New Media New Technology

In new media one trend, technology or fad quickly follows the next. For anyone with an interest in media technology it is important to be up to date with the latest and greatest, from augmented reality to creative science, and from three dimensional printing to immersive environments. However it is equally important to be able to critically reflect on these trends, to identify what is really novel and what is merely a hype. The New Media New Technology class at Media Technology, Leiden University explores these concepts.


The results of the student projects will be shown at an exposition on Friday June 1, 2012. at the Scheltema Complex in Expo 1, Leiden. The expo will not be a traditional static exposition, but more like an open Lab, and may cover interactive or scientific approaches to art, or artistic and creative approaches to research and science.  Many of the installations will be interactive, some of these are early studies, others will be more like polished end products, and the students will be around to answer questions about the concepts, ideas and methods behind their work, and even hack some more on the fly. 

Opening Times: June 1, 3:00pm to 8:30pm
Location: Scheltema, Expo 1 room, Marksteeg 1, Leiden


The Real 3D Home Theatre

By: Ali & Polly

What would it be like to have a real theatre in your room. With you and your friends as the main character?

For the past decade, the home entertainment has progressed dramatically, first it was the surround sound, then came the flat screen televisions and now the 3D flat screens have invaded our living rooms. Although they all created an entertaining experience, they all suffered from the same problem. The viewer was always passive. The real 3d home theatre is taking on this problem and adds the user interaction in the experience. The users can create their own personal dramas on our tiny theatre. 

MultiTouch music table
by: Thomas

I Decided to take my last musical laser application one step further making it a multitouch application. With a multitouch table you will be able to create stripes with every finger. The stripes/traces are pathways for an audiovisual pattern. So clean those fingers  and create your own compositions!

By: Navid

Everyone knows the classical game of Memory: there are a bunch of cards facing downwards on a table and each player has try to flip over 2 matching cards to earn points. On the web you can find variations where you don't see an image when you flip over a card, but instead you hear a sound. Now what if there was no visual feedback at all? 

Professional chess players are able to play a game of chess purely by communicating the coordinates of the chess pieces on the board (e.g. "e2-e4" is a pawn opening move).  WaveMem combines the audio memory game with the blind chess technique. It's a memory game without any form of visual feedback. The players type in the coordinates of the "cards" and listen to the sounds. Also the feedback on scores, turn changes and the instructions are purely sound based. You can choose the size of the "board", the type of sounds you want to hear (e.g. music samples or animal sounds) and the number of players (1 or 2). 

This game will train you to create a mental image of a memory board and to remember the sounds and their locations. In the end, it will help you to enhance your memory through non visual pathways. It can be used as an experimental tool to test a person's memory and it can be played by blind people! A good research question: are blind people better at it than the ones blessed with sight?
This project is created with the Max/MSP programming environment.

Working title: Dream Deferred
By: Roy van Rooijen and Rosen Bogdanov

How many times you imagine being on a beach realizing you are still in the same old place, with the same old people? This installation creates a similar effect, by projecting dreams that in the end deteriorate to your own reality. As primary influence we are inspired by the famous graffiti artist Banksy.  
The project is created with the Max/Msp/Jitter environment.

By: Arne Boon, Guido Huijser, Roy van Rooijen

This project explores the application of recognizing facial expressions for decision-making processes in interactive technology systems.

The proliferation of the Internet, and more specifically of online channels such as YouTube, has caused an exponential rise in the amount of digital media available today. Navigating this huge database demands increasingly sophisticated filtering and query techniques, based on the somewhat behaviorist approach of ranking data on the amount views and 'likes' it receives from its users.

Most people would agree that their opinion is not as clear-cut as 'like' versus 'do not like', and the fact that rating is done post-viewing allows for contrived instead of natural appreciation. The SmileTracker application developed in this study aims to accurately gauge the users' emotive response to digital media, specified to humorous videos. Using an interface with video playback and webcam capturing functionalities, the application detects the user’s emotive response and dynamically composes a ranking of the most fun-appreciated videos.

This project is the first step towards a more developed goal, which aims non-linear storytelling steered by facial expressions of the viewer.

By: Esther

The wiring of most of the electronic devices we use is well-hidden inside some sort of casing. Some of these wrappings are meant to look appealing to the eye (apple products), others are nothing more than simple boxes meant to be functional (electric stove) and sometimes the outside can even be deceiving in what it contains. (my gaming pc which is disguised as a standard packard bell) 

This project will explore the different possibilities of the looks of an electronic machine in combination with what you may find inside. The output will be a set of painted boxes of which some will have working hardware inside.

Data Waves
By:  Aurimas Bavarskis

In terms of computing, information has two sides of the coin - there is our physical world in which we experience our existence, and there is the digital domain, where everything we perceive collapses and turns into abstract patterns. This project aims to rediscover the concept of data and demonstrate the link between the real world and the world of 0's and 1's.


By: Grace Gao, Tamara Pinos, Bardo Frings

What is so attractive about Pole Dancing? Is it the music, the lights, the movements? Would you dare to explore the possibilities that a pole can offer? 

Pole Dancing has being going on for many years, but this time we want to build a high-tech pole that will influence space and sound in order to create a different experience for the performer and the audience.

Pixelator v0.2 (side project)
By: Roy van Rooijen

We get more and more served with high definition content in software, videos, the web and on TV. Everything is HD nowadays. Smartphones and tablets already have such a high resolution that pixels become invisible. The higher the resolution, the more pixels, the better. Sometimes, I disagree.  
I think we could use some visible pixels, especially during regular browsing. Google and Youtube already made a step in this direction because they use a gray colored background that is slightly pixelated which gives it a bit of a canvas look. It feels more natural.

In this installation the effect of pixelation is exaggerated and reminds us of the quality of early CRT screens or computer graphics. 

Project page: Lab 1 - Pixelator


By: Joanna Camargo Coelho and Ahmad Azizyar

In times when Multi-touch interfaces have become so popular, it's interesting  to explore new forms of interaction in live performances. In this installation you will be able to control video synthesis through your iPhone inside the Ableton Live environment, proving that is possible to make music and visuals with a few hand movements.

By: Thomas Haighton, Ahmad Azizyar and Terence Letiche

This installation challenges the participant to explore an unknown sound source. The sound generated by this source evokes an eerie, uncomfortable feeling with the listener. The installation is made for a staircase, where the source is at the top, and the participant interacts with the sounds by walking up the stairs. The sound source is loosely based on the waterphone or tibetan water drum, these sounds are picked up by microphones and digitally processed in different ways.

Lady Gaga
32.8 feet

By: Lisa

Once you can learn how to think
you can left
Words, Red and Blue
Cutting Harmonies, Queen of Glitch

Dancing in Starlight
Lovechild dropped by Night     

Boys Boys Boys
Girls Girls Girls in a Cherry Tree
Eh eh...
Her name is Lady Gaga                                      

Lady Gaga 32.8 feet

is a poetic expression of
Lady Gaga's Wikipedia
pages in tangible shape.


By Lisa

"Mirror mirror on the wall
Who's the hottest of them all? "
"You are full fair, 'tis true, but
Paris Hilton is hotter than you."

During the OPENLAB expo there will be an opportunity to play with the FaceLift Webcam.

Face Drawing

By: Dimitris Giatras

Artistic expression in the form of drawing is thousands years old, that being on walls, ground or canvas. In the new digital age, computers have been used in various ways to produce a drawing. It is now possible to draw on the computer screen by using various techniques.

This project urges the audience to draw using their face as a tool. Step in front of the camera, alone or with your friends, and start drawing by moving around. Is white on black too boring? Show the color you want to the camera and change to it immediately.

My heart is a machine but I can hear the sound of singing fish and polytheen babies

By: Arnold Jan Quanjer

In this installation your heartbeat is scanned and sonified. After sonification your heart sounds like a pulsating machine in a steel plant.
But despite your heart sounds like a machine you still will be able to hear the sound of singing fish and polytheen babies. 
Put something red in front of the web cam and an interactive, enchanting sound will be heard. 


This expo shows some of highlight project from the New Media New Technologies (NMNT) course. The NMNT course is part of the Media Technology program at Leiden University and covers a range of the latest new media technologies and concepts, organized by more timeless themes such as new media history, social relationships, space and intelligent perception and action, so that these technologies can be placed into perspective. The course is a mix of lectures and practical assignments, and students are asked to create a product that incorporates a new technology or concept and motivate why it is not just a gimmick or hype. For an impression of 2012 student projects, see above and check the Students pages. For the 2011 program, click the pictures below and NMNT2011.


New Media New Technology 2012 is a course in the Mediatechnology Programme at LIACS, Leiden University. The Media Technology MSc programme is a place where students are encouraged to formulate their own scientific questions, and to translate personal inspirations and curiosities into their own research projects. To answer these questions, students create actual products, because we are convinced that by doing and creating, new scientific insights into the underlying question are encountered.