The technological revolution that has been ushered in by affordable technology and powerful processors has provided ordinary people with the tools to create everything from photos and videos to virtual architecture and even complex 3D models. Consider that on average, YouTube users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full-length films every week, more than 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, and Twitter processes 250 million tweets each day. The result has been a near endless stream of content, commentary and engaging experiences, which have pushed the worlds of art and design into new territory, as creators look to keep pace with, and comment on the influence of technology in our daily lives.
The continued evolution of social networks and the push for real-time interactions in all aspects of our lives has led to a tremendous growth in consumer-facing collaboration platforms. Flixlab is an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that bills itself as a ‘cloud-based social video platform’ aimed at simplifying the process of editing together photo, text and video clips from multiple friends. The location-based service enables users to quickly create an event and start shooting, while automatically inviting any Facebook friends who are also in attendance to let them share their own footage in a group folder. Once multiple sources are available, users can choose to let the company’s predictive algorithm weave together the collected clips, or override these settings to remix the content themselves, instantly sharing the final movies on Facebook. Stroome brings together an online community of filmmakers and videographers, allowing anyone to upload or use existing footage shared by other members to create movies and share them across the web. Very much the video-equivalent of music-sharing network Soundcloud, the site aims to be a publishing platform that makes it easy for people to connect and remotely collaborate on their creative projects in real-time.
3D Modeling and Small-Batch Manufacturing
Once reserved for highly-skilled designers and engineers, 3D modeling and production is now coming to the masses thanks to the development of tools that make the process of capture and manipulation more intuitive. Trimensional is a 3D Scanning app designed for the iPhone that uses both the screen and the front-facing camera to detect patterns of light reflected off of objects, instantly building realistic 3D models. While the mobile technology lacks some of the sophistication of generating a model from scratch, the ‘good enough’ capabilities have interesting applications for rapid prototyping in the lab or creating replacement parts in the field. We can imagine a future where these 3D scans can be instantly uploaded to an affordable 3D printer, like MakerBot’s Thing-O-Matic, to assemble brand new products on the fly. While still only a concept, London architecture student, Sahar Fikouhi, has developed the prototype for an augmented reality mobile application called Archi-maton that would enable architects to design structures on-site, in real-time and see how they fit within the surrounding environment. In addition to the sketch and design capabilities, the proposed application would include site and program analysis, along with a design and material library, allowing users to create structures using site-dependent parameters that have been pre-programmed into the app.
Beyond The Gallery
Site specific artwork has always generated interest because of its ability to cause people to reconsider their preconceived notions about their surroundings. Mobile devices, augmented reality and proximal notifications are the new tools available to artists, enabling them to create playful experiences within virtual space that audiences can only view when they visit specific places. Repudo is a mobile app that lets anyone pin multimedia content like texts, photos, videos or audio messages to physical locations. Members simply search an interactive map to see what’s been left around them, and once at a specified location, the member can choose to take and interact with what’s been left behind. The beer brand, Beck’s took this idea a step further with its recent Green Box Project, scattering 30 interactive boxes around the world, which displayed augmented reality artworks when viewed through a mobile phone’s camera. Over the next three years, the project hopes to curate an exhibit of 1000 pieces, which will be temporarily viewable in specific physical environments and permanently housed in an online gallery.
We’re excited to see this technologically driven medium evolve as more people experiment with available tools and continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible across the digital-physical spectrum. Recent exhibitions at the Whitney, “Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools,” the MoMA, “Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects,” Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, “David Hockney: Me Draw on iPad” and New York City’s Pace Gallery, “Social Media,” further confirm the growing fascination with this subject matter and the variety of ways that artists and designers are incorporating new hardware and software from smartphones, tablets and a growing library of mobile applications into their work.
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A big thank you to our partner Intel, who is supporting this multi-part series about the role technology plays in all of our lives. Intel is dedicated to delivering the cutting edge tech innovations that allow us to turn our ideas and inspirations into reality.