One-in-one-out: “A Sensory So-Long”

Teaching children to say goodbye is frequent topic of discussion in parenting literature. One Harvard Medical School Professor, Susan Linn, says that, “[kids should know that] although no one can stop transitions, everyone has a chance to discover what you can do to contribute to the experience, to acknowledge, mark and take ownership of saying goodbye”. But really, what do we know about what children think about when they say goodbye? What would “taking ownership” of saying goodbye mean to them? When we first created our piece we wanted to provide an answer to this question. With the presentation of our piece, whether that’s the drawings, the handwriting, or even the children singing the songs, we wanted to convey how children use different senses as coping mechanisms to make saying goodbye a little easier. Though, once people started to interact with it they created their own meaning for it by making their own songs from the notes or even attempting to play the song backward.  We realized that our experiences only highlighted how little adults understand about how children part ways. Children are all about the what; to them, the why and how really don’t matter. Our piece, “A Sensory So Long” (SSL), has become a commentary on how little is understood about how children part ways.

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The main function of SSL lies within the two half circles of conductive tubing surrounding the octagonal case. The tubing has a linear resistance, which allows the user to create different resistances by grounding the tube at different locations. The Arduino reads the resistance and calculates the position of the ring along the tube. The Arduino then sends the position to a Macbook hidden under the case over a serial connection, using the Firmata firmware. The info is then interpreted using a Pure Data patch that maps the Arudino input to different points in the song. This allows the user to scrub forward and backward through the song.

All the technical specifications can be found here:

YouTube / Rachel N – via Iframely

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