Conceptual Research and Development

7 06 2008

The concept of the project has developed tremendously. From something that was supposed to be just two films to be viewed side by side, it has become a video feedback that constantly changes as the other changes. Just like in relationships and collaborations.

Because of the possibilities of this Video Feedback loop that we discovered in the 2nd Term, we began experimenting with all sorts of interactions. This made us get a little lost; it became fun, but meant nothing. This led us to the book of John Maeda, The Laws of Simplicity.

John Maeda, Laws of Simplicity:

1. REDUCE The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction. When in doubt, just remove. But be careful of what you remove.

2. ORGANIZE Organization makes a system of many appear fewer. Of course this will only hold if the number of groups is significantly less than the number of items to be organized.

3. TIME Savings in time feel like simplicity. And we are thankfully loyal when it happens, which is rare.

4. LEARN Knowledge makes everything simpler . This is true for any object, no matter how difficult. The problem with taking time to learn a task is that you often feel you are wasting time, a violation of the third Law of time. We are well aware of the dive-in-head-first approach—“I don’t need the instructions, let me just do it.” But in fact this method often takes longer than following the directions in the manual.

5. DIFFERENCES Simplicity and complexity need each other. The more complexity there is in the market, the more that something simpler stands out. And because technology will only continue to grow in complexity, there is a clear economic benefit to adopting a strategy of simplicity that will help set your product apart.

6. CONTEXT What lies in the periphery of simplicity is definitely not peripheral. Context – what holds story together… embrace = engaged

7. EMOTION More emotions are better than less.

8. TRUST In simplicity we trust.

9. FAILURE Some things can never be made simple.

10. THE ONE Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.

Through these rules, I decided to go into a simple image, and a simple interaction. I chose to focus on expressing the idea of vulnerability. How the state of consciousness is always in constant flux and how one cannot even begin to comprehend and understand it. We can merely live with the knowing that it is there, but until today, its presence is still a mystery. I also chose to focus on bringing out this image into the interaction between myself and Mosh and to allow the video feedback to change the image naturally.

Another big factor in my choosing this was our tutorial with Andy. He kept on mentioning simplicity and the strength of the idea. This led both myself and Mosh towards a deeper reflection of what we really wanted to do and say.

Initially, we wanted to let each other’s techniques go from one side of the work to the other, but it became more of a game, and as a viewer, it became confusing. Watching it, even I was asking myself what it all means. So we decided to keep it simple. To allow the work to speak through its simplicity.

Mosh and I also visited the Albion wherein a Peter Campus retrospective was being held. A particular piece of work caught my eye, wherein a viewer sees a double image of themselves that is a few seconds past. It is almost like seeing oneself reacting to oneself. Or even a window into the past of oneself. The work was very powerful and might I add, simple. There was one other viewer that I watched as she interacted with the work. She was absolutely taken by it. She fell into silence as she watched herself. Here is an image of the work in another exhibition.

Because of this, I decided that it was of utmost importance to keep the interactions simple. Not to wow the audience with the technology, but to focus on the idea or the concept, so that they forget that the technology exists and it merely becomes another medium for communication. When the technology becomes invisible, the idea becomes visible.




One response

17 09 2010
Pocket cinema: Reactive Books by John Maeda | Body Pixel

[…] Photo: John Maeda, taken from karagatan.wordpress. com […]

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