Month: March 2017

Realms

I have started to create small environments in Unity. Unrealities. I have started to assemble various assets, floors, walls, objects etc to use.

These melancholic realms have been a good way to learn about Unity’s planes and terrains, materials and textures etc.

Note to Self:

  • Create prefabs and collidors.
  • Decide on the final aesthetic, as at the moment its a combination of low poly objects and apocalyptic medieval imagery.
  • Wasn’t so aware medieval imagery seems to be everywhere at the moment, so a rethink on that.

Myth Picture

Towards the end of 2016 Adam Curtis’s documentary Hypernormalisation caused a bit of a stir, Curtis argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex ‘real world’ and built a simple ‘fake world’ that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

A few days ago an interesting interview emerged where Curtis discuses art, power, self-expression, individualism, freedom and myth. Read it in full here.

Art

“We may look back at self-expression as the terrible deadening conformity of our time.” – Adam Curtis [1]

Individualism

“Capitalism is about self-expression; art is about self-expression. Art is far from being a radical outside movement.” – Adam Curtis [2]

Power

“But the computers know the truth. They see us as a group. We’re actually quite similar to each other. We have the same desires, ambitions, and fears. Computers spot this through correlations and patterns….Computers can see us as large groups, but they’re glum and only aggregate us to sell us stuff. In reality, the computers give great insight into the power of common identity between groups. No one’s using that. What’s sitting with the computers is a way of seeing new groups, new common identities between people.” – Adam Curtis [3]

Freedom

“The contemporary idea of freedom is very much an individualist one. I, as an individual, want to be free to do what I want to do.” – Adam Curtis [4]

Myth

“I sometimes wonder whether conspiracy theories are an attempt to re-enchant the world in a distorted way…It’s like religion knocking on the door and trying to come back in a strange and distorted form. A sense of mystery beyond our own understanding of the world. If you ever talk to conspiracy theorists, that’s the sense you get from them. A sort of almost romantic sense of awe that there is this dark mysterious thing that a rational thing could never penetrate. That’s sort of religious.” – Adam Curtis [5]

“A myth that tries to explain the things you don’t understand and gives you a sense of consolation beyond your own existence. I think that’s really good. We’re missing that.” – Adam Curtis [6]

Melodrama

“The hyperindividualism of our age is not going to be going back into the bottle. You’ve got to square the circle. You’ve got to let people still feel they’re independent individuals, yet they are giving themselves up to something that is awesome, greater, and more powerful that carries them into the future beyond their own existence. That’s what people are yearning for.” – Adam Curtis [7]

Note to Self:

  • The points this and his previous films like ‘Century of the Self’ raises really made me dwell on certain topics…‘there has been this idea that the function of art is to change the world, and it will do so by changing the way people think and see. Whereas , if you look at the history of art, really brilliant art steps back and shows to you clearly what really is going on in the world you live in, in a vivid, imaginative way.’
  • ‘… artists have retreated over the last 10 to 15 years into either obscure creative bubbles or into money…none of it will actually go out and engage with the world, it’s a retreat.’
  • The current system of power is pretty invisible to us. It resides in finance, in all sorts of new kinds of management, and within computers and the media, which involves invisible algorithms that shape and manage what information we get.
  • The function of art is to go out and explain the world to people, and do it in ways that make it vivid and imaginative.
  • What’s waiting to be invented is a new kind of imaginative language that describes the world of power, which is invisible to us.

Londinium

We visited a few South London galleries on a kind of hidden tour at the Low Residency. Heres a random selection below.

Finnish duo IC-98 large vertical video piece on The Anthropocene.

Old skool YBA material with Gavin Turk at Newport St.

From the maker collective at the Tate Modern, couldn’t see much as had to jump on a plane but liked this Danish girls VR environments, she had built her terrain using imported forest imagery and there was a glitchy element to it I liked.

Holo-Tilt

Tilt Brush

I got an opportunity to try out the ‘Tilt Brush’, a room scale VR 3D drawing app. We had a HTC Vive set up and got to basically paint life size 3D brush strokes. Two hand-held controllers are used to manipulate the palettes and brush.

Two base stations are positioned on either side of the designated ‘paint area’. It was fairly amazing to be immersed in the environment and paint in real time, and be able to record, import other 3D objects and walk through what you had just made.

HoloLens

Microsoft’s Hololens is is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. You get to experience Mixed Reality by wearing the Hololens headset. Whilst wearing the lens the holograms are superimposed into what environment you are in and controlled by subtle hand gestures.

Note to Self:

  • The Tilt-Brush was great, the only thing being is that the aesthetic it creates is very obviously ‘created by a Tilt Brush‘! If one can get away from this, it is an amazing tool.
  • I was a bit disappointed by the Hololens, I found the hand gestures a bit clunky. I’m sure version 2.0 will be better.

Parametricism

In a documentary about recently deceased architect Zaha Hadid the term parametric design in architecture was mentioned.

“There is a global convergence in recent avant-garde architecture that justifies its designation as a new style: parametricism” – Patrik Schumacher [1]

“Building on techniques developed for digital animation and for computational design in architecture, parametricism, he said, “succeeds Modernism as the next long wave of systematic innovation.” – Patrik Schumacher [2]

Advanced 3D modelling software is used to let the software ‘find’ the forms in the design.