At any rate, Utterback's work, as i said, translates movement into visual imagery and in turn creates a social interaction between people collaborating together within the visual space to experiment, explore and figure out the way a piece works. Most of her work resembles Abstract Expressionist paintings (in scale of the projection, abstractness of line and the expressive quality of movement), but her most recent piece i find the most interesting. Aurora Organ, was commissioned for the an atrium in the mall at the City of St. Louis Park. (Fuck You, Aurora!!....sorry, i've been on an alkaline trio kick.) The piece translates touching hot spots on the atrium railing into color patterns on corresponding tubes hanging over the stairwell int he atrium. definitely an interesting step from Utterback's 2D projection approach up until now.
While her work is interesting, however, there is another approach to this digital synesthesia (synesthesia being a neurological disorder characterized by the mixing and confusing of senses, see Dr. Cytowic's The Man Who Tasted Shapes) that i find more interesting. Utterback's work translates visual movement into visual imagery, but taking a more far-reaching approach was (is) David Rokeby's Very Nervous System all the way back in '88, that translated body movement into song and sound
this is by far one of my favorite interactive pieces to date. that may have something to do with my involvement in music long before the visual arts...
On another (last) note, while Utterback's work deals with social interaction, there are also interactive artists who deal with programming and installation that elicit an emotional response. mostly what comes to mind is fellow ZER01 commissionee Bruce Charlesworth's Love Disorder, which i had the pleasure of seeing at MoCA's Superlight exhibit.
LOVE THIS PIECE!!The Thing that i find most interesting about this piece and similar pieces is the fact that at its base, this is all programming. its a computer generated response to your presence, and yet it elicits and fills you (and is filled itself) with emotion. The computer reads your movement, proximity, etc, nothing more, and yet it moves you to feel something. This is an interesting idea, and one that is only beginning to be explored. im very excited to see the future of digital and interactive media within the realm of art, as its just beginning to peak and really get exciting.