UF Digital Worlds: SPRING Tuesday 9th Period

“Projection Design” offers a hands-on approach to the design, planning and execution of digital projections in a variety of performance spaces by using a combination of industry standard and open source research software tools. Students configure and test a large set of media formats in a variety of display situations and venues. Student will present a multi-screen digital projection media project, a research process weblog and collaborate with engineers and artists.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

LiveVibe TV, "Opening Minds: People Who Make Video Games"


I had to the opportunity to work “Opening Minds: People Who Make Video Games.” Throughout the week, we helped to set up cameras, audio, and the switcher board to make sure the show ran smoothly. I was able to assist with audio, video, stage set-up, lighting, and synchronization of picture and sound (clapperboard) during the show. There was a nice crowd and the show was a success. One thing that I learned from this show is that you must have many different elements to keep an audience immersed. The house band and interaction kept the audience engaged. Instead of there being down time while the audience had to sit and wait for the next guest, the house band kept them entertained. Also, during the show, there were many different components exhibited.  Samuel Sewall, Next-generation game programmer and developer, displayed his game on the panel screen during his presentation. If that was not enough to excite the crowd, Diana Reichenbach and Hyuk Jang invited audience members to “Explore Ancient Egypt” and actually get a chance to test out their game.
Marko Suvajdzic, owner of Organic to Digital, spoke about his five key elements of interactive gaming: Gammification, Flow Theory, Educational Games, Data Collection, and Adaptive Learning. Gammification is using the incentives that we use in video games to help kids to learn. Kids are always willing to learn if the method of learning is fun. The flow theory is a description of how to be fully engaged in what we do. Suvajdzic proposed the question, “Video games fully immerse you, but how do we do that for learning?” There are many distractions in the world that cause kids to stray from learning in school. But, if we create more educational games where students can have fun while learning, they will be fully engaged while acquiring knowledge. Data collection is important to tracking the success of educational games and what areas can be improved. Suvajdzic stated “collecting data is useful because it stores information that teaches us how to make education more efficient and make it better.” The last concept was adaptive learning. Adaptive learning uses technology, more specifically computers, to help teach students. Suvajdzic thought this concept still had at least five years to develop before it is fully accepted and teachers begin to use technology more for educational purposes.
I was not able to take specific notes for Samuel Sewall, Diana Reichenbach and Hyuk Jang, but they spoke about some very interesting topics. It amazed me that Sewall was so young and heavily involved within his field. Similar to Suvajdzic, he spoke about trying to find a way to make education more fun through gaming. His expertise was coding and he explained some of his methods when creating a game. He stated that at times his group would create a concept and idea and finish creating a game within 24 hours. Reichenbach and Jang introduced a game created for the South Florida Science Center. This was an interactive game that used the Xbox Kinect to take students through Egypt and into the Afterlife. They explained each step from the proposal and initial concept to body recognition and creating characters.

Friday, November 21, 2014

LiveVibe TV

            I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews and presentations given at the LiveVibe TV event at the Digital Worlds Institute last night. Being a part of the production as a member of the 5:01 house band gave me a greater sense of appreciation for all the hard work and preparation that went into making the night run as smoothly as it did. The interviews were incredibly eye-opening from Marko’s vision of educational gaming, Sam’s simple explanation of coding basics and project management, and Diana and Hyuk’s demonstration of their new “Exploring Ancient Egypt” Kinect game. The information was useful and applicable to people of all ages and studies, and proved to be quite entertaining.

            Marko Suvajdzic’s interview delved into educational gaming and its imminent impact on classrooms in the future. By adding educational games to any given curriculum, teachers are given a completely new way to collect data and assess student achievement. He further explained that educational games are already making their way into earlier grade levels, as the material is fairly simple and the target audience does not require as impressive of features/graphics to maintain focus. Progressing into the higher grade levels and subjects require much more funding to pay for experts in the particular field, and to build more immersive games to keep the older students engaged. Marko believes that educational gaming will be a cornerstone in any given classroom within the next decade, which leaves much room for individuals like him to fulfill the need.

            Working as Immersed Games’ Chief Technology Officer, Samuel Sewall was able to explain the process of building a game from a coder’s perspective. He explained, in their simplest terms, a few areas of coding for people with little to no experience in the area. I was able to follow along with much of this part of his presentation, thanks to my work in Dr. Barmpoutis’ graduate level class in Protocols for Multimedia Interfaces. My favorite part of his discussion came from Dean Lavelli’s question regarding Sam’s general procedure for creating a new game. She wanted to know if Sam generally came up with an idea for a game first, or if he started coding first. He responded that it has gone both ways for him in the past. Coming from a music background, I have also been in the situation where I didn’t have a specific melody already planned out, and I just started writing music as it came to me. Other times I have had a melody already planned out, and continued to develop the piece from that.

            Diana and Hyuk presented their production of “Exploring Ancient Egypt” that many members of the Digital Worlds team have been working on the last few months. Their game was produced for use within museums as a way for children to learn about ancient Egyptian history in a fun and interactive experience utilizing the Microsoft Kinect. Diana explained her role in the animation and background design while Hyuk went over his contributions in character design. Hyuk’s character design work spanned from 3D model creation in Maya to creating “skins” in Photoshop to creating “bones” for the Kinect to recognize.

            The central theme of educational gaming was portrayed through each presenter. This was a great route for Digital Worlds to take in this season of LVTV as it is an area that will be gaining much more attention in the years to come. In summary, the utilization of technology in the classroom in a fun and interactive way can and will help students achieve greater things throughout their educational experience.
            

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cremaster 3: Matthew Barney


I watched Cremaster 3 (2002). In the beginning, I had no idea what was going on. There are lots of different types of music and sound effects. Throughout the film, the music genre switches back and forth multiple times. Also, a lot of the sound effects were very dramatized. One thing that I took from Cremaster was that Barney wanted to focus on how sound accompanies visuals. In one part, there was a person spreading some material on a car. To the naked eye, someone may just think this person is detailing or preparing the car for work. But since he added eerie and high pitch squealing sound effects, it seemed like something crazy was about to happen. After a few minutes, the film got very weird and actually was a little bit scary with children carrying dead bodies and a lot of dark images.  It was kind of sad to see them destroy such nice cars. This reminded me a little bit of Fluxus artists when they destroyed musical instruments and called it a form of art.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle and Björk's Work

After watching parts of Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle, I can definitely say that this work is something like no other. It was my first time being exposed to something so grand, if I can use that word. While the cycle focuses on creation, it is only obvious that Barney's work is meant for mature audiences. While some people could find his work grotesque, I find it intriguing. He uses many different metaphors and allusions throughout his cycle, mainly in sexual ways. The camera shots in this piece are also phenomenal, as is the accompanying score.


I happened to find Björk's work more fascinating, perhaps because of its use of digital projection technology. I watched a few pieces, one of them being even more different than the others, called "Cocoon." From prior knowledge, the Japanese believe that the red string represents fate, and that it connects two people together romantically.

It really is a video you have to watch to understand it yourself.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fN-eotrifA


Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle: a late night interpretation

Upon watching the first part of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle, I found it amusing how Barney plays back and forth  between a lingerie group flashing their skirts and what appears to be the lines of the football field, alternating between side to side and top to bottom. His syncing of music is right on for both shots in that they follow a sort of burlesque dance across the stage.His use of camera movement and focal length make it almost feel like the room is breathing and alive. For the most part, we should be able to see this happening a lot in traditional cinema, however we are trained to focus on the actor rather than the room around them in these dramatic swoops of the camera.

From the way Barney is sequencing his shots, it looks like two parties are going on in the opposing blimps. The two colors of grapes are the only distinguishing characteristic between the two rooms. The play on vertical and horizontal lines is a pretty strong theme in his first part as the legs are a huge emphasis in the beginning and at this point. There is the metaphor of the women's legs being as fine as porcelain as they are leaning out the window. This relationship is established during the overhead camera view in which all the legs are horizontal, much like the supporting structure of the centerpiece of the table. The guiding lines of the legs and the centerpiece would lead you side to side to make the comparison for yourself.

In addition to the lines, there is a voyeuristic sort of theme going on in the piece. The women start out as scantily clad and willing to show off what is underneath their skirts. On the blimp however, the dress style of the women appear to be quite prudish, almost like catholic school nuns. There is a lot of peeking at them from under the table, staring at their feet and crossed legs. It almost illustrates the subtle way men look at women when they aren't aware of it.

Barney seems to start a new sequence with the woman under the table. Due to the way she is dressed and the broken music box sort of background ambiance, it feels like we are staring at a broken doll that is laid to rest. I feel like the grapes illustrate a sort of male stimulation in which the movement  conveys a stirring in the loins. The way Barney cuts from the prudish woman to the one under the bed shows, at least to me, that she is harboring some kind of sexual desire that she is keeping under the covers. They constantly stare out the window for the  fear that someone is judging their outer appearance.It looks to me like the football field is masculinity portrayed as a monolith and the women are put on a pedestal way up in the blimps.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Avant-garde artist with digital technology

After viewing multiple Bjork and Matthew Barney's artworks I found that avant-garde artists normally could follow the steps of digital technology. Because when they need to achieve their weird effects, digital technology is a  good resource for them to rely on. Unique colour, sharp-cut theme, reshaped objects and unrestricted style, audience view them as avant-garde is largely determined by that they're unfamiliar with artists' magic technology. Of course, this not equals to that people who knows technology could creative them as well.

One of Bjork's was impressed on my heart which called Hyper ballad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26sP2WsA5cY
Bjork is lying on a digital projection screen with her eyes closed, then another Bjork projects on the former one, with her eyes opened and singing crazily. Multiple overlapped digital layers intwine with each other rhythmically, which draws a split situation for our viewers.
This is also could be interpreted as an excellent digital projection's application in art, I really like it.


Matthew Barney's works I think are a little bit bloody and irascible just as what he said.
However, I have not to deny that his work sparks his endless intelligence and his thistly but valuable emotion. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Synaesthetic Synthesis: Simultaneous Perception of Harmonic Opposites

Youngblood has pointed out that cinema is newly defined by every person that creates a film. However that argument loses ground when we, as human beings, are only limited to define what we have access to; in other words, a pool of knowledge and resources available to the human race. In this way, the relationships defined may be new and never before observed.They aren't completely new, but rather a new derivative of what we currently have available to us. The only way something truly new is defined comes with the way of advancements in humanity and technology that would give us deeper insights into our understandings of nature and therefore a new element in the pool from which we can draw new and grander observations.