Tag Archives: project #1

Project 1 Post Mortem :: Your Choice

We installed the project in various spots across the 2nd floor of Heimbold. Printed the photos and price tags, we stuck them onto the wall with double-sided tape. We installed five different groups of juxtapositions:
Milk OR Organic Milk?

Milk OR Organic Milk?

Eggs OR Organic Eggs?

Eggs OR Organic Eggs?

Coke OR Juice?

Coke OR Juice?

Canned Tomatoes OR Fresh Tomatoes?

Canned Tomatoes OR Fresh Tomatoes?

Frozen Blackberries OR Fresh Blackberries?

Frozen Blackberries OR Fresh Blackberries?

We took photos of different commodities in Stop & Shop near our campus. Afterwards, we put them into Adobe Illustrator to posterize them, in order to make it look less like actual photos. When printing these images out, we faced the problem of finding appropriate printing paper that works with the school’s printer, but that was easily solved, just a matter of time. The photos were then framed with photo mattes to signify the integrity of the projects. Our idea did go through many transitions and changed a lot over time. We are glad our project turned out the way it did.   Kadie Roberts and Yuci Zhou

Post Mortem: Project 1:: SLC in You

This is the final installation of project one.

This is the final installation of project one.

Installation Process Our installation was very simple. We attached each mosaic print to to the wall with tape. For the wall text, we printed out the question “Do you see yourself in SLC? Do you see SLC in yourself?” This was then attached to a long piece of styrofoam and taped to the wall. It was placed in the middle of the two prints. Our installation space was near the elevator and staircase on the middle floor of Heimbold. We chose this space instead of the original space we were assigned to because it allowed the viewer to step back farther. This enhanced the user experience because it allowed the viewer to see the illusion of the mosaic better. It also had a lot of natural lighting in the space, which made the details in the project easier to see.
This is final mosaic of the SLC sign, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is final mosaic of the SLC sign, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is the final mosaic of a student, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

This is the final mosaic of a student, using various photos of the SLC campus and students.

What went right? For this project, one of the main ambitions was for us to create something visually artistic. Though we juggled with various possibilities of what we could create artistically, it remained a staple in how we wanted to present our juxtaposition. The fact that we were able to maintain an artistically clever presentation was a success for this project. It was a greater success that our photographic mosaic turned out as well as it did. The final posters were detailed enough to be able to distinguish the smaller pictures that formed the greater. A fear we had while creating the posters was that the resolution would not be generous enough for people to identify the smaller photos, rendering our posters giant pixelated images.   What went wrong? The major shortcoming of this project was the amount of pictures we took. We took enough to satisfy a minimal color palette, but our goal was to incorporate many student profiles in order to create a better representation of the student body and produce something more people could identify with visually. It took more effort and time than we had expected to ask the individuals we did represent, proving we had underestimated our ability to create a portfolio with many profiles. In the end it did not matter as much since the posters still came out clearly with all the people we had included somewhere. However, it would have created a better impact if more of the student body, and maybe even the facility, were portrayed among the smaller images. Another issue with the project was that we had problems printing. The first campus mosaic we had printed was on a shiny paper and the color came out very dark. We reprinted the mosaic of the campus to match the paper and texture of the student mosaic.    

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

Project 1:: Proposal Update

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.

A test image we ran to see how well our collection of SLC photos could recreate an image.

Close up of the same image.

Close-up of the same 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.
An example a student photo that will be used. Notice how the image is primarily green.

An example of a student photo that will be used. Notice how the image is primarily green.

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. Garrett and Alexa 3/2/2016  

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

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 #1 :: Proposal #2 :: Your Pick

1   The Juxtaposition The juxtaposition is created by two commonplace objects and concepts that have similarities but also substantial differences that set them apart. The commonplace objects and concepts are things that people would have different opinions on. The comparisons that we chose are ones that most people encounter somewhat frequently in their life, so they are used to picking which one they favor more, even if they accept both. This makes the user very opinionated about their choice. 2-2 Creating a Social Network Most people would fit into one of the two choices that we propose. The choices are seen frequently and fall into the same categories but have clear differences so that they evoke strong choices and opinions from the people viewing them which starts conversations between the users. Usually there are memories or emotions behind each user’s choice so that the conversation could be trivial and meaningless or deep and meaningful as they wish.   Visual Aspects We will be creating our images in Photoshop because we wanted a minimalistic feel and felt we wouldn’t be able to find all the objects in real life to take pictures of them. Our visuals will be simple because the interaction and social object is also very simple. We will have two objects, like coffee and tea displayed. One will be on the left screen and the other on the right screen, in between the two will be our question. When the user selects their preference of coffee or tea, the indicator of the chosen one will enlarge and indicate that a choice was picked, while the other indicator will sink into the background, showing that it is the loser. Then the two objects will disappear and the next comparison will come on to the screen subsequently. 3-2 Our Question In between our two screen we will have the word “OR.” ___ OR ___ ? Coffee OR tea? Calling OR texting? Books OR TV? By Yuci and Kadie

Project #1 :: Proposal :: The Jackpot

  3 Visual Aspects The juxtaposition is created through visual representation of slot machines. As one of the most popular gambling method, the slot machine is easy to play and appeals to passersby: the only thing you have to do is pull down the lever and release it when you feel the odds are in your favor. Then you wait to see what your luck brings you. Usually the outcome is not extremely profitable but you are so close to winning so you want to try it again, and again and again.  Our depiction of this will result in two slot machines side by side. One representing money, wealth and material things while the other represents nature and natural resources. The visual differences aspects of the ‘luxury’ one will be more high-end and upscale and glitzy. To contrast, the ‘natural’ one will have elements that are more calm and less showy. Also, in the luxury slot machine, objects such as diamonds, cash stacks, and gold coins will be spinning while in the natural one, objects such as trees, icebergs and rivers will be spinning. 2     The Juxtaposition With this project, we are creating a juxtaposition between the luxurious, excessive consumption and the effect it has on nature. In The Affluent Society, John Kenneth Galbraith argues that the desire to demonstrate one’s social status urges unnecessary consumption of luxury goods that has no larger use value than its reasonably-priced counterparts (126). By doing this without concern for natural resources that are non-renewable and definite in amount, it’s clear that we are starting to ruin our planet. People are willing to destroy the environment or ‘overlook’ the damage they are doing because they care about how much money they can make or how much they can save. As the user pulls the lever on the luxury side, the objects in the slot machine on the natural side will start to die or deteriorate. The ‘health’ level will also go down on the natural side and the cash amount on the luxury side will go up.   Our Question 

The question in between the two slot machines will be, “What are we gambling with?” This is suppose to make the audience think about what they’re doing and consider the cause and effect of their everyday life choices.

  Creating a Social Network This juxtaposition creates a social network by engaging people intellectually by discovering that the nature elements on the natural slot machine are deteriorating, it brings the audience through a process of realization. If they had little awareness about this social issue before, it will leave a deeper impression on them. We are hoping that it provokes a sense of social responsibility on everyone that interacts with it. The subtlety of the project and deeper underlying meaning will hopefully invoke conversation between the audience and get them talking about their thoughts or memories on the popular issue. 4 By Yuci and Kadie
Galbraith, John Kenneth. The affluent society. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1998.  
Norman, Donald A. The psychology of everyday things. Basic books, 1988.

Project #1: Hallucination Room

Hallucination Room

A frame of my hallucination room projection engages with the space

I grounded my thoughts for this project in two fragments of theory:
“The future is necessarily monstrous, the figure of the future, that is, that which can only be surprising, that for which we are not prepared, you see, is heralded by a species of monsters. A future that would not be monstrous would not be a future; it would already be predictable, calculable, and programmable tomorrow.” – Jacques Derrida “The logic of monsters is one of particulars, not essences. Each monster exists in a class by itself. Monsters may, however, generate entire classes of beings.” – Alan Weiss, 10 Theses on Monsters and Monstrosity
I. Research With the paradoxically linked concepts of uncertainty and specificity in my mind, I embarked on a lot of research. In Angela’s words, I “ate culture” – I examined the work of horror aficionados, fans of monsters, and various public artists for cues on how to bring my passionate appreciation of these theories into artistic reality. I watched Pan’s Labyrinth and the entire first season of True Detective, scoured Guillermo del Toro’s Twitter feed for vintage monster illustrations and film recommendations, read the first three chapters of Frankenstein, gouged myself on Hans Bellmer photographs, and read arabellesicardi.com/tagged/girlmonstering from start to finish. I found myself fascinated with the grotesque’s presence in horror, and with horror’s palpable foundation in the viscerality of the everyday. I focused on the feeling on the back of your skin when you see an abomination, something that’s inherently wrong. The first abomination that Western civilization tells us about is Cain in the Book of Genesis, who lives with his unnatural act marked on his forehead for the rest of his life; its first introduction into modernity is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; but my first association with that sort of visceral, felt wrongness is the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth. Despite how impossible it is that such a creature could exist, it strikes us as real because it is grounded in the realities of the human body. Its lips purse and clench so as to obscure any mouth, its flabby skin hangs from his bones and congeals onto itself in folds, and its head is such a pale, skull white that the red outline of veins and the bloody contour of its nose are the only color visible on it. The Pale Man is an amalgamation of contradictory human characteristics, which are then magnified to the point of horror and then combined into a startling, impossible juxtaposition. The elements that compose the Pale Man are so contrasting as to almost be incongruous, and yet the character design is so grounded in the human body that what should come off as absurd (the swinging of his flabby skin as he chases the girl down the hallway, the incompleteness of his face) is instead absolutely terrifying.

The Pale Man

Hallucination Room Notes

My notes on Pan’s Labyrinth and a sketch of the Pale Man

II. Theoretical Conclusions I concluded that the grotesque is powerful because of its specificity in riffing off of the material world (please read “material world” in Marx’s terms and not Madonna’s). The details that form the foundation of body horror are familiar to anyone who suffers from the everyday aches, pains, and indignities of having a body. The brilliance of the grotesque is that it channels material conditions into a distortion that still rings true. And while the grotesque and the hallucinatory are distinct, separate entities, they are united in their need for specificity. Hallucination is sibling to the grotesque through their shared parent, mesmerization. Hallucination is poetic, dreamy, while the grotesque is shockingly visceral and specific. Both make a bid for the casual observer’s attention at the subconscious level. As the participant in the grotesque or hallucinatory experience, you’re hypnotized – more frightened of looking away than of what stays on screen (because the thing that haunts us has the ability to escape the confines of the screen). We are haunted not by the abstract or unknown, I realized, but by specificity – repetitive and unexplained poetic moments that allude to unarticulated fears much larger than a single image. The line between the grotesque and the hallucinatory is viscera. Hallucination is a whisper; the grotesque is a scream. So if the grotesque is a sculpture – a visceral, physically felt object – then a hallucination is a video, an illusion created across the wall of the classroom or a spectre that exists as long as the lights stay off. And I distinguished between them in another very important way – the grotesque is alienating, while the hallucinatory is often pleasant, if unsettling. Sherrie Dobbs, during the class visit to Times Square Alliance, commented that while it’s very easy to use art to make people angry, her interest was in art that asked questions and started a conversation. The Handbook for Conjurers tells us that the importance of illusions lies in the fact that they are open to multiple interpretations – in Sherrie Dobbs’ words, that they are conversational. I view hallucinations as art that starts a conversation. III. Creating a Visual Narrative Another important insight I drew from The Handbook for Conjurers is the distinction between an illusion and a trick, because an illusion is vested with meaning and connected to the narrative that the conjurer creates, while a trick is a singular, unconnected event. Meaning is derived not from the concrete but from narrative, and narrative is in turn constituted by pattern and repetition. Readings from The Handbook for Conjurers gave me the technical challenges that I needed in order to put my theoretical musings on the grotesque and the hallucinatory into action. Thus, my primary technical concern was the creation of a specific, hallucinatory narrative via footage that utilized visual pattern and repeated often enough to hint at hidden meanings. I played with shapes and tried to create tension using different speeds of footage juxtaposed on top of one another. I created narrative through the visual motif of roundness, first articulated in a pendulum motion like the ticking of a clock and second in a rounded spotlight, which drew attention to a shadowy hand in motion within the circle. Chris Doyle’s Midnight Moment “Bright Canyon” and its use of movement inspired my map. He synchronized the movement of the animation across every screen, so even though there were a variety of different characters, colors, environments, and shapes, the motion they shared unified the space it was displayed in.  IV. Technicalities, Creation, Final Thoughts I wanted to literally create a map over the space I was given to play in – a topography of the unseen corners of the building, engaging with the nuances of the space.

My screen during the presentation of work. Both the map and control panel are visible.

The first draft of my “map” (from my sketchbook)

A frame from my hallucination projection in the space

A frame from my hallucination projection in the space

I was interested in animating utilitarian areas that are so boring on a surface level that the brain skips over them. And in the space that I was using, there were big pipes painted a similar color of white. I put a clip of the shadowy hand moving across one of the pipes, but only visible from certain areas so that it would pop in and out of the audience’s attention, calling them to shift around the space and deepen their viewing experience. Part of that literal map of space was developing a map of the space on paper that I could take notes on and modify. Whether or not I was successful in creating a decent system of notation for projection work, the first steps of my hallucination room developed in my sketchbook. And finally I realized that shadows and the unseen are just as important as the footage that you use. I was reading Bresson’s Notes on the Cinematographer during this period, so half of my decision was influenced by his note “be sure of having used to the full all that is communicated by immobility and silence.” The other half of my decision to emphasize silent, quiet space stems from the TS Eliot quote “Light. The visible reminder of invisible light.” I wanted to evoke the invisible shadows that are hidden within our world alongside the invisible light that Eliot conjures — because darkness is a necessary element of the material world that I engaged with, and of the nuances and specificities of the classroom space that we ultimately worked in. V. Post-mortem My major critique of how the piece turned out was the utilization of space in the classroom. I spent so much time thinking about the ways that haunted houses function that the disorganized structure of the classroom struck me as off. My secondary critique of my own work is that it would have functioned better had I taken more of the footage that I wrote down as a possibility. I have lists of shots and footage that I thought would work well with visual themes I’d already established – hands, circles, disintegration/time – but unfortunately the constraints of real life prevented me from recording any more footage this time around. However, should I restage it in the future (or make more projections around a grotesque or hallucinatory theme…) I would definitely shoot and incorporate that footage.

Project #1: Hallucination Room

Hallucinations: Shouts from the Unseen For the hallucination room, I attempted to create an installation playing on the invisible systems which we embed cognitively. Orbital systems and their paradoxical relationship to systems of a disruptive cognitive nature could change our perception of reality. Largely, I am fascinated by the axiomatic design of non-Euclidean geometry and, if due to this, human beings could begin to optically and cognitively perceive non Euclidean geometry whilst living in a perceptually valid Euclidean world. Also how this would affect people’s theory of mind, experience of narrative, and spatial/ temporal space perception. I attempted to let people subliminally play with a hallucination that may speak to an unknown or unperceived reality. This attempt was largely ineffective, though it gives better structure and ideas for future explorations. To begin, a simple explanation regarding the definition of non-Euclidean geometry: In mathematics, non-Euclidean geometry consists of two geometries based on axioms closely related to Euclidean geometry. Non- Euclidean geometry arose historically due to the logical invalidity of Euclid’s fifth postulate. Euclid’s fifth postulate stated that two parallel lines will eventually meet, which was found to be invalid: thus non-Euclidean geometry was born.  Non-Euclidean geometry “arises when either the metric requirement is relaxed, or the parallel postulate is replaced with an alternative one.” With the replacement of Euclid’s fifth parallel postulate, one obtains either hyperbolic and elliptic (riemannian) geometry. The essential difference between Euclidean (the geometry that we see/ perceive) and non-Euclidean (what we cannot) is the fifth postulate, more commonly known as the parallel postulate. So, in Euclidean geometry, lines are at a constant distance from each other and are known as parallel, two points will equal a line, and is the geometry learned in high school and the geometry of our perceived world. Non-Euclidean geometry, simply speaking, is not that- and comes to two well known non-Euclidean geometries: Hyperbolic and Riemannian. Hyperbolic plane geometry replaces the fifth postulate of Euclidean geometry with its own. Hyperbolic plane geometry is known as the geometry of saddle surfaces or pseudospherical surfaces, meaning, surfaces with a constant negative Gaussian curvature (a saddle shape). Some physicists, in the likes of Einstein, believe that space is curved and that the general theory of relativity adheres to hyperbolic geometry. This has been recently disputed as evidence has actually pointed to more flat based geometry, though it is still under investigation. M.C. Escher utilized hyperbolic geometry in a lot of his work. In Riemannian geometry (sometimes known as elliptic geometry or spherical geometry) the lines curve forward. Riemannian is the geometry of curved surfaces- which is directly connected to our lives on our curved surface, Earth. Non-Euclidean geometries are those that we do not easily perceive, but are forces that mysteriously shape our world, and that nonetheless live in logical and axiomatic truth. hyperbolic sphere  hyper sphere naturalescher riemann Graphic Examples: From left to right: A Hyperbolic Sphere, a naturally occurring hyperbolic sphere: Coral, M.C. Escher’s usage of non-Euclidean geometry, a Riemannian surface.   Authors such as Borges and Dostoevsky utilized non-euclidean geometry and the way it plays with temporary spatial perception to be used as a catalyst and subject in their narratives. They also utilized the narrative structure in which non-euclidean geometry was born out of: Axiomatic systems.  Borges utilizes the structure of an axiomatic system to go through The Library of Babel, in which the narrative architecture is Non Euclidean. Borges essentially subversively manipulates his audience and brings them into his world through the use of an axiomatic system, which is inherently designed to be logically valid to human beings. Thus, further deepening the validity, investment, and  intrigue in Borge’s audience has in the story. Subversively, Borges utilized the subliminal way that our brain plays with the validity of logical, axiomatic thinking in order to facilitate a great spatial understanding of the space. Borges made the brian play with itself. Some may think this is hallucinatory and, frankly, evil. In The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky used the axiomatic system of Non Euclidean geometry to show how it could disrupt natural systems, i.e. God’s creation, thus theologically rendering non euclidean geometry similar to evil. This is also a factor in why I chose this topic for this project. One of the main characters of the book, Ivan, contends that non euclidean geometry should not have been made if there was an all knowing, perfect God. Because, if there was such a God, non-Euclidean geometry should not have been allowed to exist. Non euclidean geometry was a mathematical discovery, one based in reason, whereas the firm belief in euclidean geometry was a belief in reason- but now reason states, that is wrong. This is similar to how evil relates to Godliness- we are told that evil is necessary/ that God created evil, though this makes no sense and causes doubts in many believers. Yet, it is called reason and systematically validated. Ivan fears insanity as his beliefs in reason and God are shaken when confronted with the invisible system of non-Euclidean geometry. Mitch Stokes in “Dostoevsky on the problems of Evil and Geometry” expands further:   “ Ivan’s struggle mirrors the West’s. Since before Plato, the West held reason in high esteem (The modernist spirit is not, therefore, modern after all.) But then – just when the Enlightenment was hitting its stride- reason threw itself into doubt with non-Euclidean geometry. This discovery is one of the main causes of postmodernism’s suspicion of reason. But much of Dostoyevsky’s commentary here would be lost on us without an appreciation of the non-Euclidean revolution. And this is but one example of how widespread mathematics influence is. Not putting too fine a point on it, mathematics is important. But merely being able to do mathematics is insufficient, primarily because there’s much more to understanding mathematics than recipes and formulas. To be sure, mathematics is a powerful means for describing, predicting, and controlling the physical world. But its study is also required for understanding culture. To allude to Kant: calculation without understanding is empty, understanding without calculation is impossible. Our problem with geometry is not the modernist’s; our problem  is that we don’t understand it.” illustrate_rimlibrary-of-babel   Various illustrations of the library of Babel I wanted to further allude to this problem in my design and how non Euclidean geometry represents an important function of human culture in general. The functions, restraints and study of Non Euclidean geometry is similar in how human beings embed hierarchical power structures and give them episodic validity, thus making them ‘real’ and able to initiate action. This alludes to how such episodic validity is given to other structures of power such as a belief in capitalism, white supremacy, etc. The mystery behind such immense belief is often puzzling and in direct adherence with the quote alluding to Kant via Stokes “calculation without understanding is empty, understanding without calculation is impossible.” This is a topic I wanted to explore along with this phenomenons interactivity with culture. Rigorous axiomatic systems in which non Euclidean geometry are built on are similar to how neural structures work in the brain, in that they are validated systematically and repeatedly through different conceptions of “proof”. When viewing a space, our brain is calculating temporally and mapping spatially- which is calculation. But, one must need understanding and moreover, ecologic validation. Understanding comes from the negotiation with context, object, function, and form. An installation is the perfect venue in which to have this negotiating playing in real time. While using this logical mode of thought, and in an attempt to make non euclidean structures neurologically valid in terms of spatial acceptance, I tried to facilitate such understanding through using materials and forms that allude to natural systems fixed with the juxtaposition of such non Euclidean traits via mapped projections, which were reliant on light. Paradoxical Design: Intention and Failure
sam sketch

concept sketch 1

My installation was informed by physical materials symbolizing natural systems, which I used to structure my installation. I built the idea of my surface around natural systems. Utilizing the materials of paper and plastic, I was able to build using said natural systems in the most common way we consume them- in their condensed, commodified, capital form. A similar sizing down to the singular model and example of a system of Non Euclidean geometry I used in clip form. My original plan for the structure of this project was to further build out the space with pieces of hard construction paper and have the projector inside the structure- thus the natural system would be housing the “un natural”. Though, this did not work out Originally, the structure was supposed to be made entirely out  of paper, but that changed as I began experimenting with plastic, canvas, and a hard white styrofoam. I played with many alternate materials. I enjoyed working with the paper material, canvas, styrofoam and plastic for the natural systems form and materials. The physical structure worked semi-well. It definitely gave the mood of a natural system, though the paradox effect did not come off generally.
First paper structure

First paper structure

A side view

A side view

IMG_9868 The hallucination attempted to be the result of the strange merging and acceptance of two seemingly juxtaposed systems- of the physical structure/ material and of the material of light from the projections.  In the installation, it ended up looking like they did not interact due to the structures not correctly harnessing/ manipulating light. I wanted the non-Euclidean structure to be represented through light- as light is another things which humans perceive but do not necessarily consider the systems behind. (I.e. how such invisible systems are living underneath common acceptance and how that is brought to life through the juxtaposing materials.) Similarly, the juxtaposition between the light of the projection and the materials was almost too extreme for effectiveness. The scene looked cluttered and was not as intended. It was not captivating enough for people to look at or even mildly be interested at interacting with, as the narrative of an unidentified model, colors, and structure were not enough to inform even a mild narrative. This was definitely a good learning process for me.   This installation was not successful as the light did not interact with the physical structures as thought. Even with this fact, it was similar to my original intention of the piece. Such invisible systems contrast- with the natural, preconceived, and perceived areas of it. Due to my preconceived notion of non Euclidean geometry during construction, the perceived areas did not have such an alarming effect for the general audience due to their extreme juxtaposition, but if looking closer, the paradoxes still ring true. There is still the perception of illusion for the audience within the work. noneudsimp2     For instance, looking up close on the paper object,  it became clear that the digital fabric was juxtaposing with the material as well as interacting with it. The merging of these two materials: paper and light, created a paradoxical, juxtaposed effect, though still seemed to merge. This is similar to how I hypothesize humans could begin to interpret non Euclidean geometry. Though, that was not clear or present to the audience or to anyone if they were not actively interacting with the installation- which my choice of structure and clips did not allow.

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The clips also worked well, though they were not nearly dynamic enough to engage an audience whatsoever. I understood that the way to play between this juxtaposition was to rely on simpler clips that allowed for the space to negotiate itself- such as the single clip of the Non Euclidean model animation. The positioning of the projector, paired with this clip, allowed for the light to look as if it were pulling the materials into its enclosed reality. I learned that with the negotiation of context, simplicity is key as well as focusing on playing with light. noneudsimp2   I arrived at my map by looking at a behavior that requires our utilization, understanding, and commodification of it: a systematized investigation of a system we view as natural. For this, I began wondering about how humans use water- to drink, to bathe, to relax. Creating another system from the natural system that is the creation and use of water. Similar to Euclidean geometry, we see this as normal and non disruptive. I disrupted this by taking footage of people using water and reversing it and flipping them to have a paradoxical effect. Over this I projected various Non-Euclidean models, each representing themselves on the basis of great circles.  I mapped this clip underneath the structure of the natural systems in order to attempt to convey how non-Euclidean geometry interacts in the real world. Also projected were brain neurons firing over a man ray animation over a paper stagnant structure, commenting on the plastic nature of such perceived structures (like the brain). IMG_9874

Mapping onto paper structure

The projection in its current form, as I have found, does not generally encourage play-which is particularly unnerving. It was supposed to encourage play on a subliminal, curious, level and encourage the audience to take notice of the mild changes in their perception of natural forms and continue along that axiomatic line of thought.  I had in mind the type of play that Non Euclidean geometry calls for: a mental invisible type of play- a play that requires a deep introspection on such systems of thought. This, in retrospect, is a very hard goal to achieve. Nevertheless, I will continue to try. Urbanscreen seems to encourage such introspection quite well, part of me wonders if it has to do with the way sound is used in their constructed environments. IMG_9976 IMG_9975 IMG_9972   IMG_9981   Time constraints definitely hindered my project and resulted in a less than desired result, particularly when it came to the structure. I did not have the time or materials to build out the space as intended, but it was a good lesson when it came to negotiating space and form. This experience will allow me to rely more heavily on the importance of light. Inspiration    There were some artists that formed and inspired my design and conception. Feng Mengbo, with Long March: Restart (2008,) created a narrative of his life during Mao’s regime utilizing the structural elements of a Mario video game. With no context, the user does not know he is playing in a complicit power structure but still embeds the basic motivations, goals, and necessities of the characters of that time. Nalini Malani’s Gamepieces (2003/2009) works with how components of her work adapt to the architecture of space, which directly results in works success. Actively juxtaposing images of war and violence, blue skies, and “earthly images” project from the mobile, cylindrical structures in Gamepieces. Malani’s “comment emphasizes contingency. In the hierarchy of components that constitute an artwork, it seems obvious to emphasize the importance of the constant non-varying components.” (Gamepieces: An Installation Deconstructed, Briggs, Sydney, 2015). Nalini Malani plays on the audiences want for a presupposed hierarchical structure of components and allows the removal of such hierarchical systems to allow the audience to reflect on that. Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil war as it Occurred b’tween the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart Kara Walker relies on the historical system of adding meaning to eighteenth-century cut-paper silhouette to critique historical narratives of slavery in “Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil war as it Occurred b’tween the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart” (1994). Walker juxtaposes tumultuous, unnerving imagery which “confounds conventional attributions of power and oppression” paired with a material derived from a systematic practice of self reference and leisure for white, upper class, people of the south in the eighteenth century- a practice still in place in the south today. Walker relies on the audiences inference on such systems of exploring the self in relation to narrative environment in order to realize how “whiteness is just as artificial a construct as blackness is.” (Walker, Gallery label from Contemporary Art from the Collection, June 30, 2010- September 12,2011, Moma.) The Urbanscreen collective has been a tireless source of inspiration for me while learning about digital media.
''320° licht' by Urbanscreen

”320° licht’ by Urbanscreen

The URBANSCREEN collective artistically manipulates the material of light for site-specific public media such as “architectural projections, augmented sculptures, media facade concepts and virtual theatre.” They “investigate the phenomena that occur when the material world is superimposed with the digital, and inversely, when the digital overlaps with reality”. They go on to state “by experimenting with the syntheses of digital media and material objects and spaces, we discover new forms of artistically conveyed studies of a living environment that keeps changing as we speak.” (Urbanscreen, 2015) Urbanscreen looks to working with a new living environment in order to augment our perceptions of what a proper reality looks like, which opens the door to many unknown effects: culturally, cognitively, and artistically. All of which constantly interplay and negotiate with each other to create our shared reality.   

Project #1: Fishes

Fishes project_fishes For this project, what I wanted to create was something that gave the user the option to create a negative action and a positive action. Building off my moving text project, what I ended up creating was a school of fish which would either turn away from the mouse or swim towards the mouse if you presented food. The negative action being the default setting which causes the fish to swim away from the mouse cursor, and the positive action being the clicked mouse setting which projects a worm for the fishes to eat. The user and the fish perform very binary act. Either the fish run away from the mouse, or they move towards it. Knowing that I needed to simulate the movements of retreat, I figured I could split the screen into two vertical halves, controlling lateral movement. In this way, if the fish continuously moved from the left or the right, it would seem as if they were backing away from something, and it gave the user the option to force the fish one of two ways. Controlling the fish with the presence of the mouse rather than pressing a key creates a more realistic setting. The user is invading their space and they are disturbed with the new invasive presence. Involving the option to press the mouse as a means to add food for the fishes to call them only added another layer to the space related control, which means in total there are four actions which the user can implicate, just on the positioning of the mouse and whether or not it is clicked. There were several things which went wrong when creating this project. Initially I had intended to use only one fish that would randomly appear at a different level of the ocean after exiting off screen when scared, but since I could not successfully incorporate the random function and its variables into the script without errors I settled for creating a fish on every level of the ocean. In defense of the school of fish I ended up using instead of the singular fish, it is easier to feel the effect of one’s actions upon a group rather than an individual. Another problem which I still do not understand is that with the addition of more “fish” into the script, the faster they moved when the program was running. I would assume the addition of more fish into the script would delay the speed of the code since there would be more to run through, but that was not the case. To accommodate for the speeding fish, I added a delay to the draw function. In relation to the creation of the project these were the two most notable problems. In response to how people interacted with this project, the greatest problem was how quickly people got tired of it. The project is a simple interaction that does not really allow for any creativity beyond where you get to place the worm, so it was not a huge surprise that it did not hold the attention of users for long. However, in the end everything else went right. I was able to keep the fishes as images created from keyboard symbols. Even the worm follows this style since it is an orange “s”. The means by which users interact also worked as I had hoped it to, and I believe it is appropriate that the default setting is the one that repels the fish since it is easier in real life to disturb than to nurture. I would also say this project relates to LAX’s Urbanimals in that it invites you to interact with these simple animals, but would stress how the intention is different. I have seen from the people I have shown this to that it creates an emphasis on the difference between welcome and unwelcome actions, whereas Urbanimals focuses on welcoming actions only. In other words, the project here allows the user to control the relationship between them and the rudimentary fishes, while the LAX interaction presents a more mutual relationship. Garrett Hsuan http://lax.com.pl/portfolio_page/urbanimals/    

Project #1: Horoscopes


In this project, I created a simple way for people to read their horoscopes for the month of October. By clicking the screen, people will be able to see all of the horoscopes. They can click back and forth to see which horoscopes correspond with their signs. I decided to use very few words per sign because I think that this keeps the interaction simple. There isn’t an abundance of text to read, but just enough information to portray the theme of their horoscope for that month. I think that this is a fun interactive because it allows people to gain information efficiently. Whether people follow horoscopes or not, most will still find them entertaining to read.


Originally I had planned to have the user be able to click on each individual sign and only see that horoscope. After working on the code, I found difficulty in achieving this. Despite this, I still think that it has the same effect on the user because it allows them to reveal the horoscopes themselves. This still engages them to an extent because it is their action that makes the text appear.


The coding of this project incorporated mousePressed(), with layers of the black background and the text. I chose to use black and white because I think that it contributes to the simplicity of the message.

I see this project fitting into de Waal’s ideology of the “City of Strangers.” Horoscopes are universal in the sense that anyone regardless of gender, age, class, and many societal factors can relate to it. I think that this would bring people together because everyone has an astrological sign. When looking at the horoscopes, people could share their opinions with their friends or others who have the same sign. I see this supporting the idea of a magic circle because it can unify people based on having the same astrological signs. This can strike up a conversation between two strangers. I think that this helps reenforce common ground between people because everyone has a sign.

Project #1: Click,Click, and There Were None.

By: Yun Mi Koh Screenshot (35) For this project, I decided to create a digital interactive display to get a sense of how people react to on-screen interactive display. I installed my project on library where many people were passing by. The project was inspired from article about nature and harming of it through resource gathering. The article talks about how as humans “explore” nature, the ecosystem is broken and bit by bit, ending in complete destruction. I wanted to give symbolic simulation in destruction of nature through human interference. The project is composed of three major coding designs from processing: spiral, mouse-click, and color gradation. I used my laptop and mouse with the code in full screen. The code is re-development of the spiral coding the class did two week ago. Since the design was about flower, I thought I could develop it to the idea and message I wanted to convey. The display starts with dots spinning into trail of spiral, looking like patch of flowers. Then interactor would click and realize that the background color changes as different areas of the screen are clicked. As the interator click, the spirals would disperse on screen and more clicking results in the dots and spirals disappearing. By the time the interactor finds all the colors, they realize that there are no more animation of spirals and dots. The background colors are chosen form color of nature: woods, sea, coals, etc… and more one finds variety of background colors aka the nature and its resources, the living part of the environment, the spirals and the dots, disappear. IMG_0435 IMG_0434 Screenshot (42) After putting the display up, I asked some people to interact with the design just to get it started and afterward, many approached without me having to ask. I left the display up and observed for about 1.5 hours. Pro in result of interaction: May people enjoyed it and took interest in the display. I asked random people about what the meaning might be behind the display and surprisingly, many got near or did get what I was trying to convey. I also noticed that many were talking about the display, sharing ideas, etc… Con in result of interaction: Some people were shy about it or did not really know what to do. Some were hogging the computer or tried to go on different parts of the computer by exiting the display.  Also, many just stood and watched rather than actually interacting with the display. The project and magic circle: The project created a magic circle by creating sense of social entertainment where people were fathering to interact, talk about it, and try to figure out the interaction together. It also creates magic circle by giving a universal statement and the understanding of what the display is about, which implements identical ideology to the interactors, creating a connection through message.

Project #1: Baby We’re the New Romantics…

the best people in life are free

“…the best people in life are free.”

First of all, many thanks to Taylor Swift’s amazing lyric in the song New Romantics. I love her. This project is a public interactive text installation. The text will be projected on the wall of a hallway or any places that people might walk by, presumably in Heimbold. As people walk by, the word “free” would appear with a floral filling and neon tint. When they pass the installation, the word “free” will disappear again, unless someone constantly makes movement in front of the installation or someone else passes by.
(Possible installation cites for this project)

Possible installation cites for this project.

I expect people to notice the importance of “free” in this sentence, since it opens to multiple interpretations. I also expect them to be curious when they see the dormant state of the installation: a unfinished sentence. They might try and fill in the blanks in their mind (or they just know this song). As they walk by, they would know the answer, which changes color to attract their attention. What they think after the word shows up is what this artwork left them with. The behind-the-scene code for this installation is the webcam motion detector. I set up a threshold to determine whether something is moving in front the webcam. The motion detector also determines the word’s neon tint by using the average of movement as a parameter for the tint color. I was inspired by many of Jenny Holzer’s works, which all have simple typography designs but are really powerful. Besides, her uses of projection in installations make me feel the contrast between light and dark as well as the distortable nature of projection on objects. Her quotes are concise but powerful, which I think might have larger impact on audiences under the way she installs the quotes.
(How would people react to this installation?)

How would people react to this installation?

In my opinion, this project represents de Wall’s ideology of urban flaneurs. My project is hugely different from promotional materials that always appear on the walls of Heimbold. I try to address to the importance of serendipity and curiosity in a city in correspondence to the concept’s criticism of commercial applications of urban media, so that flaneurs (solitary and thoughtful strollers) can experience wonder, surprise, confusion, or dislocation (de Waal 9-10). I would be grateful if someone could stop to think about the best people they met in their lives, or whether they are free themselves. …And I would be more than grateful if someone knows where this line comes from.

Project #1: Rainbow Rotation

CircularMotionRevisited2 copyCircularMotionRevisited5 copy I was trying to make a spiral with an alternating rainbow color center. I expected to make it using the tutorial on circular motion on the processing web site. I used their example code to create the rainbow center and then experimented with some other code to create the spirals. I hadn’t realized that the black dots in my spirals were as multicolored as the ovals in the center of my code until I went back and experimented more with the background. When I first tried to create the code, my spirals did not want to center around the rainbow, but I fixed it. I had no issues creating the spirals or rainbow separately. CircularMotionRevisited3 copy CircularMotionRevisited4 copy CircularMotionRevisited1 copy

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: http://candychang.com/before-i-die-in-nola/ Gratitude Experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg