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Project 1 Final Iteration | Once Upon A Huh?


Thursday, Sep 24, 2020 - 03:39:54 am

@ jznki

Once Upon A Huh?

A Generative Fairy Tale Parody

For presentation:

(P.S. You can use your mobile phone or tablet to look at it too! :))

(Link is only available for 24 hours starting 3am on 24/9/20. I used for this temporary web hosting.)

Just to recap, my project is about making a generative storytelling piece which gives the user Read more →

Categories: Final Project
Well done Joey. All your observations in the concluding paragraph are correct. A simple but important feature of interaction you have missed is marking the linkable page elements (feather to move on, and the optional decisions). This is easily achieved with CSS by assigning different color or cursor change to the linkable elements. In class, we will discuss how to develop this further into the final generative artwork. Two quick ideas in that context: You can publish your work in progress on one of the many free web hosting services (de facto no time limit), then propagate the link through social media to monitor the audience's reactions, and perhaps use some of them to refine the work. Also, you want your audience as broad as possible and primarily adult, so there should be some teasing elements in the online publication/propagation strategy as well as in the design and narrative (which you have already incorporated and are working on).
Class notes recap You were smart to "run away" at the end of class because with what follows I would have probably kept you in the lab for the following 30 minutes, ha ha! My suggestion is to first work out and polish up the key technical/coding issues that we outlined together up until now, so you can continue experimenting without major tech issues. Of course, you will do the coding improvements as you progress. Design your strategy by looking at your work in a broader context which includes not only the narratives, presentational design/media and interaction but also the overall logic/motivation for your work and its public presentation. Specifically, it is the deception and the playful subversion of the conventional approaches to designing and consuming interactive narratives. Regarding sound, there could be several musical backgrounds, each matching the current narrative mood/position in the narrative. What could be the logic for selecting these backgrounds? Another important factor is the selection criterion or criteria for the progressing narrative steps. Right now it is pure randomness which in itself does not carry much meaning. How about introducing some spicy/humorous inputs which determine the branching decisions? For example, these inputs could be some continuously and unpredictably changing data from online sources, like the stock market indexes or specific stock prices, various types of weather data, pollution data, various GPS data sources, etc. The specific type of this source data may be more or less witty within the narrative context of your work. Here is an "ancient" media art example: John Klima's ecosystm (cca. 2000), also here: Also think about the presentational campaign strategy and the gameplay elements which will motivate the player to repeat the game, giving them the chance to notice that the same decisions lead to somewhat different unfolding of the narrative, and to try to figure out why. Teasing is your key strategy here. Finally (at this point), you will want to include in your content some visuals which can change by the same criteria as your narrative.

Exploratory Sketch Final Iteration

Samuel Ng

Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020 - 10:30:04 pm


Movement with Neurons

A quick recap of my sketch, I wanted to depict the movement of the non-linear and unpredictability element of fish movements. To make my idea possible, I used processing as my medium.


I started by exploring the various behaviours and movements of the fishes influenced by their neurons’ connectivity. I felt that it is essential Read more →

Categories: Process
Good progress, nice observations in What I have learned..., and excellent post! As for your idea to use particle movement for creating abstract drawings, a quick initial referenc for inspiration and reflection is Casey Reas (a co-initiator of Processing, together with Ben Fry). I will provide more examples as we move forward.
Class notes recap Sound/music, just like all other formal elements of an artwork, have to be there for a reason. The more meaningful and relevant that reason is, the more chance the final work has to be successful. Continuous coloration changes in groups of particles is somewhat confusing and mainly aesthetic rather than functional. However, coloration will make sense when you simply apply one distinct color to all members of each species. It is good to be both respectful and critical with the works that inspire our creative projects. As we go along, I will provide you with more examples on parametric and particle-based generative drawings/visuals.

Generative Art Reading 2

Alina Ling

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 05:02:02 pm

@ Alina Ling

Amplifying The Uncanny

Analysing the methodology and applications of Machine Learning and Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) framework.

Computational tools and techniques, such as machine learning and GAN, are definitive to the applications of such technology for a generative purpose. The paper explores the exploitations of these deep generative models in the production of artificial images of human faces (deepfakes) and Read more →

Categories: Research
Alina, you join Praveen with exemplar reading reflections which surpass the basic requirements and are written thoughtfully. Of course, if you can manage to publish them sooner, I would have time to read them and respond more thoroughly. In addition to our Zoom RA 2 discussion, regarding your observations: Many applications of the AI technologies in the arts are still struggling to overcome gimmickry and mere spectacularization (for several reasons such as the complexity ), so deeper
Alina, you join Praveen with exemplar reading reflections which surpass the basic requirements, and are written thoughtfully. Of course, if you can manage to publish them sooner, I would have time to read them and respond more thoroughly live. In addition to our Zoom RA 2 discussion, regarding your observations: Many applications of the AI technologies in the arts are still struggling to overcome gimmickry and spectacularization (for several reasons such as the technical complexity of the AI systems, the artists' opportunism, etc.), so the conceptually deeper/stronger artworks are yet to be created in the field. There has been a lot of work recently in the AI science and engineering on the systems that can evaluate the emotional consistency/modalities and cognitive qualities of human (or for that matter generated) speakers in the videos or live streams. This is a relatively new field. If you are interested, here is the link to two papers on the topic:

Reading 2: Amplying the Uncanny


Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 04:19:52 pm

@ beagles & golden retrievers

Pursuit of Realism

Uncanny valley is the obstacle that CGI artists have to break through. Mashiro Mori introduced that as a humanoid robot’s representation approaches a great closeness to human form, it induces negative responses. Only past a certain degree of human likeness and familiarity, then a robotic form will induce positive responses. It means that on this scale of human Read more →

Categories: Research
Good observations and reflections. In addition to Zoom comments on how the arts playfully abstract and stylize rather than strive to imitate the exact likeness of nature, even in hyperrealisms: You observe correctly that anthropomorphizing (reflection of human biases in the creative process of engineering) plays a significant role, and can be an issue in the AI, and in technology in general. Also, you intuit well that likeness is not just the matter of one formal aspect (for example visual) but a combination of several facets which can be highly stylized. For example, the cartoon series The Simspons is highly successful and empathic although everything is formally stylized. The reasoning, decision making and essentially the actions of the characters is what make them human. F. Scott Fitzgerald said: action is character (what the actors do, not what they say or how they look is what defines them). This is applicable to the arts (character development and representation) but also in life in general: what we actually do is what matters most.

Reading Assignment 2

Naomi Takatsuka Koh

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 04:17:31 pm

@ naomi's portfolio

Amplifying the Uncanny explores the boundaries of what makes a generated image fake but reversing the generative process and to exaggerate the imitated features of Deepfakes. By producing these unreal images through manipulating the generator, the divide between natural and man-made is clearly evident, proving the vulnerabilities of a mechanical system no matter how

The uncanny is a psychological or aesthetic Read more →

Categories: Research
Good observation on the importance of a study of human likeness. There are numerous studies, primarily tangential but important, to this topic in psychology (since Gestalt psych in the early 20th century), neurophysiology and cognitive sciences, dealing with perception, reception and evaluation of human-like forms. Also, evolutionary psychology systematically studies the criteria of beauty and attractiveness in human nature and cultures, dealing with the evolved preferences and their factors. In addition to the comments in our Zoom meeting (regarding how the arts playfully abstract and stylize the exact likeness of nature), look up the work of Ron Mueck which is relevant to bonsai art.

Exploratory Generative Study — Update

Praveen Ramesh

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 04:03:28 pm

@ prav


I will be working with 5 contacts (the few I mainly communicate and have some sort of emotionally intimacy with in this current period). It is significant to note that these dynamics might change over time and completely disappear too — this however will be part of tracking the transient role we play in each other’s Read more →

Categories: Process
The new overall structure seems fine. Circular instead of rectangular grid is an improvement, exactly for the reasons you outlined. You can decide weather to go for circular or spiral overall composition of charts as you go along and collect enough charts, so you can test it out visually. In general, a spiral structure suggest the open-ended nature of emotional transactions more clearly, while with a circle you will induce the idea of enclosure, weather in temporal or broader conceptual context. It is important that you find the way to differentiate the participants not only geometrically by also by color, for easier tracking. You need to designate the keyword(s) for each feeling being charted to clarify each chart and help the viewer build their own interpretation of the relations. Also, you need to add date/time stamps to each chart to communicate the temporal dynamics without physically distorting the overall composition of all charts. You need to find the way to do this clearly but unobtrusively. You can think about enhancing this initial concept into an interactive data-viz system for your following generative art project. If you decide to go in that direction, you need to find the way to address the topic: surprise. However, this continuation idea is only a suggestion on my part, and it is, of course, completely your decision. Anyway, we can discuss it further next class if you want.

Reading 2: Amplifying The Uncanny

Su Yang

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 03:58:49 pm

@ suyang

The reading begins with explaining that in recent years, machine learning systems grew excellent at producing images, with major focus on creating human faces that seem very real, resulting in possible controversies with technology such as deepfake.

Deepfake is a technology of generating faces by referring to existing images, to create brand new faces which cannot be found through image searches Read more →

Categories: Research
In addition to your concluding observation, the uncanny or various types of eeriness [which are often associated with the outcomes of the AI systems based on Deep Learning (statistical approach)] are not the exclusive aims or intentions of (generative) art. So the AI techniques can be employed in a generative art project for other experiential values. Also, the importance of limitations, calibration, tuning, steering or other forms of control/restrictions imposed by human creators to generative systems is applicable generally: by appreciating the fact that there is no such thing as “restricted creativity” but rather that creativity thrives on restrictions, as all successful artworks demonstrate. This is pertinent to your work in both Generative Art and your FYP.

Reflection — Amplifying The Uncanny

Praveen Ramesh

Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 - 06:46:04 am

@ prav

Overarching Thoughts (on GAN , ‘ The Uncanny’ in contemporary society)

In this article, the authors explores how Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) and Machine Learning have intensified the phenomena of the ‘uncanny’ — described as a certain level of discomfort or unease one feels when a machine mimicking organic human behaviour comes seemingly close to, yet disjointed and ‘faulty’ Read more →

Categories: Research
Praveen, excellent reflection and exemplary reading post which surpasses by far the requirements of the assignment. BTW, if you are interested, you may consider taking some creative writing courses if they are offered at ADM or NTU, and available to you, specifically the courses dealing with research and writing methodology. However, take into account that - if done seriously - creative writing, even within your familiar field of new media art and design and digital culture, is highly time consuming and requires a lot of effort to balance with the artistic work. We can discuss this further if you wish.

Generative Art First Iteration | Progress Report 2 | Once Upon a Huh?


Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 - 03:15:44 am

@ jznki

Week 2 has better progress!

I managed to fix up some of the errors I have faced after chugging a whole cup of homemade starbucks coffee.

Errors I managed to fix:

Having 2 clickable options that will fade after the person interacting has clicked one of the options. Originally, I planned to have 3 options but due to time constraint, I shall stick Read more →
Categories: Process
Good work Joey, and well prepared progress update! Two-option selection is all right, of course, that is as long as there is more than one option offered for selection, the intended illusion of coherent logic is projected on the visitor/reader. Keep it up!

Generative Sketch and Study Updates

Alina Ling

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 - 01:06:39 am

@ Alina Ling


Project: Creating an instrumental system that uses visual data of textures (stones) to generate sound in real time

For the project, there are two parts: 1. Converting three-dimensional forms into visual data 2. Connecting the data with audio for real-time generation

Generative Sketch

Over week 5, I experimented with the  depth image and raw depth data from kinect to processing to see what Read more →

Categories: Process
Alina, I am glad to reiterate what I told you in the class: Great work on your exploratory generative study, and thank you for an exemplar process documentation work! (...if only the links were active, ha ha!). Keep it up! Your complete strategy seems fine, and I agree that you should try to explore the Kinect scanning and exploit to the max. Although its range and precision ate not intended for small objects relatively close by, maybe you can calibrate the whole setup so that it can work well even with stones, for example. This would entail lighting conditions + position for Kinect (probably fixed) + the "stage" for the object which will be sonified + the distance + plus shifting/tuning the input data in code. There is a chance that this setup works well for stones, in which case you can concentrate on refining the physical setup and the code for more robust sonification and overall generative experience instead of re-focusing the generative system around RGB+L and IR sensors. I like the idea of inviting visitors to pick up the stones on their way from A to B, to be scannified in your work. In that regard, although it is not directly related to your work, look up Hiroyuki Masuyama's 01.01.2001-31.12.2001 (2002): For sonification, I don't believe you must use Python. You can go from Kinect via Processing to SuperCollider using OSC. Here are a few quick links: You should expand this with your own research. If you encounter some difficulties there, please let me know, and I will ask Philippe Kocher (who is our next guest speakerand an expert on SC) to try and help you out. I hope this helps.