Three Questions: Francis Lam, media-artist and designer

08.06.2011, 13:30
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Francis Lam, media-artist and designer, received his Master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab will give a talk today at Strelka (June, 8th, at 20:00) on ‘Coping with the digital world’ (how designers can benefit from digital technologies). Before it we asked Francis Lam to answer three short questions on if he like working with iPhone apps.

You’ve made several iPhone applications — what was the best?

Well, I did about 16 applications already, I think the most popular was the one called Nudemen, which is a clock and some sort of a screensaver, but you can also play around. I think it was popular because it was part of the series I worked on, and it got a lot of exposure in media and blogs: my first version got banned by Apple, because of the penis with two pixels, so I had to do another one with pink panties. And also had to change the name to Numan. But my favourite app is the Goldfish Music Box, that convert color and movement into music. It is kind of a little app, that you can have so many different possibilities of use. It is a very little thing that can be part of your life, having different ways of playing with it.

Can make living of making apps?

I do not know, I still want to try different platforms. Apps is just one of platforms, which I started working with recently, because this is a really good platform. Previously I was mainly on flash, because it’s a popular platform, and I want my stuff to be seen by more people. But on flash you only get recognition when you are featured by some big web-site. And I think iPhone is a great platform get recognition through purchasing, which is quite huge recognition for an artist, or somebody who does creative stuff when someone buys it.

So you did not care much about Apple vs Adobe war?

Well, it was not a pure technical issue, definitely commercial, political. I do not see there is a huge deal about it, because the framework of Apple is quite clear, this platform is kind of clean compared to open source and still quite open. Half open, but more controlled. But still you have bad things happen, just like with my Nudemen.