Project 4 (Time and place) – Exercise 4

Cutting edge

Explore websites and other forms of new media and identify examples of cutting edge or inventive forms of visual communication.

I went back to my exercise of Identifying visual communications in order to recall the different types of visual communications, which are persuasion, information, identity design, authorial content, interactive design and alternative messages. I will be noting whether each of my examples below conform to one or more of these types of messages.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.16.50 AM, Sculpture, Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Commissioned by the University of Bristol and produced by Situations, website by Hello Monday.
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.17.10 AM, By piece, Katie Paterson and Zeller & Moye, Commissioned by the University of Bristol and produced by Situations, website by Hello Monday.

Katie Paterson is one of the artists I researched early in the first part of the course. One of her pieces has stayed with me. Hollow is made up of more than 10,000 samples of trees from all around the world; they combine to create a sculptural forest of sorts. The piece also exists in a website, which gives users the option of exploring a virtual model of the real sculpture or by browsing the samples organised either by name, family, or location. It’s both innovative and interactive, as well as fun and informative.

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.08.40 AM, Rafaël Rozendaal
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.09.18 AM, Rafaël Rozendaal
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 10.11.21 AM, Rafaël Rozendaal

Rafaël Rozendaal makes websites that are simply visual pieces; they are colourful, interactive, abstract, animated, slightly psychedelic, funny, and often purposeless websites. What I really like about these websites is, in fact, their lack of functionality and their simple focus on aesthetics and interactivity with the user. I think his work is an apt example of post-internet art and authorial content. 

Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 11.17.22 AM, developed by Fluuuid, sponsored by Nexus Interactive Arts
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 11.26.52 AM
Blobs, André Venâncio
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 11.17.01 AM
Firewater, Felix Woitzel
Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 11.24.44 AM
Icosahedron Snake, Thomas Hooper is a community-based website where anyone can share virtual doodles made with code. They are animated, simple and interactive, often relying on some sort of user response to begin, move or change. I think they can be described as authorial content, seeing as each artist decides the way their work will look like and how the user will interact with it.

Star Wars – 360° Virtual Reality, A PipocaVFX Production,
Directed, 3D Animation, Compositing and Editing by Filipe Costa

In 360˚ videos, every direction is recorded at the same time, thus producing a continuous 360-degree view of each scene. Viewers can interact by clicking and dragging the panorama around while the video plays.

The Void is a combination of virtual reality and physical arenas. It enables users to feel real-world elements and move around real spaces that are enhanced and transformed by virtual reality. I think this technology is growing very quickly, becoming more and more realistic and creating incredibly immersive experiences in which the user controls both the story and the timeline.

Pokémon Go / The New Yorker

Augmented reality adds computer-generated images, sound and/or video to the real world, thus enhancing or augmenting reality. One example is Pokémon Go, a location-based augmented reality game released in 2016. The game consists of walking around with smartphone in hand and catching Pokémon that “appear” in the world around you. What is so innovative about this game is that it encourages users to walk around and explore different locations while having fun. Interesting to note that it makes use of real time and place.


I notice that, without really planning for it, all of the examples I have chosen rely on user interactivity; some are really simple, like clicking or typing, while others are much more complex (e.g. VR). I can come to the conclusion, then, that I see interactivity as one of the utmost examples of innovation and cutting edge technology/design in the context of visual communications.

I remember from a past exercise how installation art changed in the 1990s and began deriving meaning from people’s active participation with the work. This is something I find very intriguing and I had the chance of recently experiencing it first-hand by attending Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors in the Hirshhorn Museum. Only 2-3 people could enter a room at the same time and for only 20 seconds. Each room had different elements (pumpkins, lights, polka-dots) and their walls and roofs were completely covered with mirrors, thus giving an illusion of infinity. It was an incredibly immersive experience in which I became very fond of what interactive art can do.


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