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TagInteractive Media

ASSIGNMENT 3: MAX + MSP Interface

To see other Assignments:

Assignment 1: Magic Mirror  |  Assignment 2: Face Tracking  |  Assignment 3: Seflie Instructor  |   Assignment 4: Alpha Blending   |   Assignment 5: Pixelation Mapping

For this third assignment, we are using MAX  and MSP to create a Selfie Instructor. And just to note, I did not add any music or additional voice overlays in the video, so what you hear is only the tracks invoked by MSP as well as my own reactions.

It basically detects where your face is on the screen and gives you instructions. So end result is to get you facing forward looking at the camera with your face in the center before it says “OKAY” and allow you to take the picture! Which you can take simply by making a sound. KA-Cha!

Sensing.

  • Coordinate info from cvjit.faces matrix used to calculate the position of face with respect to the screen
  • cvjit.faces coordinate info is then used to determine if the face is in the LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN quadrant of the screen, or if there are no faces at all
  • MSP can detect if sounds are made  through the Microphone

Effecting.

  • Relative position of the face (LEFT, RIGHT, UP, DOWN quadrant) from Sensing is then used to:
    • Invoke audio playback of respective tracks on a playlist in MSP
    • Display instructions on the screen corresponding to the audio playback
    • So basically telling the user to go in the directions towards center of screen depending on which quadrant the face is in  and to also alert them that the app is running and to look at the screen should they be looking away
  • When user is in the centralized position, the screen will display “OKAY”, and the MSP sound detection through Microphone mentioned earlier on will be activated. User can then tap or say something at the screen to have their photo taken.

 

It was great fun doing this project and I kind of wanted to have a bit of humor as you can see, because I like the idea of machines scolding people and making them do stuff. Also it was good to finally be able to attempt combining MAX and MSP together in the same patcher. Having a proper layout was also essential in helping the process along so that I could have great visualization of the dataflow.

Of course, there are still some issues. Like displaying the images there will be this glitchy effect because the bangs are being outputted at a steady rate when user goes into any of the quadrants. Although in this case it kind of worked to the assignment’s advantage as it creates a sense of urgency to follow the instructions the user is being yelled at.

However would be good to know if there are elegant methods of controlling these flows. I know that the onebang can be used as a stopper valve for this and I actually used that for the center quadrant. However for the side quadrants you tend to not want too long a delay for the onebang or else it does not reset itself quick enough to react to the next position the user gets into. Whereas for the center it is fine because they will stay still to have their picture taken. So that is kind of the reflection on this assignment and I hope to learn more subsequently!

Process video log is below! Cheers 🙂

SHARING 6: Playing Lynch

http://www.playinglynch.com

Hey all, this is really a shout-out to those who are fans of David Lynch and have seen most of his filmography! Twin Peaks, the TV series that sparked so much interest and controversy is back for the third season, this coming May.

Along with many teasers for season 3, the Lynch Foundation also released this “Playing Lynch” interactive website where we can see the full length director’s cut for Psychogenic Fugue. Hosted by Squarespace the website creator, and directed by Sandro Miller.

Featuring  American actor, director, and producer, John Malkovich, who has appeared in 70 over films. And in this interactive film website we get to see him play 7 of the most iconic or intriguing Lynch characters (John Merrick, Henry Spencer, Lady in the Radiator, Mystery Man, Frank Booth, Dale Cooper and the Log Lady). Featuring also, the music of David Lynch, as performed by artists like The Flaming Lips and Angelo Badalamenti. The interactive film certainly pays homage to the Lynchian film! It was a great immersive experience going through the roughly 20mins of content.

If you are reading this and Lynchian films are your thing then don’t miss out! Click here now! You can see the trailer I linked up below also.

But if you have not watched any Lynch film, or you don’t even know who is Lynch to the point that the silhouette in the poster below does not bear recognition, then PLEASE WATCH HIS FILMS!!! You are missing out a great deal of great compelling story-telling in an often non-linear, well-crafted sequencing of pace, concept and emotion.

Meanwhile, I am still counting down to Twin Peaks Season 3! After 25 years.. whoo!!

 

Psychogenic Fugue starring John Malkovich

SHARING 4: Putting it all on the Table – More on Narrative Adaptations

Snow White on the Table (2008) from hyojung SEO on Vimeo.

 

This is a rather interesting piece, again adapting upon an existing narrative, in-fact a fairy tale, one which we are all very much familiar. However there is all of things that appear rather subversive here and the viewer is given the chance to explore this in a non-linear way. So it is highly interactive and challenges us in the way that we are re-reading this story because it does not seem to be the Snow White that we all know. I guess it is also interesting to note that these fairy tales were rather dark in their original conception by the Grimm Brothers. So our fantasy-romance fairy tale told in technicolour by Disney back in 1937 really is not the only way the story exists. So I really like this thought put into the retelling of the story in Snow White on the Table. Just putting it all out on the table for us to see the story unfold.

SHARING 1: Maria Anwander – interaction through artistic intervention

I shared some works of Maria Anwander in class when we were trying to give some examples of what we think can be considered “interactive narratives”. However as I was giving it off-the-cuff, it kind of made me feel like I did not give a great example. Or that it might lack some relevance.

So just to recap: One of the works is The Kiss (2007) at MOMA. You can read about the intervention in the musuem label she put there. And you can also see her website here: http://www.maria-anwander.net/

Maria Anwander’s act of french kissing the exhibition wall at MOMA after she stuck the label. The old man contemplates the work as did all the other unsuspecting visitors to the gallery.


So my take on it was that Anwander’s work is one of intervention in a public space, in this case the MOMA in New York. What she does here is to make the work both a documentation of her performative act as well as that artistic presence she has left behind for the viewer. And it is through the backstory of this performance of surveying the area, planning out how to execute the action and eventually kissing the wall, we as a viewer are drawn to that simply because of the playfulness. As for the gallery-goer, he and many others are trying to interact with this new work. They might have their suspicions because it was uncatalogued or they might be just totally fixated in the encounter at hand.

And the other work is one about musuem labels she ‘borrowed’ or stole from various museums all over the world called My Favorite Art,  ongoing since 2004. Ongoing! In fact, I think museums are glad to let her steal from them.

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So what do I feel about the example I raised now? I think that I can see why it is quite hard to say that they are interactive. However I would still like to try again. In reference to my response on Eric Zimmerman’s text the Four Concepts, I would say that Anwander’s work affects me on a cultural level and I feel that I interact with the work in a cultural interaction. Some of these works I have seen, in their rightful place. Some I wish to see but have yet to visit those countries. So it is really more compelling to a specific audience, one that has knowledge of art history or has seen the images before. In the absence of the image, we still connect to the paintings simply because of our previous interactions with the works of art. The narrative behind it is also very appealing in the sense that she is breaking rules here. Stealing from museums to create her work. She is not taking away those art works (the originals) themselves, yet we feel that the works are transferred unto this wall we see.

I enjoy the play and intervention that Anwander does with her work. Perhaps this could be seeds for brainstorming a project in the course. I am not sure whether I have better explained it by writing this reflection out. But as Zimmerman pointed out, it is simply because we do not know how to explain that we are able to find a way to come out with a new type of “interactive narrative”. And I certainly hope to learn new ways.

REFLECTION 1: Some notes on Eric Zimmerman’s Four Concepts

Eric Zimmerman’s light-hearted attempt at unpacking and explaining the ideas and concepts surrounding the narrative and interactivity is indeed a great read. I personally am drawn to the text simply by his sense of humour. There is something playful about it. All about it in fact. And that makes reading an “interactive” experience in some sense; I feel like I have just had an interview with the guy. Of course, I am using the word “interactive” rather loosely here. Zimmerman will probably comment that is undesirably naughty.

This text is a great start to discussing about the concepts at hand. As opposed to simply being fixated on definitions, Zimmerman provides us with points of departure, from which we can let our imagination take flight. And let the game begin. I like that for each of the concepts (Narrative, Interactivity, Play and Games), he lists possible modes, categories, elements, attributes, avenues for us to explore how we might best grapple with this whole matrix of ideas. Through this whole process of becoming more aware of the media that we are dealing with, Zimmerman encourages a sort of excitement in searching for breakthroughs, or as he puts it himself “not to replicate existing forms but to invent new ones.”

Apart from opening up all these more theoretical and conceptual mappings of the concepts, Zimmerman also illustrates his points by raising a few great examples.

Chess, as the example of a game that simulates a two-player interaction and more of a cognitive interactivity in this battle of wits. But at the same time there is a narrative of war, heroes and playable characters, triumph in stratagem, albeit unconventional, yet there is a narrative structure there.

Pac-Man was another example which he employed to show us how even the most explicit interactivity can have sophistication in its use of narrative. This widely played arcade game is a story of life and death, the society at large with all these embedded into the game-play itself. And we recognize these things in a very integrated level through the playful connection with the Pac-Man character.

I feel that the reading will serve as a good guide in brain storming and conceptualizing ideas for interactive narratives. However, the conundrum of the mash-up of concepts continues to be daunting to me. And I would want to really take time to figure my way around a little. Where do I position myself within the whole process, as auteur, as facilitator or as a participant amongst the audience as well?

Also, there is this definition that Zimmerman offers us regarding Play. Wherein he says that play is freedom of choice within a fixed structure. Play exists because of the rules and constrains and in spite of them as well. Here, I find that either I do not understand it enough or I might need further exploration, as I am concerned about how to be convincing and compelling enough that this play will be able to take place within the systems I create.

In conclusion I think that Zimmerman was really trying to push for a certain kind of value in all these things and how we might exact pleasure from it. Pleasure from the media that is intrinsic to the media itself, differing from say a book or a film. I think his points will be good to negotiate this and find a way to start. I hope, though, for the ideas to form more organically and in a way not prioritizing or setting limits for any of these interconnected concepts.


“I think the key divide between the interactive media and the narrative media is the difficulty in opening up an emphatic pathway between the gamer and the character, as differentiated from the audience and the characters in a movie or a television show.”

Steven Spielberg