External Artist Programme: Mixed Reality Lab collaboration with Ron Herrema

by Sean McGrath, Mixed Reality Laboratory, University of Nottingham

As part of the FAST project, the MRL are hosting a number of artists in residence. One of those collaborations is with an artist Ron Herrema, as part of the partnership with B3 Media. In collaboration with the MRL Ron is developing an iPad application. Infinity is a graphically and sonically generative application and follows a similar audiovisual experience to that of Ron’s previous creation for the iPhone, Dancing Wu Wei. His previous curation is freely downloadable from the app store.

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Figure 1 – Infinity app visuals

The app uses touch interaction to modify the audio/visual elements generated and to create an interactive experience. Infinity explores the concept of user experience from multiple perspectives. As a piece of art, as a tool for contemplation and as a tool for engagement. Ron is currently undertaking a body of work which focuses on a human-centred design methodology. He is iterating through designs based on feedback from five core users, using the app in a variety of contexts. The feedback from these users is driving further iterative developments in the application.

Figure 2 - Visuals changing over time

Figure 2 – Visuals changing over time

The work so far has highlighted a number of key themes of interest. These are as follows:

  • Immersion/Engagement
  • Interactivity/gestures – Orientation
  • Control and emergent flow – Discovering interactive elements
  • Scheduling and the relevance of context
  • Metaphors of use

The next stage of the work involves hosting a workshop. During the course of this workshop, participants will be observed using the application and then asked a series of questions relating to their experiences. The workshop will inform future design and development changes in the application.

The application will shortly be entering the beta testing phase. If you are interested in beta testing the application and offering feedback to the research team then feel free to contact sean.mcgrath@nottingham.ac.uk with an expression of interest.

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