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Parsons School of Design MFA Design and Technology program theses2020 ➔ Phase Mask


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Zach Krall (designer)
John Roach (thesis advisor)
Barbara Morris (thesis advisor)


May 3 2020


Computers are not making decisions on their own. The relationship that is commonly referred to as "Human-Computer Interaction" is actually more like a proxy for interacting with the programmer. Cybernetic thinking provides a framework to consider how these interactions contribute to a balance of power and autonomy within a networked system. Engineers and developers are granted a disproportionate amount of power within these systems due to the opaque nature of code. When using these tools to make abstract artworks, rather than discarding that obscurity, it is possible to reveal the underlying nature of these systems. Live-coding is a practice that explicitly requires the visibility of the code and software to generate a visual experience. What other technologies can live-coding bring more transparency and visibility to? Phase Mask is a live-coding tool that creates "algorave" visuals with three-dimensional geometries using facial tracking machine learning models. It aims to insert a programmer into the visual experience of a live-coding performance where projections normally overlap on stage where the programmers are located.

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