Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chapters 7-9

I found Terminal Time to be a very interesting way to interactively create historical narratives. The images and text can be communicated more effectively especially since it mirrors what you enjoy. Terminal time is a look into history, which is very important to me so I found this very engaging. I think that Windows and Mirrors gave us a tour of the digital art and its historical antecedents in the Siggraph. It showed us a walk through the electronic art gallery with reflective or transparent views. Digital art is relevant to technologists as it enables them to experimentally design and “…many leaders in the design community have come to realize the importance of cultural awareness and cross-cultural sensibilities.” This book shows us how interactive art and designs can be manipulated by the viewer. Overall, I found this book to show me another world that I haven’t seen or thought about. Technology moves faster than I can keep track of, but this showed a very transparent view.

Reflection Ch. 7-9

As I was reading I found that I really enjoyed the idea of Terminal Time.  History is a very important part of our culture.  The fact that something technological like this can show cultural contexts that show our history is amazing.  I love history and think that it is important for a culture to take the past and grow from it.  Terminal Time is set up so that the viewer can watch and participate.  Many times we only watch things and the viewer becomes uninterested in the video but when they have to participate they become much more interested in the video in front of them.  I also found that Plato's design was interesting because he was already thinking about how people would be enslaved by different technologies.

The whole idea of having a gallery where the viewer gets to interact with the art is refreshing.  When I go into art exhibits and see classic Renaissance paintings or even modern art galleries I never am able to walk into an interactive gallery.  Text Rain and Wooden Mirror are both exhibits that I would love to see how they work and just experience the splendor of its design.  The gallery itself is also its own exhibits that leads the viewer into specific galleries.  The book says that "digital art is about performance."  I completely agree with that.  The computers that are used are asked to either reflect a persons face or make words by simply putting your hand over the screen.

"Designers cannot afford to ignore the need for transparency, but they can show the Structuralists how sites can be reflective as well as transparent."  What a viewer sees on the internet reflects the culture of the viewer.  But the web does not only reflect it also is transparent and brings you to a world like Magic Book where the layers are peeled back and you are able to be apart of the story and interact with the characters.  

Exclusion Zone, Transparency and Matrix

Although most people believe that there is and always will be a balance between reflectivity and transparency, I personally see the exact opposite.
"Windows and Mirrors" was written in 2003 and yet we see that even 8 years ago, a digital gallery consisted of exhibits like "Exclusion Zone", which could bring back severely traumatic experiences to those, who were involved in accidents such as Chernobyl. The tendency towards transparency that is prevalent everywhere today (from video games,3d movies and Web sites to the artifacts of the latest digital galleries that provide almost 100% realistic experiences) could very easily, if not used properly, develop into a world of matrix.
The need to experience situations that we would not be able to experience in real life, drives us into the digital world, a world on which we gradually become dependent. In other words, the addiction to transparency of any form could develop, if planned carefully, into the new HIV or Cancer.
We read in the book how people that relived their experiences from Chernobyl as part of the "Exclusion Zone" experience, even though they were cognizant that this was a simulation, could not prevent themselves from feeling a certain shock. So this might sound a little far fetched, but what if governments direct that addiction to transparency to easily manipulate their citizens in the future, and what's more get away with it because it will all be under the label of "entertainment".

Thoughts on Perception; Allegory of the Cave

One of the most amazing things about the human mind is its ability to perceive different things from the same given elements. In the final three chapters of our current text we encounter this phenomenon not only within ourselves but through digital media. We have travelled through the Digital Art gallery along a backwards S shape, interacted with media in multiple forms, and become parts of installations through our interaction. In each instance the individual taking part in the experience has viewed almost the same things with possible small changes due to the interactions and length of time at each exhibit, but ultimately had the same experiences as other individuals.

The interesting aspect of the experience is that we will all take away different sections of the museum as the most important, breath taking and life changing, because we all perceive things differently due to our nature, past education, and predisposed character.

Socrates muses on this concept by describing a scenario in which what people take to be real is in fact be an illusion. In this philosophical musing he imagines prisoners trapped in a cave and immobile since childhood. In this cave they watch images on the wall and sound from around the cave and believe that they are real. In fact they perceive that they are real. In this fable one man is released and proceeds to escape the cave encountering the reality of outside but when returned to the cave to tell the poor prisoners of the real world outside they do not believe him .

Their perception has become their reality.

After "returning from divine contemplations to human evils", a man
"is graceless and looks quite ridiculous when – with his sight still dim
and before he has gotten sufficiently accustomed to the surrounding
darkness – he is compelled in courtrooms or elsewhere to contend about the
shadows of justice or the representations of which they are the shadows, and
to dispute about the way these things are understood by men who have never
seen justice itself?" (517d-e)

Thus perception itself becomes our reality based on our predispositions, character, and aspects of nurture. We must remember this aspect when looking at digital and evolving media. Over time our perceptions may change but the experience will stay the same.

We can only hope that we will be the people that will escape the cave and not the poor schmucks watching shadows against a wall.

Windows and Mirrors 7-9

Often times in class our friend Bamidele will joke about “SkyNet” and make other references to the Terminator movies, but reading about Terminal Time made me think, “Maybe Bamidele is right?” An audience powered personalized documentary with artificial intelligence. Whats next? A personalized documentary that reads your mind to determine the right history for you. Sounds an awful lot like science fiction. Then I think about today’s practical technology that uses artificial intelligence and user preferences, in particular, Based on previous behavior searching the web, StumbleUpon takes you to another website that you might be interested in. Pandora has similar technology where you enter an artist name, song title or music genre and it generates a playlist based on your taste. New Media is taking our society to great heights in interactivity. This could mean media can get more and more personalized to the point where each individual becomes it’s own media market. As stated in the book, “The discipline of human-computer interaction was a great leap forward in thinking about context.”

A constant theme throughout Window and Mirrors is transparency. I believe there will always be a need for transparency in media. But, the direction new media is taking society is towards reflection and interaction with media. The two schools of thought must live in harmony considering all the possibilities technology has provided communication. The human mind has a predisposed attraction to stories. Story telling is one of the earliest forms of communication. We like suspending disbelief and fully immersing ourselves in a book, movie or TV show as if we were really there. Even other forms of communication like Facebook and Skype take you into a world were the interaction fools us into thinking we’re all in the same room. Yet, more and more the medium is defining the message forcing users to notice and reflect.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reflection: Chapters 7-9

The author stated, “Any digital artifact—a productivity tool, a Web site, or even a computer game—is meant to change something in the user’s relationship to her physical and cultural environment. Otherwise, there would be no reason to produce the artifact at all” (pg. 14). Terminal Time is about cultural contexts and how they define our history. “Like all other hypermediated digital pieces, Terminal Time oscillates between the modes of presentation and participation” (pg. 134). That explained it a bit better for me. The author again takes us back to the title of the book (windows and mirrors), suggesting that there are two roles that require two different ways of looking: through the screen or at it.

Interestingly enough, the author ties in the story of Plato’s cave to Terminal Time. This was one of my favorite stories in philosophy, so I was pleased to see it mentioned in this book. Both Plato’s cave and Terminal Time are meant to expose assumptions, however, the lesson of Plato’s allegory is the opposite of the lesson by Terminal Time. The author states, “For Plato, we are not defined by our cultural contexts; instead we can stand outside all contexts and understand a higher truth” (pg. 136). I am not sure how much I agree with this, because I am not sure that many of us are intelligent to understand a higher truth. We have become infatuated with participating in new technologies, and I truthfully do not see that changing in the near future.

Another point that Bolter makes that caught my eye was the fact that digital art is about performance. I agree with the author that technological, historical, cultural, and economic dimensions of the media always need to be taking into account by the designer. In my opinion, it is important for the designer to find the appropriate rhythm of transparency and reflectivity in order to please his audience.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty enlightening. It brought to my attention many aspects of new media and art that I have never really thought of. I definitely think that the author was witty to tie both art and new media into one another-- to show his audience a different perspective.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chapter 6

I would consider Chapter 6 to be the most interesting of this week's texts, as it addresses a specific aspect of contemporary technology called Virtual Reality. John Perry Barlow's Theory of Cyberspace and specifically how an individual will at some point be able to become devoid of all the physical characteristics that differentiate him from all other people (race, hair color etc.), would constitute an utterly reasonable psychological explanation as to why certain people find refuge in the Internet.
All of us are familiar with the phenomenon of fake identity that dominates the Cyberworld. The Internet is full of people that project a non-true face to the world (whether you want to call this Facebook, Twitter or any other type of social platform or application). Lack of a sense of fulfillment and purpose in your personal life can drive you to an overuse of the Cyberworld. This alternate reality becomes at some point your personal desired reality and you seek it by any means necessary.
This is applicable not only to Internet-related subjects but also to video games and movies as well. In general terms, any type of entertainment medium that provides an experience that can in some way be considered sufficiently realistic and plausible.
Virtual Reality though, is the culmination of that type of experience. That is why many experts have repeatedly expressed great concern, regarding the danger that it could inevitably cause to the psychological world of its users.

A quick thought

Times are changing and so media in all forms including the physical and the theory-people have become immersed in there in own media bubble, be it in the movies, television,computer and now even phones-the magic book is a perfect sample of the illusion of immersion that we have given ourselves. We look back on a the "old tech"of the Book and scoff but things are really no different except that individuals have become far more removed.

Chapters 4-6

What I enjoyed most about the reading was the Magic Book. Even when I was younger, I often dreamed about flying into the pages of the fairy tale and becoming part of the story. It makes this a reality for everyone today using a normal book as a main interface project. A person can look at the pages and see these 3D virtual reality models appearing off the pages. It makes me wonder where else you can use this technology. Productions for concerts and special events would benefit from this by being able to show exactly what is planned. Building architects would be able to show a virtual model of what they intend on building. I would even imagine that football coaches would be able to make great use out of this to show different plays. Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but in a world where anything is possible maybe not. These new technologies let us have an interactive experience of the content rather than a medium just delivering information.
Bricolage was also interesting to me because it is used not only in art, but I would imagine in fashion, interior design, and theatre. I believe that interactive television has the ability to change television as a medium when it does finally arrive. From a business perspective, corporations would benefit from interactive television by increasing programming ratings and advertising revenue. Advertising would be turned into active direct response mediums where viewers can respond to offers with a click of the remote control. Results will also be able to be tracked instantly. Viewers would also be able to vote and/or rate content, post comments, and participate with shows.

Reflection Chapters 4-6

As I was reading about the Magic Book, I noticed that this invention is a great way to read and experience the world of the book.  This book carries us "right through the myth of transparency."  This is not the first time though that technology has transported people to a different reality.  Major Action/Adventure films and Fantasy films are now being shot for IMAX and 3D which if done properly can immerse the viewer into another world.  Xbox has a new game called "dance kinect" where the gamer can do the steps on the screen with out a remote and the game will judge you on how well you imitated the game.  Technologies like this that completely immerse the gamer, reader, or viewer is dropping this transparency. 

I think Fakeshop is an interesting.  As I was reading I thought about how our brains work and how we are able to see different images at once to keep ourselves from being bored.  Fakeshop also uses the World Wide Web as a way of presenting the digital art.  Ever since the end of the twentieth century the Web has become more and more popular.  Many people at a time will have at least 3 to 4 windows open on their computers.  I know I am guilty of this.  Because our brains work this way now and need to be entertained by exciting new things which the internet can provide to active brains.  They say that television has taken print literacy.  I agree that TV has changed our media and the way people learn and respond.  I do not like that books are now able to be purchased electronically so that someone can read them on a kindle.  I feel that it takes away from the book.  But everything has to evolve no matter how close we hold the things we love like a good worn out book instead of an LED screen that can either read me the book or let me flip through its pages.

As I was reading about the T-Garden I kept thinking about Dance Kinect from Xbox.  The T-Garden shows how "digital design can be physical and embodied."  I found that I would really love to do something like the T-Garden.  It is a great way of embracing the digital world.  It shows us that we can again immerse ourselves into its design.   This digital art discusses the myth of disembodiment were we leave our bodies and enter our mind.  There was a TV show called Doll House were people would get rid of their personalities and just be a brainless "doll" and if they were needed they would be given different personalities to whatever a client wanted from the "doll."  I feel like disembodiment is a scary thing.  I know that is a weird example but in the show a computer is able to erase a person completely.  Recently Jeopardy has started using a computer called Watson who answers the questions that Trebek asks.  Our society has reached a point where a computer can now replace a human or be a brain without the body. 

Reflection for February 16th

In reading about the Magic Book, I noticed great symbolism between the piece of art and the direction the digital phenomenon is taking new media. To physically read the book, then to experience a three dimensional pop-up, to finally immersing yourself within it’s own virtual reality, takes you through nearly all stages of the transparency myth. We see evidence of at least two of these in the recent resurgence of 3D video technology. Not only are viewers immersing themselves in the story of a film, but now visually experiencing the film as if they were actually there. Even video game technology has taken gamers into high definition virtual reality. Games like Grand Theft Auto and World of Warcraft have created virtual universes for gamers explore and virtual characters that react to the gamer as if it were actual human interaction. And you know it’s still media because in games like Grand Theft Auto the gamer is constantly bombarded with virtual product placement and other forms of advertisements.

I disagree that a media form can ever become entirely extinct. I do believe that the technology in which some media originated will eventually become obsolete and replaced. Then the media form evolves like your seeing with print media establishing their new presence on the web. The next major technology to go has to be radio, but not radio as a medium, but the physical transmission of radio waves sent to receivers around the world will eventually cease to be. However, in cases of disaster, like the Earthquake in Chile, actual radio technology was an integral part in the rescue mission allowing for communication to the affected area. So, I take that back that technology will always have a place.Though, we are seeing some serious competition to your conventional radio station. Satellite Radio, Ipods, Pandora, are all slowly but surely putting terrestrial radio out of business. My theory is as long has human beings still have to physically operate their automobiles and they aren’t controlled by computer, there will always be the need for prepared music, talk, or informational audio programming, supported by advertising.

We spoke last week how Apple’s best quality is their interface design. They have taken GUI and nearly perfected it as far as I’m concerned. Looking at the Fakeshop website, I noticed major similarities between it and my MacBook screen. Currently I have a window up for Pages as I type this post, a window up for Safari where I have a tab for FaceTwit, a tab for e-mail, a tab for Facebook, and a tab for Pandora, and I still have a Final Cut session opened in another window for some video editing I plan do later. Once I run four fingers downward on my track-pad, the windows spread out, showing different kinds of textual and audio/visual media running simultaneously so I can easily identify where I’m going next. Which brings me to my next point, the T-Garden. Here I find similarities between the art and practical functions of new media technology. For instance, this track-pad on my MacBook Pro. It allows me to do a variety different thing depending on how many fingers I use on the pad and what direction I move them in. Also, touch screens on new smart phones, can understand what word you type as you slide your finger along the touch screen keypad. Like the visitors of T-Garden assert their physical presence as they interact with the system, we do the same things everyday with these readily available technologies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reflection: Chapters 4-6

The author states, "Like the printed book, film, and television before it, the computer is not a neutral space for conveying information. It shapes the information it conveys and is shaped in turn by the physical and cultural worlds in which it functions." This quote in the beginning of Chapter 4 again goes back to McLuhan's "The medium is the message." The computer has had an enormous impact on our society, and the functions it can perform have created a different way we interact with one another-- through new media.

Chapter 4 was one in which I sincerely enjoyed reading, mainly because I found the concept of the Magic Book experiment truly interesting. Of course it is an experiment of remediation-- making of new media forms out of older ones, but I think it is more than that. It shows us that we adults have lost our own imaginations, resulting in us treating books as transparent.

I also found the "Borrowing Reality" section intriguing, mainly because it concentrated on television broadcasts, which is a field I wish to work in one day. The author states, "Most broadcasts show us events that we will never experience if we are lucky. We generally compare television news to other television broadcasts and to other media forms, such as newspapers and Web sites. Sometimes television news even acknowledges that it is covering itself covering the news" (pg. 85).

As humans, we evaluate media in terms of their ability to show us what the world is really like. However, that is exactly what the media forms' jobs are. There will forever be rivalries between different media, enabling us to decide if we would like to obtain our information from the tv, radio, newspaper, or website. With that, we all have our own criteria in judging which media form we prefer to engage with.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Some Reflective Ramblings

The written word has always been of the utmost importance to the human race. Through these intimate interactions with the page, people are able to interpret, understand, and above all else imagine what the author is trying to portray. It is not the apparent usefulness of opposable thumbs that gives humans the aura of a higher purpose then that of other animals, but the basic and rudimentary skill that we can remember the past, live in the present, and imagine the future.

Mans imagination is infinite. Only through this mind’s eye can we see the possibilities of the future. Without this crucial tool, or as some philosophers name it the essence to the true soul, none of the amazing and wondrous innovations of the past would have existed; this true of the digital revolution too.

The digital world creates alternate realities, different dimensions that can mirror ours. Sometimes they are poles apart from our real selves such as dystopian dynasties and virtual reality that takes us to places that don’t existent. At other times we see a likeness so similar that it opens doors to creative thought and philosophic consideration, but the timeliest, the most important form of this digital universe for the coming age of our world as we know it, will be seen in the manifestations of our world seen through slanted light, of our world with a slight tint. These slight changes to the very fabric of society breed such an eerie familiarity and yet utter strangeness to our consciousness. It is these windows that we must look to as we, slowly but surely, place the ever-changing world in our hands.

Instead of looking at the world as it stands perhaps we should first wander through the looking glass and ponder life slanted through fiction in order to make justified decisions about our futures. Through skewing our present realities we can see more then just the surface reflection of our problems. We gaze deeper into the human condition, able to identify traits in ourselves that may not be positive, but are part of us and a major component of who we are.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reflections on Chapt 1-3

The artwork shown at the Siggraph 2000 Art Gallery gave me an instant curiosity in how artists create and challenge the culture and community. The interactive installation of Text Rain lets you lift and play with letters that do not really exist, which is a very interesting to capture. Its interesting to see Digital Artists adapting to a cultures new technologies and making it their own personal vision. Text Rain is defining a new culture by using a medium that is nearly immaterial. The idea that Text Rain provides a 2-dimensional , wireless system that allows user to interact seems magical especially for 2000.
The history of computers was interesting to me because for most of my early years I grew up with a word processor. The evolution of the greatest leaps and bounds has happened right in front of us. As computer pioneer Howard Aiken is reported to have said that we could only need five or six computers like the ENIAC. The Wooden Mirror design is a deeply moving concept. The idea that everything around us acting as a mirror and that every object in the world might reflect is strange yet impressive.
I, of course, related to todays art and design such as music videos, rock concerts, and everyday interactions. The use of music videos in the 80’s was an exciting medium to be involved in, but as the years went on the medium was almost eliminated with reality TV. Without MTV playing music videos, the focus was instead on video-game soundtrack, ringtones, and licensing. Then, interactive mediums started to get more popular with interactive text messaging for applications, voting, etc. In the last couple of years, music videos came back, but in another medium…the internet. What was needed was a technological leap forward, which came in the form of a broadband explosion and 3G. With those advances, sites like Vimeo, Vevo, MySpace, and YouTube were able to support high-definition video and advertising. Today, interactive mediums have been used in marketing, advertising, and spreading a message. Music videos used to be purely promotional, but now they can sell advertising in an around them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I think(looking back on the material) in chapter 2-the authors allusions to how programmers create the "Illusion " of the user being in "Full control" is pretty clever giving the user the perception that they are clicking on,lets say, an Icon and that action opens up a folder gives the user the illusion of simplicity-even though that simple "click" set off a cascade of of instructions for the computer to translate then carry out.
This can apply to how we obtain our news and entertainment as well. Sometimes we browse through websites,watch the news, get podcasts,read twitter updates,watch vlogs-all of this at the click of a mouse but yet same time the process it takes for these mediums to be set up and put into place is not fully experienced by the user.

Reflection on Chapters 1-3

What I found most interesting in the first three chapter was the level of difficulty of the digital design of the applications. Many people visited SIGGRAPH 2000 Art gallery, to see the high quality of the digital images. For example the Text Rain created by Camille Utterback and Romy Archituv, the catching of the falling letters. People used the digital images of the falling letters as entertainment and to convey their own messages " expression o fthe aritsit's personality". When I read this, I understood perfectly what digital imaging is suppose to do. "Digital design should not be invisible it should jump to the viewers eyes. This type of digital work makes up aware of the type relationship we have with our technology.

I was also fascinated by the history of the computer, and how it became an medium. When you look back at the history of the media. The computer didn't start out as a medium, instead it was used for as a "super fast calculating engines to solves problems in science and engineering" field. The people that funded the work were the U.S and British governments in purse to win the World War II, then later purse something a little bit more. Before reading this I didn't know how, or what the expectations were when making the computer.

Reflection on chapters 1-3

What I found most interesting in the first three chapters is the immense difficulty that program designers face in trying to release an operating system, that achieves an immaculate balance between transparency and reflectivity. Predicting the needs of users or potential buyers, and the critical point where the platform should switch from interface-centered to transparent, are factors that can profoundly alter the way we see technology.
In addition, this probably consists the main reason for such great dissatisfaction on behalf of all Microsoft followers. "Windows" is a poorly manufactured copy of the operating system that Apple's computers have adopted. As a result it completely fails in providing the user with an easily navigable environment, confuses them sometimes with unpredictable responses to requests, and its technique in trying to be both transparent and reflective is definitely inadequate and non-functional. That is why we see so many "service packs" every time they come up with a new version and that is definitely why consumers are so hesitant in continuing to use Microsoft's OS.


The history and progression of mankind is directly correlated to the history and progression of communication. There are some interesting patterns with both. Early on mankind and communication progressed slowly, with major developments occurring many years apart. This period of time accounts for an overwhelming majority of mankind’s existence on earth. The biggest strides are made in the arrival of new technology. Electricity opened a new world for communication and society. What was once only speech and print media, now included the telegraph and telephone then radio and television. Now, the digitalization of our world is taking mankind and communication further and further at a rapid pace. These developments have all occurred in what seems like yesterday. It is this correlation between the development of society and communication that makes you think maybe McLuhan was right. Maybe the medium is the message or at least just as, if not more important.

It’s hard to think of medium being more important than the message. Especially since most media is designed to be transparent. When you’re watching you’re favorite TV show, you’re not thinking about the television, you’re thinking about the show. Same with new media like Facebook. You’re not thinking about this amazing technology that allows you to socially network, you’re looking at pictures or poking your friends. The reading brought up an interesting fact that I had never thought of. Those boxes that we see on our computer screens are called windows. So you’re never really looking at the medium but through it to the content.

Before reading about digital art like Text Rain and The Wooden Mirror I had never really thought about how big of an impact the Digital Era has had on the creative realm. Now that I’m thinking about it, I see it’s paramount. You see, where museums and art galleries aren’t really my thing, animated comedies like South Park and Family Guy are. Which is art! These shows are now completely produced digitally. No more construction paper or colored pencils. They’ve created digital, three dimensional, virtual worlds for their digital characters to roam in. This allows for shots that were before only possible in live action filming. Inside these virtual sets, an animator can zoom, pan, tilt or track as if he were using an actual camera. It also allows for intense special effects in animation or live action. Maybe South Park and Family Guy weren’t the best examples because they use this technology purely to be ridiculous. However, just about all animation has been done this way since Toy Story all the way to Gnomeo & Juliet in theaters this Friday.

Reflection: Intro, Chapters 1-3

As Dr. Strate noted in class, I agree that Windows and Mirrors is an easy-read, so far at least. What I enjoyed most about the introduction and these three chapters were the analogies that Bolter and Gromala make somewhat constantly. For me, these analogies helped me understand more of what the authors were actually explaining to us readers. For an example, I enjoyed the comparisons that Web sites are the pipe in which information flows to us, every digital artifact must be both a window and a mirror, the "Wizard of Ozzing" term that compares the programmer to the "man behind the curtain," and finally, the comparison of magicians to designers. However, I must note that although magicians and designers are similar, the magician never wants his audience to see behind his curtain, where designers do want their users to be able to get behind the illusion at certain times. Overall, in my opinion, these comparisons put somewhat the history of the world wide web, interactive design, and the myth of transparency into perspective.

I also noticed that these authors definitely would side with Marshall McLuhan's "The medium is the message" theory. The authors state, "When we surround ourselves with multimedia in this way, the various media forms constitute the experience for us. This is a contemporary alternative to transparency: it is the mirror rather than the window-- the strategy of reflection, multiplicity, self-awareness in action" (pg. 66). As McLuhan believes, it is not the message that matters, however it is the medium in which we receive the message which matters much more.

Finally, I'll also add the interesting point that the authors make that the timeline of GUI, Windows, and Mac computers has flourished for almost three decades because its rhythms of transparency and reflectivity make good sense for most users and for a variety of applications. Of course, many of us are comfortable with Windows computers because they are simple, and according to the authors, they were designed for people who did not know what they were doing, but when it comes down to it, we all want a Mac. In my opinion, whether we know it or not, we appreciate the medium much more than the message


There are Structuralists and Designers have a constant struggle to define new media.  Computers are not simple objects that can only be used for one task.  Computers have evolved into ways of storing information and pictures to being able to find a leading news story in a matter of seconds.  The computer is not transparent it is very much filled with new information.  Digital art relies on the computer to be able to create fascinating fun pieces of art.  Digital art also can make a computer and a system effective for the design of a computer and of the internet.  

When the first computer was invented it was not yet considered to be a medium.  Through out the years the computer has been around it has slowly progressed to being a very important medium or "a growing set of media forms." The computer and internet has not yet over powered different media's like television, film, newspapers, and magazines.  Because the computer has not been able to completely control these other media's the internet and computer has to be updated and changed to keep the viewer interesting.  Rarely is a web page the same for more than a week.  It must constantly be updated and ever changing.  They have started using "interaction design," like Text Rain, as a means to draw the viewer in.  Text Rain is able to play with the viewer and create words and phrases.  The computer has become a window for anyone willing to look through. 

Because society changes the art and technology also change.  During the Twentieth Century art began to change and so did everything else.  Artists began to change normal shapes into abstract pieces of art.  Typography was also changed during that time but Jan Tschichold believed that typography should become more clear.  Clarity started shinning through.  The art piece, Wooden Mirror, brings clarity.  It is able to reflect the person standing in front of it even though it is made of wood and there is a camera behind it capturing the image in front.  The computer is able to create images of something completely no existent and create something beautiful.  It is also able to re-create a kettle.  The computer can reflect something but also become a window.  Why else are the screens that pop up called windows?  The computer has also been able to put different forms of media onto it.  Media like TV and film even books are becoming popular on the computer. 

Like the Wooden Mirror, Nosce Te Ipsum is a mirror but this mirror pulls back the layers of the person standing in front of the scrim.  Nosce Te Ipsum means know yourself.  In Hans Holbein's portrait The Ambassadors, given to Henry VIII, shows two noble men standing but on the bottom of the picture there is an anamorphic figure of a skull.  This skull is not clear unless looked at at a specific angle.  This painting and Nosce Te Ipsum both show the reality of yourself and the world.  No matter what time period art is a media that shows the reality and history of the world.  Society as I have previously stated is always changing and evolving.  Art has always changed and evolved.  The computer will always evolve and so will digital art.

A Reflection of Mirrors: Sender, Receiver, and Interface

The process of communication is founded on the principles of sender, receiver, message, and medium in conjunction with the environment in which the message is sent. Each component is intertwined in a looping stream of consciousness. Marshall McLuhan, actor, scholar, and founder of media theory, suggested that the medium is the message. A concept that may seem fragmented, but ultimately comes together as whole, McLuhan postulated that the form of medium that a message takes influences the way the message is perceived by the receiver. This is especially true in the case of new media.

Each different medium has different characteristics and each characteristic affects its receivers in different ways. If we look at current media such as reading from the Kindle, a viewer could potentially re-read a passage of a book until it is understood. You would have the opportunity to refresh and renew to make sure you fully understand the meaning. In the opposite spectrum we have television, which is (unless you count television over the internet) is streamed once. Thus the medium through which a viewer watches a message/content has a great affect on a person’s clear understanding and personal perception of it. In Text Rain, the medium itself is not only re-playable but interacts with the user, making the digital experience one of intense interaction.

In an ever increasing technologically reliant culture, the values and norms of society are changing. In the next pieces of artwork, Wooden Mirror and Nosce Te Ipsum, the essence of typography and our concept of an interface is come into question. It is only then when we ourselves notice the medium change and that the interface is more then transparent in our society. We realize how much of an impact these interfaces have on our world. Churches are using social networking sites, emailing of newsletters outpaces paper copy, print newspapers are an extinct species. These changes in mediums will reflect the changes that our society is facing for many years to come.