Author Archives: Ava Delamotte

Project 2 Proposal: Opposite of Ephemeral

IMG_1796 For project 2, I have chosen to create an ethereal space with a dream-catcher-like theme. I’m going to be installing in the media lab in Heimbold. IMG_1789 IMG_1784 I’m creating the feel with lots of yarn all over the room, water-color-type colors and possibly string lights.  I think I am going to look for big pieces of cardboard and paint them, then hang those on the wall instead of painting directly on the wall.  I’m also going to probably add glitter to the paint.  I want it to feel really mixed-media so I will probably add other things as I find them.  That is what the room will look like. Starting next week, I am going to set up small stations around campus for SLC people to interact with.  They will be provided with paper and pens to answer the prompt.  The prompt will be something along the lines of:  ‘What is something that someone has said to you or about you, positive, negative, or neutral, that has really stuck with you?’ Then, the participant will drop the response (anonymous) into a box and I will collect all responses at the end of each day. IMG_1797 Once I collect enough responses, I am going to start setting them up in the room.  At this point, I think that I am going to keep some responses on the original paper, but I am also going to copy over responses onto different materials.  I am also going to utilize the string in some way to attach the responses like they are caught in a dream catcher. I will set an opening day and time, and then have a playlist set up to play while people are observing my work.

Post Mortem: Can You See the Real Me?

IMG_1635 Can You See the Real Me was installed in Heimbold Cafe on March 7th.  It took about an hour to install. Sophia and I took photos of people in Heimbold on Thursday, Friday, and Monday.  We then installed the photos and questions on the yellow wall.  We made three lines of photos + questions.  Each line had 17 people, for a total of 34 individual polaroids.  We ended up having 51 participants, so a total of 102 polaroid photos. IMG_1636   Our project went really well!  We had a lot of interest in participation and actually had to turn people away!  We took the photos in the hallway adjacent to the yellow wall.  It worked really well because all the photos look uniform and the lighting was controlled. IMG_2983.JPG We kept the same format for everyone – first photo with a straight face, second photo up to the individual.  We then asked them to fill in the little paper slip with ‘Am I _______ or am I _______?’ IMG_2987.JPG Things that went right:
  1. People participated
  2. Installation place was good
Things that could be changed:
  1. We only photographed people in heimbold…so we lost diversity.
  2. We could have created a bigger awareness that we were planning on taking pictures, so that more people could be informed and/or participate
  3. The slips of paper were a little small
  4. We could have created a more direct prompt, or worked on our pitch to participants more
IMG_1639 IMG_1638 IMG_1637 IMG_1654 IMG_1653 IMG_1652 IMG_1651 IMG_1650 IMG_1645 IMG_1646 IMG_1648 IMG_1649 IMG_1644 IMG_1643 IMG_1642 IMG_1641 IMG_1640

Post Mortem: What’s Your Love Story

IMG_0564 “What’s your love story?” was uninstalled today. It had a wonderful run!  We installed the Friday before Valentine’s Day, painting a broken heart across from a full heart in a small hallway in Heimbold.  The hearts were both pink.  The full heart said ‘What’s your love story?’ in the middle, and the broken heart was left empty. IMG_0563 IMG_0562 We had a square of wall text and a small container taped to the wall filled with chalk for people to use to write on the hearts.  

Wall Text

First we taped out, freehand, both hearts.  Painted the full one, then painted the broken one.  They were not perfectly identical, but I don’t think it detracted from the actual piece in any way.   IMG_1203IMG_1212IMG_1215 Once painted and dry, neither Kadie nor I contributed.  We left it completely blank.  Slowly but surly, people started to participate.  People were responding really well to the prompt and understood that the broken heart was for heartbreaks/sad things and the full heart was for happy things.  Sometimes there would be a random mismatch statement, but other than that, I think it was a clear project!   IMG_1330 IMG_1333 Our interaction worked exactly how we thought it would.  It was more successful than expected, actually.  Both hearts were full by the time we uninstalled.  There was little to no crass or demeaning things written, and other than a few people, anonymity was kept.  Kadie and I erased any names that people wrote on the hearts because we wanted it to stay away from that.   IMG_1351 IMG_0616 IMG_0565 IMG_0613 IMG_0612 IMG_0617 IMG_0620   Our interaction definitely created a magic circle.  We would see people stop in the hallway and talk about the heart, and then contribute.  It also created a sense of unity because of all the people that contributed to it, even if they weren’t contributing or interacting directly with each other.  It also was a social object, because people would stop and talk about it and also talk to Angela about it.   What went right:
  • Perfect color.
  • Chalk worked, was cheap and easy.
  • People participated!!
  • Did not get stale!
What went wrong:
  • Took longer than expected to actually get from start to finish.
  • Development process took a while.
  • People that don’t come to heimbold did not interact with it.
We learned that analog interactions take a lot of time and resources, and there tend to be more steps involved.  Regardless, our first analog interaction at Sarah Lawrence was a success, so that is good!! Thanks to everyone who participated, especially to those in our class who participated! Yay!

Project #2 :: Post-Mortem :: Ohio, Ohio.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 8.23.59 PM For Project #2, I chose to make a solar system of sorts with the cities/neighborhoods where I live.  This project probably had the most evolution from day one until the final product.  Originally, I wanted to do something that had to do with where I’m from, but I had little to know idea what I wanted it to be.  During a conference, Angela mentioned something about a solar system…so we decided on that.  Then, I was brainstorming ways I could work the names into the solar system, and remembered that I had really liked the way Garret was able to draw the fish by hand and put it into his conference project. I really like playing around with hand lettering, so I thought that it would be fun to do my hand lettering and insert it into my code. I worked to sketch out all the names, then I edited them in photoshop which ended up being the most tedious task on earth. IMG_0556IMG_0563

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 7.02.19 PM

    I wrote my code in bits.  First, I got the background that I wanted (made in photoshop), and then I worked on getting shapes such as ellipses or rectangles to rotate on a circular path around the center of the screen.  Then I wanted to add rotation to each of the individual shapes.  In order to do so, it was necessary to use the pushMatrix and popMatrix. Once I had that code down, I went to work in photoshop to perfect my ‘planets.’  Afterwards, I went and added image variables and changed the shapes in my code to the images. shortnorth grandview germanvillage Next, I had to work on adding interactivity.  This was the hardest part.  First the issue was that the only way you could see the object (rocket) moving across the screen was if you pressed and HELD the spacebar.  But I wanted it to just be pressed and done.  I had a lot of trouble figuring this out and it kept saying ‘error on ‘void mouseClicked’’ for some reason. Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 6.55.52 PM I really enjoyed making the project because I was able to combine my interest of hand lettering with my code.  I think that this creates a magic circle because it draws people around to form a community of interactions with the code.   What went right:  the way that I created this project was really helpful.  To figure the code out first, and then insert the images really worked for me.  Also, it turned out how I expected. What went wrong:  It took me a long time to figure out the interactivity aspect of it.

Interactive City :: Conference Project Post-Mortem :: Rise and Fall

code while running

code while running

My final conference code for this class is a shadow-wall.  I created an interaction with the use of the webcam and the use of shadows.  The way it works is that leaves fall from the top of the screen, and the user can interact with them by moving around.  The shadow that is created by their movement is what controls the way the leaves fall.  This is a electronic version of a typical way people play in leaves during the fall. I developed this project through observation of a few things.  I was inspired by the season, fall, when I started thinking of conference ideas.  I noticed how excited people of all ages were about the change of the season.  I was walking to the library and was keenly aware of how the children at the ECC were playing with the fallen leaves.  These observations of human behavior combined with our trip to the SONY museum inspired my project. When we went to the SONY museum, I was drawn the the final interactive, the shadow wall.  I really enjoyed interacting with this work because my actions had a clear and direct affect on the beads falling from the top of the screen.  I also noticed how accessible this interaction was with people of all ages.  It seemed to keep a child’s attention span as well as captivating the adults in the room. Originally, I had wanted to add more of a societal awareness aspect to my project but after rough sketches and brainstorming, I decided that it was going to take away from the intent of the interaction.  I had wanted to have a cityscape gradually appear, minimizing the ability to interact with the falling leaves to show the way that the growing city can take away free play.  In doing so, I realized that it would take away a sort of innocence that I had liked about the interaction at SONY. Once I had figured out what I wanted my conference project to be, I got to work.  The code that I am using is an array.  An array is a way to sort and recall information in an organized manner.  Along with this, I opened another class in my code that was being reference continually by processing in order to run the code.  I also had to work with motion code to get the leaves to fall down the screen.  I had trouble getting rotation code into my project, because I was adding rotation after I had written the whole code and for some reason it was not making the individual leaves rotate the way I envisioned.  Once I could not get the rotation the way I wanted, I worked to find a color palette and instead alter the color of the leaves to match the color palette.  I found a palette generator on the internet that I used to find my palette.  


different classes

different classes

color palette

color palette

changing the color of my leaves

changing the color of my leaves

changing the color of my leaves

changing the color of my leaves

Regarding Martijn deWaal’s ideology, this shadow wall falls into the playground and magic circle school of thought.  My interaction is accessible to a large demographic, it is a voluntary activity and is not rational; it’s just there to play and interact with. Successful:
  • Created a shadow wall
  • Was able to have the leaves falling down
  • Used photoshop to alter the colors of the leaves to fit into a color palette.
  • Adding rotation
  • Sensitivity of camera
  • Unless all the leaves were at exact same level, they won’t restart to top of screen and code will stop running
issue with code

issue with code

Overall, I enjoyed working on this project and learned what I enjoy as an artist.  I think that this particular project was challenging for me because it forced me to work in a medium that was not necessarily my first choice.  I do not feel as successful with coding as I would like, and I struggle to continue working in mediums that challenge me.  But I stuck with this and I am hoping to modify my shadow wall further to better my work.

Project Proposal #2 Progress: Ohio, Ohio.

thumb My interactive ‘Ohio, Ohio’ has proved to be quite difficult to conceptualize.  I received feedback that it was not an interesting enough interaction, which is very true.  I have been looking at different typefaces to add visual difference to the interaction. I think that I am going to create an interactive where you can press on the word ‘Bexley’ and it will change into a font that is representative of the culture of the neighborhood. Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 7.30.24 PM Instead of creating an array, I am going to just place the text at various locations, and then code for the interaction pieces of it. fonts,typography-c85bd9b78e6d2c6e1876f95e99395a50_h Because the different parts of Columbus are so culturally different, I am hoping to be able to find fonts that exemplify that.  I am going to be working in photoshop to create these font images.

Project #2 Proposal: Ohio, Ohio.

Rough sketch of end result.

Rough sketch of end result.

For project two, I have decided to create an interactive that is on the computer.  The inspiration for this project came from working on my conference project regarding arrays, and these greeting cards I really like.  The greeting cards list the names of the towns/neighborhoods in central Ohio in the place that they are.  It is sort of a text map of central Ohio. So, for the project, I am going to create an array that lists all the neighborhoods, and then when interacted with, (mousePressed) the neighborhoods will arrange in the order where they occur.  This project allows the user to interact with the city in a sense, and see it a different way.
Map of central, Ohio.

Map of central, Ohio.

  • Bexley
  • Grandview Heights
  • Upper Arlington
  • Worthington
  • Clintonville
  • Ohio State University
  • Short North
  • German Village
  • Downtown
This interactive piece reflects de Waal’s ideology of ‘urban flaneurs.’  People are encouraged to be curious and interact.  Many responses I have received to ‘I’m from Ohio’ have been met with a lot of confusion as to what Ohio is.  This piece will give an interesting play on the communities within central Ohio, showing that it is more than just ‘farms.’
Sample Array.

Sample Array.


Conference Project Update: Rise and Fall

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 10.05.53 PM I have been working on my project, and I created an Array for my conference project, in order to store all the information of the leaves.  An Array allows for a lot of data to be stored and retrieved in a more organized way. Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 9.57.58 PM I am currently working to edit the photos of leaves that will be in the array.  The leaves are going to fall down at random speeds throughout the screen.  Next week I will have gotten my array finished and leaves sorted out, so that I will be able to learn and apply the shadow screen to my work. Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 9.57.32 PM

Project #1: Gratitude

IMG_1753 For this project, Kadie and I really wanted to create a analog interaction.  We were inspired by the analog creation of ‘Before I die’ as well as a study done on happiness.  In the study, the participants were told to write a letter thanking someone who they were grateful for.  The participants all wrote wonderful letters.  Then, to their surprised, they were told to call the person the letter was written about, and read them the letter.  Most of the participants were nervous and felt awkward about calling to tell someone how grateful they were of them.  After the phone calls were made, participants were tested to see how much their ‘overall happiness’ had improved since they first took the test.  Most participants were happier because of it. So for our project, we wanted to make a sign that says ‘I am grateful for’ and then have sticky notes and markers, so that people can write a note and stick it under the ‘I am grateful for’ sign.  Once the exhibition is over, we want to collect all of the notes and make them into a sort of scrapbook for people to look at. Hopefully, we will be able to install in in Heimbold soon.  Together, we will construct the ‘I am grateful for’ sign out of paint on poster board. Then, we will hang the poster board on a wall, and have plenty of sticky notes and writing utensils available. If all goes as plan, people will see the installation and want to add their own piece to it.  We’re going to write a few of our own sticky notes so people have an example of how it works. We are concerned that people will make a joke of the installation, or that it will not get utilized at all.  Because it is not as permanent as the ‘Before I die’ exhibit we are afraid it will not be taken as seriously.  In the long run we would love to install a more permanent version, such as ‘Before I die.’ This creates a magic circle because the user is contributing their ideas and feelings to a greater whole and by reading the previously posted notes and writing their own they are interacting with our project.  This installation creates a smaller community within the Sarah Lawrence community.  Because it is a temporary art exhibit, it creates a space with no stakes.  Participants know that no harm can come from participating.  It allows participates anonymity if they wish, but it also allows people to feel connect to others.  They have a space to play and share their thoughts in a judgment free environment.  Because of the type of interactive it is, it connects to the ethos and pathos of human nature.  Most people want to be a part of something bigger, so they are willing to participate.  Although it is easier to just walk past, participants make the decision that the extra minute is worth it in this case.  The implicit rules of the interaction is that people will contribute and observe in a positive manner, ergo the ‘magic circle.’  We think that this project represents deWalls city ideology of “A Community of Strangers” because it creates a board of familiar strangers. Even though some of the people who wrote sticky notes never saw each other, they can still see what they are thankful for. Anyone passing by can see this collection of ideas posted by strangers.  It creates a ‘familiar stranger’ model as talked about in deWaal on pages 14-15.  Before I Die installation: Gratitude Experiment:

Conference Project Proposal: rise and fall

leaves falling

leaves falling

For my conference project, I’ve chosen to create a shadow wall interactive.  The shadow wall will be interactive in the sense that the users’ shadow can control the way that they leaves fall.  At first, the leaves will fall from the top of the screen and can be moved around, caught, and dropped based on the movement of the shadow of the user.  As time goes on, buildings will start to show up on the screen.  The buildings also control the fall of leaves.  The buildings stop the fall of leaves.  Continually, more buildings arise and as they do, the leaves are unable to fall and the user is unable to interact with them. I’m interested in making this interaction for many reasons.  When we visited the sony museum in the city, I really enjoyed the last interactive, the shadow wall.  I also like the idea of a interactive having a sort of lasting affect…something it leaves the user thinking about.  At first I found this to be one of the challenges of our conference work…It had to be on our laptops, which I felt was going to be limiting to the ability to leave a lasting thought with the users.  If it works how I want it to, it will entice users to play with the leaves, something enjoyable to everyone.  The longer they play, the more buildings will pop up.  Eventually, there will be no more leaves to play with.  The user will see the point I am making; the industrialization and continues building can have the ability to take away some of natures treasures.
city emerges

city emerges

  normans seven steps:
  • forming the goal:  the user is interested in the falling leaves and wants to interact.
  • forming the intention:  the user will interact and the longer they interact the more they experience
  • specify the action:  the user will approach the interactive either because they see others using it, or they are simply interested in it.  As soon as they are within the range of the motion sense, they will see how they can interact with it.
  • execute the action:  the user will play with the interactive; the leaves will fall and eventually there will cease to be any room for the laves to fall.
  • perceiving the state of the world:  the user realizes that the leaves have stopped being able to fall, and that they no longer can interact with the leaves
  • interpret the state of the world:  the user interprets the notion behind the leaves stopping
  • evaluate the outcome:  the user has interacted with the art and walked away thinking about the meaning behind it
design: when I was first thinking about what to do for my conference project, I wanted to do something that had sort of a sociological impact.  I was thinking hard on what I could do because I was restricted to the laptop for my interface.  I then remembered that my favorite exhibit at the sony museum was the interactive shadow wall.  So I decided to do something with that.  And, since it’s fall right now, I thought what better thing to have falling down the screen, than leaves!!  I wanted to add an element of thought to it, so I came up with the idea of having the buildings arise on the shadow wall, taking up space that used to be open for play.
city prevents leaves from falling

city prevents leaves from falling

  • draw(); leaves will consistently and continuously fall from the top of the screen to the bottom.
  • setup(); the background will be a shadow screen and I will have motion sense as well.
  • variables:  I will create variables for the buildings that will be timed.
  • color:  the color of the leaves will be consistent and the leaves will be an image repeatedly falling.  the buildings will be grey with black outlines
  • interactivity:  the user will be able to manipulate the path that the leaves take when falling from top to bottom of screen.
  10.26.15 – update with deWaal ideals in urban media: My conference project falls under ‘The City as an Operating System’ because my installation can “sense individual actions in real time, and can aggregate these into data that can be used actuate all sorts of actions.” (deWall 11)  Specifically, the code can detect the movement (individual actions) and then that data causes changes in leaves, as well as changes in scenery on the shadow screen. update with magic circle