Gijs Bakker

This is a portfolio/blog of Gijs Bakker, UX (interaction and UI) designer from Amsterdam.
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Interactive art

As a kid, I used to think that art was about oil paintings and white sculptures of bodies with missing limbs. 
I remember seeing people in a museum staring at paintings from different angles, heads tilted sideways. When I got older I realized that art is represented in a wide variety of forms; music, film, dance, literature, fashion, photography, etcetera.

And what about the craft of making a game? ‘Zelda: Ocarina Of Time’ on the Nintendo for example, or the eerie shoot ‘m up game ‘Doom 3′? Making these games took hours of craftsmanship by sound designers, visual designers, conceptors, interaction designers and developers. Or an application or website? Could their end product be considered a form of art? I’d like to think so, but I have the impression that, because of their interactive nature, most people do not. Maybe because there isn’t a definite end result – it’s up to the user interacting with ‘the product’ what the end result – if any – will be.

“To me, interactive art is the best of both worlds.”

There is a form of art that mixes interactive elements with the ability to be displayed as an individual work of art – as if it were a painting or sculpture. I’m talking about interactive art installations. To me, this is the best of both worlds. I’ll show three interesting installations:

Flow, an interactive installation that consists of hundreds of cooling fans (kinda like the type you’ll find in desktop computers) Each fan starts to rotate when an object is detected by its (own?) motion sensor. The result is a playful piece of interactive art, which could serve as a cooling device when placed in the entrances of offices, shops and other buildings. Ideal on a hot summer’s day.

‘Flow’ by Studio Roosegaarde

‘Flow’ by Studio Roosegaarde

'Flow', close-up

‘Flow’, close-up

Weave Mirror; a camera in the center of the installation registrates the object that stands in front of it and translates the visual rendering to loads of scrolling panes. These panes have a gradient pattern (from dark to light) and continuously adjust themself to mimic the filmed object. The result is a pixellated mirror in a sort of ‘woven’ style.

‘Weave Mirror’ by Daniel Rozin

‘Weave Mirror’ by Daniel Rozin

Weave mirror, close-up

‘Weave Mirror’, close-up

Boundary Functions is an interactive floor or platform that creates moving lines between the people that stand on it. Each person that joins gets their own ‘space’ divided by the lines. It is claimed as a radical interactive installation because you need at least two people to use it. The artist (Scott Sona Snibbe) has an interesting motivation for his project, which he explains in the video below.

‘Boundary Functions’ by Scott Sona Snibbe

‘Boundary Functions’ by Scott Sona Snibbe

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