AMITIAE - Friday 23 November 2012
[S]edition Art on the iPhone and in the Classroom
By Graham K. Rogers
I arrived early for a class this week. The students were presenting project progress information and in the previous session, there had been a couple of problems with the settings of the projector. A technician who was called in had fixed the problem right away: their hardware, not ours.
As most students in the group use Macs (MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) or iOS devices it was easy for me to connect my own devices and check the displays. When I was satisfied with the setup this week, I was left with a few minutes to spare. I connected the iPhone and started the [S]edition app. I had seen the art on the iOS devices and on an iMac, but I wanted to use a larger display.
Many of the works on offer are movie files, although action is generally slow: evolving, changing the display subtly over time. A user who buys a work may access the file in a vault and use it for certain display purposes. In a similar way buying a piece of digital music does not give us ownership of it, but allows it to be played for personal use -- say to a group of friends -- but not for a public performance. Each issue sold to a user has a downloadable certificate of authenticity, although these, like the video files are perhaps best kept in the user's vault.
A video work can be downloaded as a still image, or viewed in its moving form using a browser or an iOS app. Also supported is the Samsung Smart TV. Other devices (computers, smartphones) allow access via a browser, so at work I can access my vault at the [S]edition site and view the items I have, via Safari. They were nicely displayed using the fullscreen browser on the 20" iMac in my office, although the screen saver interrupted the display initially.
The specific work I wanted to see using this display is called After Closer and it is by Peter Saville who was a founder of Factory Records. I like this because I find it relaxing. A black rectangle within a square within a square. All is displayed on a white background.
The sculpture, a commentary on traditional sculptures and war monuments, was originally cast in bronze for the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square. Placed on the plinth, the child is elevated to the status of a Roman hero, yet he has no history to commemorate only a future to hope for.
Once installed, I was able to subscribe to a [S]edition channel, but it was unclear in my first, quick run-through how I would use this. Other "Auras" on the developer website were activated.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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