Archive pour la catégorie ‘Art

Documenting the Earth

Mercredi 18 juin 2008

A couple of days ago, while walking through Montmartre, I was thinking: wouldn’t be nice to take pictures of all the places we think are beautiful and put them on one big map, recreating the whole Earth by our photographs… well, it is already done. When you think you have an original idea, it turns out that you just have ‘sniffed’ it in the air.
Do you know Panoramio? It looks like Flickr, but its main function is to show you this big Earth map with all the photos put on it by the users. It is impressively fast and impressively complete, especially when it comes to popular places like Montmartre. What possible use could we make of it? Well, you could plan your holiday trip, but it might take some surprise element out of it or raise unrealistic expectations. You could take a nostalgic after-tour. What else? Nothing really.
Since the invention of the digital camera we have been documenting our world in an endless stream of images. Somebody thought of connecting them to places and Google came with a map. Like so many new web ‘services’, in which we connect things to one another (friends to pictures, pictures to friends, messages to places etc.) Panoramio is wonderfully useless. It is delightful. You can talk a walk on Montmartre during your lunch break or instead have a look at the sea beaches of, say, Sicily. Or at how your place of birth, left a long time ago, looks nowadays.
Something at once touching and purposeless is art.

Paper from trees, trees from pixels

Mercredi 4 juin 2008

An example of a beautifully done website with an environmental cause and a poetic design: Ecotonoha by NEC. Open the page and watch the lovely tree grow leaves from the messages left that day by previous visitors. Explore the tree by zooming in and browsing the brunches, watching the elegant animation, then attach your own leaf by adding whatever message you feel like. Don’t forget to visit the archive and enjoy the subtleties of its visual design.
Depending on the number of messages left on the tree, NEC will plant a matching number of tree seeds – more details here.
www.ecotonoha.com

Of pixels, large and small

Jeudi 29 mai 2008

In an earlier post Patrick referred to displays invading our public space in large numbers. Now, there is also a display as large as a building. GreenPix has created a Zero Energy Media Wall, ‘a groundbreaking project applying sustainable and digital media technology to the curtain wall of Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing’. It is the largest LED display in the world and feeds solely on solar energy. During the day it charges itself and when the darkness falls, it comes to life. In China they certainly like to boast the largest things in the world.

When in the Media Wall the pixels become as large as solar panels, here is an example of a painting dissolving into the tiniest of pixels: the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted for the Milano’s convent Santa Maria delle Grazie, now displayed on the internet in its infinitesimal detail. Zooming in you can see each crack in the centuries old fresco, each frizz of hair on an apostle’s head.

One Day Poem Pavillon

Vendredi 2 mai 2008

Ou comment mieux utiliser les ressources naturelles.


Expérimenté par Jiyeon Song, cette installation utilise savamment l’ombre et la lumière pour diffuser différents extraits de poème selon l’heure de la journée. Actif entre 8 heures et 16 heures, le pavillon composé de multiples perforations transforme le sol en une véritable zone d’affichage.


Au-delà de l’aspect artistique de l’oeuvre, je trouve le procédé particulièrement intéressant et imagine déjà ce type d’installation adapté à l’affichage d’informations dans des espaces naturels. Evidemment la structure est un peu imposante, et cela fonctionne mois bien les jours de pluie… Mais après tout, on fréquente moins les espaces verts ces jours-là…


Moscow metro: user experience

Mardi 29 avril 2008

The metropolitan system of my native city, Moscow, was probably my first ‘good user experience’ when growing up. In a country not particularly famous for optimal user friendliness or consumer care, the Moscow metro is until today an example of a truly well-conceived user experience. It is built to last and the quality, as always, is in the details.

First, the Moscow metro is the most beautiful of them all, but this is well-known fact. There are not two stations alike, each has its own character. This is not only beautiful, it helps recognize the stations in a glance. The metro is build for the centuries to come, in marble and granite, decorated with golden mosaics, statues and chandeliers. Moscow metro is impeccably clean. Entering a station, especially in the center, is like entering an underground palace.

The metro plan is clever: it has the shape of a spider. Coloured lines cross a circle. This means that to change you either go to the closest intersection with another line, as all ways lead to the downtown, or get off at the circle and take a shortcut. It is an extremely comprehensive system.

When you arrive at a station, a voice in the train informs you about its name (which is the case in Paris only on one line. In Paris you have to pay attention to the name written on the wall). The tone of voice is nowadays friendlier than it was in Soviet times. The same voice kindly says ‘Attention, doors are closing’ and the name of the next station. Besides, on the stations walls there is a representation of the line you are on, showing all the cross-overs and all the stations of the connected lines. This is an extremely helpful feature.

In general, it is impossible to loose yourself in that system, because the information is abundant. Considering the huge distances in Moscow and how many people take the metro every day, it is a comforting user experience. Unless, of course, you cannot read Russian. Then you’d better start learning it.

La complexité vue par les seniors

Vendredi 28 mars 2008

remotegrandma.jpeg


Source : http://www.bookofjoe.com/2008/02/how-grandma-see.html

Vénérable Pong

Jeudi 13 mars 2008

Voici un jeu vidéo, que dis-je un mythe, qui semble inépuisable, et cela depuis 1972…


Considéré comme le premier grand jeu vidéo, il marqua le lancement d’une nouvelle industrie du divertissement. D’abord conçu comme une borne d’arcade commercialisée par Atari, il fut ensuite adapté pour être joué sur un écran de télévision classique et acquis ainsi son titre de premier jeux vidéo grand public.


Pong : The original


Mais bien plus qu’un jeu vidéo Pong a su devenir un véritable mythe à l’origine de nombreuses productions notamment artistiques, mais pas seulement. Il n’y a ma connaissance aucun autre jeu vidéo qui puisse se vanter de cela. Le scénario, aussi simple soit-il, du jeu de tennis noir et blanc semble pouvoir être transposer dans de très nombreux contextes sans pour autant perdre son essence. Est-ce cette simplicité qui lui a permis de survivre à travers les différentes époques ?


L’exposition « Pong Mythos » réalisée en 2006 par le Computer Spiel Museum de Berlin lui était totalement dédiée en illustrant l’utilisation du mythe Pong dans différent domaines… aussi bien à travers l’art, le jeu, que la science. Aujourd’hui encore, l’exposition « Design and the Elastic Mind » consacrée à l’innovation technologique par le design, actuellement au MoMa a New-York, présente deux projets directement inspiré du célèbre jeu : PainStation et Pong Table.


Pong Table


Une chose est sure, Pong n’a pas fini de faire des bébés !!!


Atari 1972
Publicité Atari : Since 1972

Quelques détournements intéressants de Pong :
Blinkenlights Pong : jeu sur la façade de l’immeuble en utilisant votre téléphone portable
De Pong Game : jeu sur immeuble avec utilisation de l’architecture du batiment comme obstacles et limites
Sonic Body Pong : détournement ou la balle devient sonore
The pong clock : pong détourner en horloge
Publicité American Express : Andy Roddick affronte Pong

La vitrine audioactive, une interaction multi-sensorielle

Dimanche 17 février 2008

C’est en me baladant rue de Rennes samedi après-midi que j’ai découvert devant la Fnac une installation interactive pour le moins intéressante.


En effet, « la vitrine audioactive » comme elle se nomme met en scène à différents degrés les passants de la rue. Grâce à une caméra qui filme une zone précise, le passage des personnes est ainsi retransmis sur un écran de diodes électroluminescentes oranges à travers l’apparition de vague. Ces vagues varient en fait selon l’intensité des passants dans la rue, la proximité avec la vitrine, et la taille des personnes.





Interpellé par ce système j’ai donc souhaiter prolonger l’expérience en venant « toucher la musique » comme m’y invite le système qui propose de poser sa main sur l’un des quatre cds affichés en vitrine. Sensation assez étrange puisque la vitrine se met à la fois à diffuser musique, vibrations, et variation de la vague graphique sous forme d’equalizer horizontale.


En dehors du coté technologique qui reste impressionnant, j’avoue été avoir plutôt séduit par ce type d’installation. Bien moins intrusive que d’autre type de marketing interactif comme l’envoi de goodies sur mon mobile au détour d’une vitrine de magasin, elle n’en reste pas moins un élément marquant et remplie parfaitement son rôle. Et si c’était ça la publicité du futur ? Qu’en pensez-vous ? En tout cas, si vous passez à proximité, je vous invite vivement à tenter l’expérience.

Inevitable past

Jeudi 7 février 2008

When I was a child, I fantasied about a time machine, just like any other child. Nowadays Internet is the closest thing to the time machine that the humans have invented so far.

Type a name of an animation movie you liked as a kid on YouTube and I am sure some kind soul has uploaded it for you. This way I once stumbled upon fragments of a television series I breathlessly watched when I was thirteen years old. Me, and my whole generation. Its principal character, a girl with a non-Russian name Alice, was our superstar. Viewing the old images I was overcome by emotion, just as other viewers who have left the comments on the video. I was transported in Moscow of my thirteen’s year. Nowadays it is not only a madeleine that does this for you.

I once heard a scientist, whose name unfortunately I don’t remember and could not find, tell that in the course of the next centuries the future generation of humans will be able to reconstruct the past generations, literally clone their ancestors. They will have enough biotechnology to do that just from the scarce DNA fragments found in our graves. The scientist furthemore claimed that this scenario was not a mere possibility, but an inevitability. First, because nothing would stop the exponential growth of our technology, except maybe a mass destruction. Second, because the humans of the future – or the cyborgs, or some other kind of species evolved beyond our imagination – will be, like us, curious. And like us, apparently, eager to see what was.

The television series that was such a hit in my Soviet childhood, was called ‘The guest from the future’. The girl named Alice was a visitor from a technologically evolved and peaceful generation. Like this fragment shows, the fantasies about the future always look touching when you see them many years later. And of course, these fantasies are wrong. The future generations will not need a time machine. They will not come to us. They will make us come to them.

(If you know the name of the scientist, please let me know.)

Melting art forms

Vendredi 1 février 2008

In his theater piece ‘Good Canary’ John Malkovich uses digital video projection to create an ever changing environment for his protagonists. The moving images transmit the main character’s troubled state of mind, altered by drug abuse and profound anxiety. The static notion of theater decors is left behind and instead there is a visual background constantly adapting to the atmosphere of the scene.





This way watching the real-time theater piece comes close to watching a movie. On the other hand, we had the movie mimicking theater in Lars von Trier’s ‘Dogville’. The bare setting with few static decors and nothing more than chalk lines on the floor to indicate walls is all the viewer is confined to. Like in a theater show, this movie makes an appeal to the audience’s imagination rather than create a detailed visual illusion. The boundaries of different art forms melt, allowing means of expression belonging originally to a different domain.


One more example of interacting art forms is this tango argentino performance, danced on a video projection and making use of sensors to accompany the dancers’ moves by synchronously generated images. It is called iTango and the music is from the movie ‘Fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain‘.