Saturday, November 21, 2009

Class Scribe 11/19

On Thursday, we continue to talk about cyborg. We looked at a couple websites that attempt to create an online chatting AI. First we looked at Eliza test, an attempt to create a cyber-therapist. It was not successful at all, as it fail to answer the simplest question such as "how are you". Another AI chatbot, Cleverbot, is a much improved AI bot. he can give you an answer that make sense most of the time, and it can even make jokes.The difference between the two AI is that, while Eliza answers with preset messages base on the keywords it find in the question, Cleverbot "learns" from the people it had conversation with. Cleverbot have a large database that stores all conversation it encounters and dish it out when similar conversation occur. After playing around with the Cleverbot a bit, we talked about how robotics/technology have change people's value of life. Dis-Armor, a "psychocultural prosthetic equipment designed to meet the communicative need of the alienated, traumatized, and silenced residents of today's cities.". The class ended by watching a short video of another form of communication through technology. In the video, a speaker will speak about their bitter past experience, and they will be project onto a building showing only their face or hands depends on the building. This method brings the audiences to know the speaker better, since most time when we listen to lecture we are unable to see the speaker's face or hand movement so closely.

Eliza test:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Computing Machinery and Intelligence

This article brought up a few interesting points in comparing physical thought process between man and machine. I found it humorous that in some aspects the machine could portray a realistic human response but not vice versa. For example, with a math question, a human could only answer so quickly, and an accurate instantaneous response isn't very realistic. A computer on the other hand could have the answer right away, but "mock" the human by increasing the response time. With the idea of computers mocking a true form, a hobby of mine comes to mind. This can be related to electronic and tube-driven guitar amplifiers and effect pedals. The traditional tube tone was originally achieved before modern electronics and circuitry, and despite the flux of modern electronic guitar equipment, many agree that the original tube tone is preferred. Some ask; will cost effective electronic gear ever fully replace the traditional tube design? Here is where the idea of mocking comes in. With each having such separately distinct sounds currently, some say that electronic circuitry will eventually be able to fully and effectively mock the desired tube tone, and the traditional pricey medium will be replaced.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Class Scribe - 11/17

Today, we continued with presentations and discussions concerning the cyborg. There is a general consensus that a cyborg is made up of constituent parts of several different beings, whether they be man, machine, or animal. As such, a cyborg tends to be a merger of ideals intrinsic to its components. The over-arching question was how a cyborg overcomes these perhaps clashing binary ideals and dualisms. Such ideals include technological/human, male/female, human/animal, living/nonliving, self/other, etc. We determined that it was difficult to actually imagine a realistic cyborg, since we depend so much on these binary oppositions. For example, we like to think about life, not death. We categorize ourselves as either male or female, good or bad.

The idea of a human/technology merger may not seem so far-fetched, however, since we already coexist with technology in today's society. Overcoming gender binary oppositions seemed to be much more difficult, and almost impossible to eliminate the distinction between male and female.

We also touched upon the notion of alienation as the "other" or unknown. Alienation serves as the foundation of inequality.

The class ended with us viewing some works and images by performance artists such as Orlan and stelarc.

Virtual Reality -- Jesse Papineau

I believe that with each new experience one is given/goes through, they will be able to take something away (be it an ideal, thought or new perspective) from it that will help them to succeed later in life. Virtual reality makes just about anything possible, not only to have fun with (imagine the VR Wii!) but also to give anyone who is looking for it something out of the ordinary realm of possibility. As for practical, useful applications of virtual reality, the Army could use it on their soldiers to train them and give them a very realistic simulation of a real war zone. It might be expensive (I'm not sure the actual cost of VR, I'd just think it must cost quite a bit), however any individual could potentially be given any experience that might be normally impossible for them to have. For example, a person who has never seen the Grand Canyon before (and also does not have the means to make it to Arizona) could go there in a virtual reality and see a gorgeous part of the world that they normally wouldn't have. It of course wouldn't be just like the real thing, but if you don't know any better (and the replica is convincing enough) then it might as well be.

Virtual Reality

What interests me the most about using VR as a medium of art is the unique control of the fourth dimension, time. One can immerse themself into any point in time, past, present, future, be it time of day or a specific date. The only negative thing is, as far as I know, we do not have the technology for true "full body immersion". Davies talks about the needed expansion of the visual experience, which I agree with. When you see out of the corner of your eye, in your peripheral vision, the room you are in and people around you, it takes away from the experience. In order to be truely immersed, by Davies' definition, I think you need all of your senses immersed into the virtual realm, not just your vision. The most powerful link between your memory and an experience is the sense of olfactory. Imagine the possibilities of full body immersion in a virtual realm, when you can see, smell, hear, and even feel elements in an virtual experience.
Regardless of the technological progress, I could definitely see this being a potentially huge medium of art because it allows people to share experiences. There is so much to learn from this. Instead of sharing a story with someone, you could recreate the experience in a virtual realm and have people experience it just as you did. You could create possible future disaster scenerios to open the eyes of unexpecting people. There endless possibilities, and that's why it is such an exciting progressive thing.

VR vs Ideology- Daniel Speers

It is no secret I sometimes disagree with the authors of our readings and in the of the implications of VR I again question the motives of the author. I would love to have explained to me how this following quote has anything what so ever to do with VR. In "alt.civilization.faq: Cyberspace as the Darker Side of the West", Ziauddin Sardar (1996:34) describes cyberspace and VR as "the product of the collective consciousness of Western culture" issuing from a techno-Utopian ideology ripe with subconscious perceptions and prejudices. These prejudices include the gender bias of a phallo-centric culture, not only in terms of privileging sharply-focused sight (Lefebvre's eye of God, the Father), but also interface techniques whereby, especially in games, the traditionally masculine will to master is rewarded. Such bias also includes the desire to leave the body behind.[3].” Why is it that every time we have a new form of media introduced we are confronted with radical feminism ideology and completely unbalanced with different non ideological theories from different thinkers that don’t have a feminist or communist bent? Please teach me about new media, not Feminism or Communism theory, I hear you, now lets talk about VR.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Virtual Reality - Nick Sulikowski

I find the idea of using virtual reality to create new forms of art intriguing. Being in an environment where everything you see and sense can be manipulated at the will of the artist is beyond even the grandest outdoor projects. I personally would imagine works of art using VR to go beyond simply walking throughout something room or area, but perhaps the device could take you on a journey. It's difficult for me to explain, other than say Yellow Submarine. Basically one could play with what one perceives as reality to serve their work.

Virtual Reality - Nick Sulikowski

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is an interesting topic. Most technology starts off used by the military for bettering their skills. Then it leaks into society and transgresses into many different things. Society takes technology and redevelops, reformat, and remixes the content to fit its needs. This makes anything possible. The creative mind is a powerful tool. If you think about, machines are used by so many people everyday in so many different ways that machines most likely outweigh the population. There is always a fear with making a virtual reality to some, but it already exists in a non stereotypical way. On the subject of reality, one does not need a virtual element to not be "real." There are many fake personalities and emotional masks people hide behind.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

John Curall-Virtual Reality

I found the article about virtual reality quite interesting. I have always been fascinated with the potential of VR for creating new forms of art as well as creating somewhere that feels "real" yet exists separate from the painful realities of the real world. I especially like the artists who were taking about their own experiments with VR and what kinds of messages they try to explore with those experiments. I found the more political elements of this article a little disturbing. First, I believe that when you observe any genre with a particular bias you are going to find evidence to support that bias. I think it is unfair to say that an entire genre is a certain way and should be changed to fit your political agenda. I think whatever elements that support these points of view that exist in the genre have less to do with some grand conspiracy of pushing a certain view of the world than they do with the monetary factors that create certain products that conform to those standards. What do I know though. I'm a man and in their opinion these support my world view. I think we spend a lot of time in our culture blaming outside factors instead of looking within. We seem to have the wrong focus. Many spend a lot of time criticizing and blaming behavior or viewpoints on media elements. That approach tends to go no where as very few people in our society are even going to pay attention to some article you wrote complaining about a genre. Not everyone is required to think about and blog about these kind of readings for a class. If we took all that energy and focused on ourselves and our families through education, we wouldn't have to worry about what is getting "reinforced" we would be able to think for ourselves. I believe that the two most powerful forces for change in this world are education and art. It is through these that we can expand our way of thinking and recognize the influences that are all around us. In my opinion that does a lot more than writing articles blaming a genre for its shortcomings and insisting that an entire genre be changed to meet with your political view point. There should be room in a genre to create things of all view points. If you do not like the prevailing view point of a drama so much, create your own work in that genre that shows a different one. That's what art is all about, making you think not pointing fingers and doing nothing.

John Curall-Design Study II-Rittenhouse Square

View Rittenhouse Square in a larger map

My locative media project is about Rittenhouse Square. This project would start with a website that has information about Rittenhouse Square, its various historical buildings, and places of interest. The site would have a page called the Rittenhouse Experience where one would find an interactive experience that they could participate in. On this page the participant would be able to print out a map and a list of instructions. Also, on this page the participant would be able to download audio files to play on their Ipod or MP3 player at each hot spot on the map. The first audio file would give a general overview of Rittenhouse Square and then go into information about the park that they will be standing in. The subsequent audio files would say a little bit about each hot spot location on the map. There would be a final audio file with concluding information about Rittenhouse.

These are the instructions that they must follow:

General: Start out by traveling to Rittenhouse Square and go into the center of the park, which is your first hot spot. At each hot spot play the audio file corresponding to that hot spot. When you have finished the audio file for your last hot spot play the final audio file. As you travel to each hot spot be sure to look around and take in your surroundings. The story here is as much about your experience of the location as the individual narratives that you will see and hear.

Begin: Start out in the center of Rittenhouse Park. This is your first hot spot.

Path: Follow the map to each hot spot. This will take you all the around the perimeter of the park thus giving you sense of Rittenhouse Square as a whole.

The narrative will be a combination of the audio files and their personal experience of their surroundings. This is more about using audience participation to get them to experience Rittenhouse Square than the individual hot spots and narratives. The journey they go on by following the map is more to give them some kind of structure for their experience and to point out some places along the way that they are given a little more background on. The participant should come away from the experience feeling like the have "lived" this location, but also be interested in exploring more for themselves. It should lead them to want further participation on their own in this area in the future.