Partner: Yuhan Wang
We were really unsure how to go about our project as we initially did not understand what the goal of this project was. An internet art project was a very abstract notion. We originally intended to make a project similar to our comic project that would revolve around a bear and his quest from the city to his true home(forest). After giving it much thought(and some constructive criticism), we decided on making a intensity level scale where the extremes are the office environment and the other extreme is the nature environment. The bear is our subject and his facial features change as the user scrolls through to different parts of the site.
For the user interaction, what we wanted to do was as the user clicked anywhere on the page, items related to a scene would pop up for eg. coffee mugs and numbers for an office environment, clouds and trees for the nature environment. We had one animation which was of objects appearing as the user clicked, but to create a sense of urgency and serenity, we controlled the speed and amount of objects that got repopulated in every scene paired with the facial change of the bear and that helped us achieve our objective. We decided to complete the whole project using only p5js so we designed all the objects and animations using p5js. The only external element that we added on our page was that of the bear which we changed the features using photoshop and stacking all the bears one top of the other and the features changed as the user scrolled from left to right. we have a black background for our project and we originally were planning of using stock images or designing using photoshop however we decided not to do that. After some advice from our professor we felt adding backgrounds would restrict us in expressing our idea of tension and serenity as viewers would already know what to expect. The coding was very tedious and repetitive as we had to make duplicates for every object and it took up not a bulk but rather ALL the time that we had.
The test run really helped us as we could see how a neutral person with no prior knowledge of the site would go about using the site and we were satisfied with how most understood the dynamics and how to operate it. We recieved some advice on how we should give some prior information to the user so he would have some sense of what to do. We were unsure about whether we add a cover page or a alert message or even having instructions put up. Due to time constraints and conflicts, we decided to simply add a alert box that would tell the user what to do. Overall we achieved what we initially wanted to do and it is a fun and simple project that we ourselves are from time and again, fooling around with. One thing we wouldve liked to add was to have some guide or intensity scale to give the user more knowledge about which environment he is in and also act as a scrollbar.
For our final project, we have decided to try to show the life on a scale that goes from hectic to serene and wanted to use a bear as our subject. We have thought about using some of the in-class js and animation tools that we have learned along with the use of parallax scrolling to try and let the viewer see how there is a change in the mood of the bear and how the different spots on the scale affect it. We have started by drawing up our ideas on how it should look visually and are aiming to make it as straightforward as possible with subtle animations as to not make the site too clunky or ugly.
‘The term net.art is less a coinage than an accident’. How ironic is it that the very name of something that is so interesting and experimental in nature had been assigned its name through a software glitch. In this article, Rachel Greene went into depth about the origins of net.art and how it has been popularized since its inception.
Net.art was always meant for the ambitious and creative minds and many people started doing their own net.art projects that could be accessed by anyone for the purpose of entertainment. Soon there were sites like Rhizome that were not for profit and had the aim of promoting the new wave of net.art. There was money to be made in this industry and soon there were major corporations such as CNN jumping onto this train of innovation. The inclusion of large corporations would be a drawback as they aimed at using this to make money rather than promote creativity. irrational.org was one of the sites that aimed at stopping this corporal monopolizing of the internet by adding more domains for people to use(eg. .org .edu .net etc).
With anything that is not done in person, there is always some sense of anonymity and the internet was no exception. Soon there were people posing on the internet under false aliases and were misusing the internet for their own personal amusement(example taken of Slovenian artist Vuk Cosic). This drew some doubt in people’s minds about how truthful the content on the internet truly was as anyone could pose as anyone and post anything. This is very noticeable on today’s internet where people can get ‘catfished’ on social media without them being aware of it.
Net.art has a great inception story and it is a platform for people to use for all kinds of purposes; promoting creativity, talking about political issues, or simply having a good time. Net.art surrounds us in today’s world where we are indirectly or directly part of this digital movement and it has helped us find new ways of engaging audiences apart from the traditional forms such as TV, radios, newspapers etc. How the rise of this new form of digital technology gets handled will determine if net.art is to stay for the long term or fade away like a trend.
This article made me really think about how to work for our final project. What truly distinguishes between something that is made by hand and what is processed on the computer? I like how the author talks about the how the computer should be a medium to display ideas rather than the computer itself constructing the idea, “…for it is capable of producing enough superfluous material to create the illusion that one is inventing when in fact, one is merely producing variations on a theme, often of nothingness”.
The author feels that the use of the computer should be used for making certain processes and jobs easier, but they should not replace the work done by hand as he states, “But the language of the computer is the language of technology, not the language of design. It is also the language of production”. In my view, a key difference that separates art done by hands and art done on a computer is that the work done by hand has flaws and imperfections whereas art on computer follows a set rules of principles and eliminates the errors of the human hand. But the errors in my view are what give this art its uniqueness and ‘human’ touch. If everything was perfect then they would all look the same and not be unique in one way or another.
When we talk about Programming(hacking) and Painting(art) we view these as 2 completely different genres or departments that do not overlap due to them being very different in nature. Usually, a painter is portrayed as someone with a very great eye and a vivid imagination whereas a hacker is someone who is a ‘geek’ and the work that he does can only be understood by other hackers. Paul Graham’s article wanted to delve into this misinterpretation that people had and wanted to talk about how similar these two professions actually were.
For Graham, he was a hacker by profession and he had an issue with his profession falling under the ‘Computer Science’ department as he felt it was a very vague way of clubbing many professions and simplifying this for the sake of convenience. He didn’t feel his work was very much a ‘science’ because he associated science with that of writing dissertations and trying to prove hypotheses rather than trying to write codes. He also speaks about his own experiences about how when he was working for companies, they were not being employed to code but rather to implement the ideas of the marketing department.
This article had a very fresh take on two professions and how each must be appreciated in its own light. The author wanted to highlight how coding can also be an art form and talked about how we are currently in the golden age of coding. The works of all the famous painters took decades before they were truly appreciated by the masses (DaVinci, Michelangelo etc.) and the same case will be for coding as maybe the generation after ours may truly view it and appreciate its intricate and beautiful nature.
Click here to view project
Partners: Margaret And Julia
While drawing up ideas for our video project, we were keen on using the picturesque locations across Shanghai and so started drawing up plots around this idea. After some thinking, our group agreed upon a very serious plot that revolves around a guy who has reached a stage where he is contemplating life and goes around Shanghai trying to see if he can salvage anything. He carries a Polaroid with him to try and capture these important moments in his last day on Earth.
The story will start with a scene showing him lying dead on the floor and a voiceover narrating why he is in the position that he is. A few artistic aspects that we played around was that we decided not to have any dialogues, but just voiceovers that narrate what is going on in his mind. Another key feature that we felt was really critical to our project was that we wanted to show how the actor viewed life in colors whereas the world surrounding him was just black and white. The mixture of black and white shots with color shots gave our project a really unique finish to it. We also employed a non-linear narrative as we have one start and end scene that are fixed, however, there are 4 scenes that show different times of the day and the viewer can see them in any order and this would not hinder his understanding our experience as each mini video is independent on viewing but adds up to give a greater understanding of how the protagonist is feeling.
After drawing up our storyboard, we went to the locations that we selected and started our shooting. We had one actor and 2 film crew. We shot everything on the Canon 6D apart from the ‘Club Scene’ where on arriving, we were told cameras weren’t allowed inside so we had to improvise for that scene by recording on an iPhone 6S Plus and had to make all the technical changes so it matched with our other videos. We felt the coding would take up a large chunk of our time so we began to code the website alongside shooting and editing the videos. We used Adobe Premiere to edit the videos and add all the supporting audio files. We used audacity with a Yeti microphone to record the voiceovers and used soundtracks taken from the internet for the ambient soundtracks. For the coding, we used CSS to style the website and JS for the interaction.
Our interaction was very simple, the page opening, on-loads a death scene and then the viewer proceeds to the main page. There they have the option of either selecting the buttons placed next to a clock to show the different times of the day and clicking that would open a pop-up window with the video. Another way is if the viewer clicks on each polaroid to view that moment. Once a video is viewed(using the filter function), its color turns to grayscale and once all the videos are viewed, the page automatically redirects to the final scene that will emerge as a new pop up window. When brainstorming, we felt that for the viewer to select each time of the day and watch in any order was enough interaction as we really focused a lot on the videos itself that adding more interaction would’ve disrupted the flow of the plot.
From what we had originally envisioned for our project, I think we achieved our object albeit through some trial and error. I had not thought that filming would take up so much time as for every shot, we would easily exhaust around 2-3 hours. This project had a lot of improvising done as if we look back at our storyboard, we have followed it but have made our own adjustments to the scene on the spot. There are always some angles or shots that you don’t think of drawing up, but at the moment of shooting, you feel this is a shot that may come in handy. Regarding the layout of the site, we could have done more to work on the aesthetics so that it would’ve complimented the tone of the very deep story that we had. We used a non-linear perspective in our storyline but I think if we had gone for a linear perspective, we could’ve achieved a very contrasting or different story than to ours and maybe it would have had a very different way of interaction than what we had in our project.
Link to site
Our audio project is a very simple idea aimed at depicting a day in the life of an NYU Shanghai student. From the morning waking up, all the way to going back to bed. The journey of making this project was actually interesting as we had to really think about ALL the sounds we are used to listening to every day but don’t really pay attention to.
We started off by gathering our bits of audio. We acquired our samples of sounds like snoring, brushing, and walking online. We used two other ways to gather sounds where 1)we recorded sounds in the podcast room to give us spoken sounds that were clear and without ambients sounds and 2) using a Tascam to record exterior sounds throughout our AB that we would use. We mixed all the voices together using the audacity software where we experimented for quite a while by editing the pitch and frequencies of sounds and adding different effects to get our final version.
We did not feel our project needed any interactive aspects to it and so designed our site using the source code that we acquired through an IMA workshop and where we added a play button and volume up and down buttons. The shape of the circular ring thins and gets bigger as you toggle with the volume up/down buttons
We were quite satisfied with our audio project and how we blended our sounds together to create a story(or journey) of the life of a student and it felt very real as if you close your eyes and listen to the audio then it feels as though you are actually in the shoes of the student.
We had initially recorded way more sounds than what we have put in our original project and I felt one thing which I would want to improve next time is the transition in between two sounds and how to seamlessly merge them together without there being a noticeable break. Apart from that, we felt we achieved our initial target.
This Ted talk by Chimamanda Ngozi is something that I have viewed many times through my high school and now into college life as well. This is a very inspiring and meaningful talk that makes you think not about just the speaker and her encounters, but also about those that YOU yourself have come up against and how hearing a single story made you make assumptions before getting the full story.
As humans, we are very instinctive and are bound to take things at face value or try to make deductions(which may be wrong) at the first look(or single story) and we do this because we feel good about ourselves knowing something rather than nothing and feeling superior by making deductions. These first Single stories are not necessarily a bad thing but the reason why the speaker says they are is due to what we end up doing with these stories. “A single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.” This creation of stereotypes tends to brand a certain individual based on some aspect of him and it ignores all the other qualities or traits of him. The speaker was subject to a lot of these situations where her acquaintances ‘assumed’ she would behave/act a certain way because she was from a certain place or that she may not have the ability to do things because of who she is. These ill-informed views strip some individuals of the potential that they may have if they are viewed in a demeaning manner by more powerful authorities(workforce discrimination).
The reason why I really enjoyed this talk is because I can absolutely relate to the speaker and understand her situation yet also sympathise with her. There have been many occasions where you are misinterpreted a single way due to an action you may commit and there are also times where you paint up an incomplete image of someone that you don’t know completely about. I felt this picture really helped in visually displaying the message of this talk as it shows that there is ‘no wrong’, it is just a matter of perception. You need to see both sides of the coin before you truly commit to a story.
Music is an art form that can be heard at anytime, be it while relaxing, working out, eating, dancing, the list is endless. It is a way for the mind to just relax and forget about the other things. Who would think that music would be a way for musicians to voice their political views? And at the same time be successful! This revealing article talks about the history of Reggae music and how the emergence of the style dub ‘accidentally’ came into existence.
Bob Marley, The Wailers; the words we would associate with these are usually charismatic, upbeat, fun and lively. We tend to enjoy them at face value but don’t take into consideration the origin and hardship that these people have gone through to be where they were. In a politically and economically unstable jamaica during the 1970’s, Bob Marley and the Wailers managed to transform the voices of the people to the government and make them take notice of the struggles that the everyday man is going through. This article gave us a grave insight into how the musical platform was used to convey messages and how powerful of a platform it was.
Jeff Chang has written a very strong article that doesn’t shy away from talking about the more controversial episodes in the life of Bob Marley such as the assassination attempt on him. Nor does he compromise factual accuracy for the sake of simplicity or entertainment. This gives for an interesting read and at the same time, make us ponder over how strong the medium of music is than the message itself and the global reach that this form of entertainment has. Can other forms of media like theatre, radio or TV have the same impact on political situations as music has had? and if not, why do we relate to music on such a high emotional scale than with other forms of media?
In the article “Theft and Artistry: Coldplay, Beyonce in India Spark Discussion on Appropriation”, the author is trying to discuss the Cultural Appropriation that is very evident in today’s music industry. Music producers feel that employing aspects of foreign culture into their music video’s will give their viewers a fresh outlook on their music.
The author has used 2 very popular examples of Coldplay and Justin Bieber and there are much more examples of this. I am personally a huge fan of Coldplay and have been profoundly following their music for a while now. I am an Indian and after viewing the music video for “Hymn for the Weekend”, my first impression was like,”that’s not India!” Cultural appropriation is harmful not because it is using other cultures as a background for work, but because of how they wrongly portray them. Situations such as poverty or war may be stylized for them to appear ‘fun’ or ‘beautiful’ which isn’t the case in reality.
Cultural appropriation brings about the case of stereotyping as viewers would know only some basic knowledge of a foreign culture(which may be wrong or out of context) and use this to make up stereotypes for different cultures. Nitasha T Sharma’s view about cultural appropriation sums up everything, where it doesn’t matter WHY someone is controversial or not, what matters is the social implications that can arise from these appropriations that they have used.