- 27 March:
Archive for the ‘Poeme Numerique Masterclass’ Category
Poeme Numerique Masterclass: Wrapping Up
On the last day of the masterclass, the group discussed the ideas that were developed, which aspects of the masterclass helped them develop those ideas, and the masterclass leaders had their chance to give a final few bits of advice. Golan Levin noted that many people had not just one idea, but five or six, and he stressed the importance of balance between spending time on developing an idea that you really want to execute, and spending time on things that will not be great projects but will develop your skillset. He noted that throughout the masterclass he learned things about tools he uses all the time, because of the unusual questions the participants posed to him.
Poeme Numerique Masterclass: Public Presentation
The public presentations on Thursday started with Golan Levin presenting his work to the audience. For this brief talk Levin chose to focus on systems he had created that respond to or reflect on gesture. Levin is particularly interested in projects that employ inventive play with faces or eye contact, as in his Opto-Isolator work. Aiming to activate the mirror neurons of whoever looks at it, the Opto-Isolator blinks right after you blink, and follows you as you move. An unavoidable failing of the piece, Levin said, is that it is unable to anticipate movements, which means the eye’s movement will never be quite human-like and convincing enough. He referenced Ollie Johnston‘s 12 rules for animating eyes, published in the 1930s, which recommended animators create eye movement about 3 frames before it happens to create appropriate responses in the viewer. Anyone interested in interaction should take note of this reference, since the rules of character animation are very useful when thinking about methods to negotiate behaviour.
Poeme Numerique Masterclass: Days 5 and 6 with David Rokeby
David Rokeby began his session introducing us to his weapon of choice – Max/MSP and his own software that works with Max/MSP, SoftVNS. Max/MSP is a visual programming environment that allows artists to connect just about anything to just about anything else (I’m being deliberately vague here), enabling a wide range of possible interactions between computers and the outside world.
Rokeby’s introduction to Max/MSP was clear and pitched perfectly for the group and their wide range of interests. Following on from the tinkering with cameras that took place the night before, Rokeby asked the participants to think of the camera as a sensor. Running through several video processing Max “patch” (the name for a file in Max/MSP) examples and explaining their internal logic, he described how the improvisational nature of visual programming allows for a more sculptural approach. Rokeby himself is adept at both visual and text programming, and he articulately described visual programming as a kind of sculpting, as opposed to the starkly logical approach of text programming. He showed one of his own “rat’s nest” Max patches to demonstrate how organic and slightly overgrown visual programming can get when you’re “in the zone”.
Reminder: Public lecture tonight by Golan Levin and David Rokeby
A reminder of tonight’s event, October 28 at 19:30 here at Baltan Laboratories, wherein Golan Levin and David Rokeby talk about their work and Poeme Numerique Masterclass.
Poeme Numerique Masterclass: Day 4
As the participants go deeper into the ideas that are percolating in this atmosphere crammed with inspiration, the bulk of our fourth day together is spent on working and trying things out here in the Baltan Laboratories studio. Later in the day it was time for a bit more talk though, and Golan Levin started by talking about audiovisual performance and gesture.
He began with a gentle joke by Jim Campbell: A formula for computer art, which pokes fun at media art by relating it to a simple black box that translates input into a different kind of output. Levin notes that the diagram, while not meant to be serious, doesn’t take feedback into account.