Critical Sections

    By Greg J. Smith
    Design by Erik Loyer

    Open Project

    Ultimately we wanted users to do more than simply select imagery from a menu; ordinary mouse movements needed to signify down to the level of the individual line, providing intimate gestural connections with the source material.

    - Erik Loyer, Designer's Statement

    Users can create their own compositions mixing architectural and cinematic elements.
    Screengrab:     1     2     3  
    Alternative views of Critical Sections project data:

    All info and conversations from this project page
    http://vectors.usc.edu/xml/projects/critical_sections_v1.xml

    RSS feed of the conversations from this project page
    http://vectors.usc.edu/rss/project.rss.php?project=88

    XML feed that drives Critical Sections
    http://vectors.usc.edu/issues/06_issue/criticalsections/scripts/retrieve.php
    Project Credits

    Greg J. Smith   studio@missionspecialist.net
    http://missionspecialist.net
    Author
    Greg J. Smith is a Toronto-based designer and researcher with interests in media theory and digital culture. Extending from a background in architecture, his research considers how contemporary information paradigms affect representational and spatial systems. Greg is a designer at Mission Specialist and a contributing editor at Creative Applications Network. His writing has appeared in a variety of publications including: Rhizome, ICON, Current Intelligence and Vague Terrain.

    Erik Loyer   erik@song.nu | http://www.erikloyer.com
    Designer/Programmer
    Erik Loyer's interactive artworks have been exhibited online and in festivals and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Prix Ars Electronica; and Transmediale. Loyer is the creator of The Lair of the Marrow Monkey, one of the first websites to be added to the permanent collection of a major art museum, and Chroma, an award-winning web serial about the racial politics of virtual reality. As Creative Director for Vectors, he has designed numerous multimedia essays in collaboration with leading humanities scholars. Loyer's commercial portfolio includes Clio and One Show Gold Award-winning work for Vodafone as well as projects for BMW and Sony. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, and his works have been honored in the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media and the California Design Biennial. Loyer has a B.A. in Cinema/Television Production from the University of Southern California.


    A huge thank you to Erik Loyer; truly an ideal collaborator. Erik was extremely intuitive in reading my desires for this project and consistently brought new ideas to the table from brainstorming the interface right through final revisions. Not only did he aid me in grounding this project but his attentiveness has taught me how to be a better designer.

    Steve Anderson provided guidance, context and a bit of prodding when it was most important. I'm extremely indebted to Steve for his positive response to my initial proposal in 2006. Being brought into the Vectors fold was an exciting break from the tunnel vision that goes along with grinding through grad school.

    Norman Klein dissected the tone and context of this project with admirable precision. His advice, direction and observations were quite brilliant and I'll be carrying these challenges and provocations with me into future work.

    In terms of pedagogy, this work is indebted to Bernard Tschumi's The Manhattan Transcripts and the Cinematic City of Bart Testa. In addition to these precedents, a key inspiration for this work was an extended exploration of Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, conducted in nightly installments from a tiny and badly lit MacArthur Park rooming house in the summer of 2003.

    Many thanks to my peers Michael Sargent, Liav Koren, Evan Saskin and Nancy Wilson who all provided valuable feedback. An extra special thanks to my partner, proofreader and foil Jordan Hale.

    The SVG parser used to render the line drawings was adapted from code originally developed by Helen Triolo.

    Sound effects were provided by the Creative Commons sound library freesound.org: 1 2 3 4 5 6

    — Greg J. Smith, May 19th, 2008