I hear the term ‘digital native‘ quite a lot. The idea is that it refers to a generation that have grown up with digital technology and are perfectly at home with using it. This is of course in contrast to the idea that they understand it. Its a tool – it is used as a means to an end.
There is no more understanding of how digital technology works in the average digital native than there is detailed knowledge of the insides of a car’s engine for me. My father’s generation grew up with servicing cars themselves, but for me – well, that is what the garage is for. I just use it to get me from A to B.
And so it is the same with a lot of today’s digital youth. Computer goes wrong? Find the chap who’ll fix it. Internet down … “Daaad …”
In fact a Royal Society article from last year discusses how current ICT teaching in schools appears to be damaging enthusiasm for understanding computers. Its obvious to any who care to look that long gone are the days of computers coming with programming manuals (although of course, arguably mindstorms might be more interesting …)
Well, I got a taste of native digital behaviour first hand today. 6 year old playing games on the computer announces ‘I got some music on. I typed in ‘give me what I want’ to Google and its playing it’ … sure enough, ‘Kids in glass houses‘ track on YouTube is the top link in the Google search results, so its playing in the background whilst she plays games.
Natively digital? Oh yes.
Been meaning to post about this for a while now. Google put together a presentation of loads of different Internet related projects that people have done. Next time you see some piece of media highlighting how bad the Internet is, pick one of these at random and redress the balance a little.
Some personal favourites of mine include:
- In B Flat
- The YouTube Radio
- Sour’s Webcam fan-based video
- Stop-motion animation by PES
- Graffiti Animation
- User Generated Content version of Star Wars
- Mapping from geo-tagged photos
- We Feel Fine (naturally – I’ve mentioned this before!)
- Keiichi Matsuda (and the domestic robocop)
- Street View art reproductions
- Japanese Water Fountain (not really Internet, but .. wow!)
- Building Projections (again, and old favourite)
- The Google Pacman (blogged, here)
- Internet of Things
Fantastic stuff. Tech at its best.
I’ve seen one or two musical items inspired by video games. There was Andrea Vadrucci who drums along to Mario Bros. Just found a violinist who plays the mario game music and sound effects in real time along to a game as its being played. I’ve seen opera in virtual worlds.
But I think the animation I’ve just found is quite excellent. It’s 80’s video games animated out of everyday objects. I particularly like the pacman near the end. Very well done. Its called Game Over and you can see it here on YouTube.
Funny what things trigger memories .. a chance overheard comment about ‘song on the radio’ reminded me of a song that used to be a regular feature on school and band coaches whilst growing up – ‘I bet you they won’t play this song on the radio‘, so had to google it, and yes, YouTube provides (doesn’t it always). I’d forgotten it was a Monty Python one. Still just a funny today mind …
Never did find a copy of the version of ‘here comes another one’ I remember though … (“ya-ca-da-dow”)
I’ve been reading about Machinima recently. This is basically a film, filmed within a virtual world. Its not really CGI, but more an actual recording of someone using a virtual world such as Second Life or World of Warcraft.
Well, on my travels, I’ve found this rather exquisite example of surreal Machinima, using Second Life. Its from an in-world artist called Lainy Voom.
See it here on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLeK9Lanh94&feature=channel_page.
This choir are just fantastic. They are performing ‘Africa’ (the Toto hit), but at the start, they use their hands and jumping to simulate the sound of rain and thunder. Any it is amazingly well done.
The performance of the song is very good too – don’t think there is any accompaniment – sounds a capella to me – but the tuning is very good.
All in all, a very good performance, and a joy to watch.
I feel like writing a blog post about http://www.wefeelfine.org!
I stumbled across the work of Jonathan Harris today in another blog. He has a very imaginative approach to using information from blogs and the Internet in ever changing technological art work.
I particularly like We Feel Fine, which is a website that scans blogs for sentences containing ‘I feel’ or ‘I am feeling’ and grabs them, works our the mood of the poster, along with any data about the poster that is easily grabbed from the blog (age, gender, location, etc) and stores it for display in one of several inventive ways. It is a bit like a general ‘stream of conciousness for the Internet’, and quite humbling to read when you consider that behind each of those statements is a story to be told. It is a fascinating website.
He has a couple of other interesting projects too – Lovelines is a similar project, looking for ‘I love’ or ‘I hate’ and variations inbetween. He has a few others, but some of them seem to have been overtaken with spam (sigh).
There is a charming childrens TV programme on Five on Sat and Sun mornings, around 7 am (don’t ask me how I know), called Mio Mao. Its an Italian, claymation animation about two kittens, called Mio and Mao. To them, everything is a surprise, and in every episode they discover something in their garden.
The animation is very slick and very humourous. Its a great show.
There are loads of episodes on YouTube.