Gallery Write Up #2: Interactive Design

The Queering Space Lounge is located in the Llewellyn Gallery in SET. The Llewellyn Gallery is located on the 3ndfloor of SET on SUNY Alfred State’s campus. The exhibit opened on February 2nd, 2018. I visited the pieces multiple times on various dates to see if my interpretations of the pieces would change. My last day of observing was on February 25th. The exhibition contained two pieces. “teXt” was created in 2004 and “Xq28” was created a year later in 2005.

The pieces in the gallery were both designed by Tammy Renée Brackett. The topic of the two pieces have to do with the way in which genetics are differentiated between different people and the effects that it can have on their lives as well as society. Both screenings heavily relied on text to get their messages across. “teXt” was a composition made up of four-hundred and seventy-three pages of the letters “G”, “A”, “T” and “C” (guanine, adenine, thymine and cytosine). The text is scrolled randomly with random values of light applied to the font. This creates a futuristic high contrast moving image that will keep your attention drawn to the screen at all times. The second piece, “Xq28”, was composed of various words flashing on the screen. This was accompanied by a constant droning sound with little to no bend in the frequencies. The constant drone mixed with the words flashing at random speeds draws your attention to the screen.

The presentation was about the natural occurrence of deformities in genetic code and their ability to be included inside a system with genetic code that has no oddities. What we consider to be the “norm” is not truly normal; nature does what it wants to do and we must learn to accept that. What also grabbed my attention was the speed in which the words appeared and then vanished on the screen for the “Xq28” piece. Changes in nature can occur so fast that we don’t have time to react to them but once it happens we must accept it. The contrast of black and white in both pieces represent the X and Y in the bodies chromosomes and the words themselves represent the overall genetic composition.

This exhibit relates to our course by showing how even in a randomized format, text and certain layouts can be executed in a way that allows them to work. While many artists will try to focus and make everything “perfect”, this exhibit displays that imperfections make the pieces better in their own special way. Some may find this method of execution lazy, but to others this makes the piece have its own special flare that separates it from other works of the same type.

Gallery Write Up #1: Interactive Design

Many people involved with the computer science and Digital Media and Animation major are hearing more about the Unity game engine; a free game engine for indie and professional developers. Much like other programs, it can be over whelming to learn a new program. To help solve this issue for the basics, a Unity seminar was held in SET 440 at 7PM. The event was hosted by Stephon Barrett with Michael Girard, Maria Frascella and myself assisting when needed. All participants were asked to install the newest version of Unity before the seminar began so they could all dive right in.

The topic of the seminar was a variety of sub-topics that had to do with the basics of using Unity. The first topic covered was the basics of the UI layout. This included the View settings so that people could select their favorite UI layout. This would allow people to find a format to use the software in which they are most comfortable.  After learning a bit about the Unity layout and getting everything organized, we then moved onto the basics of creating shapes such as cubes and spheres. Everyone was then taught how to create materials to apply to the shapes. Stephon then instructed everyone on how to create a script to allow the cube to be parented to the camera and allow the camera to move based on the user’s mouse input. Once all of these processes had been covered, Stephon allowed everyone to mess around and try to modify the content we had created to learn how to make changes to our games and learn the software.

Some of the main points that really grabbed my attention had a lot to do with how important organization is. When making a video game or any other type of media for that matter, you’re going to have quite a few files to manage. It is very important to keep these files organized so that not only you remember where they are, but also for any teammates involved to easily find the files they need in an efficient and organized manner. If a person using the program were to just dump all of the files into one folder, others as well as themselves would be able to find the file they were looking for without a headache and in some cases depending on the project, compiling errors. Organization is important with any project and Stephon was able to communicate the importance of this method to everyone. For a Unity project, if you make a material, put it in a folder with other materials. Scripts? Put them in a scripts folder. This applies to everything: keep organized and avoid unnecessary headaches.

I can apply the various things I learned today at the Unity seminar to my work in DMA and this course individually. The most important thing to apply to ALL of my work is one that I am always careful to employ to the best of my ability; organization. Without organization, projects can easily fall apart. Pieces can get lost, ruined and in some cases, you may even forget to create something you need to have for your project because your directory or workplace is so cluttered you think to yourself “that’s not something I’d forget”; and then end up forgetting. Another important piece I have taken away from this seminar to apply to my future projects as well as this course is to double check your resources. What I mean by that is to go over any code you may be working on to check its sustainability and whether or not there are errors. Letting errors stack up can cause other methods to not function correctly and lead to quickly creating more problems.