Thoughts for New Project-2.
January 30th, 2009 by Lex

Here is another TED speaker that is worth paying attention to: Scott McCloud. McCloud is famous for his early work deconstructing comics, and as such deconstructing image, narrative, abstraction, connections and meaning. If one wants to build a new type of interaction or story, this video is a great place to start. The meatiest part of the presentation starts around 10 minutes in.

Wooster posted the video as a piece of art. But it is more than that–it is a challenge to remove the traditional thinking about narrative. Art does not have to be static (painting) or uni-directional (movie, song, music). It can be multi-directional, multi-media, and fully engaged with the user. It can be customized to the user.

Customization is incredibly powerful. For example, Pandora has been able to completely reinvent the radio industry by customizing the listener’s experience based on her input. And it takes so little to drive that customization: a computer’s IP address is enough. So, what is the next step?

The goal of the new project will be to: (1) draw on user input or characteristics to drive randomization, (2) utilize a library of multimedia elements, including video, photography and sound, (3) create a specific and fully customized artistic experience with unique narratives.

Thoughts for New Project-1.
January 27th, 2009 by Lex

A thought experiment, and the beginning of a roadmap for a new project (tentatively “Dream:Engage”).

One aspect of new media is the ability of the artist to relinquish control. “Random” or “living” pieces can be produced by introducing (literally programming) an element of self generation, or re-generation, into the code of a piece. The creative process is then not just limited to symptom (the visual work), but starts in the DNA of a subject (conceptual definition). All sorts of unexpected twists and turns are born through randomization. See below for a stark example at the Victoria & Albert museum.

A more familiar randomized world would of course be the ITunes Visualizer (found here).

Once the definitions and boundaries are set, this approach becomes all about the input that triggers programmed DNA to spread its feathers. Music, and audio in general, is one attractive way in. Another is direct user participation. Make the consumer of the media engage with her consumption. Pull her in. This line of thought brings us to the use of narrative. A rudimentary exploration of this can be found in the Panels project, where a user’s click to refresh the page brings in new elements and storylines. A logical direction is to
“float”, unfix, abstract not just the direction of the story, but the story-telling elements. Mix media in the delivery of the message. Pull continuity apart, and branch out from concrete realistic text into visual chaos.

Next up, Scott McCloud on experimental narrative and our take on how to use the idea …