EE Times stopped by 92YTribeca, the 92nd Street Y’s location in downtown NYC, to take in the GeekDown exhibit, where interactive art, video and music were on display August 15 to September 9. The show brought together work of thirteen students from NYU and RISD who use emerging technology to push the boundaries of art and spark the imagination.
The innovative ideas ranged the full spectrum from ultra-techie, art-based work to projects that help people with disabilities. Highlights of the show included We-Flashy, a modern line of reflective clothing utilizing industrial-grade reflective material. Customized elements on the garment respond to direct light, making it great for use on busy streets, but barely noticeable indoors. Most noteworthy about this apparel is its ability to stand out and be noticed when needed without the use of cumbersome wires, lights, and battery packs.
The next trend in the green movement, a project called simply “8” challenges inverted quarantine and the response to perceived toxic environments by exposing the wearer while simultaneously closing her off. It glorifies the oxygen tank and is a constant reminder to the user that she is breathing clean air and to observers that they are not. It's green couture, a la Lady Gaga.
The Digit, a virtual sculpture, is a giant chrome double-sided finger that hovers over Union Square in New York City. The two fingertips skillfully double-tap and swipe, while reflecting the surrounding architecture on their bulging exterior. The sculpture can be viewed with an iPhone application available for free at the App Store. Launch the app while at the southern tip of Union Square and look up through the iPhone's camera. The Digit also exists as an interactive web experience and in the form of physical souvenirs. Personally, I found the Digit’s resemblance to an enormous worm rather disturbing—but you should judge for yourself.
Overall, I thought the exhibit was a fresh and exciting example of technology being used to create interactive art. From eye-popping wearable tech (so hideous it's hip) to a stereoscopic video installation, GeekDown was truly geek chic.
View the slideshow and accompanying comments to see some prime examples of tech creativity in action. Photos: Debee Rommel
We-Flashy is a line of reflective clothing utilizing modern design and customized reflective elements. The clothing's reflective material responds to direct light making you easily noticed on busy streets, but barely noticed indoors. - Designed by Mindy Tchieu and Alex Vessels