Da Young Ju

Art and Technology

Artist statement

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My work is an attempt to engage art and technology. The subject of my interactive work is the communication between how we use the latest digital technology to create interactive art work, and how the technology can communicate with humans.

 

The interactive methods provide a great environment to explore the connections between human spectators and the possibilities in digital technology. Interactive systems determine the grammar of my interaction with the latest digital technology.

 

Many of my interactive installation works respond to participant’s locations in the installation space, as well as spatial relationships between human spectators and the art work (the machine or the computer), some sounds (voices), or the distance between them. By creating installations that use custom made human tracking systems to respond to the spectator’s body and distance from the work, I create a connection between the human and the computer.

 

Since early 1995 when I entered Art College, my work has involved the creation of conceptual and expressional objects and installations. The subject of my earliest works was the relationship between humans and nature. During my undergraduate study at Hong-Ik University, I had the opportunity to explore almost the whole gamut of art forms, traditional or relatively new, including drawing, painting, photography, animation, graphic design, and computer image generation thanks to my double majors in painting and visual communication design. I have also had professional job experience as a graphic designer, painter and animator.

 

 My country, South Korea, in the late 1990s was one of the leading countries in the field of IT and digital technology. There were plenty of venture companies, and they invented and created various images for animations, commercials, videos, and movies. I had created animations, music videos, and 3D installations, and after this, my idea naturally moved to the digital technology for art. Among all the art forms I have experienced, the one that attracted me most is digital art due to its variety of forms for artistic communication and interactivity. It can embrace new scientific discoveries and technologies for continually creating new forms of expression. I was captivated by the notion of exploring the intersection between digital techniques and analog artistic forms. Upon graduation, therefore, I sought an opportunity for graduate study in technology to expand my horizons for digital art and technology.

 

From 2000 to 2007, I studied computer science and engineering at graduate school as an MS and PhD student. I was most glad to find a program for media technology at Sogang University that embraces the whole spectrum of students with undergraduate backgrounds from art, science and engineering. It was a new and unique program in South Korea that started in 2000 with its research and educational goals somewhat similar to those of MIT Media Lab. I was fortunate to learn computer science and engineering with an emphasis on computer graphics, animation and computational vision. My research in the computer science field was Image-based rendering, image analogy, image manipulation, motion capturing, and 3D facial animation. These technologies are easily applied in graphic software like Photoshop, animation, and special effects in movies like “Harry Potter”. Moreover I have researched texton, HDRI, recognition, and segmentation in the aspect of computer vision. Computer vision technology is a science for analogizing reasons of visual situations. Although I remained an artist in my heart, my graduate study has been focused on creating scientific ideas and putting them into technical implementation.

 

 

My research has been to develop a computational vision technique for electronically displaying artistic paintings on a computer monitor with realistic impressions of their illumination. Visual impressions from artistic oil paintings significantly vary under different illumination and viewing conditions, but this effect has been largely overlooked in most poster productions and electronic display. My developed technique lets the viewer clearly see brush strokes and paint materials on a computer monitor with relatively low data dimensionality. I used this technique for my virtual gallery, which was presented at the “Sketches and Applications” session of ACM SIGGRAPH 2002, Los Angeles, USA. Since I received my Masters degree in Media Technology in 2002, I have been working to generate realistic digital oil paintings electronically, and also to retarget face expression data to 3D facial models for realistic 3D animation. Apart from the scientific research, my art work The butterfly effects has been accepted at the ICAT 2004 International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence in Seoul, South Korea. For this work, I created sounds and virtual flying butterflies on a screen which responds according to the movements of the spectators. Another of my works, Midsummer night’s dream, where the images and movies were floated on a virtual pond using recognition of the spectator’s face, has also been exhibited for the Online Gallery Art Exhibits at the IV 2005 International Conference on Information Visualization in London, UK and The beautiful life has been accepted for CGIV 2005 International Conference Computer Graphics, Image and Vision in Beijing, China. This work is an interactive web-based Flash game for designing human life.

 

After years of studying art and technology individually, I am now at a place where I can develop myself as a more complete artist with computers rather than an artist with extra engineering degrees. Central to my work is the tension between the abstract realm of ideas and the corporeality in which we live and interact with these ideas.

 

Since mid 2007, as a graduate student in the University of the Arts London, Camberwell College, I have investigated new computer interaction schemes to create novel forms of intellectual communication between humans and artworks. An example of this occurred in my present work SeeSaw. I would like to specialize in digital art and to expand my creative art work in the field. I have been interested in crossing between disciplines of art and technology, and I am determined to investigate and develop creative problems by exploring new digital media. To me, physical interfaces mean manipulating virtual objects in the same manner as one would control something in the real world. Controlling virtual objects that are very fluid in nature with physically intuitive methods will allow me to extend the limit of interactive arts and thus enhance the human-computer communication channels. I intend to develop and study the use of physical objects as tools to control virtual objects. I would like to consider utilizing more of the body than just the simple interfaces such as mouse and keyboard. The SeeSaw is a participative and interactive video installation artwork, whose conceptualization is achieved by the spectator’s own engagement, and is catalyzed by reciprocal visual and sound extensions to express how communication works or, perhaps more importantly, how it doesn’t work, and to investigate a noble computer interaction scheme.

 

The SeeSaw is software which functions as a personality for a computer. In other words, the computer can be sad. This is because the responses of the artwork can be distinguishable. The response scheme was designed to be generated according to the spectator’s play (their motion or voice) so the responses are not static. The SeeSaw answers by her/his own feelings and thoughts about the spectator’s play.

 

In this artwork, programming is an essential method to implement the artwork. The programming is originally a language to communicate with a machine like a computer. However, an algorithm which is implemented using the programming language is definitely creative. The SeeSaw conclusively proves how digital technologies are evolving. Moreover, the artwork shows the artist can create a warm technology, like a computer with personality, using the latest digital technology.

 

Another art work “Hello:안녕/annyoung/” is a video installation artwork. “안녕/annyoung/” of the title “Hello:안녕/annyoung/” is a Korean greeting meaning “hello”. I conducted a short interview with many foreign people coming to London from their country. This work presents a linear conversation of modern society. Installation of this project is also linear to spectators. I hope that spectators can feel solitude or dissatisfaction instead from this work. My other ongoing project is “The route“. The Route is a participative and interactive video installation artwork. The artwork consists of two parts: “on the road – a record of London as a passenger”, and “map of London bus”. The Route is aiming for re-creation from the point of view of a passenger who took a real bus. A specific space like my area can be the reason for specific experiences. In other words, I found that London has separated regions according to a compass direction, and also separated bus routes according to the regions. There are separated situations and emotions. I would like to create an art work that can give an experience suggesting life to the spectator.

 

 

I plan to tackle artistic, philosophical and scientific issues of digital art focusing on the visual communication and interactivity between artworks and human spectators. I am excited at the prospects and possibilities of new forms of expression made possible by a new generation of tools, many of which I believe I understand technically. I am immensely interested in interacting with art works physically. By refiguring the possibilities for interaction with digital media, I question and explore the space between the symbolic and the corporeal; between the virtual and the real. By creating ideal relationships between these spaces I hope to engage people both emotionally and viscerally. Although my works are created by digital technology, they were born by the kind heart of humans. 

Written by dayoung Ju

April 24, 2008 at 11:39 pm

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