Media Integration: A Critique of Two Projects

Even with the restriction of watching from a video, the animated ancient Chinese scroll, “Along the River During Qingming Festival,” felt lively and captured the feeling of a social environment.  The technological devices used on or with the scroll helped convey the feeling of daily life in a very realistic way.  Multiple types of media were integrated, such as light, sounds, massive two story high screen, digital animation and text to stimulate the viewer. Even with the utilization of these technologies, the reinterpretation of this ancient scroll still maintained the human story and traditional art of the original but in a new, sensory way.  As Professor Randall notes, “The technologies may evolve, but essentially, they provide new ways of utilizing our senses to express ideas that are as old as humankind itself.” This famous, ancient scroll was revitalized with the imagination of an artist and the various skills of digital mediums to become a fluid balance of art and technology.

Here is a video from a visitor’s point of view:

Through the media of an online website, the use of technology presents the traditional artwork of Chinese artist Mi Fu in a way non-traditional and innovative way.  In Professor Randall’s lecture, he says, “Higgins is trying to encourage us to rethink art, not as the creation of an object within a predictable specificity of media, but something that stretches the imagination, forcing us to rethink anew the relationship between art and life.”  The website serves as a collage by mixing images, sounds, hyperlinks in a fluid and balanced way to highlight the focus, Mi Fu’s traditional form of art. Before I delved into the website, I thought it would be overwhelming to navigate.  Instead, I found the experience enjoyable because of the ease and simplicity of the website.  The integration of various elements allowed the me to appreciate the work of an artist in a more comprehensive and fluid way.


Example of Ease: A related illustration hyperlink revealed on the National Palace Museum website

Media integration, if a true collaboration between technology and art, will be seamless, as demonstrated by these two projects.  As stated in the book Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality, “Inspired by Aristotle’s notion of Techne-in which there was no differentiation between the practice of art and science- Klüver proposed the active and equal participation of the artist and engineer in the creation of the artwork (2001, p. 34).”  Art and science did not seemed forced in either of these projects and flowed together because there is “no differentiation.”  From these two projects, I noticed media integration can dynamically create a feeling of the work by not using the artwork directly.  The balanced work of the artist as engineer and engineer as artist allowed me to push the famous traditional scroll or move with the fluid movements of a calligraphy brush metaphorically without ever experiencing the work of art directly in person.


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