A drawing of how the bubbles would look.
For project two, we are planning to make a stress catcher. The design of the project will be to have an electronic representation of bubbles. Within each bubble, there will be an image or word that conveys something stressful. For example, common stressful elements that are relatable to students include tests, homework, alarm clocks, parents, tuition bills etc. This will help display specific stressful aspects in a clear way to the user.
This acts as a catcher because it is transferring the user’s stress away from their body to the program. When the user clicks on the bubble, it will pop and disappear, providing a simple reaction to their input. We decided to choose bubbles since bubble wrap is commonly associated with relieving stress. Many find popping bubble wrap to be a therapeutic act, and so we wanted to recreate this interaction to catch the stress of others. In addition, we chose to use bubbles to act as the catcher because when people feel stressed, they often describe they way they are feeling as being physically trapped. A bubble is the perfect representation because it acts as a confinement.
This project connects to Anthony Dunne’s project descriptions in his book. In Hertzian Tales,
Dunne points out that ‘Informance’ aims to persuade an audience that a product fits and has a place. But here the aim was not to convince an audience of need, but to draw them into a ‘what if…’ scenario, a ‘value fiction’ to stimulate desire for change” (Dunne, 128-129). This relates to the idea of a catcher because the purpose of this project is to create an object that can figuratively catch something that isn’t necessarily valued. Our design involves bubbles that capture a person’s stress. This project isn’t based on need, but is a “what if” scenario because stress is an emotion and therefore isn’t tangible. This increases the desire for change because people will want to change the levels of stress they feel by popping the bubbles. The idea of capturing people’s stress in an electronic representation follows Dunne’s guidelines in this chapter.
Popping bubble wrap is common a stress reliever.
The project is interactive for the user because they will be able to visually make the “stress” go away. The program will provide a continuous supply of bubbles for any amount of users and any amount of stress.
In a typical urban setting, you never know who have set foot on the brick you just stepped on, or how crowded the place have been. These are the invisible trails of urban activities, and a public domain successfully makes people feel secure in disguising themselves among the public.
Catchers can not only catch the visible things, but also invisible ones. We need catchers in an urban setting to visualize the organic movement of the public – not necessarily by snatching away the secure feeling of selves in public, but only by showing the beauty of the city’s liveliness. Furthermore, such beauty would also spark individuals’ interest. Reversely, by playing around with the interactive visualization, they engage back into trivial urban activities and movements.
In this project, I attempt to visualize the invisible sound and movements in a public space by creating an interactive raining wall.
When someone approaches the raining wall.
My inspiration comes from Rain Room by Random International.
The rain will dodge the outline of the person, making the interaction more playful. This catches one aspect of people’s activity around the wall: their proximity to the wall. The density of the rain depends on the noise level of the public space where the wall is located since noise is also invisible in a public space.
This public activity catcher combines active and passive interactions. While increasing the playfulness of the public space, it also comments on the current situation of it.
After the in-class critique, we decided to make a few changes to our project. Originally, we had planned on creating two photographic mosaics that formed one large photo of a student and one large photo of the SLC campus. We planned on bringing attention to the student-college relationship by this juxtaposition. After the feedback we received, we changed the direction of our project.
A test image we ran to see how well our collection of SLC photos could recreate an image.
The biggest change was the text. Previously, we were going to put the question “Who benefits more? The student or the institution?” in between the two photographic mosaics. This question was intended to make the viewer think about what students were receiving by going to college and what the college was receiving from the student. We intended to raise conversation around the idea, but not to pit each party against each other. During the critique, our peers noted that the question did not positively reflect itself through the project. It also didn’t relate to the photographic mosaic style that we had chosen to use. The visual did not correlate with the conceptual. Each aspect pulled the viewer in a different direction.
The new text we are going to use is, “How much of SLC do you see in yourself? How much of yourself do you see in SLC?” This moves the focus of the project to the actual images that make up the photographic mosaic. The visual aspect and the conceptual aspect now have a correlation that compliment each other. This new question strengthens our social object because it will increase the interaction present. The question influences the observer to look more closely at the smaller images in the mosaic because they want to see if they recognize any familiar faces. This will enhance the social experience because people will want to find faces they know and they will talk about it with their friends.
Close-up of the same image.
In addition, another change that we are planning to make to our project is adding more faces to the photographic mosaic. This will increase the viewer’s interactions because there will be more of an opportunity to find someone familiar.
An example of a student photo that will be used. Notice how the image is primarily green.
Garrett and Alexa
After the critique, we decided to display one juxtaposition each day over the week. We will start with pancakes or waffles on Tuesday, March 8, and then Mac or Windows, money or happiness, and Republicans or Democrats. We wanted the comparisons to get more serious each day our project went on. So we started out with something simple like pancakes or waffles and moved to things that are a little more meaningful like money or happiness.
We decided not to show the results of the polls because we felt it wouldn’t help foster trivial conversation between people. Results only show the audience if they were with the majority or not, which perhaps could be interpreted as right or wrong. This is not our desired effect so we decided to eliminate this feature.
The visual aspect of the piece will be in a minimalistic style, without text, as shown in the picture. This would makes it easy for the audience to understand and is also a style we both enjoy.
By Yuci and Kadie
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
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:
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.
Polaroid film we will use
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
What went wrong:
- Perfect color.
- Chalk worked, was cheap and easy.
- People participated!!
- Did not get stale!
- 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!
Our installation will feature two screen both installed with mouse, where one featuring an image of a dog rendered through processing, while the other will feature an image of a cat. The images will feature small movements, such as the dog wagging its tail. The viewer will soon “take their pick” and select whichever of the two animals they would prefer to “play” with. They will select the animal by clicking on the screen. The animal will then “chase” wherever the viewer taps their finger on the screen.
The real juxtaposition is revealed when the viewer chooses the animal they want to play with. If the viewer selects the cat, for example, and click the screen that shows the cat, the screen will then change to the dog and the viewer will be left wondering what has happened. The same happens with the other screen, if the viewer selects the screen that shows the dog, the cat will appear and will be ready to be “played” with. Once the animal is selected, when the other animal appears the screen will display the words “You preferred the cat, but the dog prefers you, or ‘vis versa.’ This begs the question of the viewer, ‘What role did I play in this interaction?’ as well as ‘Why did I prefer the animal I preferred?’The two animal being compared are classic paradoxical animal anyone can know and are very opinionated about the choice among people.
The text in between the two screen will read: “Which one do you want to play with?”
Creating a Social Network
The two comparative item is very commonly in everyday life and many people will choose either one of them. The choice will result in opposite effect of their choice that can bring puzzlement and surprises which can trigger conversation between people. Also the interactive medium and the two animal can bring out commentary from people which can start up more conversation about why they chose the character and what they like about the animal being compared.
By Abe and Yun Mi Koh