October 21st, 2015
Cool! The rainbows totally had my attention. I've actually always thought that art and technology are pretty closely related, at least where our popular devices come in. Elegance, sublimity, etc things also tend to be useful.. or perhaps it is the other way round? There was a whole section on this back in my philosophy classes, where we discussed the purpose of beauty and art, including from an evolutionary perspective. Here's the link to that Zogg video on Aesthetics, which talks about this:
It's a pretty entertaining series. I can kind of see how one might think of beauty as a vague and occasionally reliable indicator of utility. Since technology is for solving problems, you'd think the two could go pretty well together. Aesthetics and good design definitely increases usability of the tech we use.
Upon first viewing the illusion, I thought it was pretty cool how you incorporated the visual movement of the rainbow along pausch bridge with the seemingly ascending sound. Even cooler was how seamless the gif was, as it looped seamlessly. After reading the documentation, I thought it was really admirable how you incorporated the link between art and technology in the creation of this project. Using an existing piece of art to help convey the message really worked in your favor for this project.
An oppurtunity to improve I think would be to make the auditory illusion occur throughout the gif. When viewing it was kind of disorienting to hear the typing fade away at 3 second intervals, and I think there was an opportunity to leverage the Shepard's tone keyboards sound more in your creation.
Initially, when I watched the gif, I wasn't really sure what the illusion was supposed to be, since I didn't really pay attention to the fact that the background color was changing. I think this makes your illusion even more interesting and effective though, because even though I didn't notice the changing background at all, subconsciously I still saw the normal colors! Going off of my initial misconception, I actually thought your illusion was trying to demonstrate an illusion of movement through a gradient of color changes, as it looks like the colors are undulating along the bridge. This actually reminds me a lot of the loading screen for Crash Bandicoot (anyone else know that game? Just me? Okay ...), in which the main character, Crash Bandicoot (we'd never guess) seemingly endlessly "falls" through a chasm of color, which also utilizes continuously changing colors to create an illusion of progressive motion. As far as improvements to your current work go, since I can't help but see waves in your gif, I think an oscillating, smooth sound representative of a wave would've been more fitting. In addition, I wish that the Shepard tone looped a bit more seamlessly so we could actually hear the continuously ascending tones.
My first impressions upon seeing this product: I definitely thought it was beautiful and interesting, because the colors seem to flow endlessly and smoothly from one color to the next. It was also interesting because I had never seen the Pausch bridge that way before. Most of the time I only see it as one color since I'm only there at one moment in time, and the time lapse showed that the bridge does change color gradually. However, I wasn't able to identify what the illusion was in the piece. At the same time, I didn't think the audio fit very well with the piece, and I was a bit confused as to why I was hearing what I thought was random typing. I think a way to improve could be to find another way to use the Shepard tone to make it more beautiful and interesting. The audio didn't capture my attention as much as the visual aspect did.
I definitely enjoyed your product and liked how you guys took a creative spin on a part of CMU that's so symbolic. It's very aesthetically pleasing, and the sound definitely fooled me at first.
When it comes to your use of Shepard's Tone to make it seem like the sound is getting faster, maybe you can also take a look at Scale Illusion or Tritone Paradox to add more distortion and will accompany the same scale and climbing effect like the bridge.
Concerning revision, I think you can experiment more with the visual illusion. I was definitely fooled by the sound illusion and understood it's connection to your piece, but the color illusion just seemed like a filter to your visual aspect.
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