A reflection waiting to be published.

With time and technology evolvement has art developed and become such a vast field with different forms, and more aspects of art has emerged.

Art going digital gives artists more options. Imagination is put to test with “endless” opportunities. Art is opening up for the thought that anything is possible and putting thought to action becomes easier.

Today we have different forms, may it be installations, software art, net art, electronic literature et cetera. Art has transformed from “observe and interpret object” to possibly require engagement and interaction with audience to perform. Art nowadays also vary focusing on esthetics, making a statement to having a functional purpose.

By using digital component art can change for “the better”, but also for the worse. The evolvement has made a change in the society. Usage of editing program, the tweaking on photos, manipulation, deciding what beauty is, has shaped a part of our society today.

A Google search gave 7,580,000 options on “photo editing” under a second.

photoed

Oxford Dictionary define art as “ The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

Bjarne Melgaard is an example of artist taking advantage of digitalization, mixing up and playing with both analog and digital art.

Bjarne Melgaard, Exhibition
Melgaard, Exhibition “White Columns”, 2013.

 

“The medium is the message” -Marshall McLuhan.

Digital art and skulls

This week we’ve been talking about digital art and what constitutes an digital art piece.

Now that we’re moving towards a more digital existence overall it’s no surprise that our art evolves with us. What I fint most fascinating about this is that I get more and more drawn towards the more classical of art forms the more I get exposed to digital art. It’s funny how that works, all of a sudden I feel super old and out of touch (clocking at a a whooping 26) just because I gravitate the opposite way that the subject we’re exploring is going. I guess I’ll get it more once I get to know it a little better.

The stuff that I like could just as well have been computer generated, like the work that David Cook aka Bonehrower does. He does most of his stuff with pen and ink on paper and some wood carvings.

Bonethrower

It’s actually pretty impressive for an artist to get over 100.000 followers on Instagram and never once use any form of #’s and just a couple of @’s!

I first came over his works at my tattoo artists shop in Oslo where he has a couple of his works, even a series of pope skulls hanging next to a real human skull that he had trouble getting through customs from the US (as you can imagine!). Can’t wait to get back to Oslo and getting more tattoos.

My Attempt At Creating Generative Fiction

A couple of days ago I tried my hand at creating generative fiction through the prompt to create a Twitter-bot. I am an avid sports-fan and I generally watch three different sports: football (it‘s not called soccer), basketball and American football. For the non-sports-viewer one might think that the off-season is a time to get away from it all. A couple of months every year where the sports fan can stop watching the TV every other night or every weekend. But, the fact is that this is far from the truth. The off-season is a period in which you get to think about the season, but most of all get hyped for the next one, a period where a disastrous season can be turned into new hope before next season. Why? Because of the open transfer window. Also called the trade-season, because the transfer window in European sports differs from the American one partly because of the draft-system, where young talents get integrated to the league through the college system.

Bilderesultat for twit bot

I want to talk about European football, and the absolute mental season called Silly Season, either in the month of January or during the summer off-season where there is no competitive league in play. Silly season is a crazy period in which teams can purchase other players and ask for a transfer request, it may be because of the lack of tournament-play or league position, or it may be because of money. The silly season is where agents really earn their money, so naturally a lot of wild rumors are thrown around in the papers and it spreads like wildfire on Twitter, with fan bases gathering to discuss and rage about the roster condition. It‘s almost like fake news spreads to the football world. But it‘s just so fun, the sheer amount of unlikely rumors takes control and it leads to false hopes, but mostly its fun to kill some time and dream.

So, I tried creating a twitter-bot that would be a satirical rumor-spreader with the most unlikeliest rumors I could think of, just throwing in any type of transfer I could think of with a vast number of names in the spreadsheet. I followed every single step on this link: http://www.zachwhalen.net/posts/how-to-make-a-twitter-bot-with-google-spreadsheets-version-04/. And I called the account TopFootyAgency with the hopes of getting my friends to laugh and have some fun with it. It all looked to be fine and the previews showed nothing but the right things, but then I pressed the Start Posting Tweets button, and my dreams were crushed: I got the dreaded OAuth Error and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. So, I tried changing KEYS and the token access, but nothing worked. And when I googled it, of course I did, there seemed to be a lot of people getting the same error as me and I realized I couldn’t fix it. Looking back, I think it was for the best, I know from experience that I hate it when I start to believe a rumor about a specific player joining my team, even if I know it probably wouldn’t happen, it’s just that, it could. So there went my attempt at creating generative fiction, but at least I didn’t create a bot that would get the hopes up for some 12-year-old fan out there. It was fun trying though.

Joachim

(6/2/18) Sky Magic Live at Mt. Fuji: Drone Ballet Show, my thoughts.

In this week there was honestly very little that grabbed my attention, but luckily there was something there that actually grabbed me and made me think. “Sky Magic Live at Mt. Fuji: Drone Ballet Show”. The reason this piece got me is because I’m what one can call an “audiophile”, basically one who is obsessed with music and/or audio in general. This one was interesting to me because I did not understand it. The music itself is played on traditional Japanese guitars, making it traditional Japanese music, but the point of the drones and even the use of Mt. Fuji went right passed me. Yes, it looks nice with some relatively lit up drones flying in front of a natural wonder, but why are they doing it? Before I did some light research I came to the conclusion that this was more about the showcase of how the use of really old traditional tools can be combined with modern technology to create something spectacular. When I looked it up, I found that I was partially correct. This piece is apparently “The first live performance using MIDI controlled LED flying drones”. This was basically a showcase of what we actually can use drones for in artistic pieces. But why in Japan with Mt. Fuji? Perhaps it’s about mixing nature into the spectrum, that we can mix every form of art into one big piece, maybe it was just because it had to be done due to how Japanese traditions work with the guitars/music used. I don’t really know, what I do know is that this piece is a step in the right direction for the future of art, something to look back at to be able to exit the box we all live in to be able to further expand our creative boundaries.

The misconception about digitalization.

This weeks first lecture was all about the digitization of art, more specifically moving from traditional art forms like painting to photography. There was one question that caught my attention a lot, which was “Will all forms of artistic media eventually be absorbed into the digital medium?”. The question caught my eye because I feel like a lot of people misunderstand how the human mind works, and how different each mind is. What I mean is that a lot people believe that the digital era (PCs, smartphones, anything that is “digital”) is going to “take over the world”, or something like this. This is for the most part NOT true. What is true is the fact that digitalization will help us humans to simplify our day to day lives, not replace our creativity, minds and abilities. What I’m getting at is that we probably won’t need people to work in convenience stores in 20 years, but we still need our painters, sculptors, architects etc.. No AI can create something as unique as a painting made by a human. No program has the ability to create the authenticity of a real painting, regardless of how realistic looking it may be. We cannot replace ourselves with something else, we can only create tools that help us along the way.

A robot/AI/program is made up of a set algorithm, a set of rules. When something is built on a set of rules, this something may not under any circumstances break any of these rules, simply because there are no rule that says it can. And if there is a rule that says it can, then all the other rules become invalidated, useless, “removed”, making it so that this something doesn’t know how to even start breaking the rules in the first place. In other words: It is not possible to create a robot/AI/program that has the ability to break the rules it has been given, simply because it doesn’t know how to.

Oh well…

Today I am a bit..sad? Thinking about the fact that the DIKULT103 semester with Mia Zamora is over, well it is kind of sad. I have had so much fun, I have learned so many interesting things, and she really have inspired me to be more creative! 🙂 One thing that has actually caught my attention in particular, is E-lit. 🙂 I thought that Digital Art and Gaming would be the two most interesting subjects, but it turns out that I really like the Elctronic Literature much more than I thought I would. ❤

I found a vast amount of inspiring and beautiful E-lit work on the ELC pages, and I have been wathing a lot of them over and over.

The Sweet Old Etcetera One of them is called “The sweet old Etcetera” and is made by Alison Clifford; – “In the manner of a composer and librettist setting a classic text for an opera, Clifford deftly adapts the poetry of e.e. cummings – notorious for its visual and textual punning – to the Flash environment. The elegance of the visuals along with the evocative audio track evoke a child-like playfulness, and encourages the reader to play as well, as the interactivity is only deduced in the act of engagement. Clifford is careful with each poem of the suite she’s curated, and she transports Cummings’ poetry into a new hermeneutical dimension, suggesting in reverse the graphic and kinetic possibilities that are possible with the static print page”. (http://collection.eliterature.org/2/works/clifford_the_sweet_old_etcetera.html).

It is sooo relaxing to watch, and the soothing sound of a single guitar string playing in different notes when you click on letters and symbols, blends perfectly in with the rest of the art work. All the different modalities connect together in a perfect harmony.

Another electronig Literature piece that I really like is this one: “88 Constellations for Wittgenstein” by David Clark.(http://collection.eliterature.org/2/works/clark_wittgenstein.html).

“Exquisitely designed with a confident, understated visual vocabulary relying on icons and degraded images, 88 Constellations at times can feel like a really well-made independent documentary, but one which swerves from seemingly normative biographical reportage into visual puns, fantastic associations, and quirky digressions. Infused with the paradox, playfulness and occasional paranoia of the philosopher’s life, this is a massive work with circles-within-circles logic that would take several hours to exhaust. Like William Poundstone’s New Digital Emblems88 Constellations is a tour-de-force interactive, multimedia essay about the ludic that extends the activities of its purported subject like “a philosophical fortune cookie.” (collection.eliterature.org).

Title

These are two very different Electronic Literature work, and they are both very interesting in their own way. This last piece have a totally different form of expression than the first one. But I recommend everyone to watch them both, and to check out many more of the digitl artworks you find on The ELC pages! 🙂 Enjoy!

 

RedRidinghood and TwitterBots

Blog #10

For this weeks and the last blog post of the semester I want to explore the Electronic Literature more. As I mentioned in the last blog post there is a Electronic Literature Collection aviable online. In class we birefly explored some of the works found in this collection. One of the works that we vistited was RedRidinghood created by Donna Leishman from Volume 1. The discription of the work tells of it functions:

“Leishman’s playful retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale makes use of comic book vernacular, limited forms of explorative interaction, optional narrative paths, and a jazzy soundtrack. RedRidinghood is the type of Flash piece that suggests the potential for complex forms of interactive storytelling without typographic text.”

RRH.png

This Elit is an interactive fiction that uses text, animation, sound and the ability to interact with the story. It is a modern version of Red Ridinghood, which I think fits perfect for Elit. Red Ridinghood is a classic story that is in this work remade into a digital interactive story.

From the start we have to search the screen for small clues to click on to start the story, when we enevutally find the red eyes of presumably the wolf, the story starts of. We get to see where RedRidinghood is living. She lives in an apratment building with her mother.

Red riding choice.pngThe orange window is the only lit window on the entire screen, but if you hover your mouse over the other windows you will see them light up aswell, as you can see from the screenshot I took. You are able to use you mouse and click all of the windows on every building. When clicking on most of the windows nothing happens, but some of the windows contain a secret. Secrets like this can be found throughout the story. By clicking the mst obvious option you will continue the story.

A secret that I found was the diary of what seemed to be the boy/wolfs. Inside this diarie there are alot of pages, most of them containing a plt to kill the one who broke the authors heart.Secret.png

The secrets are just one of the ways the story is interactive. At one point in the story, when RedRidinghood falls asleep we get a choice, we can eighter wake her up and continue the story, or let her sleep. If we let her sleep a new window will pop up and we get to see what she is dreaming of.

Wake up or dream choice.png

The story ends up with RedRidinghood finding the boy/wolf in her grandmother’s bed, but in this version of the story she eats him. I think this is a statement of female empowerment by the creator.

Twitterbots

For this post we were also challenged to make a Elit work. I wanted to create a twitter bot. Mia showed some to us in class and I found them to be very simple, but still fun.

We were linked guides to create our own twitter bot, but after a while I got frustrated and annoyed with myself that I did not reach out to some of the other NetNarr students for a group effort to create a bot together.

One of the TwitterBots that Mia showed us is Pentametron. This bot takes random random tweets from people that rime and post them together.

penta.png

rim.png

Narrative in video games…

It really doesn’t seem that long ago, that we only had television, movies and books to entertain ourselves… So much have happened in the last decades when it comes to technology and the digital world of entertainment.

Today in class, we looked at a video that our teacher, Mia Zamora, showed us – about the rapid development in the gaming industry. It pretty much says it all:

When you play a game with a great story and awesome graphics and characters, it’s almost as if you are the player in your own digital movie. To be able to control and manipulate the virtual world, simply feels good. Lucky for us the games of today strive for more than just this control, namely; the perfect story. A great story can evoke all kinds of emotions and it’s quite easy to live fully into the story of the game.

Looking back at the early arcade games, like PONG, Pacman and Donkey Kong (I still have my uncle’s Donkey Kong game!) 🙂 – a lot has happened since then. Being a Playstation girl myself, it’s quite unbelievable to compare for example Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (my all time favourite game), when she first appeared on Playstation (1996) and the character that she has become today. Just to show you the big difference in her appearance from “way back then” and today, here are some pictures:

LaraTomb4        slack_imgs

As you can see, a LOT has happened since 1996! :p

I totally agree with the fact that the designers and the game developers have to – in order to keep the audience entertained,  connect to the player on a deeper level. In comparison with movies, books and so on, games also have to be able to touch us in ways that stories does – with an emotional response. They have to show us characters that we can care about – and a story with a spesific meaning that appeal to us.

Finally…..today it is FRIDAAAAYYYYYYYY! Go home, phone a friend, and start PLAYING! 😀 Have a tremendously GREAT weekend everyone! HUGS!!!XXX

Electronic Literature

Blog #9

For this week we moved on from gaming to Electronic Literature also called Elit. When Mia first told us that we would cover Elit I thought it would be all text on a digital screen, and I thought that my Kindle was an Elit book. Oh, how wrong I was. Elit is works that use digital tools to help enhance the experience for the reader, sound, pictures, animation, interactivity and so on. The genres for Electronic Literature are:

  • Hypertext Fiction
    • Text with links to other texts or pictures
  • Kinetic Poetry
  • Interactive Fiction
    • You choose what way the story will go
  • Generative Fiction
    • Twitter bots and more
  • Locative Fiction 

Elit.pngI will not go in depth on all of these genres, but I will focus on Interactive Fiction. When I was younger we had some books called “Grøsserene”, a series of childern/young adult horror books that would let you choose which way the story went. At the end of a page or chapter you would get to choose what the protagonist is going to do. You would get mutliple options and each optin had its own page.

Interactive Fiction is a digital and more modern version of the books I read as a child. I loved these books, they got me invested in the story in a new way then other books had. I think that Interactive Fiction can be used for more than just entertainment. In school children can use this way of navigating a story to learn both a new subject and how to use a computer, tablet or phone.

In class Mia showed us a collection of Electronic Literature that is aviable online. It is called the “Electronic Literature Collection” and can be found here: “http://collection.eliterature.org/” There are three Volumes on this page for three generations of Elit.

While browsing the site for Electronic Literature I found that some of the works are no longer working or requieres certain programmes. As the artform progresses I think it will become more accsesable and easier for people to find, I am really looking forward to see what the future will bring with Elit

For next blog post I will choose one piece of Elit and discover how it works and plays out.Elit vol 3.png

 

 

 

 

Reflection week 7 – empathy games

According to Jane McGonigal ”games are providing what reality cannot”, and with games optimal experience ”flow” can be experienced immediately.

When we need some action in our life we play, when we are bored we play, when we are alone we can play to be social, when we have little knowledge, we can gain knowledge by playing. It is all up to the creators. I believe that the field of games is so vast, we don’t even know! It is really all up to the imagination of human kind. I think I mentioned this briefly in a post previously.

In a lecture in March we were to play a game based on empathy and answer questions on Twitter. Because I did not answer on Twitter I thought I would answer the questions her on my blog 🙂

I played the game Spent!

Q1: Share about the game you played – how effective was it?

spentt

Spent address American life in poverty. The game is interactive in a sense, where you as the player get two or more options, which leads/steers you on your path. You have to find a job, a place to live, choose insurance. So, in a sense it is a game about growing up. At the same time, it is not – at least not what I have experienced in Norway.

Spent introduces challenges most people (in Norway) would never stumble upon. For example, if I were to be sick I would call in for a sick leave and still get paid. If I did not show up for work in Spent, I would not get paid. I had to go to work, cause apparently (in the game) I had a kid, bills and it turned out I had a debt of 7 000 dollars. Then suddenly (!) the bank was charging me for being poor! What is this?? The game got me extremely frustrated! (Notice all my exclamation marks) I started thinking; if this was my life I would probably sign up for a gang and become a criminal or even worse – commit suicide. So, to sum up: My opinion is that the game is effective! How ever, I must admit that I did not make the requested donation afterwards. So, maybe it wasn’t as effective as I though?

 

Q2: Can empathy really be created through game play? How would we know?

believe that empathy can be triggered through game play. I think empathy games should be a part of obligatory learning from early on. How  would we know?

feee

Well, my guess is that the best way to find out is to enroll empathy as a part of a course in school at early stages and have the students do some sort of tests to see how they score. Everyone is individual, but maybe this can be away to strengthen their moral compass.

 

Q3: How well does the experience create care/concern? 

As you make your choices in Spent, statistics are being presented to you. My experience with Spent is that the statistics help make the situations, the challenges and choices in the game, feel more real. In the game you are fronted with obstacles people meet every day!

 

Q of the day.. How can we measure the effectiveness of an empathy game?