Beyond Design

Written by Quartz

I wonder if anyone of you ever went to see one of those computer art installations...

Talking avatars, sounds controlled by visitor's movements, "intelligent" robots, virtual flights... is technology breaking into art or art into technology?

Well, in fact that scene is not much different from the demoscene: things that once were avantgarde have become routine (and I'd say, pretty boring), and nothing new helped filling the space. Moreover one could bring demos to one of those "interactive" happenings.

Hardly the last demos made us say "Hey, what's this?" or "How the hell can they do this?!?", even those really good.

It looks like we - as demo-watchers - can't physiologically say anything more than "How good!". Is this a problem with us or with the demos? Just the fact that now we all know at least basically how a 3D engine works throws away most part of the mistery.

But hey, good art should bring permanent mistery and surprise!

This is why I say a good design is not enough if we really want the scene to be innovative. (Won't say that nowadays even good code, once a must, has become optional: we all know the story.)

Digital artists don't seem to be able to find a way to exit this trend; even Brian Eno kinda resigned. Aren't we demosceners any better? And doesn't our story have something to teach us?

So, instead of coding diskmags and painting still images without a context (hey, i'm not against them, i just don't like people foxilizing on things) why don't we sometimes do sessions to look for new ideas/concepts?

I mean, there aren't many typologies of demos around, all somehow fall into the old big categouries:

- 3d world walk/"story"
- unrelated fxs slideshow
- wicked (statix, coma...)
- oniric screensavers (Luminati, Xtal...)

Do I have to metion the old story that art is a form of communication?

What new can we bring if we still use the old schemes?

Just look at how the 4th group is not exactly a category like the other three... maybe we could do some more progresses in that direction, but this is just what my personal tastes say.

How to change our mentality?

Explore stupid ideas:

- let the graphicians do a demo without code
- after a piece of music is ready ask all of the group to write down what the music should be for (to avoid the effect: "u got this music and I got this code, let's see what happens by putting them together" because hardly you'll completely reject the result) (to avoid also the other effect "please write me a trippy/whatever music")
- convince yourself mentality HAS to be changed
- go in a REAL music hall hearing Beetoven and in the while think at all details of the missing visual part
- do it with Stravinskij
- code a demo that your mum might like (or if she already likes them find someone else :)
- code another one with the things you had to eliminate at the previous point
- code a demo Finnish won't ever like :))
- stop thinking about demos
- adopt Statix
- find (and send me) items for this list
- join Officium
- let your girl(/boy)friend decide for the demo
- watch ooold movies (at least before 1930) and compare them with your favourites, then think what to compare winner demos with
- invent a new (non computer-related) form of art
- get Brian Eno's oblique strategies
- forget all silly old discussions like amiga vs pc, dos vs win, soft vs 3dfx, me vs you...
- write a novel about the idea you wanna code
- become a lesbian in a man's body (or viceversa)
- write in the next Hugi why this article is meaningless

Final notes:

(1) I LOVE the great 3d world walks, like Sunflower! Hope to see them forever!
(2) yes, I am mad
(3) no, you are too
(4) Mad does not apply to the previous

- Quartz/Officium