Interactivos: Product Development and Magic

Steve sent me a link to the Interactivos? workshop at Media Lab Madrid. I'm sad I wasn't able to propose for it and won't be able to attend. The theme is "Magic and Technology" (which everyone knows I'm a big fan of ;-). Their introduction reads:

Magic and illusion have always gone hand in hand with technology; from mechanical illusions, optical and mirror tricks, through the incorporation of electricity and the filmed image, to digital technology: augmented reality, reactive objects, reality hacking and immersive spaces.

This new edition of Interactivos? in Medialab Madrid is inspired by the strategies of magic and illusion, in order to harness some of the old and new technological resources to collectively build software pieces and interactive installations which can propose a rethinking of the usual scenario in magic tricks, marked by a very clear separation between the wizard and the spectators.


The call is focused on projects of digital and sound art, critical design, educational applications, etc., which, inspired in magic and illusionism techniques, propose experiments on perception and attention, behaviour and interaction generated by social relations. The call is also focused on projects inscribed within the open hardware and software philosophy.

I'm happy to see that they're taking the social perspective and talking about breaking down the barriers between spectator and performer, owners and observers, adapts and novices.

I also really like their focus on "artists, wizards, engineers, musicians, programmers, designers, architects, and hackers." Explicitly crossing the barriers of designers, programmers and artists is critical right now as the field is maturing. In the beginning of film theater magicians were major drivers of innovation. This was not because they were magicians, but because they were applied creative professionals who had an immediate financial stake in the innovations--this differentiated them from scientists or artists, and makes them closer in terms of motivation to today's designers.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on May 1, 2007 4:29 PM.

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