For my final project, I am interested in the idea of telling a story. As such, I selected two projects that are described as educational projects, used to facilitate teaching or stories amongst children. The two projects I have chosen are Mü by Béatrice Lartigue (educational installation) and Living Library by Design IO (interactive projected encyclopaedia).
I really admired how both projects were able to harness technology to create a story/ experience that went beyond the screen. For example, in Mü, interaction and creativity is encouraged through the educational application, but are used to guide class activities and discussions in the real world. Similarly, Living Library is housed in a museum, supplementing interaction with the surrounding Connected World exhibit, as well as interaction with others due to the interactive and dynamic nature of the project. Most importantly, both projects are able to delight and appeal to our senses regardless of age, which I hope to evoke in those who view my project. Something that was not considered in the two projects that I might try to address in my storyline for my final deliverable is how specific interactions might trigger divergent storyline paths for the viewer, or be a catalyst for the next section of the story, rather than having the interactions contained within one section of the narrative. This might help keep viewers more engaged, and feel a deeper connection with the piece.
For my project, I want to integrate music or beat making into it. I have several apps for beat and music making that I really like. As precedents for my final project, I did research for two of them.
The first one is Incredibox . It is a music app and website that the player can create different songs or beats by adding or removing people from a band. Each person represents an instrument or sound effect, including percussion, voices, guitar, piano, etc. By managing this band the player can create very cool mixtures. It really attracts me because it allows the players to create an A cappella from instruments and sound effects, creating amazing and unexpected mixture of layers of sounds.
The other precedent I really like is a beat making app called iMASCHINE 2. It is a hardware/software digital audio workstation developed by Native Instruments. Users assign drum kits, instruments and sounds from the included library, to each of the controller’s 16 pads, and can manipulate sounds further by applying effects and plugins. The software also includes tools to capture and manipulate audio samples in real time.
Currently, the idea for my project is a platform-based game. To create a comparison, it would be something like the IOS game Doodle Jump. There are things this game MUST have and things that, if time permits me, I’d LIKE it to have. For me the game must have randomly generating platforms, a vertically scrolling screen, keypad controls for an icon, good bounce physics for the icon, and the ability to detect when the player falls off the screen to restart the game. What I might like to add to the game eventually is some sort of extra obstacle- an enemy to avoid that flies in the air, or an object that can be collected. I might I also like to add a “you lose” type screen that displays the number of platforms jumped on, and the ability to start a new game when the keyboard is pressed. The second drawing (the “or”) is the possibility, if I find this too difficult, to instead do a vertical scrolling game wherein you must roll an icon down the screen and avoid being squished. A goal of mine for this project is also for the game to just be aesthetically pleasing. I’m not a designer, but I want this game to LOOK very sweet because I think design is really important when it comes to art, or specifically interactive art. Obviously, a prior project to look at is the original game Doodle Jump, as well as many, many knock off games (fast follows). There is another indie point-and-click story based game, however, whose aesthetic is more that of the game I want to create. Night in the Woods is quirky and beautiful, with great, great color palettes, and also very nice physics when it comes to characters running and jumping. This is the look I’m going for.
Step Up To it is an installation piece made of sugar cubes. Hundreds of sugar cubes were glued to spell the words “STEP UP TO IT”. When the viewer smiles, a projection causes the sugar cubes to light up in bright colours.
Step Up To It video explanation.
Cotton Candy Theremin is a cotton candy spinning performance. It uses the process of making cotton candy as an interface of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. The audience can trigger sounds and visuals by spinning a cotton candy cone over wisps of candy floss.
Cotton Candy Theremin documentation and interviews.
Both projects use physical materials (both sweets) combined with technology and computing to create an interactive and immersive experience. I admire the fact that both projects require viewer/audience efforts to come to life. I want to incorporate a similar level of fun and engagement in my final project.
The group I came across, iii, is “an artist-run platform supporting radical interdisciplinary practices engaging with image, sound, space and the body.” They do residencies, and support artists, but the specific project I’ll be looking at is a totally immersive installation called “The Intimate Earthquake Archive”. The art piece uses almost every sense through vests and compositions derived from seismic recordings, interactive radio broadcasts, and sandstone earth core samples and wooden scaffolding set up around the people inside.
In this photo you can see the scaffolding and the vests worn by participants.
This project is really interesting because it plays with sound in so many ways. There are radio broadcasts as well as recordings of an Earthquake in Groningen, but the vest are the most interesting. Based on movement and position in the space, they omit sounds and rumbles that affect different parts of the body. I like how their website describes these tactile vests: “allows the wearer to explore the subtle rumbles of the earthquakes on the body.”
The truth about sound is we love it- we love music- and there is no doubt that what we listen to affects the state of our body. But often, this is not an idea explored in relation to art or so firmly attached to what we feel. I would love to wear one of these vests. Feeling and hearing the soft rumble of an earthquake in my stomach as well as all around me sounds at once terrifying and calming.
I have to suppose that the algorithms used employ motion capture graphics, so as to track the wearers progress through the Earthquake, and possibly some complex math in the transducer speakers inside the vest to know when and wear to trigger a rumble.