What is your artistic inquiry? 

How can we create a whole bodied experience even while being confined to 4 walls of a suitcase? Can we defy the expectation and surprise the audience with something that exists and extends beyond the suitcase?

How is this idea expressed using movement and behavior? 

It is the behavior and the choice made by the viewer that results in the reaction of the suitcase. If the audience member chooses anger, for example, the servo motors can move rapidly and the pattern can be red and intense, filling the room with that emotion. On the other hand, if calmness and serenity is chosen, the pattern projected can be more fluid and create calmer, softer silhouettes.

Brief description: 

Essentially, the idea is to create a choreographed performance that is not only confined to the box but has projections on the ceiling above and the walls on the side as well. To break it down:

  1. When the suitcase is opened (the photosensor reads that) and you can see gold/treasure inside that is static and the suitcase lights up golden yellow. However, there are these three disc-like structures exhibiting movement which will catch the eye of the audience. I’m not particular sure what approach to take but there are 3 options I have in mind (see drawing).
  2. Each disc has an emotion associated with it, and the viewer can choose what he/she is feeling based on the contents of suitcase (joy? anger? jealousy? calmness?)
  3. Based on that the servos will change position and color of the lights will change to create a choreographed motion that embodies that emotion. This will be seen as a projection on the ceiling or walls around.


How and why is your work related to a suitcase?

This idea sort of ties back to all the mystery movies I grew up watching wherein a treasure box always has a gleaming light coming out of it when opened. I always thought that it added an additional dimension of experience and wanted to mimic that. I also wanted to evoke an emotion and have some interaction with the viewer and thus added the feeling aspect to it. It’s as if the viewer on seeing the suitcase open, feels some emotion and that is embodied in an experience, within and outside the suitcase. Its akin to Aladdin’s magic lamp, where on rubbing it the Genie comes outside.

Possible way of constructing this: 

  1. Using photosensors to detect when the suitcase is open (as a cue to start the performance).
  2. Laser Cutting Interesting geometric patterns/shapes through which light can pass through.
  3. Many servo motors lined up with lights on it.
  4. Magnetic levitating structures with maybe a distance sensor or some sort of pressure sensor/ push button OR simple DC motor with rotating discs attached to it OR hydraulic lift using pneumatics.
  5. Arduino

Inspirations/Useful Links: