Dan McCafferty, Patricio Davila, Symon Oliver, Jessica Leong, Jan Hadlaw
Nuit Blanche, Toronto Public Library Parkdale Branch, Toronto, Canada
This display by the above artists was created by the Public Visualizations Studio mentioned in the interview with Colangelo. It engages residents of Toronto’s Parkdale, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, to share their vision of what Parkdale’s future could be and to learn new media tools at the local library themselves.
This takes Colangelo’s sense of public engagement to another level. It publicly faces an alley the works created were projected on the library during Nuit Blanche. (Toronto’s is in October. Lame. I know. Montreal’s in Februrary: a true Nuit Blanche, non?).
Full disclosure, I walked by that library every day during this period and often went in and had no idea this was happening…
The idea of our model was to create a large fabric display of the city, that responds to data and changes it’s shape appropriately. We were inspired by Daniel Leithinger’s Interactive Shape Display’s, but wanted to simplify the mechanism for changing the shape. Therefore, we decided to use fans for this. The rivers in turn would be represented by strips of light.
Our design would look something like this:
As we were already moving the display with fans, we choose to draw our data from an API that follows wind speed in Pittsburgh. The fan powering the display would change its power based on the actual wind speed. The shapes loosely represent the topography of Pittsburgh, with the largest bulge being Mt. Washington
Here are images of our model, looking in on the airport:
The entirety of this museum in Ypres dedicated to World War I is interactive in some way. The viewer is given a swipe card (An example of a ‘tab’ from our reading.) with the name of a soldier from the war, whom they follow throughout the war during the course of the exhibition:
That, however, is “old hat” for interactive exhibits. More notable is the display about gas attacks. There the visitor enters a space featuring tubes of bubbles containing gas masks that turn from clear to sickly shades of green and yellow, a metaphor for the poison gas:
The colors match the audio, which are a number of recordings of accounts of gas attacks, including Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est.” (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46560/dulce-et-decorum-est) By the standards of such experiential spaces, it’s rather old (over 10 years), and small scale, but it achieves its purpose exceedingly well in conveying the harrowing nature of chemical warfare.
The “Living Wall” allows the user to monitor and control the conditions in a room using only the wallpaper itself. The paper and paint that make up the wall paper are controlled by simple touch. They are linked to a computer system through Arduino sensors.