Media as Software: A Conversation With Doug Turner
Kiki Mills at MITX introduced me recently to Doug Turner, whose past includes eight years as a member of the 3D graphics research team at Apple's Advanced Technology Group. Doug and I met for breakfast and talked shop about digital media. One of Doug's ideas, which I found particularly interesting, is (his words) the concept of "media as software". Right now rich media streams are largely analog audio and video once they are "published". (If you've composed or edited a digital video "project" and then converted it into its final form, you know what I mean.) Doug describes this as publishing digital media as platforms on which other people can add/edit their own stuff.
Green-screening the base content, as Stephen Colbert has done, is an "analog +" approach to this idea. Second Life is a good example that provides tools in which people can
build stuff using Linden Labs' language and API's, but Doug has
something a little more accessible in mind. He's written some code
that allows him to embed static images in a variety of interesting
contexts. One can imagine mashup services that might provide
users with libraries of iconic images, and tools like Doug's which would
allow them to embed/ mix/ mashup their own content.
Here's an example of Doug's work, which he calls "Mood Shifted Photos",