Monday, December 14, 2009

Project Natal

Project Natal, I believe will shape the future of gaming and will force the competition, other video game console makers, to push the edge to offer cutting edge technology to its customers. Project Natal is the newest product unveiled by Microsoft for the XBOX 360. Project Natal is the codename for "a controller free gaming experience" for the 360 platform. The porject is aimed at gaining a new consumer base as well as enhance the gaming experience for the current user. The device features an "RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software", which provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities,"(WIKI article on Natal) allowing for a more interactive,user friendly gaming system.

To checkout Natal, and to experience the demo follow this link.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Ever heard of VJing software such like Arkaos, Resolume, or Jitter? Welcome to AudioVisual, a developing multimedia art form in which performers not only produce live music, but live visual realizations as well. The technology allows composers to access video clips, images and texts and manipulate them in similar ways that they use audio samples and synthesizers to create music, all in real time, and also using the same MIDI controller. As far as media culture goes, so far we've had music that is written TO visuals (film, TV, commercials), we've also had visuals that were shot and edited TO music (music videos, "Fantasia"), but AudioVisual provides us with a medium that allows for a simultaneous creation of both film and sound; one no longer dominates over the other or vice versa.

Check out this clip of Yuichiro Kotani messing around with one of his compositions at home:

When I saw Yuichiro and Seiya Matsumiya perform about a year ago, I was amazed with what I thought to be an unprecedented integration of performed sound and video, and then even more surprised to find out that the technology used to create art like theirs has been around for a while. Other great artists that utilize the technology in similar ways are Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, who teamed up with visual artist Dienstelle (Karl Kliem); another is Ryoji Ikeda.

While I have found a new love in the innovative works of these talented people, what excites me most about AudioVisual is not what's being done now, but the potential avenues the present technology could travel in the near future. Imagine a live orchestral performance of pieces like "Fantasia" that aren't restricted by a prerecorded video that a conductor has to meticulously pay attention to in order to keep the players in time, or maybe a coupling of technology between the motion sensor capture used to create Golum from Lord of the Rings as an input device to replace the MIDI controllers altogether? Some software already can take changes in light through the focus of a camera lens and transfer that information to trigger audio samples, but imagine a performance of free-moving dancers who's gestures trigger audio as well as video? It would be a medium integration one step above AudioVisual, and that's not even close to how far I predict this technology could go. If holographic technology becomes practical, that opens up even more possibilities and opportunities for multimedia artists or teams of specialized artists to come together and create what could be the most exciting experiences audience members will witness in the history of performance art.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is afordable ($350) and will be available as soon as 2007-2010. It integrates the physical world with the virtual one. Painting the physical world with digital information.

Of course you can browse and compute on any surface but its much more than that. Any accessible information you could find on your computer is available. If you need the time then draw a watch on your hand. Want to snap a photo without your camera, then use a simple gesture. Watch live footage of the news on the newspaper. It reads and understands any surface in front of it. It will show your bank balance on your credit card. Able to read your airplane ticket and tell you if your flight has been delayed. Etc.Etc.

I should also mention any I-phone application is usable.

‘SixthSense’ frees information from its confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire world your computer"

The YouTube Phenomenon

Yes, it's true, I have chosen to do my New Media Presentation on YouTube.

The most successful of its kind, YouTube is a website geared toward the sharing, watching and uploading of videos.

With a multitude of functions, the open ability to upload anything at all has truly influenced our current society.

A prominent example are those individuals who have being "YouTube celebrities" almost overnight.

Here is an example of someone who catapulted their career through the usage of YouTube:

Esmee Denters is a 21 year old girl from the Netherlands. Discovered in 2008 by Justin Timberlake himself, she was the first signed to his new record label "Tennman" in association with Interscope. This video was posted on YouTube on November 9th, 2006.

New Media Presentation: Future of "Digital" Music

Even in this terrifying age of technology, composing, recording and performing music still takes up a very large portion of what constitutes as "media" in Western society.

So is the future of music or rather musicianship, at stake? Will digital technology actually out do human endeavour? Can machines really produce greater beauty than men?

In light of these questions, I will discuss my ideas on musical robots & the future of the music industry, for my "New Media Presentation".

Motion Comics

For my New Media presentation I chose to focus on Motion Comics. After dealing with it previously this semester, I was interested in what goes into creating them and how they're holding up against other mediums.

New Media Project: Motion Comics

For my new media project I chose to focus on Motion Comics being that we are all somewhat familiar with it from earlier in the semester. Here is a link to the motion comics available from Marvel Comics' website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Products and perception

Monday, October 5, 2009

Notes from Architecture lecture

Approaching Building Analysis:
Notes from lecture.

*Where are ENTRIES?
-What is experience of entry?
-Compression vs. Release
-Transition from outdoor to indoor (Air conditioning / Heat)

*ACT OF TERRITORY (-Morris Smith, MIT)

*MATERIALS used (glass, wood, concrete, etc...) (ex: Apple Store = all glass: conscious of being "on display" vs. Victoria's Secret = closed: conscious of privacy)

*WHAT IS PUBLIC/PRIVATE (ex: Boston Common: public space vs. fenced in area - to modify behavior)

McCloud and Closure

The human race, for the most part, possesses a very visual mindset. Television, fashion and art are some examples of very prominent factors in today's culture. Through our visually-wired mindset, the human brain often seeks patterns. It is because of this "visualization by association" that McCloud's term "closure" permits even the most abstract of icon (primitive "stick-figure" face) to come alive through the dialogue on the page. "There is no life here except that which you give to it" (McCloud 59) The more abstract the icon, the more personal it reflects in the reader's mind. For example, scrying is defined as "a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a medium". This definition deals more with the act of "crystal ball gazing", however "cloud gazing" is also an example of scrying. Finding shapes in clouds is very subjective, as the clouds swirl in very abstract shapes. When different individuals' brain tries to detect patterns, one's results often largely differ from a fellow participant.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is being sold?

Here are two of my favorite ads:

Both are done in completely different ways but both sell the product. For the japanese commercial i feel as if they aren't selling the drink as much as they sell you Ringo Starr; and the cigarette ad is almost so abstract that it stays with the consumer even though it may not correlate with the viewer.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"There is no life here except that which you give to it."

In our discussion of "animation" this week, I connected the McCloud quote above to the idea of a continuum of an active viewer/spectator/reader/gamer/participant of a text. McCloud also argues that "Icons demand our participation to make them work" (p. 59). Comment on this if your birthday falls between day 1-15 of the month, and if it is between 16-31, then write a blog entry that others can comment on.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome to VisCult 09!

This is the blog for Approaches to Visual Culture, Fall 09, at Berklee College of Music. This is where the members of the class will post their ideas, pictures from our class meetings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and where Prof. Lori Landay will put various and sundry class materials. As we explore the role of the visual, we'll experiment here with podcasts, other aspects of multimedia, mobile technology, virtual worlds--whatever we can think of, get our hands on, or become interested in that has to do with visual culture.

This is our public presence on the web, and if you have found us and you are not in our class, you are welcome to join in and comment respectfully, too.