Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I caught the tail end of Jeremy's presentation which I sort of regret having caught this tail end. He was a very meek guy and very personable. I appreciated what he told us about learning. I had already completed a few lessons on the site he referred to codecademy.com, and I've found several other tutorial sites that will help me a lot. But that he was so honest about having to still cleave to google search and painstakingly try to figure out his way around programming issues. Issues that I'm sure are way more challenging than anything I can do. Yet. It sounds sappy but it was really encouraging to hear him tell us about being in the dark himself and pretty much that being the case for everyone at some point.

From having had to wear just about all of the hats he has a pretty solid understanding of every facet of his business and this must be a tremendous asset though sometimes a headache. But to be able to sort of troubleshoot everything and eventually manage everyone (in the event that the company expands personnel) must leave one with a very secure feeling about the whole thing. I guess its one of the perks of being your own boss.

Fashion's Collective

Elizabeth Schofield's venture, Fashion's Collective sounds like an interesting idea. It seems like its in a very young stage, and it was hard for me to sort of understand the sort of business model that she was going for, but I think that I kind of get it. Education seems to be her primary focus. I feel like the website is slowly morphing into an official publication, but I don't get the strong branding that you may find in a sort of tech news hub like cnet, wired.

I love the idea of providing a place for dialog between fashion brands concerning new media, social media, and marketing and such. I began exploring a projection interaction in the Interaction Design Studio this semester and my primary idea was to add a higher degree of visual interactivity to retail merchandising. Fashions Collective would be a great place for me to stimulate dialog about this and other fashion video marketing initiatives. The fashion video is sort of a unique hybrid of the short film and the editorial and in a way has a niche specific to this industry. Fashion's Collective would provide a place for me or other artists to engage brands with these and other types of ideas.

I appreciate that Elizabeth is so passionate about creating an educational resource. Classes anywhere are pretty expensive so I can imagine that there is a fairly solid business model for this type of work. Fashion brands are very lucrative and as Elizabeth told us they are on board with her vision of sustaining the new media dialog. I don't want to project on the cost of her operations but I can imagine that some of the brands that she works with would pay top dollar for the unique and insightful product that she is offering.

I did make it a point to speak with Elizabeth and intend to reach out to her to network. I am very interested in her career history and the progression of Fashion's Collective.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Project Reflections: Post Production

I'm a little obsessed with this project. I have two finals due friday I need to put this down and work on them but I can't.

So I'm easing into Final Cut After the war we waged on Monday! AfterEffects is still a little weird. But the youtube tutorial on iMovie really is helping me understand the logic of Final Cut.

You can link to one of the videos here. Here's a crude test if you're up for it. Play this video along with the album version of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Drop it Like its Hot" and do a little tweaking with the play/pause and timeline. You should easily be able to match Krystal's movements with the beat of the song. I haven't synched the sound because I don't intend to attach the clip to its own sound but rather match the clip frame rates to a variety of songs in Max.

My next step should essentially be to loop the clips that I like. If I loop it then the clip will play seamlessly no matter how the frame rates change depending on what Max is telling the clip to do. I wish I had shot another house clip with a faster beat. And then there's the background. I'm a little confused about how to do this but essentially its just a matter of a clear and helpful tutorial.

Back to work.


Monday, December 12, 2011


I though that our trip to Playmatics was perhaps one of the most interesting yet. Nicholas's story of ascension to very real success in the gaming industry was incredibly inspiring. Again we find ourselves speaking with a young Liberal Arts graduate who somehow found the right mix of interest, intellect, gumption, luck, and community to catapult himself into a happy and successful new media career.

His presentation was very cut and dry and forthright. I appreciated him actually giving us his understanding of the emerging industry in cut and dry terms. His discussion of the necessity for work, sunk in and I was impressed by his real understanding of interactions and the sort of visceral ways that people react to being handled by unpleasant technological experiences.

I would be interested to take a gaming class to better understand interaction. Though it may not fit with my schedule. Perhaps the third semester. I really want to get a strong grasp of Interface and User Experience design! I do think that the nature of interactions is what really shapes technology. I was just checking out Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions and in it he talks with, Douglas Engelbart, the inventor of the mouse. Engelbart describes how he basically invented the mouse by recalling a doodle that he wrote while bored once in a meeting, and applying the frivolous doodle to a real solution selecting and maneuvering between multiple selection items on a computer screen. The intuitiveness of good and bad interactions will always be a powerful force in the ways that we think about and develop technology. Nicholas seemed to be very bent on driving this point home to us in the end of his presentation. Technology should aim to be an extension of us. It should make things easier.

An example: How long have I yearned to be able to type whatever I want in the url form and have it take me to a page. One of my first instincts as a first time browser in the 90's was to just type what I wanted to search in the URL field. Today, I can type "what color is the sky?" in this google chrome URL field, and a live web page (not an error one) will appear. I may never use Safari again.


I enjoyed our trip to Vision Education & Media. You could tell from Laura's conversation that she is a very business minded person and is incredibly passionate about her business. Though she experienced the crawl during a different era, I am still inspired by her ascent up the ladder to success. It makes me appreciate the sort of in the dark feeling that I have been having through out my first semester at Poly. Laura, like some of the other people we met this semester (Cindy from Kickstarter and Nicholas at Playmatics) seems to have been able to adapt to a media calling sort of on the fly, developing, skills, expertise and networks organically as work was completed and experience gained. This sort of Darwinian experience of adaptation and career survival is a little indicative of the new media industry. It is a vast sort of progressive, evolving business and requires people who can survive in such an environment.

VEM has been able to find a unique niche in the sort of childhood education/camp/babysitting realm. I asked Laura if she ever got feedback from other parents on ideas for curriculum and what not and she said that most parents are just glad that the kids are doing something that they don't even worry about it. Laura and her colleagues demonstrated to us the design process of the curriculum. It is a good thing that they are encouraging children to be more involved with practical and modern science and technology.

Though I am not spsecifically interested in careers in education, I can see the real need for innovation and attention in this area.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wallflower Metronome Production Reflection

So I shot today. I was incredibly nervous but I don't even know why. I love working with continuous lights! My model did not. My apartment is typically very warm this time of year and the lights did not help at all.

There are a whole range of contingency issues when shooting anything I've noticed and they seem to be a little exaggerated when you're shooting video. I can understand also why I keep hearing that sound is so important in film. I would be very particular about the sound of my film, and would be interested in taking a basic sound design course to understand this sort of editing. I need to take a video editing course before the sound editing one!

I also need to get my hands on a 7D. I can't imagine shooting a HD film with multiple lenses! What if every photo I took could become an HD video moment!? I guess I'm just caught up in the wishful spirit of the holiday.

Krystal did a pretty good job with the filming. I think that I can get some good clips.

I think she suffered from boredom a bit but I definitely got some scenes that look pretty good. The stripes in her dress do interesting things to her silhouette. I also love the subtle personal nuances like pulling the dress down and tripping up the beat, it adds character to the person.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Production Notes: Wallflower Metronome Narrative

With this idea I want to create a projection that will interact with party goers or patrons at a social or nightlife gathering. This sort of installation could also translate in a fashion environment (Is it clear that I want to apply this idea to styling and fashion?) In any case, I would like to film a sexy party goer and project him or her on a particular wall in the space to sort of create a virtual flirtation. My virtual wallflower would function as a sort of metronome, oscillating or gyrating minimally to the simplest beat of a song. I would use Max MSP to sync the playback of my projection with the beats of the song to sort of create the illusion of my wallflower interacting with the space around it. This sort of installation would not only be cool, but would also provide a sort of self reflexive moment for the shy party goer who would gravitate toward the wall.

This is the idea that I will be completing for my final test. It is more feasible to complete than the fashion installation idea given the time that I am working with. I am beginning to understand more and more the logistics of installing something so complex, and I haven't yet researched the exact insurance cost of installing expensive projection equipment in a public or retail environment. I can also imagine that I may need to construct a semi elaborate stage to implement my retail idea.

For my wallflower metronome, I want to try to shoot my model "dancing" to a variety of types of beats. I am particularly in love with Beyonce's newest single "Party" right now so I think that I will use that one as a slower hip hop themed beat. I will also shoot to the beat of a more uptempo house music song as well, to see exactly how the video may work if say the DJ decided to suddenly mix a slower track with a more upbeat one. Could I mix my video on the fly simultaneously and seamlessly!?

I will probably use a female model for this project. I would want to use a male model for a similar project but one that would explore the male form, not so much the styling. I think that it would be more tasteful to have the men more exposed than women in a public display anyway. There may be more negative repercussions to intoxicated men viewing virtual nude women as opposed to men or women viewing scantilly clad men. There aren't nearly as many women in their panties on signposts in the city as there are men in tight briefs, and for good reason.

I am excited about this wallflower metronome. Though I have much experience with photography, I have never shot a video before, though it is a seemingly small task, I am excited about the floodgates that this experience will open!! Im certain I don't have the budget to fall in love with shooting HD video right now. Although I think that is precisely what is going on!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Production Notes: Retail Narrative

This particular narrative would have been too difficult to achieve as a final but I am very much attached to the idea of creating this sort of projection interaction in a retail setting. I think that it coule be a very powerful marketing tool for designers and for myself as a photographer (or filmmaker I guess given the nature of this type of production), interaction designer. Though I don't have an advertising background, I would be interested to explore the sort of branding opportunities that are available when you attempt to expand the space of advertising in such an intimate way as I am proposing with my projection idea.

This photo by Erwin Blumenfeld sort of exemplifies the motion that I want to initiate with my projection, and the sort of high fashion editorial nature of the idea that I am proposing. It is the striking editorial image that inspires a desire to seek and find the coveted item. If we could incorporate this sort of engagement with motion and sound at the point of sale, there is a chance that sales may increase, and the work of the producers of editorial spreads could be put to further use beyond the printed page.

I am attempting to illustrate how my installation would work in the crude drawing above. Juxtaposed with the rack of cloaks, is a mannequin wearing said cloak. The clothed mannequin would be placed in relief from a suitable screen. The projection would begin with the model, posing in the exact pose as the mannequin, in the same outfit, under the identical or similar lighting situations, being projected onto the mannequin. The shopper would watch as the mannequin came to life as it were, and the rest of the screening area was filled with her dramatic display of the cloak. At the end of which, the model would return to her initial position, that of the mannequin.

This idea springs directly from Michale Naimark's installation Displacements. And I think that the ramifications of such an engaging display could be utilized feasibly for marketing purposes especially in an environment like fashion, design, furniture architecture etc...whose consumers appreciate and often demand complex and beautiful aesthetic interactions.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Water Benjamin "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

I really enjoy reading this essay. This time around I found it even more insightful because my understanding of the progression of media. The Ipod had just been introduced the first time this article was assigned. Now we have 4 generations of Iphones! What is an Ipod!?

I thought that Benjamin's discussion in the latter part of the essay were especially relevant to my particular project. In Part X he basically predicts the imminent proliferation of the blog when he expresses the idea that every person has been delegated a critic in a society where the aura of art has beens tripped away as is the case in film. Spectator and critic are one. This is evident today in that a 15 year old can find a following and become a relevant mainstream advertising revenue stream as a result.

In part XI, he discusses the "thoroughgoing permeation of reality with mechanical equipment." This stuck out o me in particular as my project involves kind of accentuating the minutae of human movement, and the play between light, dark, and shadow. By using technological equipment, not only am I able to explore and broadcast these images, but with new media, I can determine the exact placement on the image in even a non representational space, and allow it to interact with people in at a number of degrees of attention. He discusses this in part XV where he says that reception in a state of distraction can be truely exercised in film. I would argue that reception in a state of distraction is exercised descending the subway stairs two at a time while reading a text on your smartphone. Or participating with a projected display of a live fashion editorial based on the very rack that you are currently browsing. In this part Benjamin discusses tactile appropriation as being the catalyst for significant change in the notion of human perception. What if our advertisements were personalized and interacted with us one on one through virtual displays that operated to accentuate the commodity object on display? What types of 2D experiences can be brought from the flatness of the tablet or page and applied directly in real world experience?

ID Studio Project Proposal

Remote Digital Editorial

I would like to create a system where a narrated photographic editorial shoot can become a scripted video presentation, projected in remote locations, significant tot he editorial project. The attached photo is one by Erwin Blumenfeld, a Dada turned fashion photographer whose fashion editorial work has made him renowned. I am inspired by Blumenfeld, and his contemporaries like ManRay, because they sought to experiment with new forms of image making with photography, and both artists also eventually transformed their unique imagemaking into commercial success through fashion editorial photography. I would like to explore a video projection technique that would allow be permissible in the space of commerce, and would bring the art and craft of the editorial shoot out of the page and into the point of sale. The projected image would provide the fantastical commercial suggestion that the fashion editorial does, but would do it in a more effective way, perhaps guiding the shopper to a particular shoe the complement the very shirt they were trying on. Or when displayed outside the retail space, the image would give others a more engaged presentation of desired goods, than the magazine spread. Watching the clothes sway on a virtual model would be more convincing of fit and desirability than a frozen glossy page.

Union Square Ventures

I enjoyed our trip to Union Square Ventures to speak with Cindy and Gary. I had never really heard of Kickstarter until recently so it was very interesting to get a firsthand understanding of this type of business. Its really fascinating to think of this type of service community building can make someone incredibly rich with the right interface and marketing tactics. The idea behind Kickstarter really is an amazing idea and a testament to the power of the human imagination really.

I enjoyed listening to Cindy. She had a lot of great information about the company and knew it very thoroughly. I was pleasantly surprised that she held a role that could be filled by someone with a liberal arts background.. I enjoy the fact that Kickstarter places an emphasis on curating and editorializing ideas to give each of the initiatives a fairer chance of being funded. I also really love the idea of the community aspect. Its this sort of strange byproduct of a successful online business. Most successful websites have something to do with bringing people together. Ebay and amazon bring far flung merchants to eager, consumers. Kickstarter brings people with not enough cash to people with too much cash. Facebook brings everyone to everyone. Yelp brings firsthand accounts and candid ratings to the frugal and discerning local. There's something about bringing like people together and keeping them there that spells success. I mean even MySpace got a piece of that action.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Our trip to McGraw-Hill today was very exciting. I felt like I was really getting a grasp of a full on media experience. It was wonderful to be walked through the process of planning and implementing a unique media project (an entire social media site), and it was very eye opening to understand that massive media ventures can happen within a company without ever seeing the public light of day. And even this internal initiative can impact profits and revenue in a dramatic way, as Edward explained to us. I am working on constructing a social media site for my Web Studio Seminar project and I was glad to be introduced to this type of product from inception to going live.

You could really tell that Edward, Patrick, and Ruth really enjoyed the work that they did for McGraw-Hill. Edward and Ruth's presentations were particularly educational and helped me understand more about interaction and usability design. The internet already exists and as they mentioned, a lot of the hard coding and engineering tech has been done so the real work now is to design an experience that is meaningful, easy to use and productive. Just listening to them present, I can imagine that their department would be a great place to intern. I was really impressed that the department really places an emphasis on usability, experience, and also teamwork (clearly, just based on the nature of the product that they are working so hard on).

I really enjoyed this trip, and would be interested to reach out to Ruth, Edward and Patrick for advice about learning user experience design and also navigating the new media career arena. I loved the idea that they encouraged leveraging of skills with the progression of digital media. I have more confidence in my ability to succeed in new media given my background in liberal arts and writing as opposed to technology or computer science.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ID Studio Class 5

I am envisioning several different public sites probably indoors. INdoor conditions are easier to control ultimately.
I am thinking a public space like a retail setting or lounge or bar would work nice. The setting would largely determine the narrative that I would portray. I could easily project in a space like a bar or lounge because all i would need is a creative owners consent. The same would probably be true for a retail location although I would probably then need to work with PR and a visual merchandiser which could be a headache, but it may provide access to furnishings for the "looks" for the story.
The final indoor setting would be in the subway. I like this environment because there is lots of empty space to literally work with and locks of crevices and dark corners. I am envisioning a location with lots of shadows or someplace where I could create shadows to juxtapose with the movement of my figure.

I would like the image to be as realistic looking as possible. My screen would need to be able to fit a live person and I am thinking that I would perhaps like the person to sort of appear from out of shadow. I would need to make sure that the screen was surrounded in shadow and could itself project a deep black if possible. I like the idea of having the person walk from the background into the foreground from out of shadow and into the light.

I kind of want the viewer to be able to view more than just the front side of the figure. I want to project as much of a 3D relationship as possible.

The idea of projecting larger than life anatomy intrigues me too. My legs idea could investigate this. I think it could be a little mesmerizing if the styling were exact, and I would probably need to incorporate sound into this installation to make the effect work. Large legs accompanied by the booming sound of large heels on the floor.

For an indoor lounge setting I am envisioning a projection of a girl dancing seductively possibly in synch with the music playing. I could also envision my walking legs idea in a setting like this. Where patrons lounge beside a projection of a woman walking back and forth, and then they are confronted by the entire woman and she begins to dance and partake in the party.

My retail narrative would be something along the lines of an editorial fashion shoot, specifically tailored to a look. For this I would like to tell the story of a ghost, sort of lost in the void looking to find her way back to the material world, to satisfy her longing for material goods.

I would like to portray a similar story in the subway but perhaps with a ghost who is aware of the potential of being a ghost. I am inspired by the movie Ghost, and the aggressive spirit that Sam meets in the Subway trains who teaches him how to touch things. My subway spirit would be not so much lost, but sort of reveling in the ability to torment others as a spirit.

Techniques and Materials:
Rear projection on a molded chameleon scrim!? You could paint the scrim to camouflage the areas that won't be occupied by your figure.

Creating the 3D effect of the live person on a flat screen. Would you need a human releif screen? A black human relief screen in white would not show the black spaces if the projector were projecting black. the body would move through the allowed relief spaces to simulate moving in 3D space.

What if I were shooting using two cameras side by side in a circular order,with their left and right respective view frames aligned to cover a field of view that could represent some segment of 360 degrees. Then If I project from two projectors simultaneously aligned to project the entire field of view, the viewer would be able to move around the projection in a semicircle (its size would be determined by the segment that the composite view encompassed).

To project a single person on a black shadowy background, would you shoot on a black background and spotlight the person as they are moving?

You would have to make sure that the shooting conditions match the lighting conditions of the installation. (Think about how Naimark shot the scene in the installations pace before painging everything white.) If you were projecting onto a screen as opposed to an object in shadow, would the projection still have the ghostly effect?

Monday, October 3, 2011

ID Studio Class 4

For my class project I want to explore the idea of creating an interactive projection. Since Dana mentioned her work with the ghost in class, I have been a little fixated on the idea of creating something a little terrifying and yet strangely beautiful by way of projection. I have also been toying with the idea of legs. I see legs walking across bare brick walls, and in front of building facades. So here is a little more about my project.

Keywords that relate: Phantom, Dream Reality, Ghost, Spirit, Fashion, Avant-Garde, Ghoul

Media: Film, Photography, Video Projection, Internet, Fashion


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Sigmund Freud
Freud has influenced me a lot in my own thinking and research methods. I am particularly drawn to his ideas about dreams (The Interpretation of Dreams) and the human psychology and personality (Beyond the Pleasure Principle and The Ego and the Id). I think that my understanding of Freud has allowed me to expand my imagination into a reality. This seems like more of a Jungian idea, but I'm not too keen on Jung.

Guy Bourdin (1928-1991)
Guy Bourdin

I love the imagery of Guy Bourdin. He has a particular editorial style that is totally original and conveys a short powerful narrative, perfect for the magazine page, or the fleeting moment.

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)

Klimt had a distinct way of representing women and fashion in his paintings. The images typically have such vibrant patterns and colors, and the figures lines have a sultry and sturdy flow to them. The women are seductive with cream skin and pose alluringly. I absolutely love the Beethoven Frieze. It is beautiful and terrifying especially this portion depicting the Hostile Forces.

Alexander McQueen (1969-2010)

McQueen was a brilliant designer, and perhaps one of the only fashion visionaries alive. This image in particular captures the kind of fluidity that I would want my ghost to convey. McQueen also had a perfect sense of style, and presentation. His shows were real spectacles, not just catwalks. The clothes had a life to them, beyond the models wearing them. This unreal life is conveyed beautifully in these photos from the Met exhibition. I didn't go, but the I own the catalog and the images there are really arresting. The clothes give the mannequins unreal life.

Madonna "Frozen" 1998

I love this video. There is great ghostly imagery in it, and the song is great. The video ir very haunting and I love the way that the clothing morphs with her body and the two of them are one figure. I love the end of the video when the figure is floating in the air.

Grace Coddington (1941)

Grace has done excellent production and styling work for Vogue for the past several years. She creates strong image with strong characters who seem to live beyond the clothes. Her work like Bourdin's is medium oriented. I would like to explore creating an image that could be projection oriented as opposed to print oriented.

Nick Knight

Knight has been creating fabulous images for years now. His images range from beautiful to horrifying and are always crisp striking and real. His fantasies are conveyed with such ease in his videos and photographs. He has a true skill and mastery of production. I love this Beasting shoot. Check it out here!

This film is inspiring as a way of presenting fashion beyond the catwalk. What if the women could be projected in a space with all the show goers interacting live with a video projection as well as live models?

Ming Xi and Nick Knight
This video is really cool and again conveys the image that I like.

Roy DeCarava (1919 -2009)

DeCarava is my favorite photographer. His images have such a stark contrast the figures almost exist in shadow. I want to kind of create that same sort of hidden life.

Bruce Davidson (1933)

I love Bruce's book 'Subway' originally published in the 80's. The photos are captivating becasue they contrast life with the total decay of the subway. The graffiti and trash, juxtaposed with beautiful people and colors. I am inspired to sort of create this kidn of life, in the station. Perhaps with a projection on an empty platform or after hours or something like that.

I don't think that I can think of a name for my project yet. But I do think that I would like to create a sort of app pet for my project. If I have the time. I think it would be cool to pass around my little ghost online and have him or her haunt the mobile devices of strangers.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Delivering Happiness

I have to admit that I was a little turned off initially by this book. As a reader, you are already aware of the glorious final outcome of the story and the rivers of money that Tony must be swimming in. With this in mind, the first part of the book is little hard to swallow. He basically tells a story of growing up fairly privileged (a majority of public high schools don’t demand community service requirements, offer fencing as a PE alternative and feed Harvard and Brown), graduating from Harvard, walking out on a good paying job only to make millions of dollars on a start up, so that he can open a rave loft and throw parties. And now that he’s rich he starts having problems.

But while the first part may sound like gloating, the second part takes a little bit of a turn as we watch Tony dealing with his particular set of problems. I found myself slightly fascinated by the magnitude of the situation that Tony was facing and the level of ingenuity and insight that he and his colleagues employed to save themselves. Still, I can imagine that Tony’s idea of broke was nowhere near as low as what I can fathom.

It was enriching, though to basically tag along as Tony and his colleagues basically shaped their company from a multipurpose loft space to Zappos 2011. I was impressed by that whole loft selling, logistics ordeal. There must have been such a desperation, and comradery among the hand full of workers at such a low point. And its interesting to watch the comradery sort of blossom into a strange corporate family sort of unit as they experience things like the move to Vegas or the financial crisis. You begin to understand the beginning of the book a little more as you become aware of the company that Tony is trying to build once the revenue is coming in. He seems to be aspiring to a level of unity and frequently mentions his appreciation for experiences rather than things. This sort of tribal pihlia sounds a little hoaky as a reader but when you thinka bout it as a customer or a potential worker it is a little refreshing. At Zappos there is a level of transparency and honesty that you don’t typically hear about in other companies, say a financial institution. I appreciate Tony’s focus on customer service its interesting to basically watch that become the company’s saving grace. This sort of invisible byproduct, the experience, that keeps the customer coming back. That letter to the company about the 2008 crisis was really interesting. It’s a little hard to believe that you could be that open with even the lowest employees. But I’m not a CEO yet so I wouldn’t really know.

I really love how the ability to continue to cross brand basically becomes never ending once you have the customer base and their money. I love that there are inspirational blogs and that Tony is invited to speak and so are his employees. Zappos is clearly providing its own brand of experience. Is a sublime user experience (and a heck of a lot of technological savvy and problem solving skills) the key to longevity and revenue online?


Visiting emusic was really enlightening. Speaking with the Max and Rich was very enlightening because it was clear that these guys have a grasp of the particular financial and technological formulas that make e music work. I mean that, the nature of e commerce, especially music seems to necessitate a unique user experience or secondary product that no other retailer can really provide. In the case of emusic, they do a good job of providing that browsing experience when buying music. And I understand the allure of browsing for new music as this was my college passtime when Virgin and Tower were open and allowed you to listen to new music before buying/downloading it.

The experience makes me wonder what it is about the stores and services I like to use online that makes me keep going back to them specifically. There's a specific type of branding that happens with e commerce that is a lot different than a catchy jingle or a bright familiar logo. I never really thought of it in that way, but now I'm realizing how much I consume online specifically. I'm noticing my own online buying habits and how they play into the user experience as a whole.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scan the Star!

Macy's launched (I don't know exactly when) a really cool alternative to the eyesore code blocks that mar every sign that you come across these days. I was just watching a commercial where they urged the viewer to scan the large red star in the center of the screen. It took me a moment to see it but I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed the code in the star!

I have been cringing for weeks now at designs ruined by that disturbing arrangement of enormous black pixels. It inhibits your ability to comprehend the graphic as a work of art. Its worse than Sharpie Tagging. The idea that we are able to scan your way through the web, through shopping trips, to anywhere an advertiser wants you to, with a mobile device is exciting. Its intuitive. I'm rambling but check it out.

I suppose the introductory phase of this smartphone scan code was bound to be a little bumpy as far as the execution is concerned, but its good to see that designers are beginning to think a little harder about integrating the information into the art of the design, its almost another advertising design element. Now where does the portal code go!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

ID Studio Assignment #1

1. What's your first memory of the internet?
I remember having to go over to my Uncle's house to write papers in high school because we didn't have a computer in our house. He had internet access, and it was a little sacred. It required a password to access and wires needed to be affixed properly in the modem? Wow. My first experiences with the web revolved around music. I used to listen to old 70's and 60's soul tunes over and over again on real player. This was the only alternative for a 10th grader prior to napster. I found and fell in love with house music this way.

2. What is your favorite book, painting, story, movie, or otherwise about a high-tech future?
Total Recall. I remember falling in love with this movie as a child. The idea that your vacation could just be a memory transplant as opposed to an arduous travel ordeal. I loved the mutants, and the vast underground system of the Mars they depicted. I die for those holograms!

3. What do you like about the internet?
You can find anything at all in an instant even on your phone, and I have a slow phone. I can browse recipes as a shop for groceries. I can schedule the bus trip home to time said shopping excursion appropriately. I can get discounts at local merchants by showing them digital coupons on my phone screen. I can teach myself the basics of PHP in a week without spending a dime.

4. What do you not like about the internet?
It is binding. I was just thinking the other day, "What if I wanted to get off of facebook?" I probably couldn't ever. Because they would still own all of the information that I had ever posted there even if my profile was removed. Which means that it could resurface at anytime at a strangers whim pretty much.

5. What is your favorite interaction that usees technology?
Capturing images.

6. What is your favorite interaction that does not use technology?
Working out.

7. What does the intenet look like? This answer needs to be an image only. You can draw one or you can find one that represents the internet on your terms.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NYU Poly Incubator

I was very inspired by our trip to the Incubator. Aside from the hum drum Amanda at Brainscape, I thought that the presenters were very engaging. She was informative however and she did say that she studied neuroscience so I can imagine that she's probably not been the life of the party for some time. Phil in particular did a really good job of evangelizing the entrepreneurial spirit. The presentations gave me an understanding of how a small media business is organized and how little staff you need to make a thing work as long as your staff is competent. The teams are incredibly small which means that work is shared, but the key roles, like developing are manned by qualified and seasoned individuals. I'm going to need to focus on beefing up my development skills. I am inspired by the idea that good businesses grow from good teams. I usually consider myself a bit of a loaner, but I am excited to work in a team environment.

It is reassuring that there are men and women who are willing to devote their time to fostering an atmosphere that pretty much encourages the trial and error nature of starting a business. It is good to know that there are real interests in those wanting to start small business besides that which we hear from the political arena about small businesses and taxes and what not. I always thought that it would be best to get a good degree and get a job with a massive rich company, but I am really starting to think otherwise.

I also had the pleasure of running into an old friend from undergrad. He Is the Co-Owner at Torch Films and joined the Incubator in 2009.