Posts Tagged 'NYU'

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.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What is “Integral Life”?

Since I shared this blog with the world, a number of people have asked me what exactly “Integral Life” is, and why I chose it as part of this blog’s name. This goes back a bit to college, where my first deep engagement with the contemporary academic fields began.

I attended NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, in which all of the students had the opportunity (or yoke) of designing their own major. Students were able to form their concentrations through study across all of NYU’s schools and departments, and while some came to the program because they had an esoteric interest but clear direction, others in the program simply had no idea what they wanted to study discipline wise, but wanted the freedom to explore.

I fell into both categories. My fundamental interest in school was this idea I had in my head that there was a certain way that people operated in the world, some principle that governed human behavior that was discoverable if I just delved deep into the question. I jokingly called my major “How People Tick” when describing it to others, though this was always a tongue in cheek way of pointing to what I felt was a much deeper concept.

In pursuing my study of how people ticked, I didn’t really have a good sense of where to begin, so started in the most obvious of places: Psychology. And then I moved onto Sociology. And then to social work. Then Politics. Theology. Mysticism. Quantum Philosophy. Photography. Culinary Arts. International Development. Pretty soon I found myself out of credits and sitting in a Buddhist monastery in India writing my senior paper, though thankfully by that time I’d come to a pretty good sense of what I was looking for.

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Hi there.

Rafi in thailand, smiling

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.

Research. Meditation. Learning theory. Spirituality. Activism. Cooking. New Media. Pedagogy. Photography. It's all fair game, and will likely coalesce into some unholy mixture thereof. But hey, that's the integral life.