Metavid is a free-software site that hosts United States public domain legislative footage. Through closed-captioning text from a “simple Linux box”that records “everything C-SPAN shoots,” Metavid can provide “brief searchable clips” of legislative footage. Online communities can engage with the audio and video media archives which are not usually viewed by the public but told second hand through other media outlets. Metavid captures a non-bias recording of legislative meetings so that the people can draw their own opinions and ideas. The close-captioned text allows users to quickly and easily search through the thousands of hours of archived footage so that all the related media appears in the search results.
Coded Form and Electronic Production
[video src=https://vimeo.com/96549043]Sometimes political and socio-economic issues can act as a veil, automating a blurring or skewing of how people may perceive one another. Many people are taught to hate or disagree with entire populations of others because of past or ongoing sociopolitical issues. Furthermore, this thought process produces stigmas and generalizations that will continue to deepen and push the cultures and people apart, until someone tries to reevaluate the situation. Digital artist Kyle McDonald took this task into his own hands and created an art installation that utilizes high tech surveillance cameras and specially coded software to bring together people from Japan and South Korea to help mend the rocky history between the two countries.
[video src=https://youtu.be/xUjPu0Jif-U] Floribots is a 128 robot origami flower interactive installation. It functions with “hive mind” characteristics by sensing the audience’s movement and adapting its behavior accordingly. The artist, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman programmed Floribots to simulate behaviors that are “both of an individual and a colony.” The technology of Floribots makes use of both software and electronics, allowing humans and machine to play creatively together. The artist installed sensors to detect the audience and in response the Floribots dance in waves creating a fun, interactive charged environment.
A computer program called (CAN) Creative Adversarial Network has been making creative works that are being compared with art made by human artists, and it is learning how to continue to improve its works by having people judge them and learning to judge them itself. If a computer can make art on its own will humans artists become obsolete?
In art critic Pau Waelder's ebook, titled $8,793 Worth of [Digital] Art, he pairs each of the 159 images of works of art lifted directly from the online art marketplace S[edition]'s storefront with either an authentic or unauthentic "certificate of authenticity," which is intended to only be given upon the official purchase of each copy of an art piece by an individual. However, a simple flaw in the website presentation allowed Waelder to reproduce the certificate – a blank example copy for each art piece is shown on the website proper, which Waelder copied and used to forge some of the certificates in his collection while the rest he officially purchased. These copies are indistinguishable from the real deal, forcing the reader to distrust what they see on the page as fact – an obvious metaphor for what debatably constitutes as "owning an official piece of art" in the contemporary digital landscape.
Indeed, if one were to compare this certificate with any featured on S[edition]'s website, can any difference be found? (Save for the art and artists' names, of course.)
Neil Harbisson is a cyborg artist based in New York City. He is described as a cyborg artist because his artwork his artwork is concerned with the concept of cyborgism but also because he himself is technically a cyborg. He has an antenna implant, which he calls "the Eyeborg." This device is implanted in his skull and was designed to extend the limitations of human color perception. Although he was born completely color blind, he can can now even see infrared and ultraviolet colors that are invisible to humans.
[video src=https://youtu.be/Qzs6M0XFyaI height:220 align:left] Lucy McRae's Biometric Mirror is an interactive art installation. Viewers are invited to casually glance into one of the installation’s mirrors, which then runs artificial intelligence software to analyze and “perfect” the patron’s physical facial features. Physical attributes of the face including age, gender, and race are quantified and modified through use of an algorithm to produce a Marquardt Mask, or a more “physically perfect” version of ones face.The participant is therefore shown, face-to-face a simulated version of themselves, a doppelganger that is supposedly better, but eerily "off."
Conway's Game of Life is a cellular automaton (a model that attempts to replicate the behavior of living cells) developed by British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970. It takes the form of a grid with pixels that can either be in two states, on or off, or alive and dead since this is supposed to a model replicating the behavior of biological cells. Some artists have taken cellular automata (either Conway's Game of Life or similar ones) and used them to create new pieces, such as Dupuis' Conway Quartet and Scaletti's sunSurgeAutomata.
[video src=https://vimeo.com/161752738]In Doubt, artist Carsten Höller challenges our perceptions of reality through coded sequences of light and spatio-temporal illusions. His goal was to blur the lines between spectator and performer within a work of art, while instilling a deep feeling of doubt inside us. The installation begins as a single hallway of light, which subsequently divides itself into two paths, each of which is individually illuminated by either yellow or green lights. Once a spectator chooses a path, they are presented with a multi-level maze of sorts, which combines different sequences of light projection with moments of darkness to challenge our perceptual framework.
[video src=https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=99&v=wVYJ8EwL7WA height:195 align:right] Adam Ferriss’s art installation from June 2018, Likeness, takes one person’s face and transforms it into another. It “reimagines face-filtering and remolds people’s appearances in real time.” Likeness, curated by Alex Czetwertynski, another digital artist and curator, was produced for Google IO 2018 in the Museum of Developer Art and commissioned by UCLA Conditional Studio. Ferriss began his installation by presenting the computer two sets of images: generic photographs of people, and what Ferriss calls “label maps” that “identify and highlight the different facial features, like eyes, eyebrows, jawline, mouth, and nose, present in the photographs."
Digital art, as in the work of Robert Campbell (Red Forest, detail) and NoiseFold is achieving the plasticity of clay, paint on canvas, or even analog electronics. Several Currents 2015 participants have developed, or cobbled together, computer based tools which provide the robustness needed to dig in, explore, and experiment with contemporary new media materials and techniques. It's much like the shift from the brush of a Mannerist painter to the sponge of a Max Ernst frottage.Progress in the flexibility and robustness of digital instruments allow them to be treated as plastic media which may lead to fully collaborative human/machine systems. We can start to imagine an actual collaboration between humans and machines where, rather than participating in a one-way struggle, each contribute what they do best in a two-way dialog. And once these collaborative systems are established, their collective behavior will become more interesting than any particular 'finished work'.
MYPOCKET by Burak Arikan traces simultaneously a personal history of expenditures and universal financial forecast. The artist has meticulously retained physical and virtual evidence of all his expenditures, creating a database visualization of their passage and custom software algorithm of their probability of recurrence. The Transactions Feed archives all of his economic interactions (thereby making all his personal financial records public), and posts their percentaged predictions.
[video src=https://vimeo.com/12024934 height:220 align:left hspace:10]The Japanese experimental visual artist Takashi Ito’s 1982 short film Thunder tests two extremes of the fairly conventional medium of film. A five minute pulsing odyssey through an industrial architectural network, fueled by long exposure light drawings and a mechanical score that perverts both voice and glass samples, Thunder is maximal in its approach to providing audiovisual information, while boldly displaying a lack of kinetic cohesion. The entirety of the film consists of sequenced photographs, relying on the phenomenon of persistence of vision to enable the viewer to “perceive motion smoothly unfold over time.”
[video src= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdSdGKvCvpA]Esther Polak’s art project NomadicMILK, 2009, shadows two different aspects of the dairy economy in Nigeria. Polak spent the early months of 2009 in the deserts of Nigeria following both the paths of those in charge of the production of the milk, the cow herder, and those in charge of the distribution of the milk, a truck driver. Through visual and GPS recording of both subjects, Polak’s NomadicMILK persuades the observer to redefine new relationships between the environment and technology. Polak introduced a GPS robot to the nomadic cow herders of Nigeria during her data collection. Polak remarked that she was fixated “on how people see their own tracks and how they react with that. When people see their own track, they see part of their life, part of their identity.”
“Ominous” is an audio-visual performance by Marco Donnarumma in which the artist uses his body to compose sound pieces using a device that records his movements. The piece was commissioned by the European Conference of Promoters of New Music (ECPNM) for the occasion of the 5th Live Electronic Music Project Competition. It premiered on 3rd November 2012 at the World’s New Music Days, and since then has been performed at various other venues such as National Academy of Arts in Bulgaria, New York Electronic Arts Festival, etc .
Taking the ideological cluster of gesture, authenticity and originality as his foil, in the mid-1960s, artist Roy Lichtenstein caricatured the abstract expressionistic brush-stroke in a cartoon style with a background comprised of Ben-Day dots – a commercial printing technique used by newspapers to reproduce cartoons. Paradoxically, he initially mocked this eviscerated but iconic signifier in a series of unique paintings, only later reproducing them as serigraphs.
In 1969, art historian and media theorist Jack Burnham approached artist Sonia Sheridan about participating in an exhibition he was organizing at the Jewish Museum in New York for the following year. The exhibition, entitled “Software,” exposed the public to a wide variety of perspectives concerning the functional applications of information processing systems.
Sheridan’s installation consisted of the new 3M color-in-color photocopying machine, which the audience was permitted to interact with and make their own instant images. On working with this medium, Sheridan has stated, “It is obvious that this work process becomes another kind of time for the artist as the distance from conception to conception is reduced to minutes and objects change as rapidly as thinking allows.”
Installation view at opening of Software exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, 1970. Image from exhibition catalog. Photo: Shunk-Kender.
Sheridan’s Interactive Paper Systems was part of Jack Burnham’s 1970 Software exhibition. The artist offered attendees the ability to experiment with two instruments produced by the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M): the Thermo-Fax machine and the Color-in-Color copier. The work enabled the audience to experience working with new graphic tools that would lead to greater awareness about the creative possibilities afforded by rapid methods of production. In her words, “It is obvious that this work process becomes another kind of time for the artist as the distance from conception to conception is reduced to minutes and objects change as rapidly as thinking allows.”