Rachel-Final Project Sketches

The RAM Dance Toolkit by Yoko Ando and YCAM fuses two art forms: dance and programming. Using a motion detection system attached to the dancer’s bodies, the program catalogs and predicts the fluid motions of human expression. This project beautifully captures art within technology, though I find the external motion detection system distracting. So much of dance is about the visual body and its contours and forms in space that clunky straps and electronics retract from the performative aspect of the dance as it is captured. Though on-body systems are probably much more accurate than a single plain watching devices like the kinect, they take the magic from the art, turning it more into an ancient practice to be chronicled than a thriving societal pulse monitor.

tangent’s KIHOU is integrates simple beauty and mystery. A bowl of sticky transparent liquid covered in black oil is underlit with LEDs. Air bubbles push the liquids about, forming bubbles and pockets of animation and life within the substance. The design of this object is striking; sleek post post modern lines and minimal color contrasted with a viscous, organic, messy substance. This juxtaposition speaks to society today; to deep urges and desires buried beneath smooth facades. This generates a mysterious aura around the KIHOU object that makes it beautifully vague yet meaningful.

Signal | Noise’s Monolith

By the title, this object is meant to function as an artifact of current society. With clean, reflective surfaces and engaging light seams, the project does embody the design and conceptual concerns of today’s society. Ironically, these concerns mirror the post and lintel forms of ancient human monoliths. The light arrays react to touch, allowing every visitor to become a part of the work, a parallel to the ritualistic nature of ancient human monoliths in which every pilgrim was connected to each other through the common goal. The impact left on the light beam by one visitor is immediately absorbed by the next, so the interactions a viewer has with the object are really significant only to himself and not the object itself. This heightens the intimacy between viewer and object.

Project Ideas:

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The Intuitive Development Environment takes input from a Kinect and generates a simple Processing program based on repetitive gestures found in skeletal movements. The code writing process becomes interactive and engaging, and much more akin to the creative impulse and practice of creating art than the stereotypically sterile methods of programming. The motions of the programmer are directly documented by the code, as is the conversation and dialect that forms between the artist and the creation. These connections are spiritual and integral to the creation process, an element I often find missing in the computerized world. The spacial element of this environment is also significant, as it actually does create an environment that is tangible and yet still defined by the user.


Meeting Place(Modern Monolith)
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This project attempts to connect human concerns over eons and methods with common concepts and concerns with the creative process. Meeting Place consists of two parallel pillars, one for the sun and one for the moon, each with a large central hole carved through the tops. Through out the day and night, motors slowly turn each pillar so that the hole faces the celestial body that pillar is attuned to.LEDs are embedded in each pillar to illuminate them during times when the sun or moon’s light is not visible. This ensures that light is always passing through both openings. A meeting point/holy space is generated between the pillars, a space that is always connected to what is beyond humanity, yet a perpetual human goal. The pillars themselves would be constructed with a  hollow wood armature covered in joint compound to give them a stone texture.



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