Artworks and Projects

The Familiar Unfamiliar: Digital art and the sense of “technology-being-with-us”

PhD exegesis

Abstract

Digital technologies pervade contemporary life, so much so that the boundary between the physical and virtual world has become increasingly blurred as digital technologies are embedded “seamlessly” into our constructed environment. Our awareness of the presence and tangible qualities of computational systems disappears, as these technologies are rendered inseparable from physical reality. This phenomenon is a direct consequence of Ubiquitous Computing, or UbiComp. In this study, I investigate UbiComp and other related technologies, such as electronic sensors, camera vision and radio frequency ID, with a view to creating a body of creative work that elicits in viewers an awareness, or sense of “technology-being-with-us”. The study is undertaken through the lens of my Korean cultural background, as in Korean culture, symbolic rituals and objects are used to evoke a sense of connection between immediate, physical presence and other realities, including the spiritual. In this sense, the artworks produced as part of the studio investigations are cultural probes that investigate our relationship with computational systems through instilling a sense of “technology-being-with-us” in UbiComp. In the accompanying exegesis, I will document three artworks that were conceived and developed as a series of creative responses to my studio research. This document will also elaborate on my position on how a sense of “technology-being-with-us” can be identified with digital art. In particular, I will address the use, application, and critique of a subset of technologies related to ubiquitous computing; the modes of interaction associated with these technologies; and discuss Device Art and its influence on my art-making practice.

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Super-Natural: Digital Life in Eastern Culture (2015) : Art paper

Dr In Dae Hwang*, Dr Mark Guglielmetti, Dr Vince Dziekan Monash University, Melbourne Australia

Abstract

The ways in which digital technologies find themselves integrated into society are influenced to a significant degree by cultural conventions. In Western culture there is a tendency to consider digital technology in terms of hardware and software that is introduced into various processes to enable us to work more efficiently and better negotiate our domestic and networked social lives. Such conventions render digital technologies transparent and invisible and in doing so defers our realization that technology is always with us; everywhere and in everything. This culturally reinforced attitude obscures our perceptual experience of “technology-being-with-us”. In response, this paper examines our relationship with technology through exploring alternative, non-Western conceptions of interdependence. In support of this study we examine a series of cultural activities practiced in Korea in order to appreciate how the hardware and software associated with digital technologies can be perceived as non-human entities. This discussion will extend onto an analysis of selected artworks by Nam June Paik, before turning attention to the Japanese media art movement Device Art. The characteristics of this genre – noted for its particular relation to Japanese cultural influences – will be examined to reveal how everyday technologies are used to create interactive experiences that promote a sense of “technology-being-with-us”

SIGGRAPH Asia 2015, Kobe, Japan 2-5 November

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Urban Codes // Parallel Worlds (2014) : Proceeding

Dr Troy Innocent & Dr Indae Hwang

Abstract

noemaflux creates a network of relations between four players, an urban landscape, an invented language and an artificial world. Players experience the work in streets and laneways in which symbols from an invented language are integrated into the streetscape. These symbols, or symbol-codes, are also machine-readable codes. They are portals into an artificial world–viewed on a mobile device via augmented reality (AR)–that is interconnected with the city. By interacting with the work, players enter into a symbiotic relationship with this world and bring to life ‘media creatures’–a poetic term to describe digital entities that visualise urban codes in AR. This paper will reflect on this experience in two ways: firstly, by defining further the dual nature of symbol-codes; and, secondly, by articulating new experiences of urban space and different ways of seeing the city enabled by staging encounters with urban codes.

Proceeding IE2014 Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interactive Entertainment

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Travelogue 2011

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Investigating the ‘enigma’ of artificial life through the creation of a generative world and documentary recorded by an artificial filmmaker. We unpack the human endeavor; life as it is and life as it can be.

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Travelogue: A Recording of Minute Expressions, 2011

Mark Guglielmetti in collaboration with Indae Hwang, software and code (VVVV).

Memory Room (2015)

20150912_123641 Indae Hwang, Sample room (2015)

Memory Room is an interactive tool that allows visitors to create a three dimensional image of a room based on their selection of emotive images. Memory Room also prompts the user to write a short narrative about their generated room. In doing so, this project seeks to build a conversation about home as a genre of storytelling, to broaden the scope of how memories attached to the familiar, yet uncanny landscape of home are described, and to create a sense of inclusion as boundaries between people and place merge on a shared public platform. Also on exhibition, My Make-believe Room is an interactive tool that generates a virtual image of a child’s bedroom guided by the child with many of the same features. The child is presented with a panel of twenty colourful images. They are instructed to select five images that they like. Based on their image selections, a three dimensional image of a room is generated. They can add shapes, windows and doors to further personalise the room. Based on age-level, the child is prompted to write a short story about their room or a story will be automatically generated based on words programmed with the image selections. This project aims to engage children to respond in real time to the creation of a new image of their imagined bedroom; to promote family conversation about home and imagination; to foster curiosity, discovery, play, and reflection.

15 September – 15 December 2015 Library at The Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands

MADA lecturers Pamela Salen and Indae Hwang have collaborated to create Memory Room, an interactive touchscreen experience for Library at The Dock.This interactive system is programmed with VVVV.

X-milieu ( 2008)

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Monash University (Australia)

x-milieu is an interactive installation that explores the communities that emerge in the public space of Federation Square’s Atrium via an abstract digital visualisation. The work is a real-time visualisation of an ecosystem made of digital particles. Motion sensors track the flow of people entering and exiting the space, particles are added to or removed from the visualised ecosystem accordingly.

Artists: Troy Innocent, Mark Guglielmetti and students Indae Hwang, Joel Collins, Vanessa Riley.
  • In this project I programmed graphic and animation with “Processing “

N2 Monash (2010)

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Photography: Dianna Snape

N2 Experimental teaching space with embedded digital technology.

The N2 space was jointly commissioned by the Faculty of Business & Economics and the eEducation Centre at Monash University who wanted to encourage an experimental approach to learning, enabled by embedded digital technology. Although highly educated, graduates often lack social skills necessary for the workplace, so the conceptual generator for this project became a space of negotiation that promoted interaction and awareness of others. Our design approach is always collaborative, so the outcomes have evolved out of a prolonged process of creation, elimination and negotiation. With the stakeholders we set out to explore the possibilities of trans-active space, based on the premise that a mutually transformative relationship can only emerge between the occupant and their environment, when that relationship is no longer passive. Because N2 has been designed for future adaptation, the space was entirely pre-fabricated off-site. Material selection was finally determined by its suitability for pre-fabrication and ease of assembly/disassembly, meaning that future technological or teaching needs can be accommodated without destroying the existing fabric of the space. The most exciting aspect of this project is that the built outcome does not represent the end of the process. The way in which the space has been constructed means that it can be adapted as the needs of the occupants become apparent over time.

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In this project I developed the interface for LED system with processing.  

Noemaflux 2010-2011

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Troy Innocent & Indae Hwang 2010-11 Ogaki, Istanbul, Adelaide

corflute, AR markers, mixed media, software and custom mobile device with sound In noemaflux, we are interested in creating new experiences of urban space and different ways of seeing the city. The title expresses this meaning. ‘noema’ relates to the ‘act of perceiving’ in phenomenological experience. ‘flux’ refers a state of constant shift and change. This term expresses the experience of being in a mixed reality where perception is changed via digital interventions into the real world.

Players use mobile devices to explore streets and laneways and find augmented reality (AR) markers integrated into the urban environment. These act both as signposts that indicate the space of the work and as gateways into the artificial world. The symbols themselves are both elements of an invented language (that of the Micronation of Ludea) and machine-readable AR markers, thereby have dual meaning. By interacting with the work, players enter into a symbiotic relationship with the artificial lifeforms in this world. In noemaflux familiar urban spaces are reinvented and inscribed with new meaning via a mixed reality. In this new space, the main street and adjoining laneways of the city of Ogaki are populated by media creatures from the Micronation of Ludea. Discover these creatures by finding AR markers hidden in the streets. As you move about the city you carry digital seeds that pollinate each site creating a crossmedia ecology that connects people, urban spaces, signs and digital systems. The work explores the connections between artificial systems such as language and natural processes abundant in life.

In this project i programmed augmented reality (AR) with Processing

Alius (2009)

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Alius visualises an artificial world of digital entities embedded within a suspended paper structure. Competing with each other for energy, the entities feed on sharp peaks of noise, subsequently their population grows and evolves dependent on the sonic activity of the gallery. Joel Collins is a research student in the Centre for Electronic Media Art, Faculty of Art and Design, Monash University. His recent work includes collaborative exhibits in the International Urban Screens Melbourne 08 Conference and the 2009 Victoria State of Design Festival.

Indae Hwang is a digital designer specialising in interactive media and interface design, with over five years working experience as an art director and Multimedia designer in South Korea. His works have been awarded first prize in Flash Film Festival 3D and he has been selected as amongst the best web designers in Korea. Recently he finished a Masters degree in Multimedia at Swinburne University, and he is currently undertaking a PhD in Design at Monash University.‘

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MODO (2011)

21204301526 modo MODO I, II : Reactive sculptures with RFID This project aims to present the representation and aesthetics of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology as a method of creating rich user experiences and active participation in public space. In this experimental project, the unique ID number sets of RFID tags are used to generate tangible modules and associated patterns of sound. Modules combine to produce an interactive sculpture responsive to a group of participants. Based on these results we outline a problem space for designing ambient and direct forms of interaction with light and sound in urban environments.