Category Archives: Research

Final Project: Test broadcast

Link to test.

There were a couple of tests which were made during Thursday’s broadcast. Firstly, I decided to test if I was able to set the Chroma Key. That worked, so I decided to test if I was able to do two Chroma Keys simultaneously. Surprisingly, It did. While this was happening, I also decided to change the contrast and color/ saturation levels to see if it improved the keying, and I’ve come to the conclusion that although it worked to a degree, it would’ve been much better if I went to a room with better flat lighting. The test was conducted in a darker room, and as a result there was a lot of grain being picked up by the already low resolution laptop webcam. Another way to fix this would be to borrow the school’s webcam, which wouldn’t be too far out of the realm of possibility.

I also attempted to remove the blue off the projector screen behind me, adding a Gif clip of clouds. In that layer itself, I attempted to saturate the background before keying out the blue skies. Once that worked, I decided to superimpose another image of myself to see if it would affect the latency, which to my knowledge it hasn’t. I also tested the chroma key on my own shirt, which was orange in color. The only thing left to test would be to capture the broadcast from Facebook. Since no direct line of communication and live interaction is necessary (due to the participants eating), the broadcast wouldn’t be a big issue.

I also had a green suit made, which i will be wearing on the day of the broadcast. Another set of orange fabric will be brought forward in the event that I need to key something out separately. That would prove to be a little complicated as the color is close to skin tone.

Second front technical critique


Second life is basically a simulated reality web game in which players take the form of avatars and interact with one another online.

In my honest opinion, this game is more of a gimmick to me, and I do not understand for the life of me how this web application was able to survive, given the fact that this application emerged around the same time many other popular MMORPGs like Ultima Online, Ragnarok and Final fantasy had emerged, and isn’t entirely a novelty by the time it was released in 2003.  I suppose the idea of a online interactions and simulations would be interesting, though the lack of an occlusion pass, normal mapping and displacement mapping pass, a triple specularity system and a raytracing/ global illumination calculation kind of destroys the immersion of the game, and before anyone of those coolies start whining about how not everyone is rich, I’d like to remind them that consumer grade Graphics processing units like the GTX 660 is already affordable, and comparable to consoles.

Obviously, the main gripe I had with the graphics was with the low resolution textures which is in dire need of an upgrade. I feel that at this point, players are more inclined to play more fantastical MMO games, since second life’s chat features and emotes (in game pre-made character animations) is something that is already available with other triple A MMO games. In fact, the Inverse kinematics system and motion captured animations are more realistic compared to second life, taking in more nuanced micro-expressions and gestures. This is not meant to bash on the game itself, but an analysis of how the game could evolve in today’s ever evolving  digital consumer market.

I have a few ideas about how the game/ social interaction could offset the uncanny valley effect a little and appeal to a larger audience with a smaller budget. For starters, there is a consumer grade online motion capture solution called Mixamo. In fact, there is already a library of pre-made animations that users can incorporate into a 3d virtual environment. For high resolution textures on the cheap, photogrammetry can create 3d models through an array of photographs taken at a 360 degree angle. Once these features become more streamlined and cheaper, online modding can catch up with professional developers, adding modified content.

As for second front however, they are more involved in performance art, with kool aid mascots and anime characters joining in the lobby to interact with one another. The chat was a chaos of activity, with people from all walks of life putting all thoughts into words. In my opinion, I think almost all of the front’s “activities” are actually skits that are edited together, rather than actual heists. There is an alternative modding site by the name of Garry’s mod that does skits much better.

Simply put, people enter a virtual setting mainly as a form of escapism, rather than to match realism. Yet, second life’s main selling point, which was the “realism”, was undermined by the lack of graphical fidelity.

Another feature, which was the currency system, could be traded for real money. As a result, the server has been a hotbed of numerous unethical and shady dealings. In fact, an task force from Germany had been set up specifically to track down people who deal with child pornography. There was another instance in which people have been using the game mechanics against minors in order forms. An online game by the name of “counter strike: Global Offensive” even has an RNG (random number generation) reward system in the form of a roulette machine. Users can pay more in order to stand a better chance of winning better weapon modifications or skins. Due to a legal loophole, developers were able to get away with selling weapon skins, saying that it isn’t equivalent to real money, even though the items themselves can be traded in for cash. Things become even shadier when ProSyndicate and TmarTn claimed to be winning in third party roulette sites, only to be exposed as the developers of the roulette sites.

Unfortunately, we’ve become a generation of special snowflakes, with helicopter parents and social justice warrior types conflating hi jinks with sexual harassment. They’ve asserted that women are under threat from “virtual rape”due to the fact that some of the game has violent material. I would suggest to those people to actually play the games and find out that the game mechanics blatantly doesn’t encourage players from actively going after female non-playable characters. In games like GTA 5, killing civilians is actually discouraged, as it gains you a wanted level, and in Hitman, your character is penalized for incurring collateral damage. There is also a feature to change lobbies, mute or ban teammates if they become rowdy.

Anyone who played those games would immediately understand the nuance in game mechanics, but since these are progressives we’re talking about, they’ve decided to make it their mission to ruin it for everyone else, mis-informing the public about sites such as these. Critics such as Anita Sarkeesian, Sam Maggs and Zoey quinn cite examples like Grand Theft Auto V and Saints row, even though they have been debunked thoroughly. I foresee that virtual reality sites and second-front groups such as these ones will probably exist on the fringe, until legislation is rewritten to make cyber-bullying laws less vague and open to interpretation.

Addendum: On thoughts about the actual work itself, I feel that there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. There is definitely something interesting about the pokemon skit that was shown in class on Thursday as a parallel commentary on our obsession on acquisition. We as a species seem to be caught up so much on the virtual space that we appear to look awkward or silly in real life. Case in point: the people who were involved in accidents while playing Pokemon:go due to their inability to be aware of their surroundings. 

Howard Rheingold and Christiane Paul to commit a parodied staging of a bank hold-up of the Linden treasury.

From what i can tell from the Grand theft avatar performance, it is merely a skit, since no one would want to risk investing thousands of dollars in property development, only to have someone steal from them in a raid. Raids and hacks are common on the digital front so no one is going to take the extra effort to render a 3D model of a bank and program a feature in which people can effectively steal your money. 

Their key feature is openness: openness and plurality of visions and perspectives, quite blatant in this interview (where almost each one of them decided to give his/her answer to the same question); they are open about a wide range of interventions, from reenactment to improvisation to code performing

As to Thursday’s question on why people find violence fascinating, I can sum it up easily with one word: Catharsis. I believe that no matter what, people should be allowed to express their own beliefs or be allowed expressions of any other sort, as long as their not committing crimes in the process.The openness and plurality of visions (aka diversity in thought) is something that I can jive with. I also enjoy the idea of playing the role of a bank robber, if only to see where that fantasy would take us. It could also serve as a cautionary tale, to show people just how difficult it is, even on an online gaming match. It is also a good starting point to showcase the inner workings of an artists’ mind in a three dimensional space. 



Research Critique: The World’s Longest Collaborative Sentence



   The world’s longest drunk sentence is exactly as stated on the tin. To be honest, i don’t really have much to say about the entire article, save a portion of it which grew in size exponentially. I’m also not really sure what the point of it was considering that psychography has been a well established phenomena for a long period of time. However, this article had reminded me about a few other things, some of which i shall talk about here.

A few years ago, I came upon a writer by the name of Robert shields, who was a former minister. Robert was afflicted with Hypergraphia, a mental disorder that causes the individual to constantly write, type or sculpt, and  In 20 years, he had been fervently typing every five minutes, taking short naps every few hours. (think of Desmond Hume from the TV show Lost ). Unfortunately, his passed away from a stroke had and explicitly stated in his will not to reveal all 25 million words of his diary until 2057.

  Another prolific writer was a janitor by the name of Henry Darger, who had also passed away silently. Landowners who went in to clear his room were shocked to find 25,000 pages of what would later be referred to as The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion”  . Before passing away, he made it clear to his peers to burn every page of his work in the event of his death. Fortunately, and unfortunately, his request was not honored, and was, for the most part put in display in New York. The common theme in both cases was the fact that both of them never intended to have their private musings be put up in a public forum, sparking the ethics of intrusively psychoanalyzing human behavior. In this exhibition, however, the opposite is true, and instead of having one single mind spouting everything in his or her mind, we have people from all works of life, spouting their inner thoughts anonymously. The problem I see here is that if the names aren’t cataloged, then it’s really hard to get a general sense of the overall human zeitgeist, seeing as to how insignificant the sample size was.

“Jesus Fucking Christ GET OFF MY ASS—JUST GET OFF MY ASS and for god’s sake USE YOUR FUCKING BLINKERS WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A TURN WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THING I AM A FUCKING MIND READER Jesus people USE YOUR FUCKING BLINKERS that’s all I have to say people suck life sucks people suck life sucks but technology sucks more why must I take my life into my own hands–won’t somebody help me “

  I feel that without any frame of reference or an infograph of any sort, It’ll be pretty hard to visualize everything and come to any conclusion. The best i was able to do was to search individual words and see if there were any professional thespians planning anything nefarious.

Maybe if possible, servers would be able to extrapolate the origin of the post and to represent all of the data in the form of a real-time typographical map. Another way of working around the information would be to write a program to recognize speech repetition and map human behavior.


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▂▃▄▅▆▇█▓▒░My Work Research Critique of Bold3RRR by Jon Cates░▒▓█▇▆▅▄▃▂

The concept of recursive flow is interesting, incorporating the concepts of fractal art and procedural generation to give an illusion of an infinite dimension. Perception of space and time are no longer limited to a countable or definable unit, but is instead measured in terms of current spacial orientation. This model may be used as a teaching aid to explain the expansion and spacial orientation of our universe itself, and how we’re limited by the particle horizon.

Alternatively, this algorithmic expression has been used to create the illusion of life in games like “fuel” and “no man’s sky”. However, we’ve evolved to see the seams in the works, noting repetition. The alternative would be the use of brute force customization like mega-texturing, or the implementation of artificial intelligence based designing through approximations on pre-existing models. Though its use in recent history has been faced with much controversy among purists.

  #1: Here we have a special individual from the guardian give his important opinion about AI art.

#2: Another example of AI art. This time, a track made by the Sony CSL research Laboratory. 

Moving on, we’re seeing an increased use of glitch in performative art, with musicians such as Ryoji Ikeda and Mika Vainio and video games such as “memory of a broken dimension.” Though exciting to me, I feel that the novelty of it will wear off, as it did with 3d stereoscopic projection and virtual reality headsets. In both cases, the existing technology haven’t been proven to be financially viable to the general public. As with vr being limited to entertainment, there is a likelihood that glitch art would be confined to the niche performance art sector, until another great leap is made.

As for the videogame “memory of a broken dimension” the glitch art was but a small aspect of the overall experience. The central core mechanic of the game was about non-euclidean spacial awareness, and puzzle solving skills.

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Adobe connect review

I remained in school during the duration of the messaging, and although there was a direct line of sight between me and the rest of the class, i felt more isolated. The only thing that kept me perturbed was the paranoia of being probed by adobe connect.  As a result, I left my webcam off and wrapped it with some tinfoil just to be sure. I also felt that the experience was draining as i found myself trying to fix several technical issues. Some of them involved broadband latency and overall connectivity issues.

I also felt that a lot of the time was taken up having to connect and disconnect to some of the classmates, and having to figure out how to fix audio issues. Maybe someday, this software will be able to fix some of the audio feedback loops but even with all of that being said, i still felt that we were but a bunch of talking heads.

On a side note, this reminded me of a talk given by economics expert and self proclaimed 1 per center peter schiff, who brought forth the fact that there were those seeking to make bitcurrency a thing. The only problem was that it was another faux substitution to conventional fiat currency.

The only reason I brought this up was because most of our interactions feel like there is an intrinsic value missing from it, and that those who inhibit this space seek so desperately to derive meaning from it. The proposed solution to the bitcurrency dichotomy was goldmoney, a system which ascribes true value. I’m not sure how this solution could be translated into third space interactions since i feel that this system is still unable to capture the nuances of human interaction such as micro-expressions, gestures and direct proximity.


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“Hole-In-Space suddenly severed the distance between both cities and created an outrageous new context for a pedestrian intersection.”


 Upon reading the following article, i was intrigued, not so much by the performative aspects of the exhibition, but at the fact that the “virtual space” could very well be the answer to further facilitate cultural preservation. We’re living in an ever fatalistic world which claims that diversity is our strength, yet cultural homogeneity and has been proven to promote economic performance and social cohesion.

 The Mcgill university from canada actually ran a simulation which favours Ethnocentrism over humanitarianism, with categorization-elaboration models showing a limit to group performance as diversity is increased to higher levels.

article #1

article #2

Another policy analyst by the name of Roy Beck also confirms this, stating that the importation of 1 million immigrants on average since 1990 did little to alleviate worldwide poverty. In fact, the act of doing so actually harms the country’s ability to elevate past the third world categorization, because the future of their country had chosen to leave.

 Fortunately, the creation of the world wide web, and the increasing pool of online information has been one major game changer, with cyber cafes opening a new world of information to the general public, allowing themselves to educate themselves. The most recent example, dubbed  the “virtual space” and the vidphone, is one of the latest additions which seeks to further establish a human connection without the hassles of cross-boundary interference and social stratification. However, this technology doesn’t come without its own set of challenges.

 Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz of the satellite arts project worked with NASA to develop the first ever satellite based composite-image dance performance, exploring the financial and logistical advantages of satellite broadcasts over terrestrial microwave or landline based transmissions. More specifically, they explored the phenomenon of distance sensitivity, and how the one second delay caused by signal hops would tremendously affect bandwidth latency and consequently result in awkward interactions. This problem was eventually solved with a more robust fiber-optic network.

 In another example, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, and “The Broadway” department store located in the open air shopping center in Century City opened broadcasts of each other, and interestingly, relatives from across the state flocked to the screen to see their families. Some had not seen each other in a while, while others, most of whom were total strangers, interacted with each other. I believe that with the end of peak oil, cheap transportation and telecommunication satellites, this would be our primary way of seeing each other again. That is, until the fiber optic fault detection systems become too expensive to maintain.



 Hopefully for the next assignment, we get to do a little more than collages in mosaic, and add some aesthetic alterations that are more meaningful.