Art Meets Technology at IMA Show

May 19 2016

From intricate paper arts to dancing robots and virtual realms, the Interactive Media Arts Spring show on May 13 was a chance for NYU Shanghai students to display the range of creative talents and technical skills they had acquired over the semester.

"I think the show gets better because our students are more and more extraordinary each semester,” said Director of IMA, Marianne Petit. “Students are trying to combine their work from one class to another, so you see things in different classes appearing together.

Gallery: See how students combined different media and projects together

"Another extraordinary thing is to see where our students were last year and where they are this year, and how much they've grown in one year's time, which is very gratifying for us as the instructors," said Petit.

This semester's IMA Show featured the work of its foundation courses, Interaction Lab and Communications Lab, along with elective courses such as Creating Immersive Worlds, Paper Art, Talking Fabrics, Animation, Shanghai Street food and Urban Farming and Unmanned Aerial Storytelling.

Below, we hear from students in their own words about some of the projects they created:


“Stained Souls”  by Jiayi Wang

Courses: Paper Arts, Animation

“The initial idea of this project was to create an interactive way of narration through animation and projection mapping. This is a recreation of the opening cinematography of my favorite game, Dark Souls. Since it is a mythical tale, I went for the stained glass visual effect and this is also where its name came from. I did all the illustrations in the animation, and the book pages are constructed from cardstock.”

“Robot Arm Mark II” by Joseph Young

Courses: Interaction Lab/ User Experience Design

“This is the second Robot Arm Prototype I have made this semester. My initial design was much smaller and 3D printed, but I wanted to increase the size and strength with this prototype. I initially created a virtual controller using Processing, but found this controller to be too difficult to use. Currently, I control the Arm with a remote control I made using the laser cutter, Adobe Illustrator, and two JoySticks. The mechanical part of the Robot Arm is made from laser cut particle board, servos and individual metal brackets. The code for the project was entirely written using Arduino IDE, and took up a few hundred lines. Eventually, I plan to make a third and final version of my Robot Arm that uses the motors much more efficiently, and is automated using computer vision. The end goal I have in mind is to make a robotic assistant to help me with projects.”


“Life is Pointless” by David Santiano and Nicholas Sanchez

Courses: Animation

“We started this off as a simple exercise in our animation class, wanting to create something that could give us experience. But, as we delved further into it, we started to see the beginnings of a more impactful and charming story. The main component of the story was to pair two issues, the search for identity and the seemingly pointlessness of life, wrap them up together, and then punctuate it with a blunt and abrupt ending. Of course, if you want to know the ending, you have to watch it for yourself. Enjoy!”

“Inaugural Planetary Tour” by Kadallah Burrowes

Course: Creating Immersive Worlds

“This virtual reality project was created to test the bounds of passive storytelling techniques. Rather than trying to do what's been done a million times over--super interactive stories with lots of action--our group attempted to tell a story where awareness of character and plot develop entirely through observing and interacting with the environment.”