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The Fluxus Manifesto John Cage “The grand thing about the human mind is that it can turn its own tables and see meaninglessness as ultimate meaning”

Introduction As our first brief to start of Year 2, we were asked to create a presentation on a given subject - for our group it was the “Fluxus Manifesto”. Our group as a whole didnt really have a clue about what Fluxus was and is, so we all went out to research the basics, and then the details seperatly. Through the research we had conducted we found that the manifesto was very much a way of life, rather then a set of rules or obligations. The manifesto was not promoted, or forced down peoples throats, rather those who wanted to take part could, those who didnt, were not forced to. Finding out that Fluxus art stood for intermedia, simplicity, and having an eye for detail, we all went out to produce a presentation, focusing on these points, all on different given subjects.

What I did As a group we assigned each other different subjects to research about Fluxus, to gain a bigger insight into the manifesto. I was given the task to look at its relevance, now and in the future. For the design of our presentation we decided to stick to simple graphics, minimal text and a very basic colour scheme, to let our images do the talking. When researching Fluxus I found out about its massive influence across the world, in a range of fields and through a number of means. Its influence has spread to branding with many companies having used the name “Fluxus” and many companies using the same style Fluxus stood for. Fluxus also transcends mediums, with it being founded in music, and then developed onto other artistics mediums like graphic design and into diy. Lastly Fluxus has also influenced some of the biggest artists of our time such as Blek Le Rat and Bansky, having followed suit in creating fairly quick and simple images, that have depth of meaning.

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The User Manifesto

Research

Jef Raskin “An interface is humane if it is responsive to human needs and considerate of human frailties.”

Introduction Following on from the Fluxus manifesto, we were given the role of the User to research and then to develop and create our manifesto based on it. Initially I was quite confused with how to approach this, with the user to me, being fairly vague as a subject. The group went off to research the basics of the user, what it means to be a user, and what sort of fields, ideas we could delve into to produce the user manifesto. After everyone had the chance to do some research, we met up and had a discussion to see what sort of path we could follow. Our discussion was quite broad, but the things that kept on coming up, was concemporary technology, future technology, interaction and interfaces. From there we went onto choosing and developing our idea.

What I did Having compiled some basic research on the user, and some basic ideas, such as user interfaces and user interactions, I went into our discussion with a number of ideas. We decided initially to look at two ideas I suggested being; the first being an OS interface, and the other a HUD interface. With those two ideas in mind, we went onto researching them both, and I developed them further, in the end with the two ideas turning into one; an Augmented Reality HUD, which would be personalised. The first bit of research to get more accustomed with Augmented Reality, was to look at a few already existing app’s and analysing their good and bad points, finding out that the most succesful app’s were simple, easy to use, clear, and didnt take away from the experience.

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The Fluxus Manifesto

Research

Development As with actually making the manifesto, we had to have a significant amount of research to back up what we were doing. To do this we had decided to conduct a number of interviews, questionnaires to find out opinions about preffered interactions, annoyances with already existing interfaces and so on. We also went onto recording interactions between us and a number of different interfaces, be it self checkouts, phones, train ticket machines or what not, to find out how well they function, their good side and bad. It was me and Thillini which conducted the interviews, and came up with the questions; we both tried to press the user for long, thought through answers, rather than quick one word answers. I quickly learnt that the general consensus was that people wanted to have more control over the interface they use, for it to be adapting to their needs rather then them adapting to its. Also the majority wanted it to be simple, attractive, familiar and intuitive.

What I did From these interviews, I went onto looking at a style I think we should adopt for our manifesto piece. I found a piece of slick design in a number of games such as Forza, which I felt in a stylistic sense was fairly similar to what we were trying to achieve. Having found some inspiration, I made a list of constants (items which were always going to be on screen, and would be easily manipulated to decieve the user) and app’s which would be instigated due to user interaction. From there me and Thillini went onto designing some icons which later we could develop into the final pieces of design.

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The Fluxus Manifesto The Final

The Idea For our final piece we were trying to show, how a user can be fooled into believing we have created a great interface, purely through the visuals. Though once being interacted with, how small niggles, can really detract from the final piece, and then the user truly appreaciates great design.

Introduction We started off our manifesto final piece with having to film for the editing. Initially we decided to film everything inbetween the interactions, but with the final outcome being over 8mintues, we decided to just film the scenes in which we would have interactions. The scenes were chosen, to show of the variety of things the Augmented Reality could achieve in a number of ways, visually, through voice and touch.

What I did Once all the scenes were filmed, it was time to design the interface itself with all the icons and its functions. With us already having an idea of what we wanted, how we wanted it, and a number of icons already sketched out, it was time to develop them into the final product. The thought process behind this was I would scan in the sketches use them as a basis, and went on to designing the icons, but in a very stylish, white style, something that would always stand out from the background. The editing itself was the biggest hassle for me, with After Effects being something I want to get good at, but not quite being there yet. Firstly I had to layout all of the icons in seperate files, coherantly, then I had to swap them around for each different interaction, to prevent familiarity. In terms of editing i used very simple transitions, movements with some slow-mo and distortion effects to achieve the balance of a good looking piece of software with faults. The toughest thing was to fix the sound, having to tune it, lower the volume, and re record certain parts.

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The Fluxus Manifesto

Documentary

Introduction Film is something I have a great appreciation for, so I wanted to do my best to achieve a good, well made making of. I tried for the group to record as much footage as possible, with us having plenty of interviews, talk sessions, testing captured, but I also did some of my own recordings, to differentiate my manifesto footage from the rest of the group. Once I had all of my footage I went onto renaming every video file, and then with that creating a script, while ordering all of my video files, so editing was less of a hassle.

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foliosheets practice  

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