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Apr 26
Zach and Alexandra Benes:
    Design



    General Design
    What should our world look like? Post general design ideas for technology (computer terminals, etc), clothing, the look of information in virtual space, etc.





    Technology Design
    What will basic technology look like in our series?

    Computers:


    Human bioports/neural interfaces:


    mobile communications devices:


    radiation/interference/contamination detectors:


    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Notes from Michelle, 2-26-10 meeting

      BIOLOGICAL

      Viruses”,
      bacteria, bacteriophage, etc. (both bio and tech)

      Drugs

      Memory retention

      Actual human
      beings as modules



      MECHANICAL

      Old
      technology” vs. New/Modern

      Death of the
      Internet and network

      Power technologies
      wireless chips vs. wired etc.

      Nanobots

      Encryption,
      steganography

      Images (paintings,
      puzzles...), hidden messages

    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I had written down on my notes:

      physical technology, where there could be beggars hoarding over small bits of insignificant information. This gave a worth to information, which in theory would become the only thing valuable in the new world

      We discussed the possibility of how people would power the new technology in the future. we thought up that some people who dont have access to the newest technology would have to depend on other means... such as the cat lady who had her 100 cats on treadmills... or whatever.

      In response to what you wrote about drugs, we were thinking about snuff and also injection. I personally think this would add a dark undertone and re-emphasize the fact that technology has become mind-altering and changes your perception of reality, just like drugs do.

      We talked about how in today's society if you steal someones credit card, you steal their identity, and can in essence destroy a person.

      And finally, we talked about making a pilgrimage to the "sacred" site where the original internet, was created. (I forgot what that was called, dot-something?)
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Yes, I loved the idea of having, somewhere in the zone, a crumbled building that is a site of historic significance: one of the original ARPANET (early version of the internet) nodes. Occassionally "pilgrims" make the trek to visit the site. Perhaps it exists as a virtual space as well? Visited by pilgrim avatars...

      And also: inhaling nanobots as a sort of drug to help effect a computer connection is good... Perhaps we can find a way to relate this to Alex's "interface virus" below. (This is the backup method?)
    Apr 26
    Richard Lau, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I know there was a lot of talk last Friday about streamlining the technology - going to smaller devices implants etc. Upon reflection that seems a little too utopian and convenient. It would make sense that people became more reliant on digital worlds if the physical world seemed unweildy and clunky in comparison.
      Perhaps we could go with a system where the small interfacing device/implant works in conjuction with a more 'retro' device, something with wires and keyboards.

      Apr 26
      Zach and Alexandra Benes:
        At least in the low-tech contaminated zone, this seems quite justified. As we briefly discussed last Friday, wireless connections don't work in the zone, so the usual method of interface must be augmented with some sort of ad-hoc, retro technology. I particularly like the idea of cables strung along the ground.
      I also kind of like the idea of people in the virtual world needing spotters working with them from the real world, like the guy that stays in the boat when a group goes scooba diving. It fits with that team Zach described in the other wave about the collaborating assassins.
    Apr 26
    Alex T, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I did a quick mock up of a device for `infecting` someone with the interface virus. Also, incorporating some of the talk of scarring, etc, into a tribal (both functionally and stylistically) subcutaneous antenna. I'll have some more sketches for wireless base stations, wired hacks, and communication devices later. Also, I second the notion of having spotters for those venturing off into cyberspace.

      syringe.png

    Apr 26
    Alex T, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I found this interesting video, which may have some good ideas for input methods.

      You tube clip

    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      This is pretty amazing. I think we could do something like this for basic interface with the embedded chip: activating it, etc. Of course we'd expect this technology to be built into the skin itself, not projected from some clunky apparatus strapped on the arm! We can create this effect through projection, though.
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Here's the image from Cricket's link. I think we should do some combination of this and the projection...

      tatoo display concept

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      How much cg can we work with?
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      That depends on who we can recruit with those skills! On the whole, though, I think we're better off with very little, relying more on practical effects (such as special makeup, projection onto skin, etc.) I would like to do some CG effects, though, if we can find people who can do it!
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:

      idk how possible it is, but might give us ideas how to visualize. It looks very sterile...and also lethal
      file

    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Well, the US Army uses something similar. It's exactly the sort of thing that would police a contaminated zone, but I don't know how to build one of these things!

      You tube clip
      <w:mediasearch>

    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      idea generating...

      file

    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Looks great! I can't wait for your other drawings...

      Based on our conversation thus far, here's how I gather this technology works (this to be modified if necessary):
    • The goal being to interface the human nervous system with digital data networks, it is necessary to electro-chemically "sync" the two systems (analog and digital). This would/could require not only a mechanism to turn the sensory apparatus of the brain over to the impulses generated by some sort of device, but also a mechanism for downloading and uploading data (which would need to be translated from neural-net structure to digital and vice versa).
    • A microchip implant is both a wireless antenna and local computer. It handles all of the digital data input and output, as well as presumably the conversion of from digital to analog and vice versa.
    • An artificially engineered virus, infecting the human host, would allow for direct control over neurons. In some sense, then, the viruses form the intermediate interface between the neurons of the host's nervous system and the electronic device. These viruses would be engineered to be resistant to the human immune system, but over time they could die and require periodic re-injection (via Alex's syringe, above).
    • Perhaps another element is necessary to give the brain control over the computer (i.e. to enable mental manipulation of one's experiences, "agency." This would be equivalent to an input device (like a mouse or keyboard). In other words, a control interface (as opposed to a data interface). Maybe we can think of this in emotional terms: an interface between the frontal lobe and the computer implant. Maybe there are several solutions for this in use. One could be a particular technique that could be learned, a certain type of emotional mastery and directedness, a sort of control over one's own brain. For people unable to do this, perhaps a nanobot "snuff" could be used to induce a sort of trance-like state, a control effected by the nanoparticles in the brain themselves. (One thing I love about the snuff is its drug-like nature. William Gibson describes "cyberspace" as a mass hallucination.
    • Additionally, when the wireless connection isn't working, a wired or direct connection to the data network may be necessary. I suppose there would be devices manufactured to do this, plugging into the host somehow. However, this may be very expensive, and thus we can imagine some homebuilt versions in the zone.
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I believe the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex is responsible for decision making, and knowing the difference between right and wrong. There is a story you learn in psych where a railroad worker(?) got impaled and his personality flipped. This could also delve into the idea of lobotomies... (more dark underworld activities?)
    Apr 26
    Richard Lau, Alexandra Benes and Zach:

      One of our visual goals is to disorient the audience; how do we know that these worlds that look and feel real aren't, how do we call realness into question. Heres some food for thought from Wolfgang Kayser's "An Attempt to Define the Nature of the Grotesque":

      "The mechanical object is alienated by being brought to life, the human being by being deprived of it. Among the most persistent motifs of the grotesque we find human bodies reduced to puppets, marionettes, and automata, and their faces frozen into masks. From interspersed masks of the ornamental grotesque to the present e the theme has been a popular one, although in the course of time it underwent characteristic changes. Even in Bonaventura's Nachtwachen the mask, instead of covering a living and breathing face, had taken over the role of the face Itself. If one were to tear the mask off, the grinning image of the bare skull would come to light. Ensor's and Paul Weber's figures are born with masks. Even the grinning skull and the moving skeleton are motifs the macabre content of which structurally aligns them with the grotesque. Again and again, I have mentioned the influence exerted by the Dance of Death, which had only to slough off its didactic skin to enrich the vocabulary of grotesque forms."

      The grotesquery is sort of defined by how it alienates the audience.

      Without making things visually "ugly" or even expensive practical effects, how can we convey the freakish, the slightly-off focus, the weird?


    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      My friend in LA has agreed to do a mock up of the makeup in a video for me and see if its like what we're looking for. I sent her the concept drawing, so we should have that sometime this week
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Wow, I can't wait to see it!
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Hey, were we throwing around the concept of a physical manifestation of the atmosphere or "zone?" Did anything come of that?
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Ok, there is an episode called Tin Man from Stargate Sg-1, and i was trying to find a good summary but they didn't really make sense for people who hadn't watched the episode. I'll try my best to recap because i thought the concept really affected me as a person just because of how dang creepy it was...in an almost Huxley or Orwell way. I appologize ahead of time for bad grammar, i'm tired...

      Basically, the team ventures onto this planet where they are knocked unconcious....etc.... and when they wake up they wish to go home, and do so against the will of this lab worker. Anyway. They venture home, and there is clearly something not right and the people back on Earth do not trust them. It turns out that they had been turned into robots (where the audience gets to watch a very grusome knife being stabbed into an arm and all these metal gears are shown on the inside) and their previous memories as humans had been implanted them. So, the main point is that when forced off of Earth and the "real" stargate team is woken up, these robots must live this eternal life working on this foreign planet doing pointless work believing they had whole lives that were never even theirs.

      There are a lot of stories like this, where false memories are implanted into "perfect" beings. I particularly like this theme in movies such as The Island if any one has watched
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      There is this other book of short stories Blow Up: and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar who explores and idea of split realities. There is one particular story, "The Night Face Up" where a man gets into a motorcycle accident and as he is the hospital, essentially dying, he starts dreaming that he is this Aztec man about to be sacrificed. As the story progresses he continually moves between these two "lives/concious-es/realities" until as the reader you cannot for sure know if he is really this motorcycle man dreaming he is an Aztec sacrifice, or if he is this Aztec man dreaming he is a motocycle man in the hospital. In the end, it doesn't really matter because these realities that might both exist, line up, and he dies regardless.

      He also has another story, "Axolotl" where a man visits these odd sea creatures every day at the aquarium, mystified by their empty lives of just floating...he wonders what they think about. Eventually he visits them so much, he becomes this Axolotl and the Axolotl replaces him in his body...and no one ever knows he is now trapped in this body of an animal/larve/creature...floating in suspended animation forever.
    Apr 26
    Michelle, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Hmm...I thought of this earlier, but has anyone heard of a Japanese movie/novel called Paprika? It's about this psychotherapist who invents a device called a DC Mini which reads and records dreams and the unconscious of patients in order to analyze them directly. She uses an avatar called Paprika to move through these thoughts and treat her patients. The device gets stolen and a terrorist uses the device to implant thoughts and constructs dreams in others, causing them to go insane.

      Maybe we could use something like this--simple, like a Bluetooth set, something that fits around the ear, etc, like an external hard drive. Doesn't have to be a big part of the plot, but just a thought.

      There was also an interesting episode of Cowboy Bebop, Ep. 23 Brain Scratch. It deals with the concept of building a cult around the digitization of brain waves and uploading them on the net as a form of eternal life. Everyone thinks the leader is this "infinite" being named Dr. Londes, but it's actually a teenage boy who's been in a coma for two years, plugged into a wall monitor that he's been using to communicate and convert people to this cult. The equipment is made to look like a normal virtual reality game system/console, which reads and extracts the brain waves and renders the person unconscious or dead. All the programming etc. is just stored in his brain.
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      I've been meaning to see Paprika for a long time. I've just bumped it to the top of the Netflix queue, so it's going to happen soon...
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Paprika was a really cool movie

      also, on a completely different note. Lady Gaga has some really inovative designs for head pieces. If anyone has seen her video telephone, it could be a creative direction we could go with building helmets...etc for characters who must make armor or clothes out of the limited amount of items in a post-apocolyptic world
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      yay! stuff!

      file
      file

      these pictures really don't do it justice...
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      You're telling me! I had to try to stuff it out of the way in the LCM last weekend! Nonetheless, some cool stuff. I hope more of you go on expeditions like this and scavange good materials along these lines. I also hope some of you are thinking of things to actually build out of this...
    Apr 26
    Michelle, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I'm going on a day long expedition on Monday around the Antelope Valley to take pics for filming locations and collect some material. I'm also going to the thrift store here tomorrow to get some ideas for clothing too, maybe buy something if it looks interesting enough. Hopefully it will be a fruitful quest :D Also, I have a friend up north that's willing to help us make some costumes and maybe even design some things. I'll talk to her sometime and see what we can come up with
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Great! Anything that seems really worth it, go ahead and buy. I will reimburse you. This goes for anyone who finds great stuff during spring break!
    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      courtesy of cricket: found in the theater
      department

      <w:mediasearch>
      creepy dentist chair
      (sorry if that link doesnt work...its supposed to be a video from my phone. if not...its on my phone. :P)
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      The link doesn't seem to work, but I'd love to see the video!
    Apr 26
    Jimbo Westworld, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Basic first test with rigging lights to Orchid. Orchid is very fragile, most of them probably have armature sticks to remain upright. These are tiny xmas lights that come with brown camo wire, not LEDs




    Apr 27
    Alexandra Benes:
      speakers to disassemble:

      file

    May 4
    Jimbo Westworld:
    May 4
    Jimbo Westworld:

    May 4
    Jimbo Westworld:

    Costumes and Makeup
    Costume design ideas as well as makeup tests and concepts. Thoughts about where to locate or how to manufacture costumes.

    Apr 26
    Alexandra Benes and Zach:
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Very nice!
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Notes from Blair

    • Types of people/costumes reflect story and set + need to keep simple.
    • Virtual world – costume can be fantastic or every day. Hopefully metaphorical – ex. A site people use to relax or not think could be white and everyone would wear white in it because white is the absence of color, the absence of data, etc. key words – fantastical, uniformity, metaphorical. Also, avatars will probably look similar to physical people, but perhaps different – without imperfections, or a different haircut, or with a huge number of imperfections – an eye patch or huge scars.
    • Real world – at least in radiological areas, have to stand up to harsher conditions, including radiation – cloth similar to hazmat suit or lead? And in corrupted2 probably a bit ragged – for those who are poorer anyway. Maybe there should be a sharp distinction between those who are in the area for government or company business and everyone else?
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:


      file
      file
      file

      Some concepts i found pics of online. Like any?
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Here are some sketches I did. Some are terribly cliche, does anyone have ideas I can work with to improve them? Especially environmental factors, like temperature, where the characters would get them (are they made? Found? Scavenged? etc) What do the clothes have to allow for? Details would be good :) I also did another sketch of the face applique along with some designs for the under-skin pattern. Unfortunately I couldn't scan them (bitchy printer) so I had to photograph them...

      file
      file
      file
      file
      Pl
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Please excuse the amature art
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Back and front

      file


      file

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      LOVE the gloves, LOVE the shoulders.

      file


      file

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I found an interesting site that sells--get this--fiber optic fabric. Sound fun to anyone else? :)
      Also, I found a material that might be fun to work with. Has anyone seen the road? Remember the puffy winter coats that got so funky? I really liked the look of that.

      file
      Apr 26
      Tiffany.n.huynh@googlewave.com, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
        ooo...that would be cool to work with (the fiber optic fabric) maybe we could work it in to one of the virtual space 'cause i don't know if it would fit in the corrupted areas XD
      Apr 26
      Zach and Alexandra Benes:
        The fiber optic fabric is pretty amazing, but from the photos it appears to be rather dim for cinematic (lighting) purposes (in other words, it would be difficult to really make it show up). However, that lead me to this: EL lighting, which is much brighter and much cheaper. Check out the article here about how to weave it into clothing:

        Anyone have any ideas how to use something like this (in virtual space, as Tiffany said) in a unique, non-cheesy way?
      Apr 26
      Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
        I love the way they are integrated in an almost uniformal way in that picture... If people in VR were crossing into a space that was dimly lit, especially in an exploratory way, if they hadn't been there before, those lights in their clothing could be switched on and leave their hands free...
      Apr 26
      Nightcrow35@googlewave.com, Alexandra Benes and Zach:

      Apr 26
      Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
        Just for inspiration. I love the shapes

        file
        file
        file

      Apr 26
      Alexandra Benes and Zach:
        i KNOW its lady gaga...and its kind of cliche after all the hype over her new video, but i think we could use some of the elements of her headpiece. using normal household items for "protection"

        file

      Apr 26
      Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Apr 26
      Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
        I like the asymmetrical zip vest.

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I'm not sure that makeup is in the same catagory as costumes, but I wanted to play around with what I had. I figure if whatever is affecting people physically in the zones (be it a virus or what have you) the extremities would be the first to go. Granted, I only had my cosmetic makeup, but I wanted to create an almost frostbitten look. I did some pics in B&W because we said we might do that. If this look doesn't work
      file
      , take it as an example of how gritty we can be :)
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      My net died. Here are the rest.

      file
      file
      file
      file

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I kinda wish you could see the red and purple tints better...
    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      These look pretty scary; perhaps would work well for certain characters who have been in the zone for a really long time... I actually particularly love how these look in B&W! (Also: I changed this section heading to include makeup.)
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Here's another take on it... burns and peeling skin ^.^ I didn't have any spirit gum so I used glue. Would look better with real supplies.

      file
      file


      file

    Apr 26
    Michelle, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      I did something similar to this experimenting for a Two Face costume I did for ComiCon last year. Its a little gory, yeah, but take out the blood and there ya go. I like the graying look of the first photos. We could go for a sort of ashy look, dead flaking skin, not quite black

      file

    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Love it!!
    Apr 26
    Cricket, Alexandra Benes and Zach:
      Lexi and I had a bit of an adventure today, going around IV and picking up various items that might be useful/of interest. Though only our first expedition, we managed to stumble upon a bike chain and an old leather couch with rings/straps which we pilfered. Hopefully in the coming days we will have tools and WD40 that will allow us to take apart some of the "dead" bikes on campus.

      file

    Apr 26
    Zach and Alexandra Benes:
      Were these great leather straps in the bin you dropped off? I don't remember seeing them, but maybe they were buried in there.

    Music
    Music and Sound Design ideas, sources, examples.









    .


Apr 16
Cricket:
Apr 16
Cricket:
    These are really really cool sounding
Apr 21
Cricket:
    You tube clip

Mar 9
Cricket:
Mar 10
Michelle:
    I could see this working for our real world stuff as a soundtrack/background music, what have you. The discordancy sounds sort of happy but foreboding. I also know this guy so it'd be easy to contact him
Mar 29
Zach:
    I agree! This is the kind of music that you can imagine wafting through cyberspace, along with bursts of static.
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