The Art of Toyz

Last week, after too many coffees and a slushy walk through the wintry East Village, I stopped by NYU to warm up in the digital glow of the ITP Winter Show. Up on the 4th floor of Tisch School of the Arts, the scene was crowded and upbeat, as the department showed off its latest explorations into technology, media and art.

I tend to think of ITP’s huge loft space as a high-tech romper room, with its computer labs, circuit workshops, and reactive sculptures lining the halls. This “engineering for artists” program was founded in 1979, and since then has become a tight community of technologists, programmers, designers, and theorists experimenting with mechanical and digital technology. Using up-to-the-minute developments in software and hardware to inspire wonder and share information, the department describes itself as a “Center for the Recently Possible.”

Below is a video of some of the projects in the winter exhibit and conversations with a few of the many artists who showed their work (yes, it was very loud in there, almost like a New Year’s Eve Party!):

The projects in the show come out of ITP courses such as Introduction to Physical Computing, Virtual Worlds Workshop, Live Web, Live Image Processing and Performance, New Interfaces for Musical Expression, and several others. These include web-based experiments, gameplay, robotics, interactive objects and mobile applications.

Please check out some project pages by students in the Interactive Telecommunication Program, as they do a much better job of describing their work than what I was able to pick up on the fly. You can find all of the projects listed on the main ITP exhibit page as well:

Human Wind Chime
Historical Radio
Interactive Triangle Matrix
Beat Feet
Dynamic Ground
Borealis MIDI Controller
The Bed
fridgebuzz MK1


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