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Recent Writing

John Carpenter creates lovely interactive media installations with a design ethos founded on intuitive interaction. He loves genetic code, emergent behaviors, the way memory works, emotional connection and intuition. He’s part artist, part scientist, part designer, part programmer…

Fugitive_Time_Geiser_1Janie Geiser is known for short animations and amazing puppet media performances. In her work, Geiser prowls around the mysterious boundary-land between territories – like the lands of the conscious and the unconscious mind, or life and death, sanity and madness, hope and despair, animate and inanimate, nature and culture….

rgb xyzAnimator David O’Reilly, whose work is based on the fact that the smooth and clear signals of a pristine information age imagined in the past are a myth; the signal is always frazzled by noise, and that noise, with its notes of entropy and disorder, offers a rich terrain for exploration.

Orlovski ChimeraA fabrication of the mind… An unrealizable dream… A creature composed of incongruent parts… These are some of the meanings of “chimera,” and they well suit the newest moving image installation work of the same name by artist Stas Orlovsky, a painter who, over the last few years, has aspired to make his paintings and drawings do a very simple thing: move.

FC CoverFilm Comment features my essay on the work of Rick Linklater and his obsession with time, especially in his new film, Boyhood, on the cover!

Stearns Glitch

Live Cinema Keynote

Live cinema refers to the live, real-time mixing of images and sound for a live audience…
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Body Movies

City as Screen / Body as Movie

Let’s start with a photograph: taken by Hiroko Masuke, it is of a billboard that features an ad for the TV miniseries The Andromeda Strain printed in The New York Times a year ago.1 The billboard includes a large, horizontal poster for the film, along with a video display showing clips embedded within the poster. What’s not visible, however, is a small video camera made by the company Quividi that documents passersby as they look at the billboard… Continue Reading →

Design Research Report

This report was drafted in response to calls among AIGA members for the organization to create a publication devoted to design research.

Review: Art of Immersion

Review of Frank Rose’s book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories.

Shifting Paradigms: Tools and Systems

This report follows from the New Contexts/New Practices conference hosted by North Carolina State University, October 8 – 10, 2010, and was printed in Design Observer in conjunction with five other reports.

ABSTRACT
A vital next step in design education centers on taking seriously the notion of systems and systems thinking, which are inherently transdisciplinary, holistic and focused on the interrelationships and patterns of things, not on fixed and isolated parts of a larger process. This means embracing dynamism and emergent possibility as core to design methodologies as well as to design education. What does this mean with respect to curricula, pedagogy, assessment and teaching spaces? And how does this shift affect the designer’s identity? Continue Reading →

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Graduate Education + the Future of Scholarship

Reports show that graduate students are among those least interested in exploring new tools for research and scholarly communication. This essay explores this conundrum and its implications, especially in the digital humanities.

Video: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“Video is everywhere,” the 2008 edition of The Horizon Report boldly announced, noting that the lower costs associated with video production mean that “faculty have more options than ever before to incorporate video into their curricula.”1 The sentence might also have read: “Bad video is everywhere!” Indeed, as Flip video camcorders and YouTube clips grow increasingly prevalent on campuses and in classrooms, and as citizen journalism vies with professional media production as a primary source of information, it is time to examine how those of us in higher education use — and how we ought to use — video, both in teaching and within emerging modes of scholarly production. It is also time to debunk some of the entrenched assumptions regarding the supposed divide between the word and the image, as well as the harsh distinction between amateur and professional production. Continue Reading →

Real Time Live

In March 2009, DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that in conjunction with the release of the animated feature film Monsters Vs. Aliens, all of his company’s subsequent film projects would be produced and exhibited in 3-D. The gambit allows the studio to delineate clearly between the cinematic experience as it is enjoyed in the theater versus the DVD screening situated in the home – or airplane, desktop, mobile device and so on. The immersive film event could in addition prompt higher ticket prices and hinder piracy. Despite the wonders of 3-D, this attempt to revitalize Hollywood’s increasingly marginal role in moving-image entertainment remains merely one of many examples of a broad-based dismantling and reconfiguration of cinema at the turn of the century as a once relatively stable form splinters into dozens of image/sound practices, ones that reference the generally elided history of avant-garde experiments of the last century but also respond to new forms of networked, digital life that invite artful reconfigurations of time, space and social interaction.

Infrastructures in Virtual Learning

Part One: Introduction and Initial Questions

In an essay written in 1980 about potential directions in interactive media, video artist Bill Viola famously asked, “Will there be condominiums in data space?”[i]

If you consider the multi-user virtual environment Second Life a “data space,” then yes, there are indeed condominiums, and a lot more. As visitors to Second Life know, much of the design in Second Life aims to replicate material world structures, crafting virtual spaces that look and feel like the houses, offices, shops and classrooms we know from the physical world. This replication is designed to hide the code substrate upon which Second Life was built, but also, often inadvertently, to recreate traditional modes of interaction and hierarchies of power. Continue Reading →