Media Arts and Technology

Graduate Program

University of California Santa Barbara

Events

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Abstract:

During the past few years, artists have been interpreting and transforming celebrated paintings into virtual reality experiences. This ‘virtualization’ process creates 3D scenes from 2D paintings, animates static graphics, and provides the audience with immersive 360-degree experiences. However, most of the transformed VR experiences are based on a direct translation approach, and thus lack original perspective, spatial narrative, and interaction mechanisms to engage and provoke the audience. Moreover, from a broader perspective, the current visual language of virtual reality is somewhat limited compared to diversified painting languages. The visual style of most VR projects tends to be either realistic or based on simple geometric shapes.

This project, "Reincarnation," takes abstract surrealism as its reference to explore an alternative virtual reality art experience. The project builds upon a series of Yves Tanguy's paintings to create an illusory and surreal experience, to seek and argue the animism in various matters, and to challenge the anthropocentric view of the world.

The project develops along three levels. The first is a study of Tanguy's fascinating creation of non-representational biomorphic objects and the surreal atmosphere his worlds convey. The method employed begins with analyzing the qualities of his worlds through comparing with traditional paintings and other surrealist artworks. The method also includes creating objects that are intended to "paraphrase" components from his paintings but with a third-dimensional imagination and biotic motion added to them. The second is an examination of how to recreate such experiences inside virtual reality. The process utilizes shape morphing, visual occlusion, multi-world scale, and interactive scene switching to unfold a narrative and to create an irrational virtual environment. The third is my own artistic and expressive investigation of the animism in non-realistic objects and the interdependent worldview. There are objects, created freely from my mind, that likewise have a biotic motion and mingle with the scene. Also, an interactive role-switch mechanism is developed to engage the audience from different perspectives.

The making process of this project references surrealist artistic techniques, such as collage and the chain game, to generate more imagery drawn from the unconscious. While "Reincarnation" is a juxtaposition of different elements from my understanding of Tanguy's paintings and my own unconscious, the methodology of this project could be further applied to future VR works in the area of surrealism.

Abstract

Siren is a software environment for exploring rhythm and time through the lenses of algorithmic composition and live-coding. It leverages the virtually unlimited creative potential of the algorithms by treating code snippets as the building blocks for audiovisual playback and synthesis. Employing the textual paradigm of programming as the software primitive allows the execution of patterns that would be either impossible or too laborious to create manually.

The system is designed to operate in a general-purpose manner by allowing multiple compilers to operate at the same time. Currently, it accommodates SuperCollider and TidalCycles as its primary programming languages due to their stable real-time audio generation and event dispatching capabilities.

Harnessing the complexity of the textual representation (i.e. code) might be cognitively challenging in an interactive real-time application. Siren tackles this by adopting a hybrid approach between the textual and visual paradigms. Its front-end interface is armed with various structural and visual components to organize, control and monitor the textual building blocks: Its multi-channel tracker acts as a temporal canvas for organizing scenes, on which the code snippets could be parameterized and executed. It is built on a hierarchical structure that eases the control of complex phrases by propagating small modifications to lower levels with minimal effort for dramatic changes in the audiovisual output. It provides multiple tools for monitoring the current audio playback such as a piano-roll inspired visualization and history components.

Description:

This iteration of the MAT Artificial Intelligence Working Group starts from a basic hypothesis, put forward by Philip Agre in the late 1990s: "AI is philosophy underneath". Given the rapid development of the field since 2012, does this hypothesis hold?

For more information go to:  zentralwerkstatt.org/page_teaching.html.

News

Siren is a software environment for exploring rhythm and time through the lenses of algorithmic composition and live-coding. It leverages the virtually unlimited creative potential of the algorithms by treating code snippets as the building blocks for audiovisual playback and synthesis. Employing the textual paradigm of programming as the software primitive allows the execution of patterns that would be either impossible or too laborious to create manually.

The system is designed to operate in a general-purpose manner by allowing multiple compilers to operate at the same time. Currently, it accommodates SuperCollider and TidalCycles as its primary programming languages due to their stable real-time audio generation and event dispatching capabilities.

Harnessing the complexity of the textual representation (i.e. code) might be cognitively challenging in an interactive real-time application. Siren tackles this by adopting a hybrid approach between the textual and visual paradigms. Its front-end interface is armed with various structural and visual components to organize, control and monitor the textual building blocks: Its multi-channel tracker acts as a temporal canvas for organizing scenes, on which the code snippets could be parameterized and executed. It is built on a hierarchical structure that eases the control of complex phrases by propagating small modifications to lower levels with minimal effort for dramatic changes in the audiovisual output. It provides multiple tools for monitoring the current audio playback such as a piano-roll inspired visualization and history components.

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www.nime2018.org

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With "HIVE" we intend to explore the idea of a sonic intelligence: learning, experiencing, reacting, and finally, “thinking” in sound. Can we model such a system? A system with a body whose morphology is based on picking up and sending sound signals, a system who can learn from its environment and evolve in its response, a pseudo ‘being’ that traces our sonic foot-print and projects our sonic reflection.

Created by fusing aspects of sculptural form, spatial sound, and interactive methods, "HIVE" explores the relationship between sound, space, body, and communication. "HIVE" was produced in 2016 by Sölen Kiratli and Akshay Cadambi and debuted in Santa Barbara Center for Art, Science, and Technology (SBCAST) in December of 2016. It was exhibited at ACM SIGGRAPH Asia 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand, November 28 through 31. More info at solenk.net/HIVE.php

currentsnewmedia.org/work/hive

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Brief Description

We show how to make Laplacian Eigenfunctions for fluid simulation faster, more memory efficient, and more general. We surpass the scalability of the original algorithm by two orders of magnitude.

Project web page:  cvc.ucsb.edu/graphics/Papers/SIGGRAPH2018_EigenFluid.

End of Year Show

About MAT

Media Arts and Technology (MAT) at UCSB is a transdisciplinary graduate program that fuses emergent media, computer science, engineering, electronic music and digital art research, practice, production, and theory. Created by faculty in both the College of Engineering and the College of Letters and Science, MAT offers an unparalleled opportunity for working at the frontiers of art, science, and technology, where new art forms are born and new expressive media are invented.

In MAT, we seek to define and to create the future of media art and media technology. Our research explores the limits of what is possible in technologically sophisticated art and media, both from an artistic and an engineering viewpoint. Combining art, science, engineering, and theory, MAT graduate studies provide students with a combination of critical and technical tools that prepare them for leadership roles in artistic, engineering, production/direction, educational, and research contexts.

The program offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Media Arts and Technology. MAT students may focus on an area of emphasis (multimedia engineering, electronic music and sound design, or visual and spatial arts), but all students should strive to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and work with other students and faculty in collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects and courses.