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Flash Goddess
Veronique Brossier
January, 2003


V for Velocity
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.

E for Equilibrium
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 animation.

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.

R for Reasoning
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 to me.

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.

O for Organizing Information
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.

N for New York
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 went back.

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 appreciated.

I for Interactivity
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.

Q for Quote
"You cannot not communicate"
Paul Watzlawick

U for Unique
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.

E for Evolution
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 lives forever.

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.