Assignment: Create an interactive artwork that implements the concept of repetition with variation. Use at least one for loop. Your artwork should also incorporate an interactive interface element of your own design.
For this assignment we were asked to work in pairs, and the magnanimous Dominic Barret took pity on my poor self and agreed to partner up. That’s him:
Sticking to the cat theme, because why not, we (and by we I mean Dominic, while I ran to catch up) went with the idea of a slider that would control a gaggle of mice, which would be generated using a for loop. Some of my unsuccessful attempts:
We decided we also wanted to have a cat appear in the bottom corner of the screen when the slider reached its limit, signaling an untimely end for the unfortunate meecies who were in the wrong place a the wrong time (sort of like Dominic when I asked him to be my partner).
Here’s my cat:
This is what Dom’s slider looks like paired with my meecies and a dramatically improved now nested for loop (guess who helped me with that):
Dominic also worked his magic to combine our efforts and the results were, of course, glorious.
These are trying times. The United States is a country perhaps more greatly divided than any time since the Gilded Age. Problems seem too large to solve, questions remain unanswered. Most important, and most hopeless among them:
Chip or swipe?
Having lived in Europe the chip card was not ucharted territory for me. Simple enough transactions involving a credit card are executed over the course of approximately ten seconds of relatively low level interaction with a small touch screen.
But now the world’s teenage son is trying to adopt the same practice and it’s been a bit of an issue.
Where am I supposed to put my card? One blue light signal on the swipe side of the portal indicated (or so I thought) that was the correct spot for my card.
-Bonus confusion: the wireless chip sensor panel on top of the card reader -when can I use that? The sign indicates I have to download an app and then I can scan “to pay with the app”, but there are still several steps between me and that action that are a bit too obtuse.
Anyway, I swipe.
I’m wrong. The salesperson indicates that I should insert my card “since I have a chip”. Dos the machine know that? How did the salesperson know? They haven’t seen my card so they’re probably seeing it on their screen. Which begs the question, why can’t the machine recognize that and prompt me to switch my card input to the proper portal?
This happens about five times a week to me, to people around me, and the rules are always different. I’ve seen business owners tape over the chip card reader to disable use; I’ve seen other business owners make their own signs and attach them to the credit card machine. I’ve seen others simply lie and say their machine is broken so could you please pay cash.
The biggest problem is clearly inconsistency. There have been better versions of the chip card technology -readers that give instructions on their display screen; readers that accept both forms of input et al.
Really America, get it together. I’m not the only one. And you’re holding up the line at Whole Foods.
The last four weeks of our Video & Sound class with Marina Zurkow will be spent storyboarding, scripting, shooting and editing a five minute sound piece.
None of us have experience in this arena.
Prompted to portray a specialist in a field, we decided to explore how reclaiming a medium (makeup) typically -though not correctly- identified as a CIS female tool, is an empowering mechanism.
From our storyboard:
“We want to approach the idea of expertise through the lens of the Drag community…Melding the youtube tutorial format with a classic interview profile, we hope to demonstrate the Drag Queens transformation…of character that is achieved when one becomes an expert in their medium and thusly, a more empowered version of themselves”.
We decided to identify three different “color zones” for the storyboard: Full Drag (pink), Full Dressdown (green), and Transformation (orange).
We then applied this color coding to the storyboard shots as well as the questions we would ask our subject and at what time. In delivering certain prompts during certain time “categories”, we would have greater control over our subject’s appearance as they answered our prompts.
B Roll, color zone yellow, will be cut in and out of scenes as needed and relevant.
Next week, we will demonstrate the process of shooting and interviewing.
Assignment: Go outside and photograph 3 examples of unsuccessful signage and 1 example of a sign you like and post all 4 images to your blog. Choose one of your unsuccessful signs and redesign it. Come to class prepared to present and discuss your examples.
A. UNSUCCESSFUL SIGNAGE
Awkward Sign #1
The Problem Though the sign itself isn’t necessarily confusing, its location most certainly is. You may not necessarily be able to see its orientation from the photo, but it’s actually situated parallel to the road, indicating that the lane shift will occur somewhere inside Scotch & Soda. To make things worse, there was an identical sign across the street indicating the lane shift would happen somewhere inside G Star Raw. Lastly, upon investigation, there appeared to be no lane shift at all. Huh?
Awkward Sign #2
The Problem I take this one rather personally as it’s the diner I go to regularly and it’s on my block. Along with a completely gratuitous renovation, “The Kitchen Sink”, formerly known as Moonstruck Diner, decided to rename and rebrand. The results are tragic.
We went from an iconic name (maybe to got a cease and desist?) with a lovely, classic logo, to a sign that makes it look like you’re dining at a hardware store. Free delivery for what? Nuts and bolts?
Awkward Sign #3
1. I *think* this waxing place is trying to let us know that you will have a “unique” waxing experience. (Whether or not that’s desirable is for another conversation, though personally I prefer my waxing experience to be as boring and uneventful as possible). Unfortunately, the use of both
A different font
A different color
for the ‘K’ in Unik makes it utterly distracting and incomprehensible that it reads as
2. Uni-K Wax , which shouldn’t be what they’re going for.
3. If we were to ignore the strange emphasis mentioned above and accepted that it were to read as one word, the sign reads phonetically as ‘Eunuch’. It’s a strange thing to conjure for a waxing salon.
4. Finally -where is ‘center’? It’s completely obscured.
B. SIGN REDESIGN
My design suggestions are as follows:
1. *At minimum*, get rid of the different font/different color double whammy with the ‘K’.
2. If a serif is absolutely necessary as a differentiation tool, use it for the entire word, and use color more holistically.
3. If serif is no longer necessary, instead use the same font and a different iteration (in this case bold) to emphazise Unik, like so:
4. I would argue that it’s not the word ‘Unik’ that should be emphasized, but the word ‘Wax’. This is the most important piece of information that needs to be delivered.
5. Lastly, I’d lock up ‘CENTER’ in the same font family as the sign and space the letter components differently to maximize clarity.
Conclusion Though I still have a ton of problems with color choice (the combination of purple and green feels cold and uninviting to me in the context of waxing -it’d be better suited for a pharmaceutical or tech company), and take strong issue with the K in UNIK, I think this final iteration is still a significant improvement on the original.
C. I <3 THESE SIGNS
1. La Colombe
Why It Succeeds I love this signage. They do a beautiful job of incorporating their logo with the city skyline, and have stylized their brand name just enough to make it recognizable without being convoluted. The use of the city skyline as texture and shape for the wings is an extra touch that I think is lovely.
For the wearables enthusiast: I made a “soft” button of conductive fabric with a foam layer between. When the conductive fabric meets, or the button is “pushed”, the fabric completes the circuit and the LED it’s attached to lights.
Some snazzy looking non conductive fabric (for the outer shell of the button)
Conductive fabric (for the inner layer of the button)
Foam with a hollow center (to separate the conductive fabric unless pushed inward)
This sound piece is inspired by Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, the coming-of-age tale of a young man as he becomes more cognizant of the world around him.
Given the potential depth of the subject matter, my sound partner and I both agreed that it would be interesting to approach this with a bit of humor. Inspired by the SNL skit “NPR Delicious Dish” and the characters Terry Rialto (played by Molly Shannon) and Margaret Jo McCullin (Ana Gasteyer) we wanted to take a satirical approach to the T’lic birthing process and in doing so, make it funnier than the original piece (so, funny).
More importantly, we wanted a way to showcase the range of sound we had gathered and we thought the radio platform might do that best.
Here’s a few attempts and generating SFX, not all successful:
We also experimented with different vocal effects in audition to create two different characters from the same voice. The above is the end result.
Thanks to: Eddie! Yay Eddie! for his top notch acting skills, particularly in the screaming/moaning arena, and to Marina for showing us how to convert our stupid files. And of course, my lovely sound partner Melissa Parker, for being a trooper.