Month: June 2022

Testing the digital media art project

Digital Media Art Project: Testing

On the definition of the digital media art project, the testing of the artefact is the sixth step within the a/r/cographic methodology. As I previously did, I leave a recap for those who are not familiarised with what I am talking about. Inspiration: here and here Trigger Intention Concept: here and here Prototype This entry has the goal of listing the improvements and modifications for IMWYM 2. The list gathers the experience of live testing the artefact I’m Watching You/Me during the congress ARTECH (Olivero & Araújo, 2021). In addition, it also considers what I have researched since then, current research goals, published articles, methodological requirements, etc. IMWYM 1st edition Current requirements and new features Narrative/development Interaction/evolution Experience/fruition Conclusion: IMWYM 2nd edition References Figure 1 – Testing the artefact the night before the exhibition IMWYM 1 I introduced the functioning of IWMYM 1 on my previous entry:  This first version of IMWYM introduced the innovation of allowing live spherical drawing (IN-1, IN-3) and its parallel VR visualisation (OU-1). Through a mobile phone (IN-4), the user interacted with the visual sphere either while I was performing a live drawing session or while an already existing drawing was selected as input. Hence, the artist draws in equirectangular projection using either traditional (IN-1) or digital techniques (IN-2, IN-3) while visitors interact with the camera’s position (IN-4). Both artists and visitors watch the VR results through OU-1. Previously, I explained that IMWYM 1 was more a prototype than a fully developed artefact. Indeed, within this first installation many things resulted rudimentary and clumsy, there was a total lack of artistic concept and narrative, and a certain distance from a wide methodological approach for art-practice-based research due to IMWYM 1’s technical focus. Therefore, I will develop now those issues and problems, which were mainly found during the exhibition. Furthermore, I will give a possible solution for each issue, aiming to implement them on IMWYM 2. Figure 2 – I’m Watching You/Me. 1st edition. Aveiro, Portugal, Congress ARTECH, 2021 Current requirements and new features During the intention stage, I mentioned two versions of the artefact to be considered, where the first one is:  V1 will be the MVP (minimal viable product), thus the functional version for the Retiro 2022. In detail, this version focuses on the subjective reading, i.e., the phenomenological social reading (Lee, 1991, pp. 347–348, Olivero, 2022, p. 8) (…) the artefact has the goal of understanding how visitors relate a visual artwork with a musical expression. Hence, for defining a new version for the digital media art project, I will consider the live testing of the artefact during the congress ARTECH 2021. In such an opportunity, I had the occasion for testing the artefact which helped me to find many issues, such as functional, aesthetic, interaction, concept, etc. Furthermore, since I started with IMWYM in 2021 I have developed plenty of new research, specially for the Digital Media Art Program DMAD. For example, I have explored new topics such as specific methodologies for art-practice based research. Based on that, I narrowed some methodological definitions for the current research (see this article). Finally, I also published two peer-reviewed articles about IMWYM (Olivero & Araújo, 2021, 2022).  Hence, considering: the experience with the live testing of the artefact, methodological definitions, articles’ reviewers notes, articles’ developments, the current state of the art, research goals, visitors’ feedback, I do a list of critical points for improving the first prototype and for focusing its use within the field of digital art.  Since I have already divided the intentions for this project within the sets of narrative/development, interaction/evolution and experience/fruition (see this article), I will focus the issues within the same axes. Figure 3 – Testing and setting up the artefact Narrative / Development issue / problem Missing concept. The 1st edition of IMWYM was fully aimed to show a technical advancement. Indeed, there was neither a clear artistic concept nor a definition of a certain narrative. As seen during the previous entries, the new edition should hardly focus in the artfulness of the hybrid immersive models. Therefore, both concept and narrative are critical improvements this time for integrating IMWYM with the goals of my art-practice-based research. draft solution Critical issue. IMWYM 2 would not have any sense without this definition. Therefore, I have developed [IN]musicality for solving it. The concept allows an exploration of the artefact from an artistic point of view. In detail, it focuses on the visitor’s experience while interacting with a special set of media made by Hybrid Immersive Models. Thus, the artefact has the goal of understanding how visitors relate a visual artwork with a musical expression. Missing narrative. The exhibition of ARTECH 2021 followed the narrative within the curatorship “Contingency”, by M. M. Lopes (Lopes et al., 2021, p. VII). However, the artefact was simply “included” within it, yet neither limited nor oriented towards any kind of specific direction by the narrative of the curatorship. Note, that this lack of narrative was both in relation with the general exhibition, and within the use of the prototype. Meaning with the latter that there was no evolution during the interaction with the artefact. Critical issue. IMWYM 2 will be presented as part of the shared exhibition [IN]tangibilidades digitais. The narrative invites participants to come across matters inherent to working with digital art through the exploration of the tangible / intangible binomial: near / remote; palpable / impalpable; probable / imaginary; in / out. The game of digital intangibilities challenges the “definition of things through their perception” (Borges, 2017), and instead, it proposes to perceive what is not perceived: the intangible. [IN]musicality will be part of the collective exhibition [IN]Tangibilidades Digitais Exhibition sheet (EN) [IN]musicality will be part of the collective exhibition [IN]Tangibilidades Digitais Exhibition sheet (PT) Figure 4 – The narrative of the exhibition [IN]Tangibilidades Digitais has been defined in collaboration with a collective of nine artist Interaction / Evolution issue / problem Not available front-ed interface. This is necessary for a more efficient and simplified operation, for example, for switching or adding inputs. In particular, the requirements for v1 is an interface for: Giving access to drawings and musical inputs. Interacting with the VR drawings while listening to music. Pairing a certain music with a certain drawing. Conducting a survey to determine the socio-phenomenological conditions of the reading. draft solution Critical issue. The interface is the connection…
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Prototype of the Digital Media Art Project

Digital Media Art Project: Prototype

On the definition of my digital media art project, and aiming to complete the a/r/cographic methodology, I will develop the prototype. For those who are not familiarised with what I am doing and talking here, you can follow the recap that follows. A/r/cographic methodology for the definition of a Digital Media Art Project: Inspiration: here and here Trigger Intention Concept: here and here For writing this entry, I switch back in time to October 2021 when I presented the artefact I’m Watching You/Me or IMWYM for short (Olivero & Araújo, 2021). Understanding and documenting this 1st prototype with the current knowledge and methodology, will be the base for the development of a 2nd edition. Hence, I intend to present IMWYM 2 at the Retiro DMAD 2022, as the corolary of this PMAD.  IMWYM 1 Components Functioning Mixing inputs Interaction Innovation Conclusion References Figure 1 – First prototype of the digital media art project IMWYM 1 IMWYM is an artefact for enhancing the use of Hybrid Immersive Models within the field of digital arts. The aim of IMWYM is to stimulate the under-explored form of expression that spherical perspectives represent by facilitating, demonstrating, opening, and extending their use both with general applications and in particular with digital art live presentations. The first version that I present today, focused on the live execution of spherical drawings for an audience. Within this first prototype many things resulted a bit rudimentary, due that some parts were not fully developed for many different reasons. However, this 1st edition also achieved great goals, such as the effective demonstration of one possible way to achieve spherical drawings for an audience in a performative setting with concurrent interactive live feed of the VR visualization. Components The components of IMWYM 1 were: IN-1: a physical drawing (a paper on the wall) IN-2: a digital drawing (either from a drawing pad or a tablet*, or from a drawing software such as Eq A Sketch 360) IN-3: a pre existing equirectangular media (drawing, picture, or video) IN-4: a mobile phone with movement and location sensors IN-5: a high-resolution camera OU-1: a projector OU-2: an external monitor* * These components were not used during ARTECH 2021 due to logistical issues. However, they were both available and functioning, as it can be seen within the video below. Figure 2 – I’m Watching You/Me. 1st edition. Aveiro, Portugal, Congress ARTECH, 2021 Functioning The basic functioning of this first prototype is divided in three parts: The artist (AR-1) chooses one medium between IN-1, 2 or 3 based on a personal preference.  The software captures (through IN-5) and converts the equirectangular media into a classical perspective, which is shown on the screen (OU-1). A visitor interacts with the visual sphere by sending position coordinates from the mobile phone (IN-4). The following video shows the functioning and characteristics of the artefact. Furthermore, it also exposes how to interact with the visual sphere using the phone. Finally, there are some drawing examples both my own and from students. Mixing inputs The inputs are media generated either with traditional (IN-1) or digital techniques (IN-2, IN-3). IMWYM 1 focuses on the use of drawings, although we can also use photos and videos as long as they follow the equirectangular projection (Figure 3, left).  A very important feature that IMWYM 1 introduces is the possibility of mixing inputs. Indeed, through TouchDesigner’s interface we can select up to three parallel inputs. Meaning, I can compose an equirectangular drawing interactively and on-the-fly together with another artist or visitor. Finally, the VR environment results a superposition of the different inputs, and it can be seen through the output screen (OU-1).  Some examples of mixed interactive compositions could be:  360 video (IN-3) + Physical drawing (IN-1) Physical drawing (IN-1) + Digital drawing using Eq A Sketch 360 (IN-2) Equirectangular picture (IN-3) + Digital drawing using a drawing pad (IN-2) + Physical drawing (IN-1) 3 different inputs A handmade physical artwork created on-the-fly An existing media A drawing made with software (Eq A Sketch 360) One of the features of IMWYM is the possibility to mix inputs on-the-fly Figure 3 – Selection of inputs Interaction If the artist chooses IN-1, then camera IN-5 captures the drawing on-the-fly. Thus, the software converts and mixes the inputs, and streams the result in VR modality through OU-1 (Figure 4, left). If the artist chooses IN-2 or IN-3, it has visual feedback both in VR modality through OU-1, and in equirectangular mode through OU-2. OU-2 improves the interaction by separating the interface from the software drawing board of IN-2. A visitor VI-1 interacts with the visual sphere through a mobile phone IN-4. Effectively, this can be done either while I perform a live drawing session or while the artefact shows an already existing drawing (Figure 4, right). IN-4 sends OSC data to the software through compass and gravity sensors. Every new position of the phone updates the camera within the virtual sphere, thus discovering a new part of the drawing.  Finally, OU-1 shows the result in VR modality with a Field of View previously set (e.g., at 60º), i.e., the spherical perspective is converted in a moving linear perspective according to the camera’s position. IMWYM allowed live spherical drawing and a parallel VR visualisation The artist draws in equirectangular format, and another user interacts with the mobile phone Interaction The visitor interacts with the visual sphere sending OSC from the mobile phone to the software Figure 4 – Interaction Innovation For producing this prototype, I considered the state of art for different spherical perspectives (equirectangular, azimuthal equidistant, cubical) and the software available for their practice. Within that state of the art, IMWYM highlights its utility introducing the innovation of allowing live spherical drawing and its parallel VR visualisation, a task for which there were almost no software options in October 2021 (Olivero & Araújo, 2021). I composed IMYWM 1 using the free non-commercial version of TouchDesigner. I choose this node-based programming before entering a pude coding stage. This way, I managed to do a general evaluation of the workflow with the great versatility of TD. The exhibition during ARTECH 2021 allowed me to see the reaction of the public, to gather some very important opinions about the artefact’s usability and perception, and certainly, to detect issues and problems. For example, it was a big challenge to migrate the software at the…
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The Secret of My Eyes © Lufo Art, 2017

The Secret of My Eyes

The Secret of My Eyes is a small painting of 12,9 x 18 centimetres made back in September 2017. I can recall few but important things about the moment in which I drew it. For example, I remember that geographically I was in Italy, more precisely in Salerno… Yet, my mind was somewhere else… Let’s try to figure out where: Nosce Te Ipsum Dolina and Borges The artwork NFT The Secret of My Eyes in progress © Lufo Art, 2017 Nosce Te Ipsum During those years a big influence marked my days: George Gurdjieff. In fact, we talk about years in which I was constantly questioning myself about the sense of being. But… being what? Being nothing, just being.  This might sound a bit of a silly game of words… Nevertheless it is a very simple yet powerful reflection that recalls very ancient teachings from different schools, and the legendary greek γνῶθι σεαυτόν, namely Nosce Te Ipsum in the Latin translation, or know thyself in English. The person who introduced me to those concepts was K., with which I used to meet very often those days… … Ok, yes, we were dating ????, but that is not the point: K. introduced me to G., E., E., and A. With them, I shared beautiful and intense days, learning about me as a human and about the human being as a part of a species.  While meeting with that group, I read the books that P. D. Ouspensky wrote about G. Gurdjieff: first, Fragments of an Unknown Teaching (AKA In Search of the Miraculous), and then The Fourth Way. These books and their teachings totally marked a stage of my life. Furthermore, they are still with me (the books) and within me (the teachings). Nowadays, I can see Gurdjieff’s teachings on The Secret of My Eyes: for example the triangle, as one of the mystic figures that I like the most, then the eye, and finally the person which is… reflected on the eye or captured within? Take a look and you tell me: The Secret of My Eyes in progress © Lufo Art, 2017 Dolina and Borges Other influences while drawing The Secret of My Eyes were Alejandro Dolina and Jorge Luís Borges.  Dolina has been a great companion not just for this painting, but also for my travels, for my sleepless nights, and in general for my life. Indeed, the flow, thoughts and reflections of his podcast La Venganza Será Terrible are there: the pleasure of the lecture (you might want to listen to this amazing chapter about it), the reference to Ramón Raquello and his Orchestra, etc. Jorge Luís Borges is also there. Indeed, we can read: I offer you the loyalty of a man who has never been loyal… which is a reference to one of his English poems. Also, there is a mention to Rafael Cansinos, who has been of great influence to Borges himself. Indeed, much probably I knew about Cansinos while listening either to Borges or to Dolina. Both Dolina and Borges were very present within those years of my life. Effectively, I used to listen to them almost every day: on the train while going to work, with my headphones during a walk coming back home, or when I was painting… View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lufo Art ( The Secret of My Eyes The artwork explores music, literature, surrealism, space, time… Indeed, there are the influences mentioned above but also a mention to The War of the Worlds of H.G. Welles, which I might have been listening to during one of the drawing sessions. Furthermore, the many circles, dots, lines, and colours connecting one thing with another, are also a symbolism of how those concepts where connecting the ideas and feelings that I had in my mind. Finally, at the centre of everything there is the self, the person… This tells and reminds us that humans cannot see themselves using their own eyes… So… here it is, there you have…. The Secret of My Eyes: The Secret of My Eyes © Lufo Art, 2017 NFT Last but not least, a little surprise: The Secret of My Eyes is the second item on Lufo Art NFT’s gallery. Right as Instant, this artwork aims to help the project Proof of Humanity following a scaled scheme of burning. Yet, The Secret of My Eyes has a surprise: it comes with an unlockable content… oh dear, but now… the anxiety! What could it possible be?! What do you think about The Secret of My Eyes? I read your comments! ???? Have the best day of your life! Tschüss Dr. Luquitas

Musicality of Drawing

Digital Media Art Project: The Musicality of Drawing

The concept “Musicality of Drawing” explores how to express music using hybrid immersive drawings, and how visitors perceive the musicality of a spherical perspective. A/r/cographic recap: within the previous entries, I completed the following steps of the a/r/cographic methodology: Inspiration, in this and this article Trigger Intention The next definition is concept, for which I developed a first part here. Hence, the aim of this entry is to complete such a development: Background Methodological definitions Previous artistic experiences Musicality Here and now The Musicality of Drawing Conclusion References Musicality of Drawing – Drawing at the Godot Art Bistrot during the concert of Mary Ocher © Lufo Art, 2017 Background Firstly, and according to the previous entry, the definition of the concept should consider, first, methodological definitions, and second, previous artistic experiences. Therefore, let’s try to develop a bit further these two points, so to understand their connection with the concept. Methodological definitions Within the module MIPA (Metodologia de Investigação e Produção Artística) of the DMAD PhD program, I developed a short article. I called that article “Definiciones metodológicas para una investigación basada en la práctica artística con Modelos Híbridos Inmersivos” (in English: “Methodological definitions for practice-based research with Immersive Hybrid Models”). You can peek the essay right below this paragraph or download it here. In that article, I explained a couple of useful things that structure the methodological approach. For example, I talked about the connection of the current digital media art project with a previous ongoing research. In that regard, the previous research developed the so-called “Hybrid Immersive Models” (HIM) and their application using the cubical perspective (Olivero, 2021). Furthermore, I also considered the advantages and disadvantages of following the already known approaches for social and natural sciences, i.e., the positivist and the interpretative approaches. Also, I summarised how these more classical approaches do not fully fit for an art-practice based research.  Indeed, the art-practice based research field has developed in the last years its own methodologies (Sullivan, 2005). Within them, Patricia Leavy (2020) structured some criteria for understanding if an approach is valid or not, from which I rescued strategic points to consider, such as Question-method Fit, Translation, Holistic Approach, Data Analysis, Usefulness, Audience Response, Artfulness and Multiple Meanings. Previous artistic experiences On the other hand, this second part is connected with the real situations that I have dealt with as an artist. Indeed, as explained within this entry I gathered experiences and important reference points while creating handmade VR drawings in equirectangular format and listening to live music. Therefore, the concept should consider these aspects from a more focused point of view: when I had those experiences I was not really aware about what I was doing. So, I would like to explore them specifically now: how do I see music? What is the effect of music on my graphical output? Do I have a sound/graphic alphabet? How does a HIM collaborate on expressing that connection? Musicality According to Düchting (2013), one of the strongest elements stimulating Kandinsky’s artistic sensibility was music. For example, he had a strong visual experience during the representation of the opera “Lohengrin” of Wagner: “I felt that I had all my colours in front of me. Disorderly and almost absurd lines were forming in front of me” (p.10). Thanks to his synaesthetic ability, Kandinsky perceived the power of music and at the same time sensed the forces of painting, which had yet to be discovered. The relationship between colours and sounds, which for him was not only supposed but actually existed, captivated him to such an extent that this secret correspondence of the arts became one of the pillars of his artistic convictions, even the starting point of his painting (Düchting, 2013, p.10).  Now, when I look back to my own experience in 2017, I notice that the visual expression on my drawings is not connected in the same way with “what was happening” while I drew them.  CamposGodot (left) Lo Schifo Moop (right) © Lufo Art 2017