TXTTONE is my final project for Live Web. It’s a web browser and SMS-based collaborative musical instrument that is meant to be performed in a room full of people with laptops and cellphones. I wanted to create an interactive and collaborative musical experienced based on the ubiquitous technologies that we normally have with us at all times. I was also interested in the play between the synchronous and asynchronous and explore the phase effects that result from TXTTONE being played on multiple computers simultaneously. TXTTONE is programmed in AJAX/PHP, with SMS support by TextMarks. I did the sound design in Logic Pro; I was going for “wind chimes meets dial tone.”
Last week in Live Web, we learned about using Shared Objects in Flash and Canvas in JS/HTML. For my homework, I used the ODI and AMO characters I created last year and reimagined in a Shared Object Flash chat. Check it out here. Click on the text field and type new captions for ODI or AMO to say. The Shared Object should sync up with other people viewing the page to reflect the changes.
It kind of works and kind of doesn’t work. Part of it is my buggy code. Part of it is because AMO doesn’t actually have a mouth.
Continued from Part 2: Monkeys Watching Monkeys
Monkeys often evokes a strong emotional response among people. Monkeys as symbols are also charged with social and political meaning. We often anthropomorphize monkeys and project our own human anxieties onto them. Monkeys drive us bananas. They are Curious George one minute and the next minute they are giving you Ebola or AIDS or ripping off your face. Horror lies just under the surface of cute.
I worked this week with Kristin Loeb on Monkeys Watching Monkeys, a streaming web video installation that deals with the mediated gaze, reflections and narcissism as they relate to how people look at monkeys, and how we think monkeys look at people and how monkeys look at each other.
We started with the Conference.as code that Shawn gave us in class, but we came across some mysterious problems. For some reason the compiled SWFs only worked part of the time on Kristin’s computer and never actually worked on mine. (Does Snow Leopard hate Monkeys or what?) So we moved on to some off-the-shelf solutions, trying first iChat, then Skype, and finally USTREAM.tv to create a series of simian scenarios. The goal was to position webcams and screens in a way to create an “infinity effect” of primate viewing pleasure.
Finally, we created the be beginnings of the Monkey Show, a webpage featuring two USTREAM channels and a Twitter widget that displays the latest tweets with the work “monkey” in them. We hope to trick this page out with more live monkey media in the near future.
Bandwidth is an issue
There are mysterious bugs in the system
Even off-the-shelf solutions have their limitations
This installation would probably work better and be more aesthetically pleasing with just cameras and monitors (with the laptops hidden)
The installation would probably have worked better with analog video
Lighting and camera placement are tricky
If only our monkey talent were this well trained:
Continued from my previous post: Live Web Midterm Idea
This week I have continued to develop my idea for my Live Web midterm. My project is called Monkey Watching Monkey Watching Monkey… It combines live streaming video with elements of Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha and The Infinite Cat Project. I want to play with the idea of the mediated gaze, reflections and narcissism. I have also been reviewing some of the concepts we dealt with in my Animals and People class last spring. I’ve previously said that I like looking at animals through webcams and in zoos. But what do animals see when they look at us? What do they see when they see themselves reflected in a mirror or on a video screen? I want to create an infinite loop (or more like spiral) of live internet video of monkeys watching monkeys watching monkeys, ad infinitum. It would be awesome to try this with real monkeys, but in the meantime, I’ll demonstrate proof of concept with virtual monkeys. Starting off from the Infinite Cat idea, but with monkeys:
Lemur photo by Sandrine Vuillermoz, published in National Geographic.
Imagine the above scenario with live video, multiple computers, and streaming online. What if I replaced the lemur photo with the last photo with me in it. Would that create an infinite loop of monkeys looking at monkeys?
I want to do something involving live streaming video that combines elements of Nam June Paik’s TV Buddha and The Infinite Cat Project. I want to play with the idea of the mediated gaze, reflections and narcissism. I also want to work with animals, whether real or fake. Still trying to flesh out this idea…stay tuned.