The L.A. Times Hero Complex blog has a great piece on the evolution of mobile apps, and even better—it features the thesis projects from recent Graduate Media Design grads Alex Braidwood and Scott Liao!
From the article:
Media artists such as Alex Braidwood, 32, are in fact harnessing smart devices as the means to a more aesthetically nuanced end. The Art Center College of Design graduate programmed the iPhone’s built-in camera to function as a sensor that detects blue, red and yellow tones. The Synesthetic Din program then translates the colors into an ever-shifting electronic composition that plays into a user’s ear buds as he or she walks down the street.
“To me the most interesting things about smart phones and iPads is that they have all these capabilities that are just waiting to be glued together in new ways,” says Braidwood. “I like turning these devices into little performance machines.”
Braidwood, who last month earned his master of fine arts in Media Design, notes, “Most apps are commodities that people get either because it helps them do something or it’s some kind of novelty game. But there’s this space in the middle where it’s not about guiding you to the best sushi restaurant in town but more about helping you wander around and discover something new that you did not see or hear before.”
Art Center graduate Scott Liao has similarly toyed with the innards of iPad tablets to create what he calls “enriched narrative.” His Anonymous Triangle piece allows viewers to aim a sensor-rigged iPad at projected short films to trigger back-story texts about the various characters. “With current tablet technologies,” says Liao, 27, “we have the chance to change our viewing behavior from passive to active.”