technology


I need to start this entry with the note that there have been many beautiful, meaningful video mirror interaction in some media art projects.

However, I remember one of curators I met said this to me, ‘I am tired of Video Mirror + Human Body Mouse Media Art Please…”ย ย  well, yes… I am, too!

I am tired of technology presented as if it is an art… (some case, it could be if it is well integrated with context of art piece) but, at the same time, as an artist exploring technology, I can’t help getting excited about new technologies.
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This was last blog I was writing…ย  like more than 2 years ago.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚
I’ve been busy creating new art projects and I’ve been busy living my life in Seoul…ย  It’s been all good.ย ย  Life is good whether it throws me a challenge or a gift!

I will continue my blogging now.


“Hope” a marionette project by Joohyun Jin, Laewoo Kang (Digital Media Design dept. BFA, Hongik University)

This movie is a low resolution with lots of noise (as it was raining cats and dogs during the final presentation in Interaction Design Studio) but, you will get the idea. Below is their project site that has a better presentation. “Hope” by Joohyun Jin & Laewoo Kang

A little description about this project. The marrionette is hand-sewn by Joohyun Jin & the project was a collaboration between two students. The translated abstract is below.


์‚ฌ๋žŒ๊ณผ ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์‚ฌ์ด์˜ ๊ฐˆ๋“ฑ,
์น˜์œ ํ• ์ˆ˜ ์—†๋Š” ์ƒ์ฒ˜

์Šฌํ””๊ณผ ์•…๋ชฝ์˜ ์ˆ˜ํ™•์ž,
๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ๊นจ์–ด๋‚ ์ˆ˜ ์—†๋Š” ์กด์žฌ์˜ ์Šฌํ””.

Conflict among people

untreatable wounds

Receiver of sadness and nightmares

Tragedy of un-wake-able being

I see that this project can be improved by more dramatic expression in sound on what they are trying express & cleaner mechanical presentation. However, over all it was an interesting project. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was frightening to watch it move on late afternoon with pouring rain outside.

Thanks to Jonah Brucker-Cohen & Make, one of the Digital Media Design students’ projects that I wrote about in last entry got some attention & interest.

Here is the Makezine blog: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/06/emoticon_mask_will_make_y.html

& Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5014085/emotion-mask-brings-kekekekeke-to-life

& Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2008/06/06/mask-of-emotion-displays-your-feelings-via-led-emoticons-we-cry/

Hmmm… How interesting that it didn’t even take more than a day to spread words around!

Let me add my translation of their abstract from their blog site in English:

The idea of this project started with a question,
“What is the first media to communicate my emotion to the others?”

Perhaps it’s facial expression that is being expressed before one communicates his gesture or words.
It’s not that easy to hide feelings on facial expression. However, people don’t show their feelings to the strangers today. I often wonder about other people’s emotion when I am in crowded subway or in downtown street of Jongro, Seoul but, they all just stare at outside of the subway window or stare down at their shoes with emotionless face. Some just scan newspapers. They only look ahead while walking in the crowds. Modern urban people are limiting their emotional communication with others trapped in their own world. The mask is a tool to hide one’s feelings or oneself into. At the same time it is to bring out a communication with others by bringing out emotion loud with emoticons.

The Mask of Emotion is to reinterpret the look of mask in a modern term and to evoke communication with strangers by heighten the facial expression by LED emoticons. It is designed to research if emotion is positively received to the strangers when the wearer walks in the crowded street and interacts with urban citizen.

Some students might have felt like what’s the use for whenever I made them to document their design process as a part of the requirements but, I’m sure they will appreciate it later. Kudos to The Mask of Emotion team from Interaction Design Studio 1, 2007 class!!

If you have been following what I’ve been doing, you must have noticed that I’ve been designing fashionable computing projects, integrating circuit boards into fabrics, light emitting parts, sewing clothings and etc. I’ve been also teaching Interaction Design Studio which is a 4 hour studio class that is made of mainly a short lecture, discussion & workshop or presentation. Although this class isn’t about wearable computing, I guess my background does influence some students’ works. There have been so far two wearable computing projects in my class last year.

One was final project in Spring semester – first semester I taught there.

The first one is titled, “Mask of Emotion” by Chisong Ryu, Changhee Kim and Jiyoun Kim. it’s an Emoticon Mask basically – it’s documented well at http://blog.naver.com/inter_mask. (sorry it’s in Korean)

I think this project really reflects today’s culture of emotional communication. It was a 5, 6 week assignment during first semester, 2007.

The second project I want to introduce is a more technically elaborated project called, “HearT-shirt” by Hyunsoo Hong & Jinyoung Lee- created during the fall semester in 2007. Here is also a nice documentation (sorry it’s in Korean again)

They integrated tiny surface mounting LEDs into plastic pearl buttons to attach on the T-shirts, which made me speechless as I could imagine all the work that went to solder hair thin legs. Hyunsoo later made DMDuino (Arduino clone for DMD students – limited edition) with Jinhwan Kim. (Those were hand soldered.)

Anyway, here is the photo. It uses Xbee Wireless communication to detect if they are located within 50 meter range . When they do, their shirts light up in a heart shape! The couple can find each other surprisingly when they are near with each other if they went to public places without planning to meet. It’s a fun concept. This was a 9 weeks assignment.

So here is another guerilla exhibition of Physical Computing Workshop group made of Juniors and Seniors at Digital Media Design Dept. Now, they got the name. It’s called, “Team Electrical Effect” This Flowall intallation was made possible by 21 students. They built 24 flowers that rotates by music and reflects projected visuals to the wall. They have used DMDuino that was made by last years’ graduates, Hyunsoo Hong & Jinhwan Kim – based on Arduino board along with other electrical parts & motors.

Below is their abstract that was posted at class blog;

Whenever electrical current of 1mA flows, an art project becomes unique in the world. – Electrical Effect.

Hmm… what exactly this meaning?

Anyway, it’s obviously further developed conceptual installation from Leo’s Stupid Pet Trick project during Interaction Design Studio class. (Well, it’s obviously far from stupid!)

Well, enjoy it. Below is what a student captured my awkward interaction with the installation during my break. (Mom & Dad, why didn’t you teach me how to play piano?) Feel free to laugh at video of me trying to pretend to play a piano.

I heard there will be the final one at the end of semester – which is next week!

As I gave my students at Interaction Design Studio to do a weekly assignment called, “Stupid Pet Trick” to keep the ITP physical computing tradition, I got a fully finished project that was performed. It’s by Leo – please see below.

Beside that, I was looking through any documentation of old projects and I found my own stupid pet trick assignment. Ha ha. Very crude with Director 5 (Lingo) & Basic Stamp I … (omg, that was a long time ago! )I should re-document it here before I completely forget about it.

It was a sun ray gun. I put a photocell at the opening of gun point and hooked it up with Basic Stamp I & Director file that was communicating with serial connection.

If you point this sun ray gun toward the monitor screen where a movie clip is playing, it will create different color of sun ray effect (the ones from photos) in different shades of yellow depending on the amount of lights it’s getting. It’s a video clip of the window at my old apartment in E. Village, shadows of leaves were dancing in silhouette. A very simple, non-purposeful practice, stupid pet trick – but, it brings a joy whenever you make it or see one. : )

The screen grab of old 90’s monitors are very rough and crude but, you’ll get the idea.

This animation tells how Text Messaging works in 50’s educational video style. You gotta love that 80’s party.

I got this movie link from my alumni list and it’s really funny with good explanation of txt messaging gen’s lifestyle. Why don’t anyone call anymore? This general texting culture in many of my friends are making me think twice before I press “call” button like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to. Sometimes, you want to hear voice and talk and sometimes, you just want to exchange some words (text messages) but, don’t you wonder if the receiver might freak out if you actually voice call? Hmmm… good laught but, makes me wonder.

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