Project Pitch

Please choose one idea to propose as a final performance project. Each person will have five minutes of class time to pitch the idea and answer questions. Please document your idea fully as a short blog post on the RCP project site including any visual media you’ll need to show during your pitch. This isn’t a committment, and not all ideas will be further developed; after these pitches we will form project pairs and will be developing a joint project proposal with your new partner.

Please be sure to address the course themes specifically:

Please include several detailed drawings which explore the concept. These may be hand-drawn, but should be detailed enough both to explain the idea to a third party and to identify unresolved questions within the premise.

Please choose an idea which you believe is within the scope of the course resources and your ambitions.

Please include enough text so that the post stands alone as an explanation of the concept even though you will be presenting. For now, please focus on the overall conceptual approach, although please identify any critical technical development.

Learning Objectives

  1. Developing an artistic concept for a hybrid human-robotic kinetic sculpture performance.

  2. Visualizing a kinetic visual representation of an artistic concept.

  3. Refining the essential artistic question via abstraction and resolution.

  4. Scaling an idea to match technical constraints and resolving it within limitations.

  5. Identifying essential technical unknowns.


  1. Blog post describing a specific project idea in detail.

    • Brief physical description in text.

    • Brief statement of the artistic premise.

    • Sketches and drawings illustrating the idea.

  2. In-class presentation to pitch the idea to your peers and answer questions.

Additional Prompt Questions

Specificity is generative. The more details you can generate, the better you can communicate your intent. The following list of prompts may help you clarify details. These are meant to provoke your thinking, this is not a checklist.

  1. What the main idea?

  2. What is the machine?

  3. What physical dynamic processes are involved?

  4. What is the narrative implied by the dynamics?

  5. What, where, how? I.e., exactly what does the viewer see and hear, over what timescale, and at what physical scale?

  6. How does the performer experience exploration and practice?

  7. How is it surprisingly animate?

  8. Are there multiples?

  9. Is it repetitive in time? Is there a beginning or end?

  10. What is the role of the viewer?

  11. What question will be answered by making this work?

  12. What are creative constraints which would focus the performance on the chosen question?

  13. How does the physical form underscore the dynamic behavior?

  14. Where is the locus of agency?

  15. Is there some sense of success versus failure?

  16. What kind of materials are needed? How do they support the concept?

  17. What kind of sensors and actuators?

  18. Where can we cut corners on implementation? Where can we not?

  19. Are there specific alternatives to consider?

  20. Is the behavior something a human can do?

  21. Is it part of daily life experience?

  22. What is the simplest mechanism which can achieve this?

  23. What are the fewest number of degrees of freedom which can achieve this?

  24. What kind of feedback makes the action controllable?

  25. How can the action be parameterized?

  26. Does the action suggest a narrative context?

  27. Does the action involve a prop?

  28. How can the movement be captured in a line drawing?

  29. What is the interaction between the parts?

  30. What is the free body diagram?

  31. Can the tempo be varied? How would a different tempo affect the outcome?

  32. What kind of proprioceptive sensing is needed?

  33. What kind of external sensing is needed?

  34. What kind of failures modes will it exhibit?

  35. What is the narrative potential of the failure modes?

  36. Is the process amenable to machine learning?

  37. What is the narrative potential of that learning process?

  38. Could the feedback process be mechanical? How does digital computation improve the result?

  39. What skills and strengths can you apply to the execution?

  40. What new skills or experience will you need to explore this idea?