My Personal Journey

April 9, 2009
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For my Video Art class at Emily Carr, I decided to move forward with the “Personal Journeys” project and so I went ahead and recorded the story of the day my mom died from ovarian cancer in 1994 and the Journey that I and my family went through that day and made a video about it. I published it on YouTube last night and wanted to share it with all of you:
– FlashAddict

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John DeVeaux is a second year Film, Video and Integrated Media student at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Classifying himself as a Digital Artist with future aspirations to work in either the film or video game industry, his work focuses on combining a wide range of media including crowd sourcing, data capture, film/video, installation, storytelling and web based material.

My Personal Journey tells the story of the day John’s mother died from ovarian cancer in 1994 and features the artist providing a solitary monologue over a black screen with white text providing an ongoing narrative, as he describes the mental images that haunt him to this day.

Inspiration for this video comes from Derek Jarman’s film, Blue, which showcases the director looking back on his life as he was losing his sight and dying from AIDS. The film is 79 minutes in length and features a single shot of saturated blue covering the entire frame of the screen.

My Personal Journey is also part of an ongoing digital art project dealing with personal storylines about significant or memorable Journeys in peoples respective lives and can be viewed at:

http://personaljourneys.wordpress.com


The Personal Journeys blog is now active

March 10, 2009

Hello again everyone,

I wanted to take this opportunity to invite everyone to check out the Personal Journeys Blog that was publicly unveiled and launched earlier today for my Digital Interactive Arts class at Emily Carr. Everyone was very interested in reading about the stories that people submitted to the art project and would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone who submitted their stories.

This is not the end of the project however, and I will be working with several faculty at school in pushing the project further over the summer. For those of you who wanted to participate, but haven’t had a chance to write up your stories, don’t fret because you still have the chance to send them in and I will put them up on the blog as they arrive.

Furthermore, two other avenues for the project that I would like to explore are to setup a venue at the Athlete’s Village for 2010 Winter Olympics, which I had previously mentioned; but the most important one to my heart is to contact the BC Cancer Foundation and see if they would like to work together in recording and documenting the Journeys of Cancer patients currently going through radiation treatment and chemotherapy as well as the stories from their families.

I will be contacting them tomorrow to look into the feasibility of this project as well as starting to piece together a video which recounts the details of My Personal Journey, which I wrote about January 28th, 1994, the day my mother died from ovarian cancer at the BC Cancer Clinic in Vancouver. I will keep you guys posted on how both of those progress.

So without further ado, here is the link to the blog:

http://personaljourneys.wordpress.com/

Read through the Journeys, click on the links to view the maps and also look at the Visual Journeys section of the blog to see other outcomes that I developed as well.

Sincerely,

John DeVeaux


Judge dismisses Google lawsuit

February 19, 2009

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Hello everyone, it’s Reading Week break here at Emily Carr, so I have been taking some time off from my blog and been relaxing a bit – although relaxing probably isn’t the best way to describe yesterday as I went to CrossFit and got my ass and abs kicked by the workout! But here is an interesting read about Google Streets that I thought you guys would like to check out…
– FlashAddict

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By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Street View car, PA

Google’s Street View has been criticised on several occasions

A legal claim by a Pittsburgh couple that Google’s Street View feature violated their privacy has been thrown out by a federal judge.

Christine and Aaron Boring sued the search giant after photos of their home appeared on the free mapping program.

The couple accused Google of privacy violation, negligence, trespassing and unjust enrichment.

In her ruling, Judge Amy Reynolds Hay said the Borings “failed to state a claim under any count”.

“We are pleased the judge agreed the suit was without merit,” said Google in a statement to the BBC.

Street View displays street level, 360-degree photographs of areas taken by specially equipped Google vehicles.

Failure

The photographs at the centre of the lawsuit, launched last year, were taken at the foot of Mr and Mrs Boring’s driveway and shows their house, a pool area and detached garage. Signs marked the road as private.

The suit alleged that Google’s Street View had caused Mr and Mrs Boring “mental suffering” and diluted the value of their home.

Google conference

Google removed the offending pictures after the lawsuit was filed

“While it is easy to imagine that many whose property appears on Google’s virtual maps resent the privacy implications, it is hard to believe that any – other than the most exquisitely sensitive – would suffer shame or humiliation,” Judge Amy Reynolds Hay of US District Court for Western Pennsylvania wrote in her 12-page decision.

The judge also suggested that the Borings’ lawsuit made it possible for more people than ever to view the picture of their home.

“The Borings do not dispute that they have allowed the relevant images to remain on Google Street View, despite the availability of a procedure for having them removed from view,” wrote Judge Reynolds Hay.

“Furthermore, they have failed to bar others’ access to the images by eliminating their address from the pleadings, or by filing this action under seal,” she said.

The publicity has actually perpetuated dissemination of the Borings’ name and location, and resulted in frequent re-publication of the Street View images, the judge concluded.

“The plaintiffs’ failure to take readily available steps to protect their own privacy and mitigate their alleged pain suggests to the Court that the intrusion and that their suffering were less severe than they contend,” wrote Judge Reynolds Hay.

The Borings had sought $25,000 (£17,700) in damages.

‘Removal tools’

Google said the company respects individual privacy and provides ways for that privacy to be maintained.

“We blur identifiable faces and licence plates in Street View and we offer easy-to-use removal tools so users can decided for themselves whether or not they want a given image to appear.

Street View

Photos of real world locations are tied to maps

“It is unfortunate the parties involved decided to pursue litigation instead of making use of these tools,” said Google in its statement.

Privacy concerns following the launch of Street View in 2007 prompted Google to start blurring faces of people caught in the photographs.

The company had argued earlier in response to the lawsuit that “today’s satellite-image technology means that even in today’s desert complete privacy does not exist.”

“Privacy claims are not easy to prove,” said Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

“One of the challenges is showing what’s the damage, what’s the harm. But Google is more at risk here because there is always the possibility someone might prevail in one of these cases, so I don’t think the issue is resolved in terms of Google.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7898407.stm


Future outcomes for the Personal Journeys project…

February 10, 2009

Hello everyone,

I wanted to take this opportunity to once again thank you all for participating in the Personal Journeys art project. The stories that I received from have been heartwarming, inspiring and tragic at the same time. For those of you who have not submitted their stories yet, there is still time to send it in as I am now in the process of compiling the information together. Furthermore, if anyone in the group has reservations about me publishing their names in the final piece, please let me know and I will post your story as anonymous.

To that end, the final piece will be presented to the public a month from now and will be displayed in a blog that I am creating, but I do not see that as the end of this process. My mind is simply on fire with ideas about how to push the envelope of this project further and further. We here at Emily Carr and the entire city for that matter on the verge of a once in a lifetime opportunity because one year from now, the eyes of the entire world will be focused on Vancouver for 16 straight days when the 2010 Winter Olympics begin.

What if we went to the Vancouver Olympic Committee and setup within the athlete’s village to record and document the Personal Journeys that each athlete had to go through in order to make it here to Vancouver. What a wonderful gift that would be to share not only within the village, but to the world as a whole.

Here are some other future project avenues that could be explored:

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>>> To be done for the in-class presentation <<<

1a. Create a blog to document, list and display incoming Journey stories along with the associated graphical line plots – to be then presented to the class and to outside viewers who are invited to participate virtually.

1b. Enlarge and print a few selected Journey stories and graphical line plots and put them on display for the class when the project is presented and possibly the school gallery at the annual student exhibition in the spring.

>>> Pitched the idea to several Emily Carr administration and faculty last week – waiting for results and will followup <<<

2a. Actively seek Emily Carr participation from an administrative level to fund, market or otherwise advance the project to greater reception and accessibility.

2b. Form a team of 3 to 4 dedicated Emily Carr students to go on a road trip to recreate select Journeys in order to document them and in the process request school administration to setup a self-directed co-op program so participating students can get school credits. Outside corporate sponsors in the region could be located to help fund the endeavour and the project scope can be expanded to create a documentary film, book, website or other type of media device.

2c. This team of students would interview the original Journey authors and document the sights, encounters, people, places and otherwise meaningful moments along the Journey. In addition, this team of student artists would cover a wide range of talents and disciplines in order to provide a greater canvas to document the process and scope of the Journeys (ie: Photographer, Videographer, Musician, Writer, Digital Artist…) Each member would add their own unique flavour to the project and allow for inspiration from the Journey itself to drive their own personal art and life experience gained as a result.

2d. Select Journey stories and graphical line plots can be enlarged, printed and put on display in major art galleries, providing greater exposure to the original and subsequent documentary projects. Journey authors could be invited to give guest lectures on their respective Journeys and input kiosks could be installed in galleries to allow viewers to enter their own Journeys and graphical line plots into the database as well, after being inspired from reading of the Journeys of others.

>>> Future possibilities down the road <<<

3a. Pitch the Google Journeys idea directly to Google themselves – seeing as though they have a tremendous budget to work from and http://maps.google.com/  only provides a singular and not immediately meaningful attachment to the graphical line segment produced by the mapping software (ie: it creates a graphical representation of a Trip, not a Journey and certainly not one that is easily linked to others) – whereas if both Google and we as artists could create an immense database of Collective Journeys for people to read through and visualize graphically and tied into other similarly meaningful Journeys.

3b. Google Journeys could become a living and breathing Artwork existing purely on a virtual level and being on display to people around the world 24/7 while constantly being added to and upgraded. Participants would continue to add their own Journeys to the existing project whole and the graphical line would get bigger and bigger. Visual representation of the immense Collective of Journeys could be displayed in real-time as either 2d or 3d display.

3c. Visitors to the Google Journeys website could browse through the database to look up individual Journeys or run searches based on input parameters. As mentioned above, the tree branch analogy is a fitting one, seeing as how jagged and random the waypoints turn the graphical line plot every which way. Individual or select group Journeys could display as being colour coded and then zoomed in on in the 3d display of the Great Tree Branch, where the viewer could then click on and then bring up the author’s individual Journey story.

3d. Similar to a blog setup, visitors could then leave comments for the Journey’s original author and a global dialog could be achieved along with new friendships and greater understanding for one another. Authors and visitors alike could formulate new Journey plans amongst themselves – Shared databases between Google Journeys and Google Video could be extrapolated and linked in order to provide video responses to individual Journeys – the project could become viral in its outcome and scope.

3e. The inherent search engine and search results would provide local companies, hotels, and travel services to be immediately directed to those particular areas covered in the Journey display, allowing ease of use in planning not just a regular trip, but a Journey of your own.

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There you go – these are the thoughts racing through my mind on how to expand this project further so let me know what you think of these options and let’s see how far we can push this because the sky is limit!

Sincerely,

John DeVeaux


Google turns map tool into people tracker

February 4, 2009

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It will be very interesting to see how things will unfold with this new technology and what implications it may have on personal rights and freedoms…
– FlashAddict

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With an upgrade to its mobile maps, Google Inc. hopes to prove it can track people on the go as effectively as it searches for information on the internet.

The new software to be released Wednesday will enable people with mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.

The feature, dubbed “Latitude,” expands upon a tool introduced in 2007 to allow mobile phone users to check their own location on a Google map with the press of a button.

“This adds a social flavour to Google maps and makes it more fun,” said Steve Lee, a Google product manager.

It could also raise privacy concerns, but Google is doing its best to avoid a backlash by requiring each user to manually turn on the tracking software and making it easy to turn off or limit access to the service.

Google also is promising not to retain any information about its users’ movements. Only the last location picked up by the tracking service will be stored on Google’s computers, Lee said.

The software plots a user’s location — marked by a personal picture on Google’s map — by relying on cellphone towers, global positioning systems or a Wi-Fi connection to deduce their location. The system can follow people’s travels in Canada, the United States and 25 other countries.

It’s left up to each user to decide who can monitor their location.

Also in the Loopt

The social mapping approach is similar to a service already offered by Loopt Inc., a three-year-old company near Google’s Mountain View headquarters.

Loopt’s service already is compatible with more than 100 types of mobile phones.

To start out, Google Latitude will work on Research In Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry and devices running on Symbian software or Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile. It will also operate on some T-1 Mobile phones running on Google’s Android software and eventually will work on Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iTouch.

To widen the software’s appeal, Google is offering a version that can be installed on personal computers as well.

The PC access is designed for people who don’t have a mobile phone but still may want to keep tabs on their children or someone else special, Lee said. People using the PC version can also be watched if they are connected to the internet through Wi-Fi.

Google can plot a person’s location within a few yards if it’s using GPS or might be off by several miles if it’s relying on transmission from cellphone towers. People who don’t want to be precise about their whereabouts can choose to display just the city instead of a specific neighbourhood.

There are no current plans to sell any advertising alongside Google’s tracking service, although analysts believe knowing a person’s location eventually will unleash new marketing opportunities.

Google has been investing heavily in the mobile market during the past two years in an attempt to make its services more useful to people when they’re away from their office or home computers.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/02/04/google-latitude.html


Collective Personal Journeys – Help John with his Art Project

January 14, 2009

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I am resubmitting this post after having created its very own “Journeys” category on the right side of the blog navigation bar for better user interaction.

– FlashAddict

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Hello everyone,

I would like to invite you all to participate in a new and hopefully ongoing art project that I am in the process of creating for my DIVA 202 (Digital and Interactive Arts) course at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design here in Vancouver, B.C. The scope of the project will deal with your personal storylines revolving around significant or memorable journeys in your respective lives.

The tangible aspect of these storylines will be plotted on http://maps.google.com/ and then the corresponding graphical lines that are created by the maps will then be used to connect person to person in the final cumulative outcome of the piece which will then be presented to the public in either a digital or printed format (still to be determined).

Instructions:
1. Think of a particular memorable event in your life when you had to purposely go from point A to point B in order to complete, achieve or otherwise attend this event (ie: when you had to walk from your childhood home to your very first day at school, moving into your first apartment, going to the office where you got your big break job interview, the location of your first kiss…)

2. Go to http://maps.google.com/ and click on “Get Directions” in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Type in your initial starting location in the “A” column – try to be as specific as possible (ie: full street address) – but if you are uncomfortable providing exact locations, just do your best to ensure the map can complete the correct plotting (ie: just the city, or a particular waypoint on your journey)

4. Type in your final destination in the “B” column.

5. Click on the “Get Directions” button to the bottom right of the A and B columns.

6. You will then see a point-to-point listing of the directions shown on the left side of your screen along with a full graphical road map providing a visual representation of your journey in the main window.

7. Write down a few words, a sentence, a paragraph – whatever you feel comfortable with letting others know about the significance of this journey – and please send it in an email or leave a comment below in the blog along with your original starting and final destination locations so I can go ahead and plot everyones’ maps and create the piece as a whole.

8. Smile, laugh, cry, or otherwise personally reflect back on this memory and think back to that moment and what it was like to experience it.

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As an example of this process, I am providing you with a piece that I created last year for my Design One course at Emily Carr, which I am basing this new project off of. I titled the piece, “Life is a Highway” and within it, I wrote down the times that I have moved over the course of my life. I then took the plotted lines, created graphical representations of each and pieced them together into the final outcome:

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Life is a Highway:

I am going to tell my life story by showcasing the times I have moved within my lifetime. I was born into this world on June 16th, 1975 in the town of Flin Flon, Manitoba. I lived there for the first 3 years of my life, until my father, a geologist by trade, was promoted and transferred to work at his company’s Vancouver headquarters. So, we packed all of our things and out we went down the road to get onto the highway and begin our journey west. We settled into our new home in the small town of Tsawwassen, which is about an hour away from Vancouver by car.

Through the rest of my childhood, teen years and into adulthood, I lived in the family house until 2002, when I jumped back on the highway and moved to downtown Vancouver with my girlfriend Cindy. That remained my base of operations until September, 2005, when Cindy and I broke up. Back to the family homestead I went, to lick my wounds and heal my wounded heart.

There I stayed for just over a year, sulking in my depression, until I decided that a change was needed and I moved into a new two-bedroom condo with my friend Spencer up to Burnaby mountain, next to Simon Fraser University. The irony of me living here is that after being single for so long, not a day had gone by without me thinking of Cindy, so I made the decision to contact her again.

And so I saw her for the first time in over a year and a half at the Starbucks in Brentwood Mall in Burnaby. All of the feelings that I kept in check for so long came back with a vengeance and we started dating again. I wonder what the future has in store for the both of us and what future travels will we be making down this highway called life?

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Initial waypoints plotted on google maps:

Final Outcome printed and displayed:

— Artist Note —
I am no longer in a relationship with Cindy but am still happy with the final outcome of this piece – you may also be interested to know that there is a new special someone in my life who I am very close to, otherwise known as my “Snuggle Bear.”

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As always please feel free to check out my daily blog as well to find out more about the daily comings and goings of a digital artist:

https://flashaddict.wordpress.com/

Thank you to everyone for reading over my request and for your support and participation in this project!

Cheers,

John (aka FlashAddict)


Personal Journeys – Help John with his Art Project

January 13, 2009

Hello everyone,

I would like to invite you all to participate in a new and hopefully ongoing art project that I am in the process of creating for my DIVA 202 (Digital and Interactive Arts) course at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design here in Vancouver, B.C. The scope of the project will deal with your personal storylines revolving around significant or memorable journeys in your respective lives.

The tangible aspect of these storylines will be plotted on http://maps.google.com/ and then the corresponding graphical lines that are created by the maps will then be used to connect person to person in the final cumulative outcome of the piece which will then be presented to the public in either a digital or printed format (still to be determined).

Instructions:
1. Think of a particular memorable event in your life when you had to purposely go from point A to point B in order to complete, achieve or otherwise attend this event (ie: when you had to walk from your childhood home to your very first day at school, moving into your first apartment, going to the office where you got your big break job interview, the location of your first kiss…)

2. Go to http://maps.google.com/ and click on “Get Directions” in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Type in your initial starting location in the “A” column – try to be as specific as possible (ie: full street address) – but if you are uncomfortable providing exact locations, just do your best to ensure the map can complete the correct plotting (ie: just the city, or a particular waypoint on your journey)

4. Type in your final destination in the “B” column.

5. Click on the “Get Directions” button to the bottom right of the A and B columns.

6. You will then see a point-to-point display of the directions listed in the left corner of your screen along with a full road map showing the graphical representation of your journey as well.

7. Write down a few words, a sentence, a paragraph – whatever you feel comfortable with letting others know about the significance of this journey – and please send it in an email along with your original starting and final destination locations so I can go ahead and plot everyones’ maps and create the piece as a whole.

8. Smile, laugh, cry, or otherwise personally reflect back on this memory and think back to that moment and what it was like to experience it 🙂

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

As an example of this process, I am providing you with a piece that I created last year for my Design One course at Emily Carr, which I am basing this new project off of. I titled the piece, “Life is a Highway” and within it, I wrote down the times that I have moved over the course of my life. I then took the plotted lines, created graphical representations of each and pieced them together into the final outcome:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Life is a Highway:

I am going to tell my life story by showcasing the times I have moved within my lifetime. I was born into this world on June 16th, 1975 in the town of Flin Flon, Manitoba. I lived there for the first 3 years of my life, until my father, a geologist by trade, was promoted and transferred to work at his company’s Vancouver headquarters. So, we packed all of our things and out we went down the road to get onto the highway and begin our journey west. We settled into our new home in the small town of Tsawwassen, which is about an hour away from Vancouver by car.

Through the rest of my childhood, teen years and into adulthood, I lived in the family house until 2002, when I jumped back on the highway and moved to downtown Vancouver with my girlfriend Cindy. That remained my base of operations until September, 2005, when Cindy and I broke up. Back to the family homestead I went, to lick my wounds and heal my wounded heart.

There I stayed for just over a year, sulking in my depression, until I decided that a change was needed and I moved into a new two-bedroom condo with my friend Spencer up to Burnaby mountain, next to Simon Fraser University. The irony of me living here is that after being single for so long, not a day had gone by without me thinking of Cindy, so I made the decision to contact her again.

And so I saw her for the first time in over a year and a half at the Starbucks in Brentwood Mall in Burnaby. All of the feelings that I kept in check for so long came back with a vengeance and we started dating again. I wonder what the future has in store for the both of us and what future travels will we be making down this highway called life?

Initial waypoints plotted on google maps:

Final Outcome printed and displayed:

— Artist Note —
I am no longer in a relationship with Cindy but am still happy with the final outcome of this piece – you may also be interested to know that there is a new special someone in my life who I am very close to, otherwise known as my “Snuggle Bear” 🙂

As always please feel free to check out my daily blog as well to find out more about the daily comings and goings of a digital artist:

https://flashaddict.wordpress.com/

Thank you to everyone for reading over my request and for your support and participation in this project!

Cheers,

John (aka FlashAddict)