Friday, May 31, 2013

Biotechnology as an art form?

I was really interested in the idea of biotechnology as an art form, and I think, in a  lot of ways, it really stretches the boundaries of what most of us might consider to be art. I found this article which talks about scientists growing unnatural 'living' things, such as tissue, cultivated from a few meager cells from another living creature. In the article it struck my particular interest that this scientist took cells from a frog and created what she called "steak," which was later on cooked up and eaten, while the frog watched happily from its cage. The scientist herself stated that "The piece forces viewers to consider all the life forms."
Here's the link:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Digital Poetry

Digital poetry is a form of New Media Art and an interactive evolution of traditional poetry created through the use of computers and digital technology. While some may consider any poetry created electronically to be digital poetry, the main creative use of the medium is to provide an element of interactivity without requiring direct contact between the poet and the audience, as would be necessary to creative traditional poetry in an interactive manner.

One example of digital poetry is JABBER: The Jabberwocky Engine, which is a Java program created by poet and new media artist Neil Hennessy. The program uses lexical rules to combine letters into nonsensical words that actually follow English pronunciation rules and norms and therefore sound like real words even though they are not.

You can experience the program on the official website here:


BioArt is a branch of New Media Art that involves creating artworks using biological elements such as living tissue or microorganisms and often involves biotechnology as well. These works are typically created by scientists themselves or by traditional artists working in conjunction with scientists and will often involve laboratories as well as or in place of artist's studios.

Here is an example of BioArt in a petri dish created with florescent bacteria:

Here is an interesting article exploring the aesthetics of BioArt as well as the ethics of using live specimens and living tissue to create art:

Finally, here is a direct link to the BioArt photo gallery accompanying the above article:

Robotic Art

Robotic art is a genre of New Media art featuring performing robots. One example is juke_bots, a 2001 robotic performance installation piece featuring two robot arms acting as turntable disk jockeys. The robots are provided with a stack of records which they can place on the turntable and manipulate like real DJs by adjusting the speed, distortion, fragmentation, etc. while the music plays.

Here is a video of the installation:

You can learn more about the work at the official site (it's in German so it must be translated):

3D Printing For The Masses

A group called Shapeways is one of the many opening up the world of 3D printing for the masses and helping to bring affordable 3D printers to people's homes. 3D printing has been around for a while but was mostly used by engineers and other specialists and not easily available or accessible to the average person.

Here's a video explaining what 3D printing is all about:

There are also numerous 3D printer Kickstarters aimed at bringing affordable 3D printers directly to people's homes. Here's one such example:

PBS Idea Channel - The 5 Most Artful Video Games

In response to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York opening a video game exhibition, PBS's Idea Channel on YouTube posted a video discussing video games as an art form and presenting what they consider to be the 5 most artful video games, for various reasons. I found it to be a well-informed video with solid arguments and an entertaining, yet fact-filled, presentation style.

Here's the link to the video:

Not sure what I'm supposed to be doing on here but hello.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ivan Poupyrev

First of all, I found a really interesting website called Resonate. It's a site that brings together art and technology:

Through that site, I found Ivan Poupyrev who is actually a "Disney Imagineer" and helps create new technology for the Disney parks.

However, the piece I'm going to show you has nothing to do with Disney. It's called:

Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Living Plants

Using a technology called, "Touche", which is a sensing technology, a wire is placed in a plant's soil and allows for the interaction between humans and the living plants to be tracked. If you go to the website listed above, you can see more images and video that describes the technology and shows the piece in action.

"With Botanicus Interacticus technology any living plant can be turned into a musical instrument, a game controller, a light switch, an elevator button, or a motion detector. Interactivity and responsiveness can be added to homes, streets, and even entire cities, unobtrusively and sustainably simply by growing plants."

I never imagined that we would be able to show the interaction with a plant and a human and it look so beautiful. 

Sandra Lee Phipps at WhiteSpace

Hey all!

This is the photography professor I was telling you about that has a show going on at Whitespace Gallery.

Her show is seen in two rooms, a green house and a "closet" section of the room where there is video.

Here is a link to her work and the galleries website:

Gallery Hours:
Wed-Fri 11am-5pm
or by appointment

814 Edgewood Ave
Atlanta, GA 30307

Tel: 404.688.1892

Monday, May 13, 2013

Music Videos

Having recently discussed music videos both well done and not, I think we have to first agree that the video alone regardless of it's digital alterations. How the music syncs up with the visual is another art- a separate medium all together, which makes it too often overlooked. In order from earlier to more recent I have comprised a chronological line-up of music videos that were digitally altered and are visually stunning for their time. Can we decide what a good music video is without thinking that with more advanced technology comes better videos? Below are a list of music videos that were once outstanding.
Nine Inch Nails- Closer (1994)
Nsync- Bye Bye Bye (2000)
Madonna- Die Another Day (2002)
Tokio Hotel- Durch Den Monsun (2003)
The Used- Bird and the Worm (2007)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The purpose of this blog is to provide a forum for student postings for extra credit (and perhaps some posts from the professor). The blog will be open only to members of the class. You can post items on the blog such as images, videos, links, etc., or your own original work or thoughts. All posts must be accompanied with a brief explanation in your own words (around 45-words) of what each posted or linked item is about. No explanation is required for posts of original thoughts (it’s assumed that such posts will be more than 45 words). If an original post uses sources for information and/or ideas, these must be cited in footnotes. Always use your own wording unless you quote directly (in which case you will put the wording within quotation marks). Students should link to articles rather than copy and paste entire articles on the blog (to comply with copyright laws). Topics must be related to new media art. 
John Alford