Interactive Art / Environmental Works

Artist Lectures by David Bowen and Leif Brush, and senior exhibit by student Sam Hagen, show us various ways that artists are using motion and sound capture technology to create art installations that make connections between humans and their environment.

Please post a reflective response to the work of these three artists here.

What do you find most intriguing about the works?

What ideas or uses of technology are the most challenging for you?

What connections can you make between the works of these artists?

How might you choose to use motion or sound capture in an environmental work?

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Link to David Bowen’s website


Link to Leif Brush on Rhizome

Link to Sam Hagen’s exhibit


7 thoughts on “Interactive Art / Environmental Works

  1. What do you find most intriguing about the works?

    For Leif, I will never look at the trees the same. I still am dumbfounded as to how he would think of an idea like that, using trees as music. As for Sam, I liked that he created his pieces basically from scratch, gave it more of a personal touch, and as for David’s work with the flies…interesting and weird, slightly gross also.

    What ideas or uses of technology are the most challenging for you?

    I look at these pieces of interactive art that these three have made and I am amazed by it, so the hardest part for me is, how. How did they figure out the process of making their pieces work the way they work.
    What connections can you make between the works of these artists?

    They are all obviously interactive, but they were all also taken in emotionally and they cared about the subject matter which made the art more interesting to look at.

    How might you choose to use motion or sound capture in an environmental work?

    I am interested in making an installation that makes people interact with each other and make art at the same time. Basically like some of the games that are presented in the LEAP but in a bigger version that more than one person can play at a time, allowing them to interact.


  2. The artist that I found most interesting was David Bowen. Having taken his class I was able to visit his studio and see some of his works in progress. Much like Leif Brush’s work he incorporates nature into his work. While it may not be interacting with humans it does interact with nature. This is fascinating because it is virtually transporting nature into an indoor environment. Conceptually it is very interesting because these worlds are seen in a completely different light. They often have satirical reflections of our society such as his “Fly Tweet,” project. It is kind of funny because it points out the mindlessness of constant updates on people’s lives using social media.
    Perhaps my favorite project was “Tele-present Water.” It is just interesting to see data taken from the motion of water, and turn it into this very surreal experience. It is a very cool to see it happening in real time. I like the idea of using technology to create art. We are surrounded by technology everyday and it is usually used for entertainment, but it could be used for something much more intellectually stimulating. Hacking these products that we use everyday and using them as tools to make art is an amazing idea. It really makes you think about what we can incorporate into our own work.
    I am interested in using motion capture. While I do not have any experience working with it I would really like to learn more. I think creating a project will help me get experience with these tools. I definitely have to do some more research though.


  3. I thought the ideas of all of the pieces David Bowen and Leif Brush presented were all very interesting. They were all very original, I always hear that there are no original ideas anymore, but their ideas were like nothing I had ever heard of before.
    For David Bowen’s work the most interesting aspect was how he connected pieces across the world and had them interact with each other. Or how he had the flies do something that normally is something done by humans. In Leif’s work I felt he was beyond his times, I feel it would be really interesting to see what kind of work he would do if he were just coming out of college today. The idea of roots making noise isn’t something that a majority of people would think of on a normal day, which is one of my favorite parts about his work, it brings something to my attention that I otherwise would not have thought of.
    The most challenging idea for me was the printer that Bowen presented that printed one dot at a time, I didn’t understand how he manipulated that machine to make it do that, while he was speaking that was one of the pieces that I wanted to know a little more about.
    A connection between then is definitely their use of new ideas, I have never heard of anyone doing the same thing as them, which is my favorite part about their work.
    I think it would be interesting to record sound in nature along with the speed of wind or the speed of animals moving by and connect them. Have there be some sort of connection between the pitch of the sounds of the forest and the speed of wind/animals moving. Something like that.


  4. The most interesting thing I thought that David Bowen presented was about the flies and how they are linked to live feed on Twitter. I’m not really a twitter person myself, but I really liked how they were linked to something bigger. In fact, most of the work that he showed the class was linked to something much bigger that just having it in one place. That was really cool to see for me.
    I really enjoyed seeing Sam’s work in the Tweed. For me, it just showed that someone my age could do something as cool as that. It’s not that crazy of an idea if I were to do something like that. I really liked finding out how Sam put the idea together and how he came up with everything.
    My favorite presenter that we had was Leif Brush. I really enjoyed just listening to his stories and just what he had to say. His artwork was really interesting and something I never thought of. I found it really fun listening to him jump from one story to the next and then realizing he didn’t finish his story from before. He was just all around a really interesting person to listen to talk about his artwork.
    All three of the artists used some kind of technology to make their artwork. They all used sensors in some way or form. It really intrigued me how nature makes sounds that we can’t hear. Because I haven’t really looked into it, I don’t know how else it would work to record these sounds we can’t hear, but it would be fun and interesting to possibly try some day.


  5. For Leif, I found it most interesting how much is childhood impacted his projects. Growing up in an orphanage and with little interaction with friends, Leif expressed himself through nature instead. I thought it was particularly interesting how his lack of communication with other individuals, encouraged him to make other mediums (such as nature) communicate in ways that aren’t particularly considered “normal.” For David Bowen’s work, I found it most interesting that he used nature and manipulated it in ways to work with the technology-driven mediums of our culture. And for Sam Hagan’s exhibition, I found it most interesting that he took the movements of the viewers and integrated them with the environment through both sound and visual cues.

    I’d have to say that I find David Bowen’s work to be most challenging. Not because of the concepts, but because of the construction. I can imagine that creating a project on such large scales and over great distances would be difficult to imagine, convey, and monitor.

    One specific connection that I can make between all of the artists is their ability to use mediums in an innovative way to create something that is both unusual and meaningful to a certain degree.

    I’m not sure how I would use motion or sound capture to create an environmental piece quite yet, but my initial thoughts are that it’d be interesting to study the amount of traffic a certain area hosts and correlate it with the condition of the space (wear and tear) over time.


  6. After listening to Leif Brush, Sam Hagen and David Bowen all talk about their works in the field of interactive arts, I found it interesting how each artist was able to integrate their interests into their work. I especially liked how Leif and Bowen’s work used nature in a field that is dominated by technology. In our world today, natural things are often overlooked or are forgotten in a world where you can see anywhere in the world on your computer or phone screen. These artists took natural things and implemented them into their fields. As an artist myself, I feel that I would struggle with the actual building of the machines and technological pieces of the work. I found that all the artists were able to create intricate pieces of technology with fairly cheap and basic tools. I think it would be cool to use motion and sound in a way to replicate whatever the viewer was doing and the sounds they were making and play them back in a different way.


  7. What do you find most intriguing about the works?
    I’m really interested in how the ideas of all the artist’s works are relatively simple. If you just described what a was happening to someone 1000 miles away it doesn’t seem to elaborate. However to actually see what goes into creating and displaying their pieces, it’s a massive labyrinth of hardware, and software, and conceptual ideas.

    What ideas or uses of technology are the most challenging for you?
    There is a lot of work I feel I can conceptualize, but I am limited in the tools available to me as well as my coding illiteracy.

    What connections can you make between the works of these artists?
    I think it’s really interesting how all three artists’ work is based off of different aspects of nature. Leif explores the sounds trees make, David explores weather forces, and Sam explore human nature.
    How might you choose to use motion or sound capture in an environmental work?


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