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Game-Space iPhone Client

Just submitted a Game-Space iPhone client to Apple today. You can log into the exhibition at The Harn and view, in realtime, the subject position of people walking through the live exhibition! Since we record people traversing the space, if you log in and no one is there, it plays back the recorded movements. There is also a second screen that plays back the most recent images recorded by the After Diboutades sculpture. These are images of people looking at the sculpture, so between the two screens you get a sort of loop between "looker" and "looked at."


Now I need to make some improvements to the web client that provide more information about what people are seeing.....never ends.....



I have to stick my head out more; haven't posted since the beginning of summer! Patrick and I have been working non-stop on the most recent version of Game-Space, since the completion of the MEAT class this summer. For the first time, earlier this week, riding home after finishing Hypermedia class, I had this twinge of guilt that I was home "early." Unreal, I feel like I've been in a time warp.

Anyway, Game-Space 003 is up and running at The Harn Museum. I think we really pushed it in a nice direction that places more emphasis on the areas of experience that interest us. We had some problems with the delivery of the sculpture, "printed" with a rapid-prototyping machine. We had intended to print it using the new A² Fab Lab, but equipment purchases were delayed and that wasn't possible. Objet graciously agreed to print the model for us, but two days before the opening the piece was delivered "in pieces." It was shattered and so were we. Thankfully, they reprinted it for us and we couldn't be happier with the results.


More pics here.

I feel like we finally got a robust server system worked out that allows clients to join an exhibition in progress. The simulated first-person view of a visitor located in the museum is simultaneously projected within the exhibition as well as on the screen of remote participants. You can download the client from the game-space website and give it a try. We're limited to 20 simultaneous logins, currently, but that shouldn't be a problem. I'm going to see if I can get an iPhone client up and running, so the limit might be a problem if that works out.

Of course, the bigger question might be "why?" Why do this? What does it mean? Unfortunately, there really isn't space/time to explain it here. In December, I'll be presenting a paper called Game-Space: Unfolding Experiments in Subjectivity at Digital Art and Culture '09, UC Irvine. It will be part of the panel, A Space-Time of Ubiquity and Embeddedness, led by Ulrik Ekman and Mark Hansen. It looks like a really great conference with a lot of great themes and outstanding people. I'll post a link to the paper once it's published. Patrick also has a nice paper called Eccentric Spaces and Filmic Traces as does his partner Stephanie Boluk, called Seriality, the Literary and Database in Homestar Runner: some old issues in new media.

Mower is Live!

Apple approved Mower over the weekend so we're "live!" I created an alternate universe for this sort of thing called Idealistic Software. Over time, I'll put "commercial" things like this there. I'm not sure what is more commercial about this than a painting hanging in a gallery somewhere, but whatever. It's against UF rules to have a commercial website hosted on their domain (understandable), so I set this up elsewhere.

Here's a direct link to the Mower Website.
Here's one to the Mower listing on iTunes App Store.
An image gallery of installation and screenshots.

Depending on how it does, and available time, of course, I'd like to add a social network "leaderboard" system to it. There are some other, "top secret" things I have in mind as well.


Haven't posted much lately because I've been working day and night on Mower. It's a iPhone/iPod application that is a collaboration between myself and DMA alums, Wes Wilson and Ben Ketnick. I finally submitted it to Apple for approval yesterday. In our minds it's an artwork that happens to be a game, so that may not bode well for the commercial potential, but I think it's a really cool app. I'd buy it for 99 cents!

I'm interested in contemplation in immersive environments and a key influence on that is interactivity. Gaming is composed of many mundane tasks that one must perform to advance, and some people experience a sense of catharsis simply, mindlessly, doing these things in the gameworld. Of course, this happens in the real world too, for example, mowing :-) So, in a sense, the game is a replica of the tedium of every day life. Handheld devices like the iPhone/iPod seem to be readymade for this kind of activity. We make rules for ourselves, providing a sense of accomplishment, and then construct our world to suit.


Artistically, there are some other interesting things happening with the game that are reinforced in the way gameplay is structured. As one holds their finger to the screen they "conform" or "acquiesce." Their viewpoint begins to zoom outwards. If they release their finger, they lose control, and cannot stop the camera from zooming back towards the ground. A tension is formed between the desire to fly ever higher and the drive to let go of the screen. Obviously, or perhaps not, these are references to issues of control and conformity that shape my experience of suburban culture (which I equate with mowing). In a similar fashion, one natural tendency is to try to break these games. People want to explore the furthest boundaries of the gameworld, irrespective of the rule systems that have been put in place by the author/s. Mower intentionally, self-reflexively works with this motivation in mind; mowing is an endless activity with no escape. One can mow forever and the grass continues to grow.

So, that's a general discussion of some of the ideas that formed Mower. Of course, there were a lot of other ideas that went into it, and I learned a ton about Unity3d and iPhone development, so it has been productive. Hopefully in the next few weeks it will go live on iTunes app store and I can start fielding comments like "it's boring!"

bit, byte, dot, spot

Finally a chance to take a breath and post photos from the Bit, Byte, Dot, Spot exhibition opening at the Tampa Museum of Art. It was a nice turnout with 200+ guests, nice food and drink, and an overall great feel. The show will be up through July 11th.




from the show

Images from the Discursive Treatments of Materiality show are on the DMA server: HERE.


Bill Seaman pumping away at the opening (below):


Discourses on Materiality

Discourses on Materiality, an exhibition curated by Shephard Steiner will take place at WARPhaus on Friday evening. The show is in conjunction with the Digital Assembly conference hosted by the English Department. Bill Seaman will be the keynote speaker. Works by several DMA students as well as myself and Prof. Roger Beebe. You can watch Honeypumper dynamically update during the exhibition, here.

Motion Capture Demo



The Digital Media Workshop class is focusing on art production using game engines this semester. We visited Digital Worlds Institute and Arturo gave us a demonstration of their markerless motion capture system. Of course, one of our shrinking violets decided to test the boundaries.



I've been meaning to add documentation to Erica Bolin's Blip project on the PNN website. She created a Processing application that talks to the PNN XML-RPC server and visualizes the frequency various countries have been mentioned in the evening news broadcasts for the last six years. She used the metaphor of the radar screen and shows text extracts as the "blip" moves from broadcast to broadcast. It's linked up, and you can download her PNN client-application, now. Take a look in the Related Projects section, HERE.


Acmmm Vancouver 04

Acmmm Vancouver 33
sound/tracks: Real-Time Synaesthetic Sonification of Train Journeys

Artist: Peter Knees and Tim Pohle, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

I've been too busy to post anything lately! Returned from Vancouver to see the ACM Multimedia Interactive Art Exhibition (I was a reviewer). I also gave a talk at Electronic Arts. What nice facilities! I was especially impressed when one of their people showed their work simulating sweat and slobber in a new boxing game. VERY LIFELIKE, LOL. It was really great to visit with my friend Michael Mistrot and of course, Junior.