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One meaning for visualization is aligned with more modern concepts of digital content and simulation. Nowadays, digital content consists of more than just audiovisual pieces; it also consists of software and interface devices. Digital content production has become sophisticated simulation work, involving light, motion, physics, and behavior. In building new digital content, the artist can't be separated from the interface engineer or computer scientist anymore. Furthermore, this process isn't simply an artist using a new technology or innovative device, but a new synthesis of digital content. Media art, such as the biological feedback by Ulrike Gabrie and the large-scale interactive installations by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, represents this synthesis. Simulation is everywhere in digital content production. Digital simulations (such as simulations and car crashes) are the technological cutting edge in the movie industry, but are also present in low-budget TV productions and short videos. At the high end of the spectrum, video games rely on complex, real-time simulations. And creating interactive, digital TV requires more than new multimedia authoring tools, because it's a complex simulation combining television and gaming techniques. Furthermore, digital content is convergent (computer that is TV, TV that is telephone, video game that is TV, and so on), ubiquitous (it can be presented on any object, such as a tabletop, a window, and so on), universally accessible (in a planetary scale), niche-oriented (as in the long-tail phenomenon), and interactive (Web, video games, digital TV, and so on). These characteristics of new digital content can expand the frontiers of multimedia significantly.
Date of Publication: Jan.-March 2009