Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crossmedia Examination

I'm in Karlshamn at the moment listening to student presentations describing the artist books they have created for the "Teknik i nya medier" course (Technology in New Media). Helena has just shown us her black box, "from a JAS aircraft," filled with texts and artefacts on cyborgs, the future and gender in relation to technology, which are in line with the course themes. The box is intended to function as a museum display of our time and the issues described by the texts.

Patrik has created a book, as if written by a future author who has collected articles written in our time or in a near future, with beautiful images giving a glimpse of what life is/was/will be like, and with the three course themes in focus. An important issue is also archiving. The articles, with images and texts, that has been collected and sent to a publisher, in "A4,5" format and Patrik has come up with an entire story around that as well, where the format had been invented and used for a short time in an effort to create an increased interest for books.

After a short break, Rasmus dims the light in the room, lights candles, and uses his iPod to provide some background music. He then begins to read what he has written: his thoughts on the assignment and the course. Instead of creating a traditional artist book he has written about the course themes - beginning with cyborgs and finishing with gender - about how he has understood and reacted to them, and he now reads this aloud very much like a storyteller, turning the artist book into a performance.

Kattis is next and she opens a briefcase filled with letters and various items. It's a briefcase sent to our time from the future and is to be sent back to the future later on. The course themes have been addressed and she invites us all to take our time to explore the briefcase in an individual and personal way.

Karolina is the last one to show us her "artist book." She has mainly focused on the texts as such and she has hung the texts, where she addresses the course themes, as artefacts, as well as a mirror, all bound together by ribbons in different colours (black, blue, pink) and patterns (flowers) and a red thread that helps the reader navigate.

The second part of the examination focuses on what the students have created at the "Second Swedish Net University" in Second Life. Initially, they were asked to familiarize themselves with the new medium and create something media specific, something that would not be possible to do in the physical world. Karolina has created a beautiful four seasons display, using images, sounds and a few sculpties. Kattis has developed parts of a "fun house," using lights, colours, physics and rotating scripts, all of it forming the word "kul" (which means fun in Swedish). Rasmus has created a "Turning Torso"-like structure with fountains on the outside, using sounds and scripts. Patrik has built a replica of the Jetson's house and has added a "cleaning function" by notecard and script. Helena has created a fun park with for instance labyrinths, dominoes, balls, and dices. She has mainly used physics and a some scripts.

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