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my thoughts


On Friday, I was invited to visit a friend’s showcase at the MAT End of Year show, “MADE [at] UCSB.” Here’s a description of the event from GradPost:

“MADE [at] UCSB is the Media Arts and Technology Program’s (MAT) End of Year Show at UC Santa Barbara. Showcasing graduate student work that connects media art, design, and engineering, MADE [at] UCSB represents the mission of MAT: to enable the creation of hybrid work that informs both scientific and aesthetic discourses.

The exhibition features over 50 installations, performances, concerts, and technical presentations by artists, scientists, and engineers from the MAT community and beyond. A diverse selection of work spans themes such as virtual reality, robotics, quantum physics, machine learning, electronic music and many other transdisciplinary subjects.”

I went thinking that I’d see/engage with a lot of art but came away with a lot of tech-based inspiration for education/instruction. Thinking back to our hands-on-experience with virtual and augmented reality in class, I thought the examples we saw were the absolute cutting edge of what was available, but I was totally blown away with what is happening elsewhere on campus and the opportunities for collaboration with Media Arts and Technology and for adaptation to educational purposes. Here’s some examples and the ideas they gave me:

The Allosphere

One of the first exhibits I saw was the allosphere. According to their website, “The AlloSphere is a three-story facility where [they] use multiple modalities to represent large and complex data, including immersive visualization, sonification, and interactivity.” The first of two examples I saw were a visual representation of geometric shapes in 4D upon a sphere, which was made out of collaboration with the Math Department and is currently being used for instruction in that department. The second was a 4D representation of hydrogen-like atom’s electron (I can’t say much more about that since I’m bad at science, but it looked very cool and I felt very tiny!). Anyhow, I could easily see how this tool could be utilized for all kinds of teaching purposes. Here’s the link to the website:

My view from inside the allosphere (of course it looked different with 3D glasses on).

AR Looper

This installation was the work that I was invited to see. Shihwa Park, the creater, described it on his website as such:

“As a work-in-progress, AR Looper is an augmented reality-based mobile interface for multiuser sound recording and performance. […] AR Looper allows the user to record sound through a microphone of mobile devices and, at the same time, visualizes and places waveforms of recorded sounds in an AR space. The user can play, modify, and loop these recorded sounds with several audio filters attached to each sound. Due to the modern mobile AR technology built with Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) that enables to share the AR world and contents among multiple users in real-time, AR Looper users can connect to the same AR space in which recorded sounds are shared and can see each other's activities. The audience will be able to experience this new collaborative, interactive and musical AR interface and interaction through AR Looper.”

Link to website:

There's us giving the AR Looper a go! You can see the floating soundwaves in red and orange.

I gave it a try and it was super fun! It reminded me a lot of the VR experience in the Maker Lab with David. In this case, instead of creating and manipulating written language, you can play with audio and spoken word as well. It gives me some ideas for possible uses when it comes to many different forms of communication and language learning. What I really took away from this experience was how much opportunity there is for interdisciplinary collaboration! Anyhow, check it out, and if you get any good ideas, post them in the comments below!

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