LO: My Inspiration

In cities across China, Local Projects (an experience design studio) has partnered with the soccer club Manchester United and Adidas to create a gaming experience for the fans. It is called the “Theatre of Dreams.” I found this project especially interesting because I am a huge soccer fan myself and the fact that there is an experience that they created that allows the fans to become football players them. Furthermore, it appeals to the emotions of the fans as it takes into account the rich history of the Club as well. They try and capture the emotions and atmosphere of an actual match day event and the energy of the stadium as if the users were in it. The creators of this experience, Local Projects, seemed to have created the software for this immersive experience by themselves. As far as I know, this is an experience like none other and it takes inspiration from the fact that fans make their intense love for the game well known. This breakthrough experience that they have created can probably inspire other clubs to provide similar experiences as each club has their own unique history and spirit. Here is the link for the immersive experience. 

Website link

This image shows one of the immersive experience that the fans can have

LO: My Inspiration

One of my favorite interaction and computational projects is the BioDesign Studio in the Tech Museum of Innovation created by Local Projects. Local Projects is a group of designers and creative technologists who aim to change how people interact with environments and with each other. This project educates people about synthetic biology, in which visitors can connect different DNA models together and a screen will display the lifeforms being created. I admire this project because the design and engineering team was able to create a seamless interaction between the tangible and the digital world. I like how the interaction is not limited to a screen, so social interaction is also made possible. I personally think the project points to the future of museum exhibitions and maybe even education, as learning through an interactive experience could benefit many people.

Author & Title: Local Projects, BioDesign Studio – THE TECH MUSEUM OF INNOVATION.

Website Link

This image shows children interacting with the DNA models.

LO: My Inspiration

Title: Aura
Creator: Nick Verstand, Salvador Breed, Naivi
Link: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/11/25/aura-installation-translates-emotions-into-beams-of-light-studio-nick-verstand-dutch-design-week/

During 2017’s Dutch Design Week, artist Nick Verstand created an immersive audiovisual installation named Aura that translated visitors’ emotions into light pulses. I’m inspired by this project as it makes the visitors part of the art. As visitors entered the space, music was played to evoke emotional responses. Physiological signals including EEG, heart-rate, and galvanic skin response were then recorded by the various biosensors visitors wore and later used to generate light beams with different forms, colors and intensities surrounding the visitors like curtains.

The project aimed to explore the use of light as art medium and paid tribute to artist Anthony McCall. It’s is unclear how long the project took. But it likely required the three artists to write custom scripts as they needed to translate signals from biosensors to light output. This work shows how technology can externalize and recreate the experience of human emotions.

LO: My Inspiration Satterwhite

When I first arrived back in Pittsburgh, one of my friends who is an RA told me to go see the Jacolby Satterwhite exhibition at the Miller ICA. I thought it was incredible how he did this with just so few other contributors. Jacolby was influenced by his mother and black culture among many of his other interests. He was able to use pop culture, history, holistics, and his personal experience. His exhibit has sculpture work and photography, but also uses 3D animation, VR, LED, and sound. Jacolby developed a multiform gestalt to create his VR. When walking through the exhibit, other than the lighting, it was very much like walking through a normal museum. Once I put on the VR set everything changed. It is hard to explain but it was easy to be immersed in the imagery and actions. Using the technology in a way that made it encompass my senses (sight and hearing), allowed me to pay attention. It was something I had never experienced before and I think it really goes to show how much the world is changing to hold people’s interests.

Installation view of Room for Living Currently at Miller ICA

LO: Inspiration

Mi.Mu Gloves by Imogen Heap

This project is a set of gloves developed by the musician Imogen Heap that allow her to interact gesturally with her music production software on her computer. The gloves are primarily an interesting piece of hardware, however computation was certainly involved in the process of translating sensor inputs into musical outputs. I think this project is a really interesting way to explore gesture in electronic music, a genre that is typically produced through a very limited set of gestures like turning knobs, and pressing buttons. I think this project is particularly interesting for both its potential to open up new ways of creating music, and the possibility to link performative gestures such as dance to sonic experiences.

Imogen Heap Performing Using the Gloves

LO: My Inspiration

In Sun Yuan and Peng Yu’s “Can’t Help Myself,” which was an installation at the Guggenheim, a robotic arm restlessly tries to clean up red liquid on the floor, to no avail. The robot knows 32 different movements. It is trapped within a transparent “cage,” where the viscous liquid continuously triggers the robot’s sensors to shovel and scrape. The resulting, never-ending, blood-like splatters evoke violence at border zones and the consequences of authoritarianism; as the Guggenheim states. The real meaning is up to interpretation.

I really admire the uniqueness of this piece. Typically, when someone creates an AI, it is for a specific purpose; to have self-driving cars, to mimic human capabilities, to push the limits of what AI can do. I appreciate that “Can’t Help Myself” is purely an artistic work. With so many different movements as it frantically scrapes, it almost looks like a panicked choreography.

“Can’t Help Myself,” 2016.

LO: My Inspiration

Participant wading through water with an abstract image projected overtop in TeamLab Planets Tokyo exhibit

I truly enjoy and admire the work of TeamLab. TeamLab is an international art collective that creates interactive artworks using digital projections, pulling together artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects for their projects. In particular, I love their exhibit TeamLab Planets Tokyo. In this exhibit, flowers, water, lava, light structures, and other wild features are projected upon simple constructions to immerse the participants. It is clearly inspired by our natural planet and seeks to show every person a different perspective on existing in nature. As stated on TeamLab’s website, this seeks to dissolve the “boundary between the body and the artwork” and “explore a new relationship without boundaries between ourselves and the world”. As our personal worlds become more digitised, a generated interaction between the user and nature, like TeamLab Planets Tokyo, prompts an interesting discussion about how much of natural experience we can imitate.

TeamLab Planets Tokyo Website Page

LO: My Inspiration

One interactive exhibit that has inspired me is the Miniature Railroad exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center. One aspect of the model that I enjoy is the combination of the tactile and technological. While this display is relatively simple in comparison to others in the museum, the combination of physical objects and technology to invoke movement and life in the Pennsylvania replica is exciting to me. Two years ago, the exhibit had its centennial, encouraging visitors to remember the advances in model building and interactivity that the museum has achieved. The exhibit operates with a series of buttons and screens, which are updated by technicians and craftsmen alongside the physical model every fall. The museum commits to preserving the past while upholding modern standards of technological advancement.

LO: My inspiration

I recently came upon an exhibition piece called “Can’t Help Myself” (2016) by artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. It is a robotic arm that mimics animated movements while constantly wiping a blood-like liquid within an area around it. The artists worked with robotic engineers to program the specific movements and repurpose the robotic arm, creating code for 32 movements that the robot will perform. The more the robot wipes the liquid, the more messy the room becomes, creating a sense of helplessness. What I admire about the project is how movements can be coded into the robot to give it lifelike characteristics. Although the robot is a machine with no emotions, we as humans are able to place emotions onto it just by observing its movements. I’m curious about human interaction with robotics and computers, especially how we create emotional connections with them, which is why this artwork caught my attention. This artwork sprouted from the artists’ wish to explore how machines can be used to replace an artist’s place in performative work, broadening the boundaries of performance art. “Can’t Help Myself” was also Guggenheim’s first robotic artwork, and presented new possibilities for combining technology with exhibition art.

“Can’t Help Myself”: a robotic arm moving constantly to clean up the liquid around it

LO: My Inspiration

There was an interactive project at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York where people were able to draw on a big touch screen, and the technology transferred those simple lines to a piece of artwork. The drawings that people made were made out of very simple lines, but because the technology was so advanced, it was able to transfer the rough drawings into beautiful artworks. I really admired this project because it was appreciated by all ages from kids to adults doodling their works. I think it’s astounding how the software can change people’s drawings into something amazing and something so high tech. People were also able to save the artwork they made and take it home, and I think it’s much more meaningful to take a souvenir that they made rather than buying something from the museum store. Because of technology, people can take away experiences rather than consume art. This project points to how museums are developing their softwares to make it more interactive for people, thus creating more memorable experiences for people.

Video Link (18:35)

Cooper Hewitt Museum