Final project - Watching TV all the time
30 second street music
Superstar Smackdown - Nam June Paik

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Brenda Laurel, “Design Improvisation” from Design Research

We see that context creates some common performative (and experiential) threads.

The observation leads to notice how a person interacts with a situated context and to design objects and experiences that enable people to perform themselves somewhat differently in those same situations-with greater pleasure, ease or agency.

The well-known James-Lange Theory of Emotion would predict that if we can mimic a person’s physical postures, facial expressions and expressive gestures, we can invoke physiological reactions in our own bodies that map to the subject’s emotional states.

The idea of “informance” is an understanding of performance ethnography as a tool for design research.

In performance ethnography, the “lines” form what the subject actually said during the event being studied.

The final improvisation allows the designer to explore the design solution in all sensory and cognitive modalities.

While the actor uses empathy to perform dramatic characters in scripted situations, the designer uses empathy to perform design solutions that are drawn from deep identification with real, individual people in specific situated contexts in the real world.

More to the point is the sort of flattening that comes from being reduced to a role that does not admit of such natural characteristics as curiosity, the desire for freedom or the ability to exercise creativity and self-expression.

Don & Petrick “User Requirements” from Design Research, pgs 70-80

Market research focuses on general trends and patterns rather than the goals and needs research focuses on general trends and patterns rather than the goals and needs of specific users.

However, Market research does not do as well at providing designer with focused insights into the specific behaviors of users within these market segments.

In identify Market Segments, each axis represents the most relevant variables from the market research. The x’s represent the segment with behavioral characteristics distinct enough to warrant the creation of personas.

Before embarking on independent design research, absorbed everything you can regarding the target market, the customers and the competition.

About usability testing, often, the team that worked on a product can no longer be objective about what’s working. This type of test can provide a fresh set of non-biased eyes.

Stakeholder Interviews with key executive and subject matter experts are often a quick way to understand the product’s strategic direction.

In user interviews, you are trying to elicit their goals and needs by focusing on how they perform their current tasks independent of the specific product being developed.

Personas are archetypal users with specific goals and needs based on real market and design research.

The personas provide a common understanding of whom the product is being designed for.

Cooper recommends that designers limit their personas to one to three primary personas and perhaps two to three secondary personas.

A sure-fire way to defeat the success of personas is to define the goals and needs in terms of functionality that already exists.

If you do not do this before the design phase, you will hit repeated roadblocks that require you to try to create this crucial understanding of the customer “on the fly.”

The final deliverable often includes a persona “menu” which is a one-page document containing a summary view of all the personas.

For prioritizing persona needs, create the Persona Needs Chart and identify which personas share each need. And then, sort the list so that the needs shared by the most personas are shown at the top.

Place the outline number of each feature and function in the appropriate row to map it to the user need or needs that it meets. This helps the cross-functional team to understand the relationship between marketing goals, business needs and user needs.
You have integrated data from all point in the organization and from all relevant user perspectives.

Peter Van Dijck, “Audience Research” from Information Architecture for Designers

Asking good questions is just as important as coming up with answers: answers: answers close the mind, questions open it.

First, find out what business goals this new functionality is trying to support and talk to users and find our if the new functionality addresses a real user goal.

The first thing is to uncover the truth behind the question. Work on the question befor you start working on the answer.

Information architecture user research is meant to make sure the website actually works well and is easy to use, and deals the website actually works well and is way to use, and deals the website actually works well and is easy to use, and deals with goals and tasks.

Interviews are a great way to find out what your audience’s goals, priorities, and problems are. The most useful type of interviews for audience research is the one-on-one interview: you sepnd an hour or so talking in-depth with one person, and repeat this with other interviewees until you have enough information.

After the first few interviews, review them to find patterns, then focus on those in subsequent interviews. After the first round of observation, review your notes and look for patterns that will influence design.

To do card sorting, identify quotes, concepts, and ideas that you have encountered in your research, and write them down on small card or sticky notes. Sticky notes, by the way, are the information architect’s best friend.

The three search methods are ways of collecting information.

Audience analysis

A typical audience analysis presents a few types of audiences, specific information about them, and their tasks and goals.


Personas are descriptions of archetypical examples of your target audiences.

When introducing personas to a technical team, it may help to compare them to “use cease.”

Personas are a way to increase the return on investment of your user research, by providing an easy way for everyone in the team to use the results. Personas can often be reused in future stage, so creating them is an investment that keeps paying off after the first project


Monday, February 14, 2005

Billy Kluver “EAT” from New Media Reader

From “ the Garden Party”
To creates a direct connection between the creative act of the artist and the receptive act of the audience, between the construction and the destruction
“be static with movement.”

The Pavilion
The artist is a positive force in perceiving how technology can be translated to new environments to serve needs and provide variety and enrichments of life.
One of EAT’s objectives was to demonstrate physically the variety and multiplicity of experiences that the new technology can provide for the individual.
The Pavilion became theatre conceived of as a total instrument, using every available technology in which the accumulated experience of all the programmers expanded and enriched the possibilities of the space.
In this project the artist was considered a resource in an actual physical situation with a functional end.
Underlying this whole complex of values and practices there is the assumption of consistency and integrity of authorship.
“Our dilemma is whether the artists have created a work of fine art or a work of commercial art to which there are rights which must be guaranteed.”

Augusto Baol, “Theatre of the Oppressed” from New Media Reader

It is important not to lose sight of how much his interactive techniques emphasize embodiment. Could cyberspaces in which users have simulated bodies have any of the qualities of engagement that characterize their embodied counterparts?

First Degree: Simultaneous Dramaturgy
Then the actors stop the performance and ask the audience to offer solutions.
While the audience “writes” the work the actors perform it simultaneously.
This form of theater starts to demolish the wall that separates actors from spectators.
Second Degree: Image Theater
The participant is asked to express his opinion using only the bodies of the other participants and “sculpting” with them a group of statues.
It is so easy to practice and because of its extraordinary capacity for making thought visible.
Third Degree: Forum Theater
It is not the place of the theater to show the correct path, but only to offer the means by which all possible paths may be examined.
We are used to plays in which the characters make the revolution on stage and the spectators in their sears feel themselves to be triumphant revolutionaries. Forum theater, as well as these other forms of a people’s theater evoke in him a desire to practice in reality the act he has rehearsed in the theater.
Fourth Stage: The Theater as Discourse
The bourgeoisie presents the spectacle. On the other hand, the proletariat and the oppressed classes do not know yet what their world will be like; consequently their theater will be the rehearsal, not the finished spectacle.
1) Newspaper Theater
It consists of several simple techniques for transforming daily news items, or any other non-dramatic material, into theatrical performances.
2) Invisible Theater
The invisible theater calls for the detailed preparation of a skit with a complete text or a simple script.
In the insisible theater the theatrical rituals are abolished; only the theater exists, without its old, worn-out patterns. The theatrical energy is completely liberated, and the impact produced by this free theater is much more powerful and longer lasting.
3) Photo-Romance
When at the end of the performance, the participants are told the origin of the plot they have just acted out, they experience a shock.
They will no longer assume a passive, expectant attitude, but instead a critical, comparative one.
4) Breaking of Repression
The technique of breaking repression consists in asking a participant to remember a particular moment when he felt especially repressed, accepted that repression, and began to act in a manner contrary to his own desires.
The process to be realized, during the actual performance or afterward during the discussion, is one that ascends from the phenomenon toward the law; form the phenomena presented in the plot toward the social laws that govern those phenomena.
5) Myth Theater
The myths told by the people should be studied and analyzed and their hidden truths revealed.
6) Analytical Theater
Each character is broken down into all his social roles and the participants are asked to choose a physical object to symbolize each role.
Human actions are not the exclusive and primordial result of individual psychology.
7) Rituals and Masks
This is an extraordinarily rich technique which has countless variants: the same ritual changing masks; the same ritual performed by people of one social class, and later by people of another class; exchange of masks within the same ritual; etc, etc.
Conclusion: “Spectator,” a Bad Word!
The spectator frees himself; he thinks and acts for himself! Theater is action!

Allan Kaprow, “Happenings” from New Media Reader

Happenings appear to go nowhere and do not make any particular literary point.
The arts of the past have no structured beginning middle, or end.
Happenings exist for a single performance, or only a few, and are gone forever as new one take their place.
1. context, place of conception and enactment. The place where anything grows up, its “habitat” gives to it not only a pace, a set of relationships to the various things around it, and a range of values, but an overall atmosphere as well.
2. Happening has no plot and is materialized in an improvisatory fashion.
3. involvement in chance
4. Happening as against plays is implicit in all the discussion – their impermanence
This everyday world affects the way art is created as much as it conditions its response.
Happening is not a commodity but a brief event from the standpoint of any publicity it may receive.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Interactive prototype 1

"30 sec. Street Music"

Friday, February 04, 2005

Place vs. Space

"Place is a special kind of object. It is a concretion of value, though not a valued thing that can be handled or carried about easily; it is an object in which one can dwell. Space, is given by the ability to move. Movements are often directed toward, or repulsed by, objects and places. Hence space can be variously experienced as the relative location of objects or places, as the distances and expanses that separate or link places, and - more abstractly - as the area defined by a network of places"

Yi-Fu Tuan - "Space and Place, the Perspective of experience" – 1977

In daily experiences, people go through some space and we remember the place (location) of the space. Space brings about our experiences, and their experiences stored some place in our brain as memory. When people recall the experience, they search the memory of experience among many places in our brain. Then, the memory of a place changes to the experience of the space. People differ in their awareness of space and time in the way they elaborate a space-time world. So, even though people are in the same space, they remember different experiences about that place.

Superstar - NAM JUNE PAIK

NAM JUNE PAIK. Born in Seoul, Korea, 1932. Educated at the University of Tokyo, 1952-56. Studied music with Stockhousen at Darmstadt; art history and philosophy in Germany, 1956-58. Worked as video artist in electronic music studio for Radio Cologne, 1958-61; associated with the Fluxus group, New York, 1960s; artist-in-residence, WGBH-TV,1969; artist-in-residence, WNET-TV, New York, 1971; works closely with Japanese artist Shigeko Kubota. Address: Holly Solomon Gallery, 172 Mercer Street, New York, New York 10012, U.S.

Nam June Paik--composer, performer, and video artist--played a pivotal role in introducing artists and audiences to the possibilities of using video for artistic expression. His works explore the ways in which performance, music, video images, and the sculptural form of objects can be used in various combinations to question our accepted notions of the nature of television.
Nam June Paik pioneered the development of electronic techniques to transform the video image from a literal representation of objects and events into an expression of the artist's view of those objects and events. In doing so, he challenges our accepted notion of the reality of televised events. His work questions time and memory, the nature of music and art, even the essence of our sensory experiences. Most significantly, perhaps, that work questions our experience, our understanding, and our definitions of "television."

The More the Better, (1988) Three channel video installation with 1,003 monitors and steel structure; color, sound; approx. 60 ft. high.
(click the picture to see bigger image)