Theaters in China Screen Movies, and Viewers’ Text Messages
A moviegoer’s worst nightmare or the coolest wave of the future?
The “bullet screen,” or danmu, model of movie-watching has audience members send text messages via their mobile phones while watching the film. The messages are then projected onto the screen, so that at any given time the scene may be overlaid with multiple “bullets,” or comments, scrolling across the screen.
Over the past month, several theaters around China have been experimenting with “bullet screen” showings. The idea behind “bullet screens” originated in Japan, where they were first popularized by a Japanese ACG (animation, comics, games) video portal called Nicodou. While comments can be so numerous that they obscure the entire screen, many “bullet screen” proponents say the point is often not to watch the actual video in any case, but to get together and “tucao,” Chinese for “spit and joke around,” about the silliness of the video.
Full article (by Amy Qin) in the New York Times: http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/sinosphere/2014/08/20/theaters-in-china-screen-movies-and-viewers-text-messages/
Inmi Lee became fascinated with the question, What does the pure form of sound look like? For her piece, Mother, she attempted to answer this question: a collaboration with code artist Kyle McDonald, Mother translates sounds into objects. Claims Lee, “It’s one thing to hear a sound— it goes into your ear and dissipates.” Representations of sound, however, “Reveal certain relationships between sound and shape.”
At first glance, Mother is a series of beautiful and intricate 3D-printed sculptures that could have been the bones of some strange creature - and that’s just the surface layer. The proof is in the process: by asking 20 people to describe two different pairs of words they didn’t know - Korean adverbs, to be specific - and then describe that verbal description with hand gestures, using Xbox Kinect and custom built software in Open Frameworks created by McDonald, the duo captured their participants’ hand gestures, then extruded them over time on a 3D coordinate plane. After cleaning up the shapes and making aesthetic decisions such as how tight the data points should be, the final models were 3D-printed into sculptures. “Ultimately, these people were our translators in understanding these words as a form,” Lee explains.
Even beyond the actual creation process, the objects hold the weight of years of conversation between Lee and McDonald: in 2009, the duo began a dialogue about the relationship between sound and language, and the possibility of mapping sound onto or into new forms. After McDonald sent Lee a quote from designer Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto - “Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there,” - this became the underlying impetus for the project; both collaborators agreed to submit to the process, without fleshed-out end goals in mind.
Whilst poring through linguistics and anthropology texts, they uncovered research on the bouba/kiki effect - a sound visualization phenomenon that revealed that jagged shapes were typically referred to as “kiki,” while curvy, rounded shapes were “bouba” - and also readings on sound symbolism. Explains Lee, “Mapping between sound and shape wasn’t new. But as artists we were interested in finding our own way of representing it.”
Text [excerpts] by Becky Chung
Popping ice chunks & calving glaciers
Jacob Kirkegaard recording at the Ilulissat Ice Fjord for ISFALD, his work for ARCTIC at LOUISIANA Museum of Modern Art