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Product Designer, Artist, & Creative Technologist

Design & Coding

Anti-Surveillance Tool

This digital art explore the subject of America's election and the consequential debates between Trump and Biden. It focuses on exploring the political and social impacts of their words on people across the globe. To visually represent these themes, I initiated the code in p5.js. The sketch features a combination of a linear grid and circle loops, designed to form a distinct pattern that elicits an optical illusion. It aims to symbolize the complex and intertwined nature of political discourse and its effects on society.

P5.js

2020

Critical Code

Year

Using the principles of steganography to encode a secret message that can be decoded through instructions. The desire is to address the divisive nature of recent American elections and their global impact.

  • Steganography as Metaphor: The act of visually masking a message through optical illusion becomes a metaphor for the complexity of political discourse, where underlying meanings and agendas can be hidden in plain sight.

Objective

Steganography is the practice of hiding information under plainsight. Techniques such as the invisible inkmicrodotknitted message, or the anaglyph are just a few examples of how one might bypass information under disguise. 

Illusion as tactics is an ancient and culturally diverse practice, and they tend to fully flourish under the eras of authoritarianism and other forms of surveillance and oppression. In this work, I found a way to use Loops in P5.js to create optical illusions that pass a secret message through the intentional creation of perceptual confusions.

Description
  • Context Matters: Over the course of several weeks we had at the course "Critical Computation" the way in which technology is often presented as “neutral” and solely “utilitarian.” Moving away from this assumption, as the starting point for this assignment was to identify three ways in which a specific cultural or social history that has importance to me.

  • Sender and Receiver: Know the audience. Who am I communicating to and why? Identifying three possible recipients of the information I am concealing. These can be recipients in real-life, fictional characters, or even historical figures, but the choice was motivated by the context I established in step one. 

  • The Medium is the Message: What will I communicate to my intended recipient? What possible visual strategies will support this message? 

  • Sketching out the ideas. 

Design Constraint

I was deeply inspired by the works of Dave Danzara, a graphic designer and digital collage artist. His bold integration of pop culture, sci-fi, and fantasy resonates with my own design process. You can see his work at https://davedanzara.wixsite.com/lostintimedesigns.

Design Process

The current sociopolitical climate, particularly America's recent elections and the divisive rhetoric surrounding them, has profoundly impacted me. These themes, combined with Danzara's dynamic style, fueled my recent design.

In my work, I began with a linear grid and overlaid circular loops to create a sense of visual disorientation, mirroring the chaotic nature of our times. This interactive piece allows the viewer to manipulate the grid, revealing an underlying image that seems to shift and animate – a metaphor for the way powerful words and imagery can distort our perception of reality.

Visual Language & Technical Approach

The choice of nested loops in p5.js allows to create intricate, overlapping patterns symbolizing intertwined arguments, confusion, or potential manipulation. The addition of a linear grid overlay hints at a desire to impose order or sense upon a chaotic visual landscape.

Mouse clicks shifting the grid pattern invite the viewer to participate in the revealing/obscuring of the visual message. This mirrors the act of seeking clarity in a confusing political landscape.

Experimenting with values within the loops, suggesting a process of tweaking how much is visible vs. hidden, refining the work's balance of obfuscation and readability.

Interactivity as Exploration
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