Have you ever thought about the future of human evolution? Popular culture is full of stories of mutant lives and futuristic inventions and although the future is yet to be determined, we can all agree on one thing: In modern society, digital technologies are now a fundamental part of human life.
As consumers, most of us are familiar with new digital technologies in the form of everyday commercial products like mobile game applications, virtual reality entertainment, or interactive gadgets. For inventors and designers, these new technologies offer exciting opportunities for exploration, but for those without a background in programming, or related fields, this can be a barrier to incorporating these tools into their work.
Tuangkamol Thongborisute is a 27-year-old artist who holds a BFA from Silpakorn University and a MFA from UCLA’s Design | Media Arts program. She is one of a generation of “new-media” artists exploring how emerging technologies can transform their creative practice. A classically trained painter, Tuangkamol now works predominantly with interactive digital media.
“Most of the time my work takes the form of interactive sculpture or installation art,” Tuangkamol explains, “I work predominantly with computer programing, electronics, game engines and some fabrication. My art pieces are designed to be physically interacted with”.
Digital Sense, is Tuangkamol’s most recent art project and shows how interactive digital technologies can be integrated into the physical world in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Two innovative pieces were produced as part of this project: Social Media without the Internet and Signal Moods.
Social Media without the Internet is a blazer that has been embedded with typical social media functionality. A person who wears this blazer can collect data in the same way that a user does on social media platforms, this includes counting ‘likes,’ ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ which can also be ‘unfriended’ and ‘unliked’. The Internet is not necessary here, because every interaction takes place within the physical world, the wearer using their hands to socialize.
“After showing this piece publically, I’ve experienced many delicate and interesting issues of human interactions between the digital and physical world.” Tuangkamol says.
Signal Moods is a sound interactive sculpture which synthesizes audio from Twitter in real-time. The program collect tweets and translates them into musical chords based on a musical theory and a linguistic research database. The piece allows us to perceive one of the most popular social media platforms with our ears.
The advancement of New-media Art in modern society opens the door for people involved in art and science to express their creativity and share it with the world. Artworks do not only live in galleries anymore and when art spreads its arms, becoming multidisciplinary, it can connect to so many more people who might otherwise not have access to it.