At the intersection of art and technology

The world’s most creative people are hellbent on finding ways to use technology to allow audiences to see in new ways. And hear in new ways. And feel in new ways.

The more we discover about how people perceive and interact with the world on a physical level, the more we want to learn to experiment with that perception. We strive to create something emotional out of it. A great example is the Oculus Rift, an immersive Virtual Reality device that completely submerges the user in a new universe. It’s the next stage of a gaming industry dedicated to interactively bringing people out of their own lives and at least temporarily into another.

And while video games are a popular way for people to be exploring new ways of combining art and technology for the manipulation of perception, the concept is also used in all sorts of other disciplines.

From art to daily devices, we’ve collected just a tiny sample of the mind-blowing projects out there — take a look:

Marshmallow Laser Feast

Art and Technology: Marshmallow Laser Feast

Virtual Reality is that new frontier of experience-forming technology. In this example, Marshmallow Laser Feast has created a headset designed to allow the user to see and hear the sounds of a forest according to the animals that dwell there.

The idea is that each animal’s visual structure interprets lightwaves in a different way. It “colors” how the animal perceives the world. The project, “In the Eyes of the Animal,” was created in a site-specific location in Grizedale Forest (UK) for the Abandon Normal Devices Festival.

Binaudios

Art and Technology: Binaudios

Have you ever listened to the everyday sounds of the city? How about from miles away, in a museum? Dominic Wilcox and James Rutherford have collaborated on a project inspired by those big tourist binoculars you have to pay a couple of dollars to use every time you’re at a national monument.

But these binoculars instead work for your ears, allowing you to turn them towards different parts of Newcastle. Listen to 50 different pre-recorded sounds matched to their visual location, from historical speeches to the steps and chatter of everyday pedestrians.

Mobile Lorm Glove

Art and Technology: Mobile Lorm Glove

Medical devices are deeply embedded in technology, but not often associated with art. Though they should be. It takes a lot of creativity and technical know-how to create a glove that turns language into text.

This glove translates a form of communication used by those both visually and audibly impaired, into text for a mobile screen — and then back. The designers have placed sensors along the hands at key points, the combination of which represent specific letters. On the front of the hand, the glove’s user can input their message based on these points while on the back the sensors will lightly vibrate, communicating a message received by the user. The gloves work together with one another, or with mobile devices!

SCiO

Art and Technology: SCiO

It looks a bit like a garage door opener, but trust us, this is much cooler. This little pocket spectrometer allows the user to scan physical objects to get their molecular information. This is then sent directly to their smart phone, for easy access. And while probably at the moment just for the more science-minded, the product’s goal is to allow mobile phones to bring us closer to our physical environments. So if you’re curious about the world and want to know what your food, plants, medication, and more are made of — this is how you can do it.

(NO)WHERE (NOW)HERE

Art and Technology: Ying Gao

Using photoluminescent thread and embedded eye tracking technology, Ying Gao has created clothing activated by a person’s gaze upon it. So as the user’s eye follows the delicate drapes of a dress, it triggers glow-in-the-dark electronics to move in an seemingly bioluminescent way.

The project is part of the artist’s ongoing series connecting the wearable with interactivity. There’s another dress that combines fabrics visible from different distances. So depending on where you stand in relationship to the person, from close up to far away, their clothing changes. Yet another project involves two dresses that organically react to one another when proximate in a space.

Imagine a world where every time you walked around, your clothing interpreted the physical reality around you!

Eunoia

Art and Technology: Eunoia

Lisa Park investigates the boundaries between human emotion and the physical world. She uses biosensors to detect her own brainwaves and heart rate, the data from which translates into vibrations piped into pans of water surrounding her.

These performance pieces explore the artist’s vulnerability, self-control, and confrontation while simultaneously triggering a meditative emotion in the viewer.

Have you ever had art and technology affect your perception? Tell us when in the comments!

The author

Kaitlyn Ellison
Kaitlyn Ellison

Kaitlyn is part of the Community Team at 99designs.com. She grew up in Boulder, CO and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago. When she's not blogging, she spends her time having adventures and being generally creative. She's all about having new experiences as often as possible!

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