Week 5: interactive art

Dr Charles Martin

Semester 2, 2020

what is interactive art?

what is art? (already discussed this one!)

what is interaction?

…and how can we design interactions in p5?

Important topic!

Art and Interaction Computing

Art (1) and Interaction (2) Computing (3)

N.B.: in this course, we study how to:

  • make art with code (1 & 3)

  • make interactive computer systems (2 & 3)

  • make interactive art (1 & 3)

what makes art interactive?

Julio Le Parc (b. 1928)

A day in the street

19 April 1966

interactive art event

Una visión otra: Groupe de Recherche d´Art Visuel (GRAV) 1960-1968

Una visión otra: Groupe de Recherche d´Art Visuel (GRAV) 1960-1968

Exhibition at Museo Tamayo, Mexico

video link

Nam June Paik

Magnet TV

1965

Modified black-and-white television set and magnet, 98.4 × 48.9 × 62.2 cm

Whitney Museum, New York

Illumicube

Kerry Simpson

1988

Glass and sound (now movement) activated lighting

Ainslie Avenue, Canberra

(link) CC BY-NC 2.0

Iamascope

Sid Fels and Kenji Mase

1997

Computer video, graphics, vision, audio

(link), (paper)

Strike on Stage

Chi-Hsia Lai and Charles Martin

2010

Computer video, graphics, vision, audio

(link), (paper), (performance)

Inkspace

Zach Lieberman

2015

smartphone

(link), more

MOUNTROTHKO

Yu Zhang

2017-2018

p5

(link), (paper), (video)

Stephen Jones

Cybernetics in Society and Art

Proc. International Symposium of Electronic Art, 2013, p 1–13

http://hdl.handle.net/2123/9863

So what is interactive art again?

Art that reacts to the participant.

Art where input from the participant drives the artistic experience.

Art where a feedback loop between participant and artwork enhances the experience.

How to make interactive art

You’re designing an experience.

user experience!

Designing an interface.

Important Questions

How does the participant know what to do?

How do we know that interaction will enhance the experience?

Affordances

Design of Everyday Things

An “affordance” is a property of a thing such that it supports an action.

It’s an action possibility.

(See Don Norman Design of Everyday Things)

What are the affordances?

typing on the keyboard?

using the mouse?

being in front of the camera?

being heard by the microphone?

anything else?

What are the affordances?

touching the touchscreen?

clicking the buttons?

taking photos of things?

moving the phone around?

taking calls?

What are the affordances?

Zach Lieberman

Screenshot (Twitter)

Types of Affordances

  • affordances of hardware

  • affordances of software

  • hidden affordances

hidden affordances lead to discovery!

interfaces

When you create interface, you are designing affordances.

How are you communicating affordances to the participant?

Are they obvious? Are they hidden? Should they be?

How does the participant know what to do?

Let’s look at how to communicate affordances badly!

“The worst volume control in the world

Why are these so funny?

There is usually an obvious affordance for using them.

BUT, the actual effect is controlled by a hidden affordance.

The hidden affordance is completely weird.

interactive art myths

Interactive art > “traditional art”

Digital art is interactive art

All art is interactive

Video games = interactive art

Technology ≠ Interactive

Pipilotti Rist

Worry Will Vanish Horizon, 2014

Audio video installation, music by Anders Guggisberg

Hauser and Wirth, photo by Alex Delfanne

All art ≠ interactive art

Thomas Struth

Art Institute of Chicago II, Chicago

1990

Chromogenic print, Diasec mounted, 136.8 × 175 cm

Edition of 10

Games ≠ interactive art

Rand Miller, Robyn Miller

Myst (1993)

Video Game

MOMA (link)

Similar Kinds of Art to Interactive Art

Video Games

Participatory Art

Relational Aesthetics

Collaborative Art

Immersive Art

Summary

  • Interactive art involves the audience in order to create the complete experience.

  • Interfaces have to be designed.

  • Affordances are the action possibilities of your artwork.

  • Affordances can relate to hardware or software

  • Hidden affordances can lead to engagement (when done well).

  • Don’t make a game.

Let’s just look at some of the interactive artworks again…

Illumicube

Kerry Simpson

1988

Glass and sound (now movement) activated lighting

Ainslie Avenue, Canberra

(link) CC BY-NC 2.0

MOUNTROTHKO

Yu Zhang

2017-2018

p5

(link), (paper)), (video)

Strike on Stage

Chi-Hsia Lai and Charles Martin

2010

Computer video, graphics, vision, audio

(link), (paper), (performance)

further reading/watching

Don Norman- The Design of Everyday Things (available in ANU Library)

Worst Volume Controls

Zach Lieberman

questions?