Monthly Archives: April 2012

Video Games Are Art, Part 1: NEA

Art Works NEA Logo

Woo hoo! The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has made it official: Video games are art. Or, perhaps more accurately, video games are a legitimate medium for legitimate art. Just all oil paintings can be art (but certainly not all oil paintings…), so can video games. Here’s a link to a great post on four game projects that were funded in 2012 as part of the NEA’s Arts in Media grants.

Now, I should mention that I never really spent that much time playing video games as a kid or as an adult. For that matter, I don’t really read much fiction, either. (I prefer poetry and nonfiction.) But I’m thrilled by this development nonetheless.

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Projections R Us

 

Tonight was “dig+it+art,” otherwise known as the Capstone Showing for the Arts Technology Certificate Program at the University of Utah. As I have been participating in this program all year for my sabbatical, I got to show a piece as well. My piece was entitled “Dots and Lines and Dance and All of Us.”

To create it, I recruited a group of dancers (mostly freshman modern dance students at the University of Utah but also my wife, Jacque, who is a professional modern dance choreographer) and had each of them improvise a 10-second sequence that I filmed with a Kinect hooked up to my MacBook and running through Processing. From there, I took the RGB video at 1 FPS and ran it through a nice, blurry B&W filter, placed the 100 resulting images on a grid in random order, and made it possible to connect the images from a dance with a Catmull-Rom spline. (Of course….) I also created videos of the point clouds and skeletons, also at 1 FPS. Each of the three parts – clouds, grid, and skeletons – was projected on a large wall. Lots of fun!

 

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