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Journal Entry #3

3/22/2005

About Chaos Theory and interactivity.

The first part of this reading was about the importance of trying things, even if they seem crazy. Getting a little chaos in your work, working along with the order, spices things up. The author explained how with just a few simple rules, randomness could build works as complicated as a fern's beautiful branching patterns. I agree that randomness can be used to enhance a viewer's experience because it keeps things fresh and interesting to people. Although I think setting fire to oil paintings in your oven is unhealthy for you... I would use common sense in the pursuit of chaos.

The second article was about precusors to interactive art. He figured that fortune telling machines are a lot like modern interactive art, so he built some. One of the interesting points he makes is questioning whether interactive art can really be interactive if it's all pre-programmed responses? He says interactive media is like the ghost of a human being. You cannot really effect it, because you can not cause it to actually say or do anything new. I feel that machines could theoretically be truly interactive, though, with advanced enough programming. Because human beings, as well, have a lot of "pre-programmed responses." The same ways of greeting people, the same ways of rejecting people... I feel that if the program was sophisticated enough, it could be considered interactive because human beings are like organic machines. In the same way as programming controls machines, their brains and hormones control people. The machines just need to be programmed to take more from the user and incorporate that in the responses. Early versions of this already exist, as chatbots can parrot back words you've typed in.

He also mentions how people get frustrated with unclear destinations in interactive art, and uses this as a metaphore for life. Sure, no one enjoys not knowing why they're doing what they're doing, and having no idea where they'll end up. I think it's annoying how so many interactive artists try to do this to people when obviously so few people enjoy it. Why should you spend your time trying to tick people off? Any random griefer can do that easily. I would rather make art that is user-friendly and not off-putting to most of my audience. This doesn't mean artists shouldn't challenge the mainstream, but they should do it with purpose, not just because they want to be avant-guard.


Journal Entry #2

2/22/2005

About "Hypertext and Textual Aesthetics", excerpt from Internet Art by Rachel Greene and "Time as Space, Space as Time" by Julian Stallabrass.

This reading was about Net Art. This kind of art is very much about the moment. For one thing, time is experienced very differently from other media, and the experience of individual users vary according to the hardware and software on their machines. Many artists explore this idea in their works.

Because the Net is constantly changing, online works can decay rapidly - falling apart as pages disappear, software is updated, or they are not sufficiently maintained. This brings a very temporal quality to the work. The work exists now, but only fleetingly.

The internet is very discriminatory, as those who have better setups experience things vastly differently. Most of the people in the world don't even have computers. So Internet art will only reach certain privillaged people. Some artists decline to use the flashiest new technology so that access to their work is not restricted to only those with the newest computers. Where Internet art comes from is also influenced by the wealth of countries and individuals. Some countries do not produce much of this kind of art at all.

The way space is laid out on the Internet is also different from other art viewing experiences. Users wander chaotically through linked pages. It's not as ordered as a book which you read from cover to cover.

Basically, in summation, this article presented the many ways the Net Art experience is different from a traditional art experience, such as the gallery. The user and technology/programs interact to form an experience that is individual to the user.

2/08/2005

The new website design is up.



2/3/2005

Journal Entry #1

I really have no idea what point the author of "The Poetics of Interactivity", Margaret Morse, was trying to make. She goes out of her way to use big words to make it hard to read, but when you actually decipher the sentence, it doesn't seem to mean much of anything. It's "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," as far as I can figure out. I asked someone else to read it over to tell me what they thought, and they had no clue of the significance of the article either. I'm really at a loss on what to write. I think it's an article about what the word "Interactive" means. This concept is ill-defined, however, as Morse rambles on in long, complex sentences and refuses to give a summary at the end. She also describes some interactive art works, but not seeing such works, I'm not sure what I can say besides I would like to see them. If there's some big points I'm not getting, I'd like to know what they are.



1/13/2005

I just set up this journal today! It uses cascading style sheets because I get bored having to set the font over and over!

Graphics

Today I made practice graphics.