For my AR sculpture, I created AR Panther Beach, an app which augments Panther Beach in California to any detectable surface. Constantly looking back at my memories, I miss the relaxing and chill days I spent in the previous summers going to the beach with my friends in pre-covid times.
I tried capturing the essence of the summer beach days, creating the terrain of the beach from scratch, adding Palm Trees which unfortunately do not exist there, and augmented spinning bottles of Soju (non-alcoholic of course) and a captured video of my friends dancing during our last time at Panther Beach, displayed onto a screen and played on a loop. I wanted to begin the AR experience in front of an open door, a sort of welcoming entrance to paradise. I added wind into the Terrain, which allowed for the Palm Tree prefabs to sway and shift gorgeously with the wind. Since my project uses plane-detection from Hello AR, tapping the screen allows you to move the beach terrain onto a different surface.
Overall I had an extremely fun and great experience making this project. I wanted to make it a little personal, since I feel that my other projects lacked that. I really wanted to add specific elements to distinguish my beach experience from an ordinary beach so that this AR app would feel more meaningful and allow me to reminisce on the good old days.
I had a couple of ideas which I was interested in creating an AR sculpture:
I’m not entirely sure if this could pass as a sculpture, but I’d be interested in creating a beach that can be stemmed from the corner of a room. I miss California, especially the beaches since COVID-19 required all beaches to be closed, so it’s been a while since I’ve gotten the chance to visit a beach. I figured I could create a realistic sculpture of a palm tree, with a miniature realistic beach that surrounds it.
Outdoor Palm Trees in Pittsburgh
I’m interested in creating a life-size line of palm-trees with leaves that sway in the wind. I would like them to appear on the sidewalks of any given road, and would like them to be as tall as possible. I’m interested in incorporating the idea of the beach as well into the area surrounding these trees.
Sculpture in-between 2 large buildings (Golden Gate Bridge/ Colorful Stream)
Another idea I had was creating an enormous sculpture that exists between my apartment complex and a neighboring apartment complex which I see through my window everyday. Since both apartments are about 20-stories high, I thought it be interested to create a large sculpture that connects both apartment complexes, or is situated so that it connects both of them. Some ideas I had were creating the golden gate bridge, or installing a colorful light stream that flows between both buildings.
My assemblage sculpture combines models from David O’Reilly’s Everything Consumable Library. I also used textures from texturehaven.com and the unity standard assets packages. I tried working with a composition that I felt would be interesting and would read like a sculpture with a metallic and solid color all throughout. I tried varying the type of material, though all having a similar property of feeling stiff and rigid, like how mental sculptures are. I was able to add a nice touch of color with adding multiple direction lights, and altering the hues which adds pink and teal to the sculpture. Unfortunately, I could not get unity recorder to work as it crashed when I tried starting a recording 🙁 Will make sure to get it to work.
I’m really fascinated in Tilt Brush, where users are able to create amazing VR sculptures and spaces that come to life before your eyes. I think this project takes visualizing a project to a whole another level, where one is able to view exactly what the prototype looks like in the VR setting and can assist in a more accurate and refined way of creating VR work. I really enjoy the simulation of sculpting from hand, as I think there are times when the interface of programs such as Unity contain setbacks in having the user fully acknowledge a 3d-modeling experience. With Tilt Brush, many users regardless of background will be able to construct in 3D in a more natural way and simulates enhanced real-life modeling.
I also found this project to be special and interesting in the way an emotional story could be told through VR by rendering 3D characters solely through lines which enhance the effect of memories and flashbacks. I really enjoy the artistic direction and risk-taking element of capturing a narrative with beautiful and delicate people that are abstracted through lines; sometimes more expression can be done with less, and in this case, a face of beautiful lines can be more expressive than a realistically rendered face.
I really appreciate the way she approached her goals in her practice and development as an artist through a “no fear” mindset. I think this is an important mindset to have when creating art, where I think everyone should be fearless, and take risks when trying to accomplish your art practice and developing new skills. I’m also interested in her art practice of characterless VR games, where she mentions how characters can often take away from the environment and can alter the user’s experience. She instead values the beauty of a VR space and environment and puts emphasis on what the user experiences naturally in her game, which I think is also interesting.
"Proto-Agonist" was a piece which stood out to me, where these anime and Japanese RPG sprites were generated and created from DCGANs (Deep Convolutional Generative Networks) and utilized an RPG generative process that characterizes the 2D sprites. I was amazed by the way our brains are able to distinguish the faces, hair, and body from pixels, where there doesn't need to be a lot of information in images for us to recognize sprites. I really enjoyed the transition of pixel color, that allows us to see so many permutations and iterations of 2D characters from color changes in the pixels. I find it interesting how individually, the sprites may appear simple in their pixelated form and color, but when looking at the generation of these seemingly-simple collection of pixels, there's many more layers of depth that go into creating endless images of pixels that read to us as distinct characters and sprites.
For my mask project, I created a strange, semi-translucent mask that turns you into some sort of alien insect.
When I was creating this mask, I was really interested in the idea of transparency, where I wanted to create a mask that masks your face, but doesn't remove all the underlying structure. The mask I created was taken from a Jello feature in Lens Studio, but distorted and transformed so that it would look more like a gas mask/face mask. I then applied a filter that gives the screen a smoky and grainy texture that works well with the translucent mask. I also added an eyeball, with the pupil being a shape of a face.
From John Oliver’s Facial Recognition video, I found Clearview.ai and facial recognition technology in general to be concerning and even frightening in the way in which facial recognition could be exploited and used outside of entertainment. The accurate and elite facial recognition program is well developed as it has collected over 3-billion photos of people from the internet. However, despite Clearview.ai being solely used for “law enforcement” agencies, the facial recognition service is said to be used in businesses such as Kohl’s and Walmart, and has been implemented secretively used in many other areas and countries. The amount of ways which facial recognition could be exploited is frightening, and makes me question the functionality and legality of facial recognition technology.
Why should we desire our faces to be legible for efficient automated processing by systems of their design? It’s no doubt that development of this kind of technology has been made possible by data from millions, even billions of people’s faces, and the idea that they have access to our faces could potentially result in the creation of new, oppressive technologies and ways in which our faces could be exploited.