My school program, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, generates so many creative and innovative projects that we have a severe internal problem keeping track of them all and transferring knowledge. Either people don’t share via blogs and videos and photos what they’re doing (though we’re encouraged to document our work thoroughly), or people don’t have time to go look at others’ stuff. The best way is an oldie — just being around each other physically in a workshop-like space. Density and physicality are still the most powerful enablers. But curators can fill in some of the gap.
I wanted to look through my classmates’ blogs and note the stuff I liked the most. It’s not intended to be exclusive, but highlight things that struck me about peoples’ work. If you saw something really awesome, let me know about it. Mostly I tried to look through everyone’s blogs, but if it wasn’t posted, I couldn’t find it!
My Intro to Computational Media classmate, Engin Ayez, who went to Stanford for civil engineering and architectural design, upped the ante with his Processing sketch “Disappearing Ideas”:
“Disappearing Ideas is a layered interactive sketch that the user can create, one that erases itself subtly over time if the user stops interacting with it. It is intended to have a calm look that contrasts with its fast pace of random shape generation. I see the colored rectangles as ideas that slowly vanish in our minds, almost like moments of brilliance lost in misplaced post-its.”
What I liked about this was that it was beautifully geometric, but also represented the ephemeral quality of memory. As F. Scott Fitzgerald (for whom I assume my physical computing professor Scott Fitzgerald is named, and who is also my favorite author) wrote in “This Side of Paradise”, “I’m not sentimental–I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last–the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.”
Engin also worked with Kaitlin Till-Landry on PetMusic, which uses Arduino and conductive fabric to play music when you pet fur:
“PetMusic consists of a touch-sensitive white imitation-fur, which, when caressed by an actor, plays Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, until the caressing is over. We see PetMusic as a portable, therapeutic artifact that can be used for meditation and relaxation. Rather than just pressing the “play” button on an mp3 player, PetMusic demands minimal, but repetitive maintenance activity from the user, creating a positive feedback loop and leading to an experience of escape.”
Kojo Opuni, also in my ICM class, made this gem, “Night Fever”. It’s missing the Bee Gees music though. :(
Yucef Merhi, who seems to me to have a real artist’s personality, put together his “Archetypes”, and made this Processing sketch of one of them. Beautiful.
Hyeyoung Yoon doesn’t say much in class, but she volunteered to show her work one day and it represented to her the loss of those close to her in her family. A lot of her Processing work so far has focused on a ghostly theme of absence or voids or disappearance.
Christie Leece made a “Hybrid Animals” sketch in Processing to explore animal husbandry for hybrids like zorses.
The best part about the video and sound communications lab was that the final project is a video. Here’s a video by Robbie Tilton, Yoonjo Choi, Mick Hondlik, and Johann Diedrick, featuring Tony, possibly the funniest guy in our class year.
From my class, Sara Al-Bassam, Angela Bond, Tiffany (Hsiao-Wen) Choo, and Zena Koo made a video about romance in Washington Square Park. Great use of color, made by the most ethnically diverse team ever?
Gavin Hackeling’s New Yorker imitation is priceless in this short film about I <3 New York (w/ Chris Egervary, Bona Kim, and Federico Zannier:
Phil Groman, Jee Won Kim, Annelie Berner, and Michelle Boisson made this video about being stood up..by life. PHILLLLL! NOOOOOOO! DAMN YOU DANNE!!!
One of our physical computing main assignments was to create a stupid pet trick. There’s a tumblr with a lot of them, along with vids and documentation.
Christie Leece’s bullseye-bow’n’arrow Stupid Pet Trick was pretty cool!
Ben Light’s massive LED glasses that blink. This challenged me to think about doing something more ambitious for future projects. Thanks for the kick in the butt, Ben. Bens unite.
Atif Ahmad, total New York baller and clothier, made a Make It Rain machine for his Stupid Pet Trick.