Archive for May, 2006

Attention Informer

May 23, 2006

timeline

Using the model of the Attention Seeker a tool bar appears once swiped to inform a viewer the current point in the duration of the film.

Like the Attention Seeker we made for the experiment, it could discreatly fade in and out at the bottom of the screen, show the duration of the video and indicate through the timeline bar what stage the video is at when you swipe. Because the unique identification number on the card for this application is not required, it would be possible to use cheaper, lower frequency tags and readers, or even use this function inconjunction with others.

This idea also goes hand in hand with, Attention (Re)Starter, where the swipe actually takes you to the beginning of the film. The problem with this idea is the same as the egg timers you get in sauna's, if it has been started before you, you need to wait either until others have left or until its ready to start again anyway. But maybe if the reader could see everyone enter and exit the screening space, it would know if you were alone and know if it were able to restart the video.

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How long do you give a video…

May 23, 2006

before you more on?

 stopwatch

Also as part of the discussion at Loop was the challenge and commitment that video requires of its audience, to watch each work through its full duration would take days, by which time you either can't remember anything you've seen, or your eyes are so tired and craving daylight you couldn't care less. So its important to be selective for your sanity's sake – but with a durational medium some things just do take time. Marc Spiegler who was mentoring the discussion told us he has been speaking to Christian Jankowski about this and together they had decided that you should give a video 3mins before you move on.

Then there's the idea of a screening programme, where video's could be screened in a predetermined order at a predetermined time in more 'appropriate' setting (by appropriate I mean dark space, comfortable seating, quality projection and sound) – more like cinema or theatre, when you enter the experience with some sort of commitment to staying and watch items from the beginning to the end.

But one thing your audience needs is information, when you walk into a installation space one thing you need to know is the duration of the film, to give you a context of whether those 3mins you are going to watch are at the beginning, middle or end of the movie.

This is where my RFID project could be a solution…

Loop Video Fair

May 22, 2006

loop logo imageloop logo imageloop logo imageloop logo image

This weekend I was lucky enough to visit the Loop Video Fair in Barcelona, it was a truly wonderful experience. Firstly it was my first art fair, which was an experience in itself – it really opened my eye's to the world of the art market, people buying art, thats not a painting or a photograph or a sculpture, a regular commodity for the wealthy.
I met lots of interesting and fun people, saw hours and hours of videos, listened to some thought provoking debate, ate some delicious food and still had the chance to do some dancin!!!
Ok so the fair takes place in a hotel, the invited galleries get a hotel room to display the work, using projections straight on to the walls (after they had removed any pictures), monitors and tv's on the fixed furniture, the floor and in the bathroom (and the gallerist's get to stay in the same room for the weekend too). Its a very different context to any other I've ever seen video displayed in, and because of this context most of the work is displayed as single channel pieces.

One highlight was the talk I went to:
"Round Table: Competing developments in video and film distribution – the market and festivals in dialogue…
The debate will focus on the subject of the latest productions and new directions in video, the parallel development of markets for limited edition video works and mass-distribution "video" cinema, and the growing number of festivals dedicated to video and digital art."

So there was discussion on the issues of technical installation and developments in display methods; the potential of video art that goes beyond single channel works; the challenges that the media has on the market (you can buy an edition of a work but you then need the technical equipment to view the work) and the reasons for buying video art being less about the commodity and more about a passion and love of the media, work and the aspiration to develop artists.
Where do you draw the line between video art or experimental/short film, do you need to, is the difference just the context in which the work is being viewed? Does duration and narrative influence the context, if you pay money to see a screening programme are you more devoted/committed to all the films.

But just as inspiring was the quality dancing that was to be had at La Paloma, what an amazing venue, with some interesting performances!

la paloma picla paloma pic

What did we learn?

May 15, 2006

exhibpic

I've been taking my time to process what happened at the experiment, we had lots of feedback verbally from people at the time, their comments on this blog, and the stats we collected from the Attention Grabber. But here's some responses.

Power
People have been talking about control and the feeling of power that the card gave them. The notion of power is not something I had realised people would attach to the cards and the action of swiping. It was a conscious decision to make people feel an attachment to this card that they were being told was THEIR attention, and I felt it was important that people were part of a process. This was my method of getting the audience to participate in something that could have been quite an alien action.
Control
A number of people spoke about the idea of control. Questioning if the video is controlling you or are you controlling it? And the answer is both, the video was only changing when it received attention but it had certain conditions to fulfill before it would react.
The idea of control was a cyclical motion between viewer and viewed. It was this notion of presence, that I was trying to recreate/represent.
Interaction!????!
So I asked, "Did you feel like you were interacting?". My intention was to find out what people's response was to the idea of interaction, and in many ways I wanted the answer to be "no". But by posing the question, maybe it's my fault for misleading people into thinking about the experiment in the same terms as another interaction work.But people's perceptions of what interaction is, where the viewer does something and you get an immediate obvious reaction response, seemed to tarnish quite a number of people's experiences, because when they gave their attention they expected to get a return, and it seems the response of the acknowledgment of their attention (their photograph, name, time-stamp) was not enough.
Experiment/Research/Installation
Also I think people forgot that this was a research project rather than a completed artwork. It needed to be a professional setting for people to engage with the process properly – but this lead to some people having expectations of the content they were watching and giving responses to this rather than the issues of their live presence in the installation and its effect on the art.

Basic Stats

May 8, 2006

ap graph

I've spent my weekend trying to make sense of all the data we recorded at the experiment. I've been building graphs (well trying to remember how to build graphs), some of which make no sense but look nice and others that just make me want to do more complicated things!

We were open for 8hrs over two afternoons and we received over 20 hours of attention! and 3213 attention hits.
The average duration of an Attention givers visit was 13.5mins.
Giving an average 36 attention hits.

si graph

This is a graph of Simon's attention hits, showing the screen, the time intervals of hits and hit counts (this is one of the groovy yet uninformative graphs!).

Attention Please! on EuroMac Podcast

May 7, 2006

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Attention Please! has been mentioned on the fabulous EuroMac Podcast! Don McAllister from EuroMac Podcast came to FACT in Liverpool to meet and record an interview with Katie Lips about the Attention Please! project and the software linking the video works with the RFID kit; all made on a Mac of course! EuroMac Podcast is a weekly mix of Mac related news from Europe. Find it here: http://www.euromacpodcast.com/

It’s not over yet!

May 7, 2006

attentive.jpg

What a week! From software install and test on Monday, installing the kit in the space on Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday spent watching, helping, coercing and reacting to an attention paying audience; we've had quite a week. Now the actual research days are completed, there's a lot to think about.

We learned how people feel when offered a chance to react to art in a gallery space; we learned how simple technology can be an empowering force for an audience. We learned a lot from our participants; and much of it is here on this blog – the call for feedback post currently has 24 comments! Over the next few weeks we will be digesting and displaying this as the final phase of the project.

There is more to come!

Attention Rewards

May 4, 2006

beers
To say thanks to all those who've helped with the Attention Please experiment (for those who are in Liverpool) we're having a few beers from 6pm in the Box at FACT today!
Hope to see you there.

Photo: fenbranklin

Credits

May 4, 2006

Attention Please has been a relatively short project, completed within three months.  Although it has been short, it has been a diverse project, and drawn together a diverse group of artists, programmers, technicians – and of course, participants. With many thanks to………
Artist
Sara Smith

Technology Partner
Kisky Netmedia (Katie Lips and Paul Stringer)

Project Funding
ITEM (Supported by Arts Council England)

Venue
The Box, FACT (The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool, UK

Equipment Hire
MITES (Moving Image Touring Exhibition Service)

Exhibition Technicians
Sara Smith and Nick Lawrenson

Gallery Assistance
Ivan Gonzalez

Additional Exhibition assistance and sofa removals
Simon Bradshaw, Lian Harter, Alex Gibson

Marketing
The Marketing Team at FACT and Printing.com

ITEM Project Management
Wibke Hott

Technical Project Management

Katie Lips, Kisky Netmedia

RFID Equipment
Dennis Dewer from RFID Components Ltd, (UK) and BuyRFID (US)

Isadora
Mark Coniglio, Troika Ranch

JunXion
Steim

Cocoa & WebObjects Development & hacking
Paul Stringer, with collaboration and support from Axel Roest,  Dirk van Oosterbosch, Johan Kool, Abizer Nasir, Breyten Ernsting, Dirk Stoop, Daniel Salber, Andy Smith at CocoaDevHouseAmsterdam

Troika’s in town!

May 4, 2006

troika

Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio from Troika Ranch are in town!  are responsible for the fantastic Isadora software which Sara has used to programme her video work. Dawn and Mark stopped by yesterday to 'Pay Attention' and then came with us for dinner and drinks. Troika Ranch are in Liverpool as part of their 9 week tour of their latest performance, which will also tour to other european cities including Berlin.

Experiment underway

May 3, 2006

myrfid.jpg
The Attention Please experiment is now live in The Box at FACT, Liverpool, UK. The live experiment runs Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th May from 2-6pm. We have already had quite large visitor numbers attending, all of whom have been paying attention!

Please give us your feedback!

May 3, 2006

attention

Firstly I'd like to thank you for coming, for paying attention and for taking part in our experiment.

Secondly, I'd like to ask you to give us some feedback. It's really important for us to know what you think of the installation.

Here are some questions to help you, please leave your response in the comment box below.

  1. Do you feel you were interacting with the videos?
  2. If yes, did this interaction enhance your experience?
  3. Do you think your attention was being rewarded?
  4. Do you think the technology used enhanced your experience?
  5. Have you enjoyed your visit today?
  6. Why did you come here today?
  7. Anything else you'd like to say?

Thank you for your help!