[Week 12 Tute Preparation] Generative Arts


Light Leaks

(Created by Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan for the CLICK Festival 2013)

Watch Video Here

Light Leaks by Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan

‘Light Leaks is an attempt to fill a room with projected light in a way that can’t be achieved with projectors alone’ (Vinsjic 2013). The project creates an ‘unusual experience’ (McDonald 2013) by combining projected lights, codes and 50 pieces of filter glass.

Silk – Interactive Generative Art

(Created by Yuri Vishnevsky, with music and sound crafted by Mat Jarvis)

Draw something?

Interactive web-based program that allows users to create ‘silk waves’ by themselves. Variations among vector, colours and blending mode are available, which make every piece of art and the experience with each of them are like no other.

This is an (terribly awful) piece of doodle by me to see how Silk works:

Artwork created by Silk

Artwork created by Silk

(Zoom in the art you can see the point(s) from which your ‘waves’ will be drawn, varies from zero to five points, asymmetrical or symmetrical, mirrored or not mirrored).


(Created by Olivier Beaudoin 2007)

This is a minimalist work using typography to address a social issue: pollution.


Generative arts are ‘living’ artworks that breathe life into static works and enhancing real time interaction between human and ‘new media’. On one hand, generative arts are results of creativity and aesthetic, having the ability to ‘deconstruct’ complex issues by using visualisations, musics, etc. to convey the point(s). On the other hand, they are the outcomes of precise calculations and variations, despite their ‘randomness’ appearance (Whitelaw 2012).

In ‘Light Leaks’, light projectors are located at certain place around the room and are controlled by different codes and variations to light the room at precise locations and angles (also applied for the reflections from the glasses). Similarly in Wave Silk, although the silk waves appear to be random, in fact, they were calculated and illustrated exactly based on the ‘data’ (colours, blending modes, angles) input.

These practices continuously modify our experiences with the media and create new type of media. It is observable that media is moving away from the association with technologies and emerging with political and social issues (i.e. Typolution example). Going back to the start of the course, where McLuhan states that ‘the medium is the message’, the idea is somehow (forcefully) outdated by these movement in the media sphere. I have the feeling that media now acts as catalysts for future innovations and creations that have the ability to close the gap between physical elements (human, traditional machines, etc.) and abstract ones (cultures, beliefs, ideas, etc.) rather than being in the spotlight.


Beaudoin, O. 2007, ‘Typolutio’, YouTube, 19 April, accessed on 31 May 2013, < http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=zVPfTlpCKaw >.

McDonald, K. & Jongejan, J. 2013, ‘Light Leaks’, Vimeo, accessed on 31 May 2013, < http://vimeo.com/66167082# >.

Vishnevsky, Y. 2013, Silk – Interactive Art, webpage, accessed on 31 May 2013, < http://weavesilk.com/ >.

Whitelaw, M. 2012, ‘An Interview with Paul Prudence (Neural 40)’, The Teeming Void, 9 January, accessed on 31 May 2013, < http://teemingvoid.blogspot.com/2012/01/interview-with-paul-prudence-for-neural.html >.

[Week 10 Tute Preparation] Agent Hill: When did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics? – Tony Stark: Last night.

Technology and the media have opened up many possibilities for the last few years, especially in science. In the past, one way to validate scientific work was through peers reviewing (Seed 2011), through a ‘paper system’ of publishing (Wilbanks 2011). Such process was too time consuming and also resulted in a ‘huge bill’ with duplicate results from all over the world (Pisani 2011). Continue from last week topic about social organisation and the practice of collaboration, these two factors have pushed science and its practices into a new level. Indeed technologies and new media cannot be ignored. Web 2.0 has enabled scientists, or at least people who have knowledge about science to share their knowledge without any geographical constraints. Moreover, Web 2.0 also gives us something called OPEN SCIENCE. That is, knowledge sharing is no longer a privilege for those who have resource or the money, but general audiences like us also have a chance to engage in the scientific community to gain knowledge, or even to contribute. We are moving into a knowledge culture, as in everyday, outside of academic sphere (Seed 2011), where it is open to knowledge transaction amongst everyone, i.e. policymakers, educators, journalists, and everyday citizens (Seed 2011).

This caused remarkable changes in the traditional publishing industry. Physical copies of scientific work are no longer in favour. Information can now be accessed via database. One concern I have in mind is the funding policy. Indeed I am not the expert in this area, but the problem is rather obvious. Where would scientists get the fund from? Of course some databases make us purchase the works, such as JSTOR or Emerald Insight, hopefully the money will go to research. But people can still get lots of papers for free by sharing files by simply networking, or illegally download them. Large organisations like universities also become partners with those publishers so their students have access to such databases for, I assume, much less money than each individual would have to pay. One advantage those databases share in common is credibility. We can argue that some open source websites are non–benefit because they use crowdsourcing to assemble information. Here we have the question of quality. How credible is a work done with less funding compare to a full–funded one? That is why the government is willing to sponsor new researches, that is to ensure the outcome, rather than relying completely on the open network. In the case of Australia, Group of Eight universities take $36 million from the other institutions in order to fund researches (Pitman 2013).


Seed (eds) 2011, ‘On Science Transfer’, Seed, 27 January, accessed on 16 May 2013, < http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/on_science_transfer >.

Pisani, E. 2011, ‘Medical science will benefit from the research of crowds’, The Guardian, 11 January, < http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/11/medical-research-data-sharing >.

Pitman, T. 2013, ‘The best and rest: why we should fund ‘average’ research’, The Conversation, 2 May, accessed 16 May 2013, < http://theconversation.com/the-best-and-rest-why-we-should-fund-average-research-13415 >.

Wilbanks, J. 2011, ‘On Science Publishing’, Seed, 28 January, < http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/on_science_publishing >.

[Week 9 Tute Preparation] Starbucks – Lessons Learned.

I’d like to start this week blog by discussing an example of a social media campaign held by Starbucks in 2009 that has gone sour (Brice 2009). The main idea of the campaign is to ‘leverage’ customers’ creativity to co–create new values for Starbucks (Brice 2009). Using the model of a ‘network’ provided by Knife Party in collaboration of Rayner and Robson (2010) in the video ‘Coalition of the Willing’, I would consider the Starbucks’ brand community a form of SOCIAL ORGANISATION whose key concept is participation and the end–goal is to create influence over larger organisations, i.e. the states (Murphie 2013, pp. 4). Starbucks’ idea of the campaign can be applied exactly to the notion of social organisation, where the commons ‘minimize harm and maximize authentic, sustainable, meaningful value’ (Bauwens 2011). Therefore, in the new social movement where the commons play a great role in creating and influencing values, capitalists appreciate the roles of social organisations in terms of providing from labour intensity to redefining social relations between the commons and the states (Sophie Ball, year not available, cited in Anonymous 2010). Such ideas may have been the drivers of Starbucks’ management decision to use the customers to generate new ideas for them.

As the video demonstrates, there are three main sites: the opensource reservoir, the idea generation room and the catalyst system (Knife Party, Rayner & Robson 2010). In this case study specifically, the first site includes new media tools, for examples, social platforms such as My Starbucks Idea Forum ( http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ ) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/starbucks/ ). The ‘opensource’ is customers’ creativity. The idea generation room is where the customers contribute and discuss their innovative ideas. Finally, the Starbucks management team plays the catalysts who will analyse those ideas and make final decision.

It sounds like a great strategy.

But it seems like an open community does not function at all. Starbucks’ first mistake is mistaking normal customers with creators. Statistics show that only 21% of US adults has the ability to create while 35% are joiners who enjoy involving but actually useless (Forrester Research 2008, cited in Brice 2010). There are more than 50,000 ideas so far (My Starbucks Idea 2013), but how many of them are worth looking at? As Ostrom (2010) says, without any ‘shared norms’ and ‘rules’, or even institutions ‘to carry out their management roles’ (quoted in Korton 2010), the commons would be uncontrollable.

In short, the new government 2.0 opens many new possibilities for people to contribute to the community for its community–driven nature. However, this could not be mistaken as a non–government sphere. Ostrom justifies this as follows:

‘…[If] there’s conflict, you need an open, fair court system at a higher level than the people’s resource management unit. You also need institutions that provide accurate knowledge.’

(In Korton 2010)


Anonymous 2010, ‘Elinor Ostrom’, p2p foundation, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://p2pfoundation.net/Elinor_Ostrom >.

Bauwens, M. 2011, ‘Book of the Week: Umair Haque’s New Capitalist Manifesto’, P2P Foundation: Researching, documenting and promoting peer to peer practices, 13 February, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/book-of-the-week-umair-haques-new-capitalist-manifesto/2011/02/13 >.

Brice, C.E. 2009, ‘Has Online Social Media Failed Starbucks?’, Social Media Today, 9 March, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://socialmediatoday.com/index.php?q=SMC/78962 >.

Knife Party & Rayner, T. & Robson, S. 2010, Coalition of the Willing, online video, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://coalitionofthewilling.org.uk/ >.

Korton, F. 2010, ‘No Panaceas! Elinor Ostrom Talks with Fran Korten’, Shareable, 28 March, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://www.shareable.net/blog/no-panaceas-a-qa-with-elinor-ostrom >.

My Starbucks Idea 2013, My Starbucks Idea, USA, accessed on 9 May 2013, < http://mystarbucksidea.force.com/ >.

Murphie, A.K. 2012, Social Organisation, lecture notes distributed in the lecture session at The University of New South Wales, New South Wales on 8 May 2013.

[Week 8 Tute Preparation] Transparency – All things bright and beautiful?

In his article ‘Against transparency’, Lessig (2009) defines the ‘naked transparency movement’ as a new TRANSVERSALLY way to ‘liberate data’, under a government’s point of view, hopefully that citizens may understand political decisions ‘better, or at least differently’. Also regarding government actions, Styles (2009) suggests a ‘citizen collaboration’ model, in which the people have their voices towards public issues. It is almost a new way to govern, where decision making processes are influenced directly by the publics via the new media. Citizens have access to ‘government data’ (Lessig 2009). However, the question here is that is it the best change? Not really.

WikiLeaks is an example. In 2010, the footage of the 2007 Irag shooting video was released and caused enormous public concerns (Fishel 2010). One of the concerns is the credibility of video. Fishel (2010) quoted Capt. Jack Hanzlik’s words about the limited perspective viewers may have after watching the video.

‘It gives you a limited perspective… The video only tells you a portion of the activity that was happening that day. Just from watching that video, people cannot understand the complex battles that occurred. You are seeing only a very narrow picture of the events.’

(Hanzlik 2010 in Fishel 2010)

Here we are not arguing about rotten morality, but transparency and framing issues. WikiLeaks gave the publics data transparency, but it simultaneously framed our minds. By naming the video ‘Collateral murder’, WikiLeaks (un)deliberately shaped a negative approach towards the footage. What’s good in causing crisis among the public?

Taking a less political approach, what about the people’s privacy? Is it all right to publish all of our medical records, for instance? Will it limit the opportunities of people with disadvantages when it comes to job application? People always have their judgements. With overwhelming amount of data (which is made transparent), ‘no one has time to understand, let alone analyze’ (Lessig 2009). Moreover, keep in mind that we are being framed unconsciously, always, by the media and people around us. Because of that, data can be manipulated easily, just as simple as the way we stereotype others. Advertising and propaganda are classic examples of spin doctor as Mason says: ‘Therefore truth moves faster than lies, and propaganda becomes flammable’ (2011). There is too much data to process, so people will only pay attention to what is highlighted. Here, what is the point of transparency if we are going to be manipulated eventually?

In conclusion, it would be stirring that we are governed the way we want, where we all have a voice and everything is honest. It is true that the new media has somewhat redefined media event (Usher 2011) from something only happens on television or newspaper to something real, something that we can actually ‘participate’ with a little push from communication tools:

‘The situation is now in the real world and not in the virtual world. That’s where the developments are.’

(Usher 2011)

Yet, this is also a threat to privacy and social order. What will happen when everyone knows everything about you? Or when everyone has a voice in one matter? Which is the right place to invest our attention?


Fishel, J. 2010, ‘Military Raises Questions About Credibility of Leaked Iraq Shooting Video’, Fox News, 7 April, accessed on 2 May 2013, < http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/04/07/military-raises-questions-credibility-leaked-iraq-shooting-video/ >.

Lessig, L. 2010, ‘Against Transparency: The perils of openness in government.’, New Republic, 9 October, accessed on 2 May 2013, < http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/against-transparency?page=0,0 >.

Mason, P. 2011, ‘Twenty reasons why it’s kicking off everywhere’, Idle Scrawls BBC, 5 February, accessed on 2 May 2013, < http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2011/02/twenty_reasons_why_its_kicking.html >.

Styles, C. 2009, ‘A Government 2.0 idea – first, make all the functions visible’, mking Manifest, 28 June, accessed on 2 May 2013, < http://catherinestyles.com/2009/06/28/a-government-2-0-idea/ >.

Usher, N. 2011, ‘How Egypt’s uprising is helping redefine the idea of a “media event”’, The Nieman Lab, 8 February, accessed on 2 May 2013, < http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/02/how-egypts-uprising-is-helping-redefine-the-idea-of-a-media-event/ >.

[Week 7 Tute Preparation] Legal or not legal, that is the question.

How to own music 101 – Lesson in just a mindmap. (Click for full-size)

How to own music 101 – Lesson in just a mindmap. (Click for full-size)

I have 3,881 songs in my iTunes library. It will take me 10.5 days to listen to them all and they take up about 24.07Gb of my laptop capacity. And you probably don’t want to know how many movies I have. I’d be the first to admit, not all of my music are legally mine (I do purchase music, don’t get me wrong). Because honestly, I cannot afford them all. But the Internet and technologies have always been a good friend. Just like the mind map above illustrates, there are many ways people can gather DATA, legally and illegally.

Media theories may help to explain this case. The reason our way of consuming music has changed so dramatically is because we have many different ways to own music. It is a transversal systems of different structures that come together to make life easier. For example, people can buy music in iTunes store. You don’t need a CD to rip music into your computer. But this is not the perfect world, people take advantage of such tools, the Internet and technologies, to get music. But we are governed by higher authorities. PIPA/SOPA, copyright, patent protections, etc. exist to stop us from breaking ‘the laws’. Our minds are framed, made–believe that not paying money for music is wrong. People are fined by illegally getting music from BitTorrent (Strecker 2013). But do those written laws speak the truth, that the music makers aren’t getting any profits when people don’t buy their musics? Research reveals ‘online music piracy doesn’t hurt sales‘, it improves sales even (Ernesto 2013). Legal or not legal, that is the question.

As Stengers notes about the ecology of this particular case, our music consumption habits have been modified based on our knowledge about technologies and how our minds are shaped by the environment we are living in (in Murphie 2013), for example, you know using BitTorrent is bad, but everyone is using it, so… why not?! But this habit also acts as the reminder of how music has changed and developed in every way, in genres (from traditional folks to electric), in the way of producing/composing music (from playing real instruments to using computer generated sounds), and so forth. Also, in such ‘environment’ , we have other ways of getting music (regarding the mind map above). Online streaming music platforms act as a legal reassurance factor within people’s consciousness about owning music. Perhaps when we pay (a certain amount of money) for the music we listen to, we feel less guilty to get them illegally. In the end of the day, people still want to possess things, which are not just music.


Reference list (including sources of the information in the mind map)

Ernesto 2013, ‘Online Music Piracy Doesn’t Hurt Sales, European Commission Finds’, Torrent Freak, 13 March, accessed on 25 April 2013, < https://torrentfreak.com/online-piracy-is-not-hurting-music-revenues-european-commission-finds-130318/ >.

Murphie, A.K. 2013, Framing and Transversality, lecture notes distributed in lecture session at The University of New South Wales, 24 April 2013.

Strecker, T.P. 2013, ‘Parents forced to pay for kids’ illegal music downloads’, Stuff.co.nz, 24 April, accessed on 25 April 2013, < http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/8588378/Parents-to-pay-for-kids-illegal-music-downloads >.

Titlow, J.P. 2012, ‘SoundCloud’s Massive Refresh Is A Big Deal For Web Audio’, Read Write, 4 December, accessed on 25 April 2013, < http://readwrite.com/2012/12/04/soundclouds-massive-refresh-is-a-big-deal-for-web-audio?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+readwriteweb+(ReadWriteWeb) >.

[Week 5 Tute preparation] Owl City: ‘Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t wanna live there.’

This week concept of reality and its related ideas about Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) raise lots of questions that could possibly rework our beliefs about the real world we are living in. I want to focus this entry on the AR – the ‘mediated reality’, and the current world we perceive. With a ‘small’ touch of technologies and theoretical concepts such as Baudrillard’s notion of simulacra – ‘a model for behaviour, perceptions, knowledge of the world, sense of self, reality itself’ (pp. 15 – 16); and the ‘hyperreal condition’ (pp. 16) (cited in Murphie & Potts 2003), we can see the confusion between the observable reality and its so-called alternate universe.

One of the debatable topics withdrawing from the guideline is the positioning of the media in the virtual world. It is argued that whether the media facilitates the making of such world or just simply a means to access the already-available-yet-inaccessible-until-now world. Classic examples about the changes in technology can be found mostly in science fiction movies. Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report in 2002, whose setting is in 2054, presents the exciting augmented reality with technologies such as multi-touch interface; retina scanners or just simple personal advertising by using existing customer database. At that time people might predict that those things were something unachievable, yet it is only 2013 and we have all of those under our control.

Going back to Baudrillard’s notion of simulacra, it is clearly seen that the augmented reality portrayed in the movie had the massive ‘Star Trek effect‘, which facilitates the make-believe dreams to become the reality:

‘If you show off imaginary cool technology in a film or TV series, then kids, teenagers and enthusiastic technologists of all ages will try their damnedest to make it come true… That’s the future I want to live in.’

(Arthur 2010)

Linking to the ‘hyperreal condition’ – ‘the presentation of the real comes before the real, so that it becomes the real’ (Baudrillard, cited in Murphie & Potts 2003, pp. 16), Minority Report has made the statement: ‘The future is here’ (Steven Spielberg, quoted in Arthur 2010). This implies the needs of knowledge and technologies at the same time. Those two elements help us to get to the year 2054 over 30 years sooner.

It is obvious that the making of virtual world and the key to access to the virtual world happen at the same time. On one hand, the media acts as a medium for people to experience modern ways of living just by simulating, visualising and so forth. One the other hand, it creates motivation to make the hyperreal real by exposing ideas to its audiences.

In the end of the day, we are still living in our own reality world, but we continuously move forward, modify our future.


Anon. n/a, ‘Augmented Reality’, Wikipedia, accessed on 8 April 2013, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality>.

Arthur, C. 2010, ‘Why Minority Report was spot on’, The Guardian, 16 June, accessed on 8 April 2013, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jun/16/minority-report-technology-comes-true>.

Murphie, A. & Potts, J. 2003, ‘Theoretical Frameworks’, Culture and Technology, London: Palgrave Macmillan: pp. 11 – 38.

[Week 4 Tute Preparation] Sherlock Holmes: ‘A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.’

This week topic of ‘The extended mind thesis’ (EMT) (is truly an interesting concept and it links to various notions in both of this course, ARTS3091, and ARTS2090 (Publics and Publishing).

Firstly, the idea behind the EMT is not complex. EMT’s main argument revolves around the relation between human’s brain ability to memorise things by itself and other assisting tools to enhance its capacity. Chalmers (2009) argues that the technology we are using today, the tools, can all be considered as the repertoire of the mind (active externalism) and the cognitive process does not necessarily happen all in the head, which he calls the ‘extended consciousness’. That means the elements involve in the process of memorising things has now expanded beyond the human skin and corresponded with various environmental factors to reinforce the human memories.

This idea surprisingly relates to our daily life. ‘Can’t you remember that time when we memorised all of our friends phone numbers’, I asked one of my friends. ‘Oh that’s so 1990s,’ she replied. Then I thought she was not exactly precise about the time. People do not necessarily rely on phones or electronic devices to memorise things. Basically Sherlock Holmes was right about how the brain could not really ‘stuff’ everything in so he ‘filtered’ his the information he received and only ‘stored’ what was worthwhile to remember. We do the same. Writing is also a form of aiding the brain. We write phone numbers down to address book so we do not have to remember it. We can also revisit the physical book to look up the numbers alphabetically. There are various metacommunication tools available to aid the recall process such as technological devices – i.e. tablets, smart phones,

But there is also a downside of such dependence on such mnemotechniques. Stiegler points out that such dependency may cause us to lose the large part of our knowledge, and even our own ability to remember things:

[T]hese technological forms of knowledge, objectified in the form of equipment and apparatuses, also and especially engender a loss of knowledge at the very moment one begins speaking of “knowledge societies” and “knowledge industries” and “cognitive” or “cultural” capitalism.

This quote brings me back to the notion of ‘archive fever’ in ARTS2090 about which Jacques Derrida describe the violence of ‘archives’ towards the idea of how cultural practice is stored in memories of the people belong to that culture and how they reconfigure it by ‘publishing’ new things and ‘rewriting’ them over the ‘old things’. Additionally, searching engines like Google or Bing are designed for the huge amount of archives available online and offline. It is a way of controlling the enormous archives/memories. However, imagine how ‘large’ your own archive is and what would happen if there was no search engine? The question here is: ‘Can all data be controlled, or it controls over our life?’

Chalmers, D. 2009, ‘The Extended Mind Revisited [1/5], at Hong Kong, 2009’, online video, accessed on 28 March 2013 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S149IVHhmc >.

‘Course Outline and Week by Week Schedule’, Publics And Publishing In Transition, wiki article, June 2012, accessed on 5 June 2012, < http://www.andrewmurphie.org/2090/?page_id=89 >.

Stiegler, B. n/a, ‘Anamnesis and Hypomnesis: Plato as the first thinker of the proletarianisation’, Ars Industrialis, accessed on 28 March 2013, < http://arsindustrialis.org/anamnesis-and-hypomnesis >.

‘The extended mind’, Wikipedia, accessed on 28 March 2013, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Mind >.