Exercise 4 – Cutting edge

This exercise is about exploring how visual communicators have devised tools to inform, persuade or help people interact following the recent and ongoing developments in social and new media, and finding websites or other media that employ cutting edge or inventive forms of visual communication, from an aesthetic, functional or conceptual point of view.

I concentrated my research firstly in the educational field which nowadays seems to offer many valuable proposals.

My first example is The National Gallery of Arts in Washington that has created a Kids Art Zone within its main website at: http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/education/kids.html (Accessed 28/02/2017)

Navigating through it, it is possible for kids (but not only!) to make interactive art online through a rich variety of art-making tools and explore creativity while learning. It works basically like an art application on tablet or mobile phone and I think that the tools offered are really plentiful and engaging. For the time being these are the ones:

NGAkids Art Zone


Create an animated seascape or an abstract composition by arranging photographs of natural and man-made objects found near the shore.


Create an interactive abstract painting with 40 brushes, a full-color palette, and special effects.


Create animated portraits and landscape paintings in the style of American naive artists.


Create a tropical landscape filled with tigers, monkeys, and other exotic creatures.


Create an interactive still life that mirrors the paintings of the old masters.


Decorate a 17th-century dollhouse as you explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist’s studio, and courtyard of a make-believe Dutch house.


Photo Op is a two-part interactive introduction to digital photography. Snap some pictures, then use the image editing software to add kaleidoscopic special effects, warps, and blends.


Construct a collage by dragging and dropping photo snippets, words, numbers, background colors, and textured shapes. Collage Machine is fun for all ages.


Flow is a motion painting machine. Enjoy the changing patterns and colors as you create and combine pictures on overlapping layers.


Choose a background image or start with a blank slate, then draw something in Paintbox. Add warps and other special effects to make silly pictures.


SwatchBox is a painting tool that lets you mix millions of colors. Experiment with different hues, shades, and values, then combine your favorites to create your own color palette.


Wallovers are symmetrical decorations painted on a virtual wall. Select a grid, pattern, and background color, then create your own interlaced patterns.


Use 3-d Twirler to design and texturize three-dimensional geometric shapes and set them in motion.


Design a moving sculpture and take it for a spin. Try to balance the shapes and colors.


This interactive portrait maker has 49 colors and 24 brushes. Draw freehand or use the AUTO mode for surprising effects.

Another interesting initiative in teaching at primary level is that of the University of Manchester:

Children's University Of Manchester

At: http://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk/ (Accessed 28/02/2017)

with interactive proposals in history, language, art § design and science

Speaking of websites the Baltimore Museum of Art has a particularly well-structured one (at: https://artbma.org/, accessed 28/02/2017)

Pamela Anderson, Halle Berry, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

On a self-advertising note artist Miltos Manetas has structured the contents of his website for an engaging online experience (at: http://cargocollective.com/manetas, accessed 28/02/2017):

Another interesting area to explore in innovative visual communication is that of virtual reality approaches in psychotherapy as explained by  Art therapy and New Media  at https://arttherapytech.wordpress.com/ (Accessed 28/02/2017). In a recent post (November 2016) this blog cites the magazine Carbon Culture (At: http://www.carbonculturereview.com/techonology/virtual-reality-and-psychotherapy/, accessed 28/02/2017) introducing virtual exposure therapy as a primary treatments for PTSD and addiction rehabilitation. Below two images from virtual therapy presentation videos on Vimeo

The same blog Art therapy and New Media at https://arttherapytech.wordpress.com/ (Accessed 28/02/2017) tells of innovative experiences in digital storytelling with the inclusion of texts, images, sounds, videos and interactivity.

For example:

Door into the Dark created by May Abdalla and Amy Rose of the UK studio Anagram,  an “immersive documentary” experience:


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