Artful Design Chapter 5 Response

by Daniel Donghun Kim

Principle 5.2: There is aesthetics to interaction.

This week's reading ties very nicely into the philosophical and artistic contemplation that we have to do for the seqeuncer project. Trained in classical piano, the principle that uses piano as an example really caught my attention. Partially the reason that I initially started loving playing the piano had a lot to do with the aesthetics of it: the fact that when I was five my tiny hands were toddling on the zebra crossing from Do to Sol; the fact that the great pianists like Vladimir Horowitz and Murrey Perahia were wearing black and white tuxedo, as if to match the colour scheme of the piano.

Also, I think what made Ocarina so exquisite also lies partially in its aesthetics. The lights, the spectrums generated when you blow into the microphone of your iPhone. Without these, I do not think the effect would have been the same. I understand that this would not be something that is easy to conceptualise fully in just a few weeks, but for the sequencer or the final project, I would like to ruminate on how to make the interaction more aesthetic and therefore more delightful.

Principle 5.10: Copying an instrument is dumb. Leveraging expert technique is smart.

Regarding my audiovisualiser, I was initially writing my music on ChucK, and then I realised that I could not create all the effect that I wanted to put into my visualiser for my narrative. I gave up on using ChucK for it three hours before the deadline, and used Logic, which I was more comfortable with, to generate the music with the software instruments.

Reading Julia's comments that I should think about what Chuck's good at and how to avoid what it is not good at, I realised why I was baffled the morning of the deadline. It was because I came in with a very clear concept in terms of what I narrative I would run, and what the music would sound like, without an understanding of ChucK or the unique expert techniques inherent in the language. This is definitely something that I would give more thought into for my sequencer project.

Principle 5.12 Make a piece, not an instrument or controller.

Perhaps this is not completely relevant to the class per se, but one thing that I'm really excited about this year is the prospect of joining the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. Looking at the videos from the previous years, I was mesmerised by how they were creating not necessarily things that figured just as controllers, but a component of a piece, the overall art. For example, for Kunwoo's piece using the light, although they were instruments, it was clearly adding to the experience and making things way more enjoyable by adding to the visual aspect.

I genuinely wish to contemplate and implement these design principles for my sequencer project as well as my future works with CCRMA courses.