新互动技术填平艺术作品的“数字鸿沟”

【新互动技术填平艺术作品的“数字鸿沟”】艺术作品的“数字鸿沟”:就像作家拥护数字平台,音乐家用户数字音乐,摄像师拥护数字相片,艺术仅仅是以新媒体的新技术为基础的旧内容呈现。无论艺术的形式是什么(绘画的、网页版的或印刷的),或用什么制作的(手工的、机器生产的、个人或团队作品),新兴的艺术形式不仅需要激发观赏者的共鸣,还需要激发他们提问。而只有具有独特的原创作品和深层内涵的艺术作品才能激发观众提问。新计算机技术如何填平这种鸿沟:邀请观众以互动的方式参与到艺术作品的创作中来。本周世界经济论坛中将展示的“Pascal之树”就是一个新的尝试:传统绘画+(个人大脑-计算机界面+智能眼镜)EEG脑波记录仪+根据脑波记录生长的树。

How Art Can Bridge the Digital ‘Divide’

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Consisting of paintings, brainwave recordings fed into smart glass, and a live tree in a box, this art installation is an attempt to bridge the digital art divide -- inviting new ways to "think, see, and filter affect." The piece is called “The Tree of Pascal” by Drue Kataoka and will be exhibited as part of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

The brainwaves featured in the installation were captured from different regions of the brain through this personal electroencephalography (EEG) brain-computer interface. The EPOC headset features 14 electrodes and is made by San Francisco-based startup Emotiv, which collaborated on this project through its CEO Tan Le and also made the headset open source for developers and researchers. The company developed custom software to process the brainwave data and feed those "insights" into the art installation through their API. Image: Emotiv

Brainwaves were collected from over 40 people (to date) on virtually every continent: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North and South America. The participating "brains" -- representing technology, academia, social service, and business -- were asked to visualize an activity important to them while wearing the headset. Their recorded brainwaves were then incorporated into the art.

Inside the art installation -- encased behind a glass panel -- is a small, living tree. But the panel isn't made of ordinary glass; it's made of Smart glass. The glass changes from transparent to opaque depending on the voltage applied to it, which is correlated to the intensity of thought and emotion from both recorded brainwaves ... and live ones. So the artwork isn't static: It collaborates with viewers real-time, changing and adapting (like neuro-plasticity in the brain) with new experiences. The more light that comes through, the more light will reach the tree -- enabling the tree to thrive.

Outside the art installation -- on the top and both sides of the triangular box -- are three "Sumi-e" ink paintings ("The End of the Sky," "Conceiving the Sky," and "Top of the Sky"). Sumi-e is an ancient technique originally practiced by monks and Samurai in Japan. One of the country's most famous swordsmen, Miyamoto Musashi, was also one of the greatest Sumi-e artists in history; control of hand is essential in both.

In the Sumi-e technique, the process of grinding and preparing the ink before it is applied by brush on paper is very intense, laborious, and contemplative. The artist was looking at and meditating on Hubble telescope photos while doing these paintings, which aim to capture and bridge the worlds inside and outside of us.

View without the smart glass (this tree is an artificial placeholder since the live one will be sourced from Switzerland due to EU agricultural restrictions). Inside the box are mirror fragments, broken and arranged by the artist as part of a "magic box" technique she developed for creating negative space and reflecting, distorting, and blending worlds. The inspiration for the tree -- and title of the entire art installation -- came from the following quote by French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal:
"Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavour, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality."

Like writers embracing digital platforms, musicians embracing digital music, or photographers embracing digital photography, art based on new media often just did – still does – old things in new ways.


Art critic Claire Bishop also made this observation on the “digital divide” in art, further noting that:


While many artists use digital technology, how many really confront the question of what it means to think, see, and filter affect through the digital? How many thematize this, or reflect deeply on how we experience, and are altered by, the digitization of our existence?


Let me focus on one word here for a moment: affect. Because regardless of what form it’s in (paint, web, print) or how it’s made (hand, manufactured, individual or team-produced), new art  – in any medium – has to resonate at a deeper level than simply provoking the viewer to think “Oh this is weird!” or “Oh cool!” or “Oh how pretty!”


A lot of new media art evokes one or more of these exclamations … but it doesn’t also make the viewer ask questions. And as John Maeda has argued previously here, that’s just what art should do.






Drue Kataoka
Drue Kataoka is an artist and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Her work was featured in the first zero-gravity art exhibit at the International Space Station, and in a solo exhibition at Davos in 2012.  Kataoka’s portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. is in the permanent collection of Stanford University’s MLK Research & Education Institute, which also awarded her for extensive community service.






The only way art can ask questions is if it has both originality and meaning. That meaning doesn’t have to be embedded in or derived solely from what you can see (paintings or words on a screen), hear (music or podcasts), and touch (textiles or sculptures) – it can also be in the form of “negative space” that strategically leaves “visual silence” in the artwork.


The concept of negative space is central to the millennia-old Japanese brush painting technique known as “Sumi-e”, which I was trained in as a child of two worlds: born in Tokyo to a Japanese father and an American mother, growing up as an artist in Silicon Valley surrounded by technology and technologists. It’s this space between worlds, the visual silence, I’d argue, that invites the viewer to fill in the blanks and ask questions — essentially becoming a collaborator with the artist. This blending of worlds mimics how other media has been evolving as well, especially when you think about how much content is created today. Whether the omission is purposeful or because the media now welcomes (almost requires) interactivity, meaning is created.


Building on these themes of bridging worlds, my above art installation (“The Tree of Pascal”) consists of traditional paintings, EEG brainwaves recorded with a personal brain-computer interface, smart glass, and a live tree — to be exhibited and presented in Davos this week as part of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum.


Yet … are brainwaves a legitimate art medium? Yes, when incorporated meaningfully. I believe such artworks can help bridge Bishop’s “digital divide” since art is, at the end of the day, visual code that gets transcribed inside our minds (like brainwaves) into thoughts and emotions. It may actually help us “reflect deeply on how we experience, and are altered by, the digitization of our existence.”


But perhaps most importantly, this artwork invites the viewer to “think, see, and filter” affect. It’s the result of my experiment to offer commentary from the space between worlds — not just between digital and analog, but between race and identity, platform and meaning, and technology and art.

文章作者:DRUE KATAOKA
文章来源:
http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/01/on-the-art-of-digital/?pid=91&viewall=true 

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