Sunday, October 19, 2008

Digital New Media Timeline (#3 - #12)

I've been reading my textbook for my Digital New Media class, slowly going through all of the advances in new media over time. I made a timeline post before, and this post continues upon that one.

#3- Computing Machinery and Intelligence
Alan Turing, 1950
--Began the famous (and still active) Turing test, which judges whether or not a computer is capable of thought.
--Turing's codebreaking ability helped England against German U-boats.
--His work influenced the creation of high-computing languages such as FORTRAN and COBOL.


#4- Men, Machines, and the World About
Norbert Wiener, 1954
--Questioned the responsibility of technology for a social standpoint.
--Argues that the during the 1950's, the world was undergoing a second industrial revolution by replacing low level human thought with machines.

#5- Man-Computer Symbiosis
J. C. R. Licklider, 1960
--Saw computers as something that could be more than just "computing machines."
--Believed that men and computers could reason together and solve more complex problems.
--Predicted advancements in computers such as desk-surface display, wall display and speech recognition.

#6- "Happenings" in the New York Scene
Allan Kaprow, 1961
--Coined the term "Happenings," which refers to interactive art.
--Happenings are usually unconventional theater plays, but they can refer to any interactive art, even brief events.

Response: My professor gave us a scenario that ended up with one person thinking of a happening. My professor gave us a hypothetical situation where we were all spies, like in the Garden of Forking Paths. She told us that we had to somehow get the name "Lafayette" out to our spy group without having direct contact.

My suggestion? Get a street sign that says Lafayette in the city and then wrap that around my body as a belt. Then, just go on a killing spree on Lafayette Street. I would get front page on most news publications the next day, and surely the belt sign would get a ton of attention. Hence, the spy group I work for would see it (and me) and understand the message. This is NOT a happening, as the only involvement other people would have with my "art" is dying.

Another person in the class actually thought of a Happening. Her idea was to have a ton of people play dead in a park spelling out Lafayette in big letters with their bodies. This is an example of an interactive art project called a Happening.

#7- The Cut-up Method of Brion Gysin
William S. Burroughs, 1961
--By cutting out pieces of music or text and rearranging them, you can create new and interesting art; this is the cut-up method.
--Burroughs is a writer who used this method; a more contemporary example would be remix artists.

#8- Augmenting Human Intellect- A Conceptual Framework
Douglas Engelbart, 1962
--Argued that when computers gained more tools, we would adapt and become smarter ourselves and then make smarter computers, and so forth.
--However, he also warned that computers can cause of loss of basic skills, resulting in a possible de-augmentation.
--Engelbart invented the computer mouse.

Response: I referred to Engelbart's ideas when I talked about Helvetica and typeface.

#9- Sketchpad- A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System
Ivan E. Sutherland, 1963
--First invention to break the barrier of computer screens only replacements for paper.
--Allows users to draw and create objects that would be impossible in physical media.
--Sketchpad laid the foundation for GUI (Graphical User Interfaces, i.e. Windows)


#10- The Construction of Change
Roy Ascott, 1964
--Distinguishes between interaction and participation in new media. Inaction is a two-way street while participation has a spectator and a set art piece.
--Some argue that Ascott's essay is the first to bring new media art to the educational public stage.

#11- A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminate
Theodor H. Nelson, 1965
--First paper to use the terms hypertext, hyperfilm and hypermedia.
--Proposes an organizational structure that allows people to jump from one idea to another.
--Combines the ideas of both Bush's MEMEX and Borges' literary style.

#12- Six Selections by the Ouilpo
Various authors, 1961, 1973, 1981
--The Ouilpo consists of potential literary works that can challenge conventional literary works.
--Founded by Francois Le Lionnais, the Oulipo methodology encourages the growth of experimental art.
--The Ouilpo was one of the first areas that allowed for the combination of computer science, literary creation and connectivity with other writers/artists.

Don't worry if you don't get what most of this means; it's just meant to show the progression of new media and technology over time. If you are interested though, check out the hyperlinks provided for more info. And just to let you know, that makes this blog post a hypertext post.

5 comments:

calightning1 said...

Rich,
Concerning your timeline and comments on Chapter 4, Norbert Wiener -- you might note that he promoted "social justice" in relation to scientists taking responsibility for their inventions.

Cynthia

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