January 2012 Archives
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
McGonigal directs game R&D at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit forecasting firm where she developed Superstruct, a massively multiplayer game in which players organize society to solve for issues that will confront the world in 2019. She masterminded World Without Oil, which simulated the beginning of a global oil crisis and inspired players to change their daily energy habits. McGonigal also works with global companies to develop games that build on our collective-intelligence infrastructure -- like The Lost Ring, a mystery game for McDonald's that became the world's biggest alternate reality game, played by more than 5 million people. (Not to mention the delightful Top Secret Dance-Off, which taps that space in our brains where embarrasment and joy mingle.) Book:: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Happy and How They Can Change the World.
The term avatar was first popularized as a concept in cyber culture and science fiction through books like Neal Stephenson's 1992 classic, Snow Crash.
Stephenson uses the word "avatar" in his novel: "The people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse (the virtual reality internet)."
Virtual worlds, avatar experiences and communication tools are becoming more prevalent in digital culture. Here are some recent books that discuss the contemporary use of avatars:
I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life (New Riders) (Paperback) Mark Stephen Meadows (Author)
Publisher: New Riders Press; 1 edition (January 6, 2008)
From the Book Description:
What is an avatar? Why are there nearly a billion of them, and who is using them? Do avatars impact our real lives, or are they just video game conceits? Is an avatar an inspired rendering of its creator's inner self, or is it just one among millions of anonymous vehicles clogging the online freeways? Can we use our avatars to really connect with people, or do they just isolate us? And as we become more like our avatars do they become more like us?
Alter Ego: Avatars and their Creators ~ Robbie Cooper (Author) Publisher: Chris Boot (May 1, 2007)
From the Book Description: ...presenting the phenomenon of the contemporary avatar-the virtual characters gamers choose and design to engage in 3D worlds online. Portraits of gamers from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan (including leading figures of the gaming world) are paired with digital images of their alter egos, graphically dramatizing the gap between fantasy and reality.
Digital Culture, Play, and Identity: A World of Warcraft® Reader
-by Hilde G. Corneliussen and Jill Walker Rettberg
Publisher: The MIT Press (May 31, 2008)
From the Book Description: World of Warcraft is the world's most popular massively multiplayer online game (MMOG), with (as of January 2008) more than ten million active subscribers across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia who play the game an astonishing average of twenty hours a week. This book examines the complexity of World of Warcraft from a variety of perspectives, exploring the cultural and social implications of the proliferation of ever more complex digital gameworlds.
More info + Links on Digital Art Blog:
via GPS Museum / Project by Noah Feehan
1) A Syncwalk is a walk with an extra twist: as you travel, you are accompanied by a seamless mix of songs that relate to where you are at that moment. (Who made the mix of songs? You did! Or your friend, or an artist you like, and so forth...)
2) A Syncwalk is a collection of songs with a geographical area defined for each song (or group of songs). They're transferrable and saveable, so you can share your compositions with everyone!
Aurora Organ is a contemporary meditation on the possibilities of translating human presence into light using digital technology. The site-specific and interactive sculpture is installed in the atrium of the Showplace Theaters, St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
Camille Utterback is an internationally acclaimed artist whose interactive installations and reactive sculptures engage participants in a dynamic process of kinesthetic discovery and play. Utterback's work explores the aesthetic and experiential possibilities of linking computational systems to human movement and gesture in layered and often humorous ways. Her work focuses attention on the continued relevance and richness of the body in our increasingly mediated world. Bio and more info on the artist's website:
Ars Electronica Futurelab focuses on the future at the nexus of art, technology and society. We consider our works as sketches of possible future scenarios in art-based, experimental forms. In this way, we are aiming at developing contributions through methods and strategies of applied science, the results of which reveal new knowledge and experiences of societal relevance in art and science. The lab's team bases its work commitment upon transdisciplinary research and work which results in a variety of different disciplines at the lab. Our range of services concentrates on expertise developed throughout the years in fields such as media art, architecture, design, interactive exhibitions, virtual reality and real-time graphics.
Here are some examples of Locative Media Projects done over the past decade:
See 30 locative projects listed in the GPS Museum website
Urban Tapestries http://urbantapestries.net/
Uncle Roy All Around You by Blast Theory http://www.uncleroyallaroundyou.co.uk/
InterUrban by Jeff Knowlton, Naomi Spellman & Jeremy Hight http://interurban.34n118w.net/
Come Closer by squidsoup http://squidsoup.org/comecloser/
Field-Works by Masaki Fujihata http://www.field-works.net/
Choreography of Everyday Movement by Teri Rueb http://userpages.umbc.edu/~rueb/
GPS Drawing http://www.gpsdrawing.com/
Amsterdam Realtime by Ester Polak http://realtime.waag.org/
workshop at Karosta in Latvia http://locative.x-i.net/report2.html
MILK by Ieva Auzina and Esther Polak http://locative.x-i.net/piens/
Locative Media and Mapping / ISEA2013
City Fireflies is a multiplayer interactive game designed by Víctor Díaz and Sergio Galán for Mediala-Prado's digital facade. This activity aims to claim the square as a game space in which audiences will have to eliminate threatens appearing in the urban space.
Several environmental dangers are threatening human life: Buildings, pollution, cars. They are eating all the public space around and our mission is to draw clean spaces with the help of a bright light: A torch or our mobile phone light.
In this first prototype we only have one level with a lot of evil monster representing the city aggressions. If the monster extinguish all the free space, we die and have to start again.
Strange Rain turns the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch into a photorealistic portable skylight on a rainy day, with three play modes that combine touchscreen play with interactive storytelling.
BURNING MAN ART INSTALLATIONS
The playa is a tabula rasa, a blank canvas upon which many a fantastic vision has been realized. Submarines, gigantic ducks, swimmers, fire-breathing thistles, serpents, chandeliers, grandfather clocks and balsa wood temples have emerged from the playa...
Every year Burning Man allocates a percentage of its revenue from ticket sales to funding select art projects that are collaborative, community-oriented and interactive.
Two links from BrainPickings:
Apple designer Bret Victor wrote about what's wrong with our visions for the future of interaction design, where in discussing the four basic grips, he mentions in passing a vintage book by John Napier, a physician specializing in hands...
David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer created the website and book: Information is Beautiful. ( in the US the book is called: The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia)
Northern Spark is a free, dusk to dawn, participatory arts festival that presents visual arts, performance, films, and interactive media indoors and outdoors in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 2011, during the course of one night, there were 50,000 visits to 100 projects by more than 200 artists at 34 venues... In 2012, Northern Spark takes place from dusk, Saturday, June 9, to dawn, Sunday, June 10.
The theme of Northern Spark in 2012 is "Think and Wonder." We are looking for projects that are sited/performed in public space and engage a broad public audience in that space. Projects can be in any medium or discipline.
The Eyeo Festival brings together the world's leading creative coders, data visualization professionals, designers and artists for 4 days of lectures, conversations and workshops. In 2012, the Festival takes place June 5-8 in Minneapolis ...
For one sleepless night at Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche, people from all over the world participated in a magical interactive art experience. Together, they reinvented the playful art of finger painting by using enigmatic brush patterns created by nine world-renowned artists.
SoMeS - "Social Media Sculpture" is a site specific interactive installation based on a software which enables to create and energize a network in real time, mapping the connections between people and displaying it in a Data Art format. The software was presented on 16th June at SonarPro 2011, Barcelona.
15 examples of interactive installations: experiments, motions, applications and more...
In this installation YesYesNo teamed up with The Church, Inside Out Productions and Electric Canvas to turn the Auckland Ferry Building into an interactive playground.
Design I/O is a creative studio that makes immersive, interactive installations for events, galleries, museums, exhibitions and public space...
like Funky Forest:
Rise and Fall:
In an interactive installation, The Obliteration Room , for the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, artist Yayoi Kusama built an environment, painting every surface white... Children were given thousands of colored dot stickers to transform the space.
Created by David Bowen, Tele-Present Water installation draws information from the intensity and movement of the water in a remote location. The wave intensity and frequency is scaled and transferred to the mechanical grid structure resulting in a simulation of the physical effects caused by the movement of water from this distant location.
Created by Universal Everything with FIELD, Communion is a room sized installation creating almost a 360º environment. The final piece includes an array or evolving creatures going through stages of development - evolution from simple to complex with human like properties with generative behaviours, deeply immersive and "a celebration of an audio visual synesthetic experience". Exhibited at the La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris.
Zach Lieberman: Interactive Art
Artist Zach Lieberman uses interactive media to inspire - and explore the relationship between technology, performance, and the body. His recent projects include an open-source eye-tracking system that allows disabled artists to draw using their eyes and a performance that includes drawn sketches that react to a visitors' touch.
Miwa Matreyek creates performances where real shapes and virtual images trade places, amid layers of animation, video and live bodies. Using animation, projections and her own moving shadow, Miwa Matreyek performs a piece at TEDGlobal 2010, a portion of the work "Myth and Infrastructure."
Artist Website: http://www.semihemisphere.com/Home.html
Miwa Matreyek is an animator, designer, and multi-media artist working in Los Angeles. She creates animated short films as well as works that integrate animation and live performance/installation via projection. Matreyek is interested in how animation transforms when it is combined with body and space (and vice-versa) and takes on a more physical and present quality, while body and space take on a more fantastical quality.
Also on Vimeo > http://vimeo.com/10278043