Archive for ‘1. Play & Creative Act’

May 4, 2012

Are Internet Memes creative?

by nketas

Yes! that’s right. The title says it all. This post is about the all ubiquitous memes. (what else do you expect from me!). I have been saving this one up for last.

Example of multipanel memeSo What are memes?
A Meme is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.

The word meme is a shortening of mimeme “something imitated”, from μιμεῖσθαι (mimeisthai), “to imitate”, from μῖμος mimos “mime”)[4] and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. [Source:Wikipedia]

Internet memes are no different. Internet is nothing but the mixture of cultures in a microcosm and memes the sign language of this subculture.
Ahemm! …Creativity?

Alright! I am getting to it! Mentioned earlier the language of memes is universal. Just like so many creative things are possible with writing, the same applies to memes. Memes are nothing but a type of art or sequential art. Just like comics, memes give a visual appearance of something while leaving the rest to imagination to create a emotion.

world's most interesting meme Meme’s can be anything from statement of a fact, satire, wordplay, philosophy or remediation of textual content or context. It is always interesting to see how people use memes and how they are perceived in different situations. Even interesting is the mind of an average meme “artist” and how common place things can be converted to something very funny and interesting. Doesn’t that make it creative? if you think satire is creative, then memes are. If you think funny wordplay is an act of creativity, the same applies to memes.

So what makes a meme?

Even if they are just images and text, The process of meme making is an interesting process. Based on my “expertise”, I am able to identify a few aspects of meme.

Image: Choosing an image is everything in a meme. The image and the context in which it appears or presented sets up the theme for the entire experience. The meme dictates the usage, situation, context and most importantly verbiage. The image is like the chekov’s gun in many aspects.

Yo Dawg!Verbiage: As much as an image is important, the verbiage is the quintessential part of a meme. The choice of words have to correspond to the central theme dictated by the image. The sentence structure has to resemble the original pattern and finally the content should be apt. It can represent the premises or a fact or any wordplay. The possibilites are endless. If you get it right you will almost always be complimented with “excellent adverbiage bro!” comment in the internet forums.

Context: a meme-maker has to understand the context of the meme. If not it completely spoils the experience. You need proof. go here:

Reproducibility: The ability to reproduce or repurpose a meme is very important. If a image with a sentence structure can be repurposed for multiple situations, it will have a longer shelf life and sometime considered a very versatile and creative as well.

and finally LOLability: Laugh out loud. According to me, anything that can emote a user and make him laugh or smile is a winner. One of the major factor of meme-making is the ability of the meme to generate laughter.

U mad bro? now go make a meme about me and vent your anger. See it helps anger management too. If you found this post interesting and funny, leave a few memes in the comments will ya.

Interesting Links:
Create: ,

May 2, 2012

On an artist’s choice of medium

by siddharth1989

Tacita Dean speaks of why she chose film over digital, how her choice is not idiosyncratic (or nostalgic) at all. To me it speaks a great deal about how the interaction between medium and artist shapes her creative process.

March 20, 2012

The Free Universal Construction Kit

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

3D-printed adapter bricks allow interconnection between ten kids’ construction toys

Golan sez, “The Free Universal Construction Kit is a collection of adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet, or unmeetable, by corporate interests.”

The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Our adapters can be downloaded from and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer).


February 28, 2012

Computational Play Project

by mikhailjacob

What does it mean to play or be playful? Dr Brian Magerko of LCC at GeorgiaTech seeks to model this play or playfulness computationally. This is a unique research problem as intelligent agents are not normally tasked with exploring a virtual space and doing exploratory actions in the interest of fun alone without rules or goals. Though as the games industry knows intimately, defining what is fun is always a challenge. This project seeks to provide a digital play space, possibly for children, with virtual playmates that know how to play with them. The applications could be immense for gaming where rules are not as defined but the goal is whatever the players choose it to be.

The ADAM Lab’s site had a vague blurb about the project, so here’s a paper on it.


February 27, 2012

Some cool sample content from my recent video project

by jarradr

An excellent example of the intersection of two of my passions (education and psychological thriller movies) and yet another instance of my project being used in ways that I had not intentioned, due to the creativity (there’s that word again) of the Georgia Tech student population.

There are a few things going on here. First, I’m not sure if you’ve seen the movie Memento, but here is a brief trailer (please excuse some of the language):

After watching that, check out this video done by a student in the Physics class into which I integrated my video idea last term:

I love it.
Next, please check out the other videos by clicking on the C21U link found beneath the video. Note, though, that these are but a few of the videos submitted by students during the course of the project. Some are extremely creative but, for one reason or another, did not get submitted for the competition. Here is another video produced by the same production “team.” Note: the student actor was the star, but his roommate was the cameraman and actually did all of the hard work; how else would this guy have written a problem on his back? I shudder to think about which of them might have written the problem on his upper thigh (just jokes).

Some interesting points that come out of analysis of this portion of the project are:

1. Noting that their classmates have to rank the videos, is it better for students to produce content that is academically relevant or simply amusing?

2. One perspective of student-developed video requires that students “teach the underlying concepts” while others simply involve the presentation of problem solutions. This project, in particular, has shown how different these two notions can be.

3. This is the first project that I completed using a video-hosting service other than YouTube. The Digital Media tool lacks some of the interface options (annotation, user-prescribed graphical hit-counting, etc) but it allows us to present the videos to a Tech-only audience. The videos entered into the TechBurst competition, therefore, had to be re-produced from the original raw files, in many cases. The difference between the two programs, and the corresponding affects on the producers and consumers of video content, is important to consider.

February 27, 2012

video project with Physics 2211 course

by jarradr

Background: my research looks at the integration of asynchronous video (and specifically student-developed content) into the classroom. As such, I’ve worked with several Tech faculty members to put together projects integrating a video “requirement” into their course. One such project was Professor Greco’s Physics 2211 class (478 students) whereby students were asked to submit a videos several times throughout the term and also to watch 4 of their classmates’ videos and assign rankings to them. The rankings were then associated with points via an algorithm I wrote and embedded into the class T-Square site and the top 15% “point-getters” would receive extra credit for that round. This gave the students an incentive to produce quality videos. Furthermore, the fact that the students had to watch each others videos meant that the professor did not (which would have been a daunting task in a class of 478).

Though the prof was not required to view all video content, an important aspect of this idea is the fact that he could at any time he chose to. That is, if he found, by looking through exam results, that a particular student was lost on the Chapter 8 materials, he could look at the stream of videos submitted by that student to see exactly where they went off track. The also keeps the students “honest” to a certain extent, since they never know when the prof will decide to take a look at their submissions.

One important element whereby this project differs from others on which I’ve worked integrating video into GT courses has to do with the video-hosting interface. This project uses the Digital Media tool, specifically designed by CETL to work within the T-Square environment. Past projects all used YouTube. Some advantages of YouTube include the fact that the most students were already familiar with the interface, the ability to annotate the videos, and the ability to make the videos “portable” by creating an email-ready link. I chose to work with the Digital Media tool in this instance because I wanted to work with CETL to customize an interface specifically for use in the education space, and I wanted to be able to authenticate access to the videos based on official Georgia Tech credentials. In my data analysis, I am looking at the number of people who view certain videos, as well as the number who create, so it is also helpful to isolate use to a GT-only population. While the main project focus looks to see the impact of the creation of the video on the developer, further research will look at the affect on the viewers.

As always, CCDC input/feedback/suggestions are appreciated!

February 26, 2012

Emily Howell

by mikhailjacob

Just came across a fantastic article about a composer’s struggle to gain acceptance after creating a phenomenal AI Composing system Emmy. Emmy could create amazing pieces after any number of classical music composing styles in what must surely have been a very early CBR + Rule Based approach to algorithmic composing. Her successor Emily Howell adds elements of personality and interactivity to the mix. A brilliant read about her creator’s story and some samples of the music created by Emily.




January 18, 2012

Unit Origami Diagram

by dharris63

This assignment began innocently enough. I’m not very skilled with origami, but the structure that Dr. Do showed us seemed simple enough to recreate. I learned the hard way that it can be very difficult to render three-dimensional objects in two-dimensional diagrams. IKEA does a pretty good job, after all.

As if the assignment wasn’t difficult enough to begin with, Dr. Do presented us with an additional challenge: could we show someone how to replicate the origami pattern without using any words. I tried, failed miserably, and then compromised by using as few words as I possibly could. Looking back at the finish product, I observed that some of the words were probably not that important after all. I considered erasing them, but then I thought: why shouldn’t the diagram include words? It is an interesting to challenge to convey a message or instruction without using words. I think it’s interesting, however, to note that in some situations, pictures can be more powerful than words, such as the famous photograph in Tiananmen Square. But words can be even more powerful when the message being conveyed is less tangible. That’s why movies remakes can never capture the thoughts or emotions of a character transmitted so effortlessly in the book.


January 17, 2012

Design and the Play Instinct

by Ellen Yi-Luen Do

Readings (to discuss Jan 18)

  • Brereton, M. F, D M Cannon, A Mabougunje and L Leifer (1996) Collaboration in Design Teams: How Social Interaction Shapes the Product, in Cross, N., H. Christiaans & K. Dorst (eds), Analyzing Design Activity, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 319-341 media:team.pdf –