Author Archives: Sophia Koolik

Project #2 :: Emotion Catcher :: Update 1

FullSizeRenderMy original idea was to physically create an emotion catcher. I wanted to have three jars, each one hooked up to a touch sensor that would light up the jar when the metal lid of the jar was touched. Each jar would be filled with different color marbles so that they would light up different colors-each jar according to the emotion it was supposed to catch. Although that original idea was good, the materials and knowledge I would need in order to successfully execute the interactive emotion catcher were hard to gather.IMG_3568 I decided to scratch that idea, and brainstorm another one that was more realistic to my knowledge and abilities. My inspiration came from Hertzian Tales by Anthony Dune. In the book, he explains that in order to catch anything you would first need to picture what that thing physically looks like. Then, you would need to think of things or objects that would literally catch that thing. IMG_3567For the second version of my project I wanted to continue catching emotions. I came up with three things that represent fear, happiness, and anxiety and then three things that caught each one. For me, fear is a big dark cloud with lighting coming out of it, happiness is a beam of light, and anxiety is a tangled piece of string. For each emotion there are things that catch them as well. Metal rods catch fear, a glass prism catches happiness, and sharp objects catch anxiety.IMG_3566 My installation will consist of these three emotions embodied within those objects and its catchers.

Project #2 :: Proposal

IMG_3434For project #2, I will create an interactive analog experience for the user. In class, we discussed the ability to catch, trap, or preserve things that normally could not be contained. My project, Emotion Catcher, will consist of 3 jars, each one filled with a different emotion. When the user approaches the jar and touches the metal lid, that jar will light up. As a result, that person will then be connected to that emotion, making it more prominent within them. My project is meant to create a sort or “refueling” station for those who need a little extra boost of a certain emotion. I think that this project will create a very exciting experience. Being able to create a direct interface between the user and the emotion catcher will allow the interactivity to be meaningful as well as fun.  

Birds eye view

There will be three closed jars mounted on to a podium. Each jar will be filled with different colored marbles, that way when the lid is touched, they will light up with different colors. The color is meant to represent the different emotions. The emotions will be: Relaxation, Happiness, and Creativity. Relaxation will have blue marbles, happiness will have yellow marbles, and creativity will have green marbles.

Project 1: Update 1:Can you see the real me?


Display of the wall Over the last two weeks, we have been working together and as a class to revise and enhance the final outcome of our analog project entitled “Can You see the real me?”. When we presented it for the class we had a lot of positive reactions. The class liked the idea of using Polaroid film instead of regular pictures on a digital camera since Polaroid pictures do a good job of capturing real moments without being able to go back and revise or re-do them. They also like the idea of creating a social object our of pictures of their peers because it is nice seeing familiar faces on the wall.
Format of the question

Format of the question

Along with the positive comments on the project, there were many revisions we came up with as a group in order to create a successful analog project. These kinds of analog projects require a lot of thought and effort to execute successfully. Some of the revisions we have done to the project are as followed: IMG_2827   The wall we will install on 1) Remove the title from the wall in which the Polaroid pictures will be displayed on. It was too much of a distraction and took away too much of the projects meaning. The question between the sets of Polaroid pictures is meant to create enough though that we don’t need to add another question( Can you see the real me?) on top of all of the juxtapositions. 2) We decided that the best way to attract people to participate in our project is to create a Facebook event that invites our friends and classmates to Heimbold to take pictures. This way, it is easier and quicker to spread the word, and we have found that people respond positively to those sort of Facebook events. 3) Before we presented our idea to the class we were very vague on how many Polaroid pictures we will be using. We then decided that 100 Polaroids would be a good about, that means there will be 50 people participating in the project. This amount will make for a display that is pleasing to the eye and has enough diversity within the pictures that people will be able to recognize more people, and as a result create a better social object. These changes will lead to a better and more precise project.  Our goal is to create a social object through juxtaposition that will lead the community to ponder with the ideas of labeling and judgments. IMG_2826   Polaroid film we will use

Project 1: Proposal: Can you see the real me?


self portrait of sophia; example of juxtaposition.

  Visual Aspects This project entitled “Can you see the Real Me?” uses juxtaposition of two images in order to create an impactful divide between how the world sees someone and how they see themselves. There will be two Polaroid pictures placed side by side with a question in the middle. The first Polaroid will have a person looking at the camera with a straight face, and the second Polaroid will have the person smiling. What creates the juxtaposition between the two pictures is the question between them that will read: “Am I _______ or am I ________ ?” The person in the pictures will fill out that question. What the question is really asking is how they think society views them and labels them versus how they view and label themselves. The Juxtaposition The juxtaposition found between the two pictures is very powerful. Identity is one of the most important aspects of who a person is. Often times, people are viewed and judged differently than how they see themselves. By creating a side-by-side image of the same person with different facial expression, the juxtaposition between the images and the identity of the person will become clear and understood.

Our piece in total…

The Question The question between the two Polaroid images will read: “Am I     or am I      ?. This question is meant to trigger a powerful response from the person being photographed. As a result of labeling, judging and stereotyping people, others are hurt and put down. This question is meant to allow the person to have a voice and express who they are using only a few words.   Creating a Social Network  A Social Network is defined as “a network of social interactions and personal relationships”. This installation creates a social network because it draws people together. Not only do we have to interact with the person being photographed, but we have to ask them a personal question and create conversation. By creating a social network with them, they will be more comfortable to open up to us and share their thoughts and emotions. Also, once the project is installed, it will create a social network because people will gather around the installation and observe and talk about the project and people’s different responses.

What it will look like when installed

Conference Project:: Final:: Music In Me

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 Picture of Sophia using the interaction “Music In Me”

My final conference project is entitled Music In Me. It’s an interactive art project which allows the audience to take a unique approach to listening to music. In this interaction, the user listens to Sweet Sun by Milky Chance as they watch the lyrics fall from the top of the screen, creating a shadow wall effect. This experience engulfs the user and immerses their sense of sight and hearing into an extraordinary musical experience.

At first, my conference project was very simple. I wanted to create a shadow wall, which is a webcam that gives the user the ability to control and move objects that fall from the top of the screen. After I gave my project more thought, I realized that there was no depth or meaning to it. I then came up with the idea to change the beads to a set of words and have them fall from the screen. After, I decided to make song lyrics fall from the screen and have the song play in the background simultaneously. My inspiration for this project came from different places, one being the fieldtrip to the SONY Museum. I found that the shadow wall interaction they had drew me in the most because it did not require much skill to interact with, however, it was still captivating and entertaining to use. I liked how it created a magic circle as more and more people gathered around to watch the users interact with the shadow wall. I wanted to create a magic circle of my own and was inspired to create Music In Me. A second inspiration I had came from the reading we did entitled “NeMe: Trouble at the Interface 2.0” by Erikki Huhtamo. In this article Huhtamo discusses his first experience with “interactive art” at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. He describes the intoxicating feeling he had when interacting with a project called The Legible City” by Jeffrey Shaw. In it he was diving and crashing through words and letters on a screen. I found the idea of being surrounded by words surreal and abstract, so I wanted to create my own version of Shaw’s unique and intoxicating interaction. o               Picture of little girl using the shadow wall  in the SONY museum. Photo by: Effie D. My project used some studio code and  some code I learned on my own. I used the studio code for a webcam to create a live image of the user in the background. I then had to learn to make arrays, which became very helpful for the falling lyrics on the screen. The last code I had to learn was for Minim, which is an audio player code. Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.54.14 PM

Screenshot of part of the code used to create the interaction.

 The main thing that went wrong in my project was the smoothness (or lack there of) of the words falling from the top of the screen. Although my code does what it is told, the words have a hard time falling from the screen if there is any sort of darkness in the webcam. The words will only fall from the top of the screen if it is totally white. What went right was that I was able to create exactly what I had in mind when I first started writing the code. The music plays very smoothly and the words fall randomly from the top of the screen just as I had planned for it to do originally. Because this code requires various different steps in order to put the final project together, I had to cut out some of the ideas that I had when I first started putting together this project. I was going to give the user three song options but it was too complicated to pull that off, so I cut that idea out and made it so only one song would play (Sweet Sun by Milky Chance).

Conference Project Update: Music in Me

  FullSizeRender   A few changes have been made regarding my conference project “Music in Me”. For example, I changed the song choices that the user can play. Instead of playing Sweet Sun, Gooey, and Breezeblocks, that are all very similar , I am going to give the option to play songs that vary in genre. This way the user can interact with a song that fits their taste in music and make the experience as meaningful as possible. The new songs will be Sweet Sun by Milky Chance, Payphone by Maroon 5, and Fireflies by Owl City. The second change is the way that the user will switch the song. Originally I planed to create a box on the top right side of the screen that would work as a button to change the song. Now, I will make it so that the click of a key on the keyboard changes the song. There will be a little piece of paper next to the keyboard that will let the user know what key to click in order to play the song that they want. In order to create this version of a shadow wall there are many steps that I need to take in to accomplish this interactivity. To start writing my code, I had to learn how to create an array. Arrays are data structures that have the ability to store many different points of information. It works as a container to store data, and then allows you to retrieve it easily. I learned about arrays by going through a tutorial and recreating the tutorial. I created an array called “cities” that consisted of major cities around the world. I then placed the names of the cities in different locations on the screen.Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.22.15 PM   Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 9.24.26 PM  

Conference Project Proposal: Music in Me

FullSizeRender-5 For my conference project, I want to create an interactive piece of art that will immerse the user in an extraordinary musical experience. There will be a song playing on the computer as the lyrics fall from the top of the screen. The words will surround them as they fall, creating a shadow wall. The webcam will portray an image of them surrounded by the falling words. My interactive design will not only allow the user to listen to a song, but it will make them feel immersed in the song as well, creating a much more significant experience. In order to accommodate different tastes in music, there will be options to change the song that is playing, causing the words on the screen to change as well according to the lyrics of the song. This interaction creates a direct interface between the user and the computer. My intention is to create a unique musical experience that will engulf the user. My interaction will unify the community as they become one with the music in a profound way. This interaction creates a network between the user, the screen and the music. I expect this interaction to attract the public because it does not involve a special skill in order to be a part of it. Anybody could interact with the music and the falling words, no matter who they are. All they have to do is approach the screen, listen to the music, and let the falling words surround them. People like interactions that directly involve themselves like this one. This kind of interaction could be placed in any public space that people walk by. It is not only fun to be a part of, but it is also pleasing to the eye and ear. I believe that this playable media will create a magic circle because it builds an invisible circle or community around the people who take part in this musical interaction. Not only does the person surrounded by words become part of the magic circle, but that person is also accompanied by everyone around him/her who can experience “Music in Me” too. They can listen to the music and experience the interface even though they are not the person directly involved with the screen simply by just listening. FullSizeRender-7 Norman’s 7 Stages of Interaction:
  • Forming the goal: The user sees and hears that there is a piece of interactive media that they want to take part on a computer screen.
  • Forming the Intention: The user will see that the point of the interaction is immersing themselves in the song lyrics on the screen.
  • Specify the Action: The user will approach the screen/ camera and figure out how the interface works by walking towards it or watching others interact with it.
  • Execute the Action: The user will pick a song and watch as the words surround them on the screen.
  • Perceive the State of the World: The user notices that after they pick a song, it plays and the key words of the song surround them as they fall from the top of the screen.
  • Interpret the State of the World: The user tries to interpret what has happened by allowing the music to surround them to create a valuable experience.
  • Evaluate the Outcome: The user has become one with the music and participated in a hands on musical experience.
Design: At first, I had decided I wanted to build a simple shadow wall interface. Beads would fall from the ceiling and that was it. However, I realized that that interface had no meaning to it. I then changed it so that instead of beads, words should fall from the top of the screen all conveying a common theme. After, I decided to make an interactive music experience that would change the way music would be experienced. FullSizeRender-6 Code: Draw(): The words will constantly fall from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. Setup(): The background will be the webcam. Variables: I will create a variable for each word that I use in the interaction. Color: The color will accommodate the mood of the song. Interactivity: I will make the words avoid the user so that the user is constantly surrounded by words.

Network::Castell::Tell Me a Story

  By: Sophia Koolik and Maggie Leppert In this interaction, placed on a blank wall on the bottom floor of Heimbold, is intended to connect the ideas of different students that walk through this building. Displayed on a blackboard is a fill in the blank story with the instructions “Tell Me a Story.” In this interaction, people are instructed to use chalk to fill in one blank at a time. The next person would then have to build off what the previous person wrote in order to continue the story. Each person involved also can sign their name on the bottom so that the “authors” can all be seen when the story is completed. This disrupts existing networks because the participants are forced to interact with people they may not normally interact with. A person may not know whoever wrote the sentence before or after them, but they are still collaborating to create something. Castells would like this because the different social groups are coming together to share ideas and build off of the ideas of others. In this interaction, strangers all come together to create a story. This experience is enhanced when the viewers see the final list of names that all collaborated on this story: a list of people who were previously strangers but are now part of a new network.