Recently in artist presentations Category

Zhang Yi Mou and his creative group

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The Beijing Olympic game opening ceremony is the best way of presenting the idea of interactive art, although its the interactivity between the professional dancers with LED lights, but I'm sure when this technology become mature, it will be used in daily life to make our lives better. So in the class, the first performance I showed to the class is the interactive dancing with a giant LED light painting, which the director Zhang wanted to use each individual dancer as each small ink of traditional Chinese painting, so we can see as the dancers are dancing on the screen, the LED light can receive the body language of dancers and transmit them into codes and exhibit a giant classic Chinese painting on the digital scroll. Second one I show to the class is the performance which demonstrate the revolution of Chinese Characters from thousand years ago to modern day, and it is also a fancy LED light show, like the LED lights receive signals from the central control and start to do its own performance. Everyone knows that China has the world's longest history and so many ancient culture, some of them may not be really compatible with modern art which require people to spend a long time to perceive the beauty of its spirit, but the opening ceremony is only 5 hours, not enough time for them to show every Chinese culture especially by traditional and classic ways. So the LED lights perfectly interpreted classic culture but also with fancy modern ways. Especially I like the first idea, where the dancer can interact with LED light, maybe because I'm Chinese so it is much easier for me to perceive the insight of the performance.

I chose to focus my presentation on Masayuki Akamatsu and Theo Watson, artists who have informed the way I think about interactivity and the concept of intermedia.

Akamatsu's Time Machine is a highly computational (Jitter) video work that literally and abstractly juxtapose images of participants with respect to memory space and time. The gestural flow of the video design compels participants to respond kinetically, though in no particular way. More video here.

Akamatsu's Earthen Bodied Augur is a concert dance piece using a number of the same video effects as Time Machine. These pieces employ computational frameworks versatile enough to be presented in multiple environments, thus demonstrating how Akamatsu views his video designs as aesthetic frameworks for interactive possibilities. The adaptability of these frameworks have organic quality. They allow for multiple expressions in different venues, but no single one specifically. Perhaps this reveals Akamatsu view of these pieces as composite "movements" despite their distribution among different types of media?

Theo Watson's work also incorporates highly computational video environments. Pieces such as Knee Deep and Funky Forest seem to tap into participants intuitive ability to work together to accomplish various creative tasks. I love the idea of groups learning how to be creative by teaching each other via action. This is similar to concepts of "distributed identity" as an underpinning element in group improvisation such as free jazz. But mostly I like Watson's work because it looks like so much fun!

Artists: Lozano-Hemmer, Boursier-Mougenot, and Byrne

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Artist Presentation: Jim Campbell

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This is a follow-up to my artist presentation about Jim Campbell.
Campbell worked with film and video early in his career, and now works primarily with LEDs, especially arranged in 3-dimensional fields. Campbell's education as an electrical engineer has given him a systems-thinking approach to things: on his website you can find a (humorous) systems diagram entitled "How to make computer art".

While he's better known for Scattered Light -- a 3D field of lights that displays people's movements in space -- I was particularly interested in Campbell's earlier sculptural work that use a variety of materials to explore time and memory. Pieces like Her Breath, Her Blinking explore how time is marked through various cycles. Simultaneous Perspective offers a reflective view of one's journey to the gallery. These pieces are perhaps explorations of our perception of time and space in the same way that Scattered Light is an exploration of our perception of visual information.

I compared Jim's work to that of Bernie Lubell, another San Francisco-based artist. As Diane pointed out, their work and motivation is quite different: Campbell is interested in information, seeing, and imagery -- how much information we need to understand what we're seeing -- and his materials are primarily digital. Lubell, on the other hand, creates work that is extremely tactile in how one experiences it. He creates machines out of wood and latex, and invites people to use these machines directly. Despite these stark differences, I see a common thread of interest in the themes of understanding the things we cannot see... time, memory, death... and often in playful, elegant, reflective ways.

Check out Scott Sona Snibbe--Artist Presentation Follow up

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Here you will find my power point and links to work by the artist I presented the week before last, Scott Snibbe. If you remember, Scott is a media artist, filmmaker, and researcher in social interactivity. The piece that first attracted me to his work was "Boundary Functions" (1988). In this work, participants enter a space where boundaries are drawn between them via a ceiling projection. There must be sensing of people that lays a boundary that bisects two points. The boundaries are broken when human contact is made. I enjoyed this piece as an idealization of interpersonal relationships, as well as a representation of boundary constructs and the fluidity of personal boundaries.


Scott Snibbe.ppt

If you check out Scott's blog , you can see his most recent posts describing his i-pad apps and the thought that went into creating them.

Also this is his website.

Enjoy!