A good reference point is often times your own self. I was walking down the hallways of Art Center one day and stopped because I was captured by the way the shadows were being cast on the floor by the window blinds and the trees outside. The flickering light was sweet and I felt peaceful for the few minutes I hung around by the windows.
I sifted through my past work to see if there were any correlations between what I am doing now and what I was doing in my previous life before my thesis began (my thesis seems to be weaving itself through all the facets of my life lately…in a good way of course. Eat, sleep, dream, thesis.). There were several projects that stood out, reminding me that the work I am doing is not coming from out of the blue. There have been running themes as well as assignments that have serendipitously correlated to my current work. Below are a few examples of my past work.
Spring 2008: In Super Studio 2, we teamed up and developed a virtual message board for mobile text messages. The Text Wall was installed into the homes of two families. Family members’ cell phones were hooked up to Twitter (a mobile text messaging system), and any text sent to an assigned number would appear projected on a designated wall space in a common area of the home. The once empty walls became a new space for storytelling, sharing and conversation.
Summer 2008: If Walls Could Talk was an interactive project created in Interactive Objects and Spaces 2 with Phil Van Allen. The project demonstrates how the infrastructure around us, namely walls, are listening, absorbing and remembering what they hear. By interacting with a wall and trying to, in a sense, channel what the walls have absorbed, we can recover soundbites of the moments that may have occurred around that space. By coming close to it with a wave of your hand or just the closeness of your presence, the wall will playback what it’s heard.
I attempted to further push the idea of the If Walls Could Talk project by creating a larger version of it in the alcove adjacent to our studio. The content was different in that the sound bites coming from the wall were about people’s speculation of the future. During this project, I also did an aesthetic exploration that, in the end, was not fully addressed. This is one of the reasons I want to spend more time exploring materials and lighting over the remainder of this term, because I believe the design of my thesis will be imperative to the final outcome of the project.