Now, with great speed the internet delivers large amounts
of information effortlessly. The focus on performance often
supercedes debate about its content. Yet, the most powerful
and seductive sites are sometimes those that reveal only small
pieces of information at a time and demand the user to slow
down and become absorbed in their content, stimulating a different
kind of experience.
With the birth of the internet, being involved in both design
and programming is common. This partially illustrates the
success and popularity of Flash. It allows designers to
ease into programming and gain control over the execution
of their project by taking advantage of what computing facilitates.
Simultaneously Flash inspires programmers to explore the
power of visual as a language and develop an understanding
of space and time.
I was recently at a friend's house who is a strong chess
player. With one of his guests, and for our entertainment,
they played a chess match without the board, just calling
the moves out loud. There was something magical about their
staring into space and imagining the board. Coding allows
this kind of mental experience. At the same time, the chess
board and its pieces are beautiful as objects and they are
rich in meaning for the game itself and highly symbolic
of other systems. The chessboard is not unlike a frame in
a timeline, it represents one point in time but you can
look in both directions and imagine the unfolding of the
Some innovators in new media are creating visual elements
through programming. This is a form of expression unique
to the digital world. Attempting to simulate live forms
using code is not a new challenge per se, but it is still
particularly fascinating to me -- being able to duplicate
life's beauty is profoundly satisfying. The new drawing
API makes creating animation or visual applications solely
through code more accessible.
Right from the first time I used a computer, I've loved
everything about it, it felt comfortable and its potential
endless. When I was in college, I took a couple of programming
courses, which I enjoyed but, because of computers' connotations
with the business world at the time, I never thought to
pursue it further. After spending a few years of confusion,
I applied to a graduate school that encouraged experimenting
with technology and art. The students selection was based
on life experience, to see what they could do with computers,
rather than prior technical expertise.
Computers can be used as a form of expression and there
is an emerging interest in programming for the sole purpose
of creating art. The need to be able to master the technology
first can be an obstacle to creativity. It demands hard
work, patience and a certain mind set. For that reason,
any digital piece with some level of poetry is remarkable
I'm now back in school studying computer science because
I want to become more fluent in coding and because I enjoy
the process. Although a lot of the material is familiar,
it is more challenging and exciting. The power of good programming
and the process of building something completely from one's
mind are extremely rewarding.
Presenting a large amount of information, especially if
it is complex and abstract, is an interesting challenge.
It requests a simple and consistent visual language that
the user can learn quickly without instructions. The information
must be comprehensive but not overwhelming. Maps are wonderful
examples of an accessible organizing system that looks beautiful.
Computers are great tools for helping us to visualize scientific
projects for a general public. I once worked on a 100-foot-long
installation in the physical hall of biodiversity at the
Museum of National History in New York City portrays thousands
of species, an enormous amount of information. We had to
translate a physical experience into a digital one, where
the user stays in one place but is exposed to the same detailed
material as the visitor who actually walks along the wall.
The result which seems straightforward now took us quite
some time to figure out.
I came from Meaux, a suburb to the east of Paris and a town
as old as Paris. I grew up in a large family. After living
in Paris for a few years, I came here on a visit and never
As far as I can remember, I never felt that I belonged
anywhere until I moved here. As an immigrant, you're always
an outsider in the sense that even if you settle down and
are integrated, you left a nest which will never be found
again. It forces you to keep your sense of individuality
and as result have a different respect for others. It is
partly what makes New York so vibrant as so many of us are
not from here.
As a woman, New York has been a good experience for me.
One of the reasons I stay in the United States is that it's
so much easier for a woman to work here. Presenting yourself
via your gender however is a little confusing to me. Even
though the world is not genderless, it's the whole person
you consider. Ultimately you have to do good work to be
It is commonly understood that if a project is interactive,
you can make a choice and expect a response as a result.
At the beginning when it was simple, it was hyperlinked
text and navigation devices.
Now it seems that interactivity is defined as a form, a
language, independent of the content it delivers. Even though
it is one of the most used terms in new media and one of
its unique attributes, I find it the hardest to define.
"You cannot not communicate"
I prefer originality to sophistication.
I particularly like sites that are personal and perceptive.
This is not specific to art sites or home sites, I am talking
about a certain style and delivery.
I am always amazed by how quickly trends are set on the
web and how the popular site of the moment becomes a template
for many. I find the craze to look sophisticated very boring.
I still think that the Internet is an amazing entity and
continues to influence and change the way we live our lives
in profound ways, similar to how the introduction of the
automobile at the beginning of this century changed our
The internet is a powerful tool. Mostly everyone can put
up a site, distribution is not a problem, most of it is
uncensored, and it is a great window on to the world. The
applications that appeal to me the most at the moment are
the ones where people make contributions which in turn become
part of the site content. It is the closest thing to a documentary
or a public radio show. Ultimately, what interests me is
a site's human element, how it touches and affects people.
Computing is just another form of expression.