Artistic/Industry Research and Influence

I have decided to tackle the second brief which is:

To create a project and user experience that explores information and data using interactivity and making use of still / moving images. Your project may use data, or it may represent, reflect or visualise it.

From this, and having more academic knowledge about my theme (Information and control) I was able to find various artworks and projects which could inspire me to and get my creative juices flowing! My first port of call was Blast Theory , who are a group of artists that create interactive and performance based projects. Last year I explored one of there most famous works called “Karen” who is a life coach that you can interact with. I knew that this artwork could influence me as I am interested in user interaction on a personal level.

“You interact with Karen through an app. When you begin, she asks you some questions about your outlook on the world to get an understanding of you. In fact, her questions are drawn from psychological profiling questionnaires. She – and the software – are profiling you and she gives you advice based on your answers.”(Blast Theory, 2017)

After reading about this artwork I found out that ‘Karen’ was developed after working with John McGrath who I have previously written about on my academic research! Blast theory wrote that “When John McGrath asked us to develop a project with National Theatre Wales in 2013 we were keen to create a personal and intimate experience for smartphones in which you interact directly with the lead character. We wanted you to be challenged about how honest and open you might be and to experience the thrill of having your personality appraised.”(Blast Theory,2017)

The second piece of artwork that enjoyed exploring by Blast Theory was ‘Uncle Roy all around you’. Although made in 2003, the artists used forms of technology which meant interacting with another user you did not know and also the use of actors around the city to enhance the users experience. The artwork is a game, which was one main influence to why I was interested in exploring the project.

The idea of being able to create a game for this project seems very appealing, although I will need to brainstorm my ideas before I can put together a proposal.

Another idea which may influence my project is the MatrixThe Matrix is a film which is based on a man called Thomas A. Anderson who is a man leading a double life. By day he is an average computer programmer who carries out a normal lifestyle. However, by night he is a computer hacker by the name of Neo.  He finds out that most human beings are not born, but are created by machines so that the ‘agents’ can harvest their personal bio-electric and heat energy to fulfil their electricity needs. The minds of such people are imprisoned in an artificial reality known as the Matrix. Now a rebel, Neo learns about his role in the reality and must confront the agents programs which all rebels fear, who plan on destroying the rebels and destroying the entire human existence.

What interested me the most about the Matrix, is the whole ideology of a controlled society. This film was philosophically influenced by Plato. Plato’s Analogy of the Cave lies closely to the plot of the Matrix. Plato’s analogy explores an alternate reality in a parallel universe, where one does not follow the shadows but escapes into the light, releasing himself from his chains within the cave.

Karen.(2017) Blast Theory [online] Available from: http://www.blasttheory.co.uk/projects/karen/ [Accessed 18 February 2017].