Sea Truth

Video: https://vimeo.com/126001126

Sea Truth is an interactive installation constructed of more than 500 water bottles suspended from the ceiling, that focuses on the harsh conditions of underwater life as a result of ignorant pollution. Situated in the dark, the only source of life and light is represented by the scarce amount of jellyfish in danger of becoming extinct. As the participant progresses through the space they experience first hand what it feels like to be a creature swimming through an ocean of plastic.

Using fishing wire of different lengths and supporting eye hooks, water bottles were strung and attached to 3 connecting panels of wood that were hung by 6 eye hooks and cable wires from the ceiling. DSC00596 DSC00589 DSC00584 DSC00581

The jellyfish were constructed out of thin fabric and LED “throwies”.

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The piece was hung above a narrow ramp and visitors were instructed to proceed upwards on the ramp.

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Sea Truth was displayed in a quiet, dark space where the only sounds that could be heard were the rustling of bottles, and the only source of light were from the illuminated jellyfish.

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Malleable Mind – An Interactive Installation

Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/114382862

Artist Statement:

Childhood and infancy is a crucial time in the development of a person’s character. The influences and external factors that affect a child’s upbringing are vast but our main sources of understanding the world and ourselves are from our parents.

Our piece expresses the influence that two parents inevitably have on a child’s upbringing. Before any user interaction, the ceiling flashes rapidly, trying to pine for attention. Once there are participants, the users use the two computers to create different drawings using different elements, to reflect unique parenting styles and attitudes. While being drawn, the two respective sketches are shown on the outside of the installation arch, but also combined into a unique projection within the interior ceiling. In this third, interior sketch, it is then original, as it combines two separate sketches into one. This third sketch demonstrates that both influences have a significant impact on the child as reflected by the similarity in shapes and patterns drawn, yet the child is still a unique being as there are key differences such as colour, line, and opacity. These differences reflect that the child has its own characteristics, yet still derives it’s roots from the parents.

The physical installation itself was created to enhance the user experience. The flashing screen and the illuminated blue shapes were designed to interest viewers and encourage interaction. By having two users interact by drawing and seeing their creation projected onto the outside of a surface with illuminated blue triangles, it becomes more interesting than a flat surface or plain computer screen. Once the user walks through the arch, they will see the ceiling projection and recognize that it is partly influenced by what they created prior to walking through it.

 

Connection to Class Material:

This piece is generative as the sketches produce generative designs through the code. In the first computer, the user has control over the direction and shape of the drawing, but the colours are randomized. The code mirrors the lines so that it generates a more intricate sketch. In the second computer, the user also gains control over the placement and opacity of the brush, however the size of the circles generated will tend to vary. This gives the sketch a level of autonomy that was initiated by the user but continued through the code itself. The code allows the work to seem autonomous and intelligent to a degree beyond the sole user interaction.

This piece is a networked experience because it uses three computers that are connected through the wireless local area network to link up the parents to the third computer. By using a network, this further demonstrates the idea that parents have a significant connection to their child. It also poses the question of whether that connection is strong and/or important for the child’s upbringing; would this project be as successful or would the message be clear without having connected the computers?

 

Technical Description:

The computers are connected through the internet, using our IP addresses. The third sketch has a timer set to to 7 minutes. Without any user interaction, the screen flashes different shades of gray. After these 7 minutes, the sketch refreshes and a blank background is set. The two parent sketches have unique elements that make them different to each other. One is line based, and the other is ellipse based. The third processing sketch takes both these elements and combines them into one.

To build the physical installation, we put together a wooden frame with triangular support on each end, covered the outside with the foam board constructed into octagons and filled the gaps with blue tissue paper. The abstract and jagged shape of the exterior was designed to allow the projection to be more dynamic and engaging. By having odd shapes and angles, the projection from the ceiling was able to bleed into the side projections, to support our idea of parent to child influence. The tissue paper was added to create a three dimensional feel for the structure, and it allowed the light from within the structure to project outwards, this gave the structure a nice gradient from blue to yellow. The arch was created using thick bendable wires with a shape similar to a bolt screw, using the bolt and nut concept we then attached each end of the wire to the sides of the wooden frame. This allowed us to easily remove and attach the arch whenever necessary. White fabric was then wrapped and draped across the arch. We outlined the interior with white fabric to create a softer mood than the exterior and  allowed the ceiling material to be sheer so that the projection could be shown through the fabric, allowing for an illuminated ceiling as the audience walks through the arch.

Data Material Assignment

The Evolution of Music

 

Pitch

The Evolution of Music is a data visualization which compares the number of physical albums, digital albums, and the total number of albums sold from 1996 to 2011. With the advancement of technology and the rise of the Internet, online file sharing has allowed easy access and convenience for all individuals to illegally download music with access to the World Wide Web. To emphasis this, shapes were created in response to the data to demonstrate the decline in overall album purchases throughout the years.

 

Write Up

The Evolution of Music demonstrates how music sales have decreased throughout the years. It is apparent that before the rise of digital albums, physical compact discs were very popular. As the number of digital albums sold continue to increase, the number of compact discs sold slowly decreases. The issue lies not within the the notion of physical versus. digital music but rather the amount of music that is not being bought.

 

Upon analyzing the data, we expected the number of total albums sold to increase as there is a growing community of musicians that continue to produce new music everyday. Realistically, the more music produced, the more total album sales there should be. However, through the advancement of technology and the rise of the Internet, online file sharing has allowed easy access and convenience for all individuals with access to the World Wide Web. With that, digital albums were created to convenience consumers. However, individuals began to abuse this privilege by providing easily accessible methods to obtain music.

 

As the number of illegal music album downloads continue to increase, record company profits begins to decrease. Thus, inducing  financial complications for those involved in the music industry. Through a capitalistic perspective, companies are not benefitting from producing new music due to easy access to the web and illegal online downloading. As this cycle continues, individuals involved in the music industry will reach bankruptcy, resulting in lost jobs, earnings and a loss of funding for artists to produce new music. With online piracy as the number one issue for decreasing album sales, artists and companies are forced to find new ways to maintain sales.

 

Our data visualization exemplifies the steady decrease of album purchases as a whole. As shown, there was a drastic difference between the number of digital and physical albums purchased in the past. In recent years, the difference between the two is very subtle. The pink circles represent the total purchases of physical CD albums, while the white circles represent the total purchases of digital online albums. The total amount of purchased albums are represented by the purple squares.

 

The visualization shows that there is a decline in the amount of albums purchased, however there is no decrease in the amount of people listening to music. With the consistent progression of technology, users have abused the privilege of the Internet to illegally download music free of charge, with the simple click of a button. As the number of illegal music downloads continue to increase, the music industry’s revenue will decrease. As a result, companies are pushed to find new solutions  in order to sustain a position in the music industry.

 

Reflection

Before making the decision to focus on music album purchases, we wanted to find statistics which were self explanatory. We brainstormed possible ideas in which we could create relatable visualizations that would blend well with the data. Our first concept revolved around abortion, then we gravitated towards volcano eruptions, but realized there was no clear premise for our findings. We then realized that we should focus on something that we are truly interested in, such as music. As we were searching for data related to music, we stumbled upon data which displayed the amount of physical and digital album sales. Upon analyzing the data, it then occurred to us that individuals were no longer purchasing music, but instead using other methods to listen to or obtain music. As individuals, we do not notice the impact we have towards the music industry as we unconsciously and continuously download music without supporting the artists, by purchasing their albums. On a wider scale, companies and individuals associated with the music industry are suffering as a result.

 

Afterwards, we discovered that the album purchases plummeted after the start of the 20th century. We did not take into consideration what was not visible in the diagram. We recognized that the decline of the total album purchases was a result of illegal online downloads. After some tedious research we discovered that there is no sure way to determine the exact number of illegally downloaded music each year. To make up for this lack of data we displayed the profits made from total albums to demonstrate that the decrease in album purchases was the result of online piracy.

 

Another issue we came across, was the location of the ellipses.  We had to calculate the coordinates in order to translate it to the right position on the sketch. However, due to the basis of the translate command, it was applied to any code that was beneath it. Therefore we had to take into consideration where to place and modify specific lines of code so it would run accordingly to match our intentions. After spending several days putting the code together, we realized that processing reads the code in a particular order. There were many instances where objects would not appear in the sketch due to the setup of the code. Once we figured out the proper section to insert certain lines of code, we were able to efficiently navigate and create what we intended to do so in the beginning.

 

When we finished our sketch code, we had difficulty uploading it to the web. We attempted to render the file through javascript, however the sketch would not load in the browser. The first time we uploaded the code, a grey screen would appear in the web browser which meant that our code was not legible. After some research we discovered external libraries prevent processing codes from appearing online. As a result of this, we had to remove our music library, minim, altogether. After the removal of minim, we exported our sketch through javascript a second time and it would only display the black background and the dates along the bottom of the window. We could not figure out what the issue was, but we know are certain that our sketch is connected to the web.
All in all, this assignment has brought to our attention the consequences that could impact the music industry if nothing is done to stop illegal downloading. Based on the data we found, it was interesting to see how the music industry attempted to create a simpler way to distribute albums by making them available online, yet consumers abused that privilege. We also found this assignment worthwhile because it allowed us to review coding skills we learned in previous years and taught us how to input data into Processing which is something that will benefit us in our fourth year projects.

 

Links

http://gloriousnoise.com/2012/12-years-of-album-sales-2011-year-end-soundscan-data#

http://www.go-gulf.com/blog/online-piracy/

 

 

Data Portrait

This is a portrait of my dad. The following landscapes that overlay his portrait represent just a few of the places he has been in his lifetime. I believe that the places you visit create experiences that make up who you are as a person. Through each experience you gain wisdom. Wisdom leads to knowledge, and that is something that will continue to grow throughout a lifetime.

 

Starting from the top, the photo overlooking China represents where my dad was born. Later in his pre-teens he and his family moved to Vancouver, where of course the culture here was very different and he had to adapt. This later influenced his interests and hobbies as a teenager. He attended the University of Victoria where he studied Fine Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Tired of what Vancouver had to offer, he moved to Toronto on the look out for bigger and brighter opportunities. It was here in which he began working in the commercial and advertising business. Through his career he was able to visit San Francisco where he travelled often. Later he took a break to travel the world, places such as Switzerland became his favourite place in the world because of the breathtaking scenery, Paris for its astounding food and Japan for its unique culture. However, home is where the heart is (literally, as shown in the placement of the portrait), and he chose to settle down and start a family in Toronto.
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