Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Kinect Genealogy - A Brief History of Gestural Interfaces


 


In honor of the approaching second birthday of the release of Microsoft's Kinect, we will take a brief tour of the experimental technology that preceded it. But before we begin, it is worth noting a few facts about the Kinect we know today, a piece of technology that almost overnight changed the development of contemporary interactive art by being powerful and affordable. 'Project Natal', as it was originally known, initially used a system called "Time-of-flight" which had origins military laser radar systems, but changed when a start-up called Primesense, an Israeli company made of ex-military engineers, were trying to sell their consumer-focused product: 

the PrimeSense technology uses a proprietary technology called “light coding,” rather than the time-of-flight cameras used by of its competitors. Time-of-flight emits strong pulses of light and measures the delay in their return to calculate positions.
“Time-of-flight came from laser radar systems with military applications,” said Aviad and Inon. “[But] the DNA of the PrimeSense technology was from day one for the consumer market.
“There are a lot of differences between PrimeSense and time-of-flight cameras in general. PrimeSense has achieved a breakthrough on price and performance. The performance we generated through the device is better in a long list of parameters [than time-of-flight].” 
PrimeSense's product was initially targeting Apple, a sensible approach to a company that introduced a new type of interface to mass market. Yet, it wasn't to be
“It was the most natural place for the technology,” [Inon Beracha, CEO of PrimeSense] said.
Apple has a history of interface innovation, of course, and had recently introduced the iPhone with its paradigm-shifting multitouch UI. PrimeSense’s system went one step further: It was multitouch that you didn’t even have to touch. Apple seemed like a natural fit.
Yet the initial meetings hadn ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: nOdalisque



Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) by Georgie Roxby Smith [GIF by PK]



A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web, looking at a Fine Art archetype today.




Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) by Georgie Roxby Smith
 

Uncomposed (after Titian after Giorgione) from Georgie Roxby Smith on Vimeo.


Renaissance art piece composed as contemporary New Media machinima, a 21st Century Venus

3D machinima, video, found image, found sound

Made specifically for Composite at Gallery One Three Uncomposed (after Titian after Giogione) deconstructs Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus, itself a composite, the landscape and sky being completed by Titian following Giogione’s death in 1510. The work was a landmark of its era, reflecting a new shift in modern art with the inclusion of a female nude at its centre. Employing three-dimensional computer graphics and elements of Giorgione’s original masterpiece, Roxby Smith replaces his stylised renaissance figure with a fantasised digital body transplanted into an augmented hyper real landscape. In the likeness of her present day artist, the 21st Century Venus will not lie still for her voyeurs, obstinately returning the male gaze from her new digital paradigm, Sleeping Venus awakes.

Video link | PK Link

Machina by Claudia Hart

 
 

Framed digital art piece is a 3D animation of a sleeping female nude subject in the classical pose of Venus / Odalisque - a two minute example of the twenty minute work:

"Machina" (2008) by Claudia Hart from bitforms gallery on Vimeo.

“Machina” is a 3D animation portraying the compressed time and space of painting, shows a dreaming character whose slow, drowsy movements articulate all of the minutia of a single moment. “Machina” uses the most advanced techniques of virtual reality simulation, and a series of animations that result in a representation that is sensual and organic. Occasionally, Machina ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Computer Graphics & Art 1976 - 1978


A brief look at a short-lived American quarterly publication, which gives a little insight into the practice of art with computers in the 1970's. While a product of its time, there are some places with resonances to the practice of today.




May 1976, Vol.1, No 2 - In The Beginning:


An overview from the publication's editor and computer artist Grace Hertlein, writing about the three phases of computer art - past, (at time) present, and the future. 

NCC '76 Art Exhibition - New York City (Pages 10 - 17)

A good primer of artists of the time.




Computer In - Analogue Out

Examples of the use of computers to create work in physical form.

Untitled Sculpture by Jose Alexanco of Madrid. The sculpture is one of many variations designed by the computer, and executed by the artist. The source of design is prehistoric cave art, dating from c. 15,000-10,000 B.C., from the Magdeleine Cave in France.



Using a computer to design murals for a subway station:


Computer programming textile patterns:

Inline images 10


Computer design for a painting:

Choreography and the Computer




And lastly, some examples of Generative Art





If you want to check the range of publications out, they are available in PDF form at Comparts.

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: CurAudio / DocuMP3


A collection of audio content from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web.


 100 years of the computer artscene - Talk by Jason Scott and Rad Man at Notacon04 

 

Recording of a talk by Jason Scott (creator of textfiles.com) from NOTACON 2004 discusses the history of computing and creativity. 

Since the first time that machines could calculate, people have twisted, modified, hacked and played with them to create art.  In a fast-paced hour, we're going to do our best to capture 100 years of computer art, the magic of the art scene, the demo scene, and a dozen other "scenes" that have been with us as long as computers have.  Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of visual and audio history as your two over-the top scene pilots take you on "the story so far" to the artscene. 

Unfortunately, there is no accompanying visual collection to the examples mentioned in the talk, yet it is an enlightening primer on creativity and new technology. (PK link)

DJ Food - Raiding The 20th Century




DJ Food's classic mix from 2004 curates and documents the growth of 'The Cut-Up' (also known as bootlegs or mash-ups), forming a creative alternative world of popular music. It also features spoken audio from Paul Morley, critic and former member of the Art of Noise and ZTT Records, reading from his book 'Words and Music: the history of pop in the shape of a city.'

Tracklist on DJ Food's website. (PK link.)

Dreams - Delia Derbyshire and Barry Bermange





Narrations of recollected dreams recorded and collaged with the distinct audio style of BBC Radiophonic Workshop musician Delia Derbyshire:

 
"Dreams" was made in collaboration with Barry Bermange (who originally recorded the narrations). Bermange put together The Dreams (1964), a collage of people describing their dreams, set ...

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Other Worlds



Scene from 'Trip'

A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web, around the theme of 'Other Worlds', a collection of independent / student games that veer away from convention, either produced as 'experiences' in another environment, aesthetic exercises that the paths of commercial gaming did not tread.

Proteus




Indie video game with Zen-like experience, with ambient audio music and 3D Atari-cartridge-like visuals. An island is randomly generated for exploration, with no goal orientated action. (PK)

Zenith



Free game by Arcane Kids that celebrates ' ... speed, movement, and Twitter ...', acrobatic skating in a polygon world.
(PK)


Trip 




Abstract game environment made of gradient polygons - zen-like experience similar to Proteus (see above) where there are no objectives. Could be considered as a big virtual sculpture / gallery. (PK)
 
Perspective 

 




Experimental video game combines a first-person 3D environment to navigate a character in a 2D platformer.

Perspective is an experimental platformer. The player avatar moves in a 2D space that transforms when the player changes perspective in 3D space. The player needs to use this mechanic navigate the 2D avatar to a goal in order to progress from level to level. 

Currently unreleased, when available should be free for all. (PK)

Fotonica 



First-person one-button run-and-jump game with fantastic minimal wireframe graphics - by Santa Ragione:

A first person game about jumping, sense of speed and discovery. The key is timing, the goal is exploring and traveling flawlessly through the environment. The setting is an abstract - mainly duotone - outlined world, with a look referring to the geometrical abstractions from the 50s and the 3D low-poly gaming era. (PK)

 

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