Posts Tagged 'itp'

NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program Winter Show 2009

As has become habit over the past couple of years, this past week I headed over to the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program Winter Show. ITP is a graduate program started by Red Burns with a mission to “explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people’s lives.” While not as robust as last year’s Spring Show (due to the fact that the Spring show is often a display of many of the grad students’ master theses), the Winter Show definitely lived up to ITP’s vision of producing imaginative uses of tech.  I’ll share some of my favorite projects.

As would be appropriate, the first project on display when you walked into the show was ITP Guest Book, a web project meant to be accessed via an iPhone or iPod Touch that helped show goers leave comments on specific projects and navigate the space via a built in map and project categorization system.  While I loved the concept, I didn’t really find myself utilizing the app, preferring to organically navigate the space and save my commenting for the blog, where I could leverage a bit more of a hindsight view of things.

Many of the show’s projects were less utilitarian of course, with a whole slew that fell on the more artistic side of the technological spectrum.  My absolute favorite in the arts category was tek(s)nesonic, which featured a projected screen which captured those that walked in front of a camera and then mapped falling letters and numbers (which viewers could enter themselves) into the image, each of which were associated with different sound samples.  People who found themselves in the frame could then interact with the falling characters, “catching” them and activating the associated sounds.  I found myself delighted when a P would land on my shoulders and start beeping until I moved and it continued to fall.  Ingenious.

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Growing innovation, from the playful to the serious, at NYU’s ITP

I only learned about NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program about a year ago, from my friend Sonaar that who had then just started a graduate degree there.  I’d thought of the program as focused on engineering, and Sonaar, a fellow meditator, writer and tech enthusiast, didn’t exactly evoke engineer.  He was straight liberal arts to me.  But then, I didn’t know much about the program.

Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to check out their seasonal show, now for the second time, and gotten a real sense of the incredible spirit of creativity, innovation, experimentation, playfulness and collaboration that characterizes the program and its students.  At the show there are tons of projects, ranging from innovative interfaces to tech art, pro-social technologies, mobile applications, wearable technology, robots making art, and much more.  Some seem immediately ripe for either venture capital, application in the classroom, or installation in a museum.  Others are more whimsical, and might never make it to a broader public, but will inform the discourse around interactive media and the way it shapes society. It’s a real playground for those interested in the next generation of odd, interesting and thought provoking technology.  You can check out the photos I took from the show in the slideshow below, but for full effect you should check them out with my notes on my flickr stream.

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If you're reading this, then you've reached the web log of Rafi Santo. This is my little slice of the internet where I can share my passion (or whatever) with the world.

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