene and Final Project Idea (Vasudevan)

Web Work: a History of Internet Art

This article is a clear reminder of the original public and unconstrained properties the internet used to have when it first appeared. In her writing, Greene described the availability of the internet and the community it created. Anyone could participate and anyone could create online.

Unfortunately, the monopolization of the Web addresses by large corporations and influential individuals was to be expected. As Greene mentions, many saw potential on the Web and were prone to investing money in its development, while artists merely hoped investors would appreciate their art. Nowadays, the Web still maintains some liberal and free-speech properties yet content on the Web is still prone to be taken down if the message it conveys goes against the majority’s way of thinking. With Greene’s examples, however, I do see one commonality. Most web-based artworks described in the article had one characteristic in common: a sense of rebellion.

Final Project Idea:

  1. I will choose a specific date then create a map of the world, where every time the user’s mouse goes over a country, I will find either a news piece of that day or a video of someone I know of something that happened the given day. With this project, I am counting on other people collaborating and sending me around a minute-long footage to represent what they did at that point in time. If there is more than one video of a specific location, I can do a compilation of the resources sent to me. The idea is to represent every country as it is lived by a local as opposed to the scenes one usually pictures due to movies or tourists who have traveled. I want to depict every location in its purest form, with its most routine activities. I want people to be able to connect with the ordinariness of everyday life.
  2. Another project idea that I am skeptical as to whether or not it is possible goes something like this. I was planning on creating an interactive map which would have live feedback of all the news happening worldwide. The map would be based on several newspaper websites, and as soon as a news story from a specific country is uploaded onto the sites, the headline will show up in the country where the occurrence took place. This way, the user would be able to see live commentary on situations taking place all over the globe.

Week 11: Response to Graham and Rand (Vasudevan)

I believe Chinese characters are the most accurate representation of the point the author is trying to get across in “Computers, Pencils, and Brushes”. In our computers. we can swiftly write in pinyin and have the computer itself create the Chinese characters. However, this is a major problem as it is quite easy to forget the character itself since we now rely solely on the computer transcribing the pinyin.

I agree with the author in the sense that we do rely on computers more than we should, and I understand his reasoning that pencils and brushes are a more “pure” method, so as to speak. However, I believe the computer can provide with the same means as pencil and paper. We can draw on computers as well now, create art pieces on them, etc. It is merely a different set of skills. In my opinion, we don’t have to stick to one or the other but adopt both instead.

Graham’s piece also stresses the relationship between computers and creators. In his article, Graham explains how programmers are not so much as related to science but to those who make and create. For instance, in the extract of “Great software, likewise, requires a fanatical devotion to beauty” we can observe how he regards programming as an art, an eye-appealing activity as opposed to mere coding on a screen.

Week 8 Video Project (Vasudevan)

We began our project with the idea that I would walk around and try clothes on in shopping malls. Later on, the user would have had to decide which outfit looked better and help me reach a decision in terms of payment.

We have stuck to our idea throughout the project, with adding only one more scene at the end where each decision would lead to a different outcome. We saw no logic in making the user choose an image if no effect would have followed thereafter.

This was in terms of the story plot. Which I am happy we stuck to it from the beginning. My group also was very good in terms of organization, as we specifically drew and wrote down the different scenes that we would be filming. Once we were in the place, we stuck to those scenes that would provide us the necessary footage and then filmed a bit more that we thought of on the spot.

This is an example of our story plot:

1.     Conversation From afar.

2.     Talk about not having anything for spring formal.

3.     Close up shot. Similar to video Roopa showed us. Conversation while the camera is zoomed in one of the two people.


4.     Leaving the ab. Going through the revolving doors. Only film the feet, walking through the revolving doors.

Which I am proud to say we deviated from very little.

I believe the trickiest part of the video was the website. I definitely think we overestimated its simplicity. We weren’t thinking of doing crazy things with its layout or anything, but it was hard getting all of the functions rolling. Some of the functions weren’t working at times which we found odd and that forced us to work around them (if we couldn’t figure out the problem).

All in all, I am very satisfied with the outcome of our project. We put in a lot of effort which is clearly visible in the video.

Week 5 – The Ecstasy of Influence and On The Rights of Molotov Man (Vasudevan)

On The Rights of Molotov Man By Joy Garnett and Susan Meiselas

During my audio project, I decontextualized N.W.A’s song “Fuck The Police”. After reading Molotov Man, I now understand the problems that may arise when doing so.

I was quite perplexed when the misusage of the song was called out to me. Since we had previously discussed remixing and how it can lead to creativity in class, I thought using songs in this manner was acceptable.

Even today, I find it hard to draw the line between what is remixing and what is misappropriation. However, Molotov Man and Susan’s response to the situation go good lengths in describing how this particular painting infringed the image’s very meaning.

I also understand the artist’s point of view, as I committed the same mistake myself, but saw his lack of understanding of the image as somewhat ignorant. Perhaps it is worse that I knew of the context behind the song and yet used it for other purposes. Regardless, I agree with Susan. What the artist did was not remixing. He copied Susan’s image and treated it as his own. He stripped the “Molotov Man” of his identity, not caring why he’d be carrying a Molotov cocktail, not giving the man credit for his struggles.

The Ecstasy of Influence By Jonathan Lethem

“You take away our right to steal ideas, where are they going to come from?” is a phrase quoted from Roger Meyers Jr. which stood out from the passage itself.

The quote got me thinking, as did the examples provided by the author thereafter, that some ideas are original in themselves. By this, I mean that there has always been one idea which did actually emerge from thin air. With this statement, I recognize I am contradicting posts I have previously written but just now I began to consider this possibility.

Just like Kirby Ferguson mentions, Jonathan Lethem is emphasizing the fact that most art is a derivation of another art form that came before it. Except, the cycle must have started at one point.

Having said this, I do agree that ideas can build up on themselves. Meaning, that one can come up with an art project based on ideas previously conjured, yet we cannot rule out the possibility of ideas being completely unique.

Another interesting insight was the explanation of how a photographer may be plagiarizing the objects featured in his images. Yet here, I find a flaw in the reasoning. A photographer makes everything in his picture his because of how he presents it. What a photographer does is let you see the world through his eyes, making whatever is within the picture indisputably his. This is his view, his way of looking at the world, and he is sharing such an art with you.

Finally, I appreciate how the author explains the idea of copyright has been gradually molded with time. He explains how nowadays, copyright is based on the idea that everyone must own something, even intellectual property. This is, in a sense, the world we live in today. A world where everything has an owner, even air rights! It seems only logical, that copyrights would deviate in towards that direction as well. Where businessmen even try to take profit from their ideas, turning a blind eye on the fact that they may be crushing another man’s genius.

Week 5 – Embrace the Remix (Vasudevan)

“Nothing is original”. Says Kirby Ferguson. “Copy, Transform, and Combine is the root of all creativity” is Ferguson’s main belief.

The lecturer gives various examples of this creativity methods. These examples include several songs produced by Bob Dylan with a base similar to that of older songs and Apple’s multi-touch technology. Ferguson understands that creativity comes from without, as opposed to being self-made. In other words, our ideas do not emerge from thin air. Instead, we use other’s contributions to the artistic world (and other industries) as a starting point of a new idea altogether or to further develop an idea we had previously mustered.

I agree with Ferguson’s point of view. Most products are an improvement of similar versions that had been already introduced into the world by others. This includes technology, art, music, pieces of academic writing, etc. In academic writing, a philosopher produces a theory and thereafter another scholar builds up on that theory. People find its flaws, criticize it, then perfect it. Is this not the same concept Ferguson explains in his video?

Unfortunately, he explains how the Patent Act of 1790 does everything but encourage the development of new ideas based on old, despite the fact that the law claims it promotes the progress of useful arts. What I believe Ferguson is hinting at is that we must call for a reform of this law and accept the fact that EVERYTHING IS A REMIX.

Response to Walter Benjamin Week 10 (Vasudevan)

I appreciated how the author did not discard the idea that art was could also be replicated before the creation of technical reproduction. Because, and I am in accordance to the author’s point of view, art was always liable to be duplicated. Technical reproduction merely simplified and quickened the process. This simplification brought along with it the possibility to extend the range of people the art impacted, while consequentially creating the danger of the unification of the masses.

I also found it very interesting how the author presented the dangers of reduplication of art. As we all very well know, this idea of art being able to be reprinted over and over again means that it can be spread out to wider masses. In other words, he explains how propaganda began and with it, the possibility to unify a people’s way of thinking, opinion, beliefs, etc.

In a similar note, the author also mentions how the art of film is quite totalitarian in the sense that we can only see what the cameraman wishes us to see. However, here I must disagree. This same opinion can be used to describe any form of art, not just film or photography. Therefore, while we may feel limited to the frames presented by the artist, I find it extreme to describe the style as totalitarian.

Week 7: Proposal for Video Project

Our idea for this next project, for which I am in a team with Ying, Carlo, and Harrison consists of a platform which will allow both men and women to experience how clothes will look on their body before they try it on. We plan to film a sorts of advertisement on different shops in order to portray the frustration men and women feel when they have to try on clothing before they purchase the item.

Thereafter, we will create a web page in which the user will be able to play with an image of themselves and transform it in order to see how a specific clothing item will look on them even without trying it on.

Our video project will be done throughout West Nanjing where one girl and one guy from our team will be trying on different types of clothing and showing signs of frustration. Then, we will introduce our webpage and show the various benefits you get from using our resource.

Week 7: Audio Project Tommy and Ori (Vasudevan)

Our audio project is supposed to represent the relationship between those who make a living out of the fake market and the police. While the selling of fake goods is illegal, the fake market at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum subway station is still working. We wanted to demonstrate how it is that they are still running. However, it was complicated to obtain actual recordings of the subjects relating their relationship with the police, as was predicted. Therefore, we had to edit our audio in a way that we could portray this same image of illegal actions happening despite the police being aware of it. For this, we decided to use alarm sounds, songs lyrics, among other effects installed within our audio project.

In terms of the website, we created a platform where the user can both create their own melody based on different sections of our song, yet still, listen to our audio the way we want them to experience it. In this way, we have provided the user with the freedom to play around with excerpts of our full project by selecting three images then playing the sound each image emanates. Once the audio behind those three images has finished playing, the user can finally experience our masterpiece.


Week 7: Response to TED Talk (Vasudevan)

Adichie’s TED Talk was eye-opening because of how she provided both sides of to each argument. While she was attempting to help others understand the dangers of the single story, she admitted to having been an accomplice of it as well. However, what struck me the most was her way of describing her experiences whenever she went back to Nigeria. How her society complained and cursed at the government yet still prospered remineded me a lot of back home. Her admiration for her people is the same admiration I feel for mine. The number of times that the citizens of my country have been wronged by the government are countless, however, their passion for Argentina (my home) remains and lives within each of my compatriates.

However, her most important point, the idea that stereotypes are created through the retelling of a story over and over again is something which can be witnessed on a daily basis. Our way of classifying people and labeling them is apparent in even the smallest of scenarios. We create first impressions based on their looks, the people they hang out with, and their reputation. We do very little to go against these prejudices which have been instilled in us from previous experiences, stories, etc.

I believe this is a scenario of which we have all been responsible for as well as victims. Yet, her way of making it a public understanding of why it is that we create these images of each other may open the minds of many, allowing us to reevaluate our everyday stereotypes before classifying other people in these boxes.