Throughout this class, my perception of technology has been turned on its head. I have always felt naturally curious to explore things that were put in front of me, but never really thought to dig any deeper. It was like… “Oh this is cool. I can do so many cool things with this?” But I never really thought about how it could be improved. The picture under glass description of current technology and the lack of natural hand motions have really changed my outlook.
As I’ve said multiple times, everything that I learn I immediately try to think about how it is applicable for my students. While I think that current technology is a wonderful teaching and learning aid, there is so much more room for exploration. Instead of having a virtual piano on their phones, why not create their own pair of piano gloves.
It also solves some of my big problems with students today. In order for a student to create something, they have to work together and therefor there picture under glass devices are put away. They may be using technology to create new technology, but they are not being zombified by it. Technology is a wonderful tool when it is used correctly. Unfortunately, many people, not just children, are pacified by it instead of inspired by it.
Although my life is so closely tied with the “New Media,” I felt like it was my first time to exactly know the definition of it after reading Manovich’s writing on new media.
The article reminds me of the programs’ name change issue happened at my previous college, California College of the Arts(CCA). We once had a heated discussion among the design program about changing the name from “Graphic Design” to “Visual Communication.” Since the majority considered that the term “graphic” is out of fashion and not a well presentation of today’s graphic design. Indeed, “graphic” literally means “of or relating to the art of printing” from the dictionary. However, nowadays graphic design is not limited to two-dimensional form (e.g poster, book), it is largely involved with new media. Graphic designers have worked on designing website, app, motion graphic, and interactive installation. The boom of new media also forces the school to update the courses in order to meet the industry’s need, there are more digital based design courses are taught at school compared to two years ago when I graduated.
“Media Arts” was another program that changed name but fail to meet the industry need. The funny effect is that after the program decided to change the name to “Film,” many students in the second year of the program switched major, as well as the first year students who intended to attend the program. The number of enrolled new students also dramatically dropped. School was surprised to find that how much students and parents care about “Media.” Students and parents considered that “media arts” is a much popular profession and a trendy study field.
I often heard form my graphic design friends complained to me that they were asked question about their website/app coding skill in job interviews, which they considered was not designer’s scope. Designer should only design the website, not code it. After attending this class and reading the article I realize it is a totally wrong concept, since if you do not have the basic understanding of programming a website, you definitely cannot design an appropriate interface for it.
What Programming Means to me?
Coding in and of itself is a very simple idea; manipulation of the binary states that an object can exist in to create something greater than itself. In light of developing new medias in combination with fast processing power, programming is quickly becoming a bottomless pit worth of potential.
All in all, programming is not an end in itself for me; I believe programming is a tool to create more tools to enrich our ability to create – and more importantly- recreate media of the past. A simple example that was provided in the Manovich reading alludes to the evolution of the cinema and how over time we have managed to digitize most aspects of the analog realm in respect to movies. This recreation of cinema allows for a greater source level control of the media (ie. more exciting and realistic CGI).
For example, in my code City of Acid I have the flexibility and freedom to completely alter the state of the image all within the computers realm of control. It was a totally hands off process for me because the computer was able to take the instructions and create at my will.
This very simple manipulation of binary states became able to manipulate something very complex. Moving forward, I will continue to code and learn more about it as all media is moving towards the world of digitization just because of the amount of power and control it affords the user to have over their creations. And as programming languages approach an even higher level that arne’t based in text editing; for example something akin to a protools, a photoshop, or even a MAX/MSP; more users will be able to create and manipulate their media without having to learn how to code. On top of this, the amount of control these “higher” level languages have is ever increasing, soon controlling and creating all media will move to a point where learning the text coding will become an artifact of the past.