This project is a physical experience of a German children’s story, Die Gar Traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug. The story is about a girl who is left home alone with her two cats, plays with matches, and accidentally sets herself on fire.
The juxtaposition between the project and the story lies in the fact that the user must play with fire in order to experience the story, and the moral of the story is not to play with fire. Through the manipulation of objects related to the children’s tale (a cat, a matchbox, a picture of a little girl, a pair of shoes, a casket, and a shoe-box house) the experiencer navigates through the story without ever reading it.
Though the story is narrated, and that narration is triggered by some objects, the story is not exposed to the user. The narration is in the story’s original language: German, meaning the user hears the story being told, but doesn’t understand what’s being said. The German narration, the images pasted onto the inside of the roof, and the cues on the objects hint towards the story, encouraging user interaction.
We chose to use the book “The Doubleday First Guide to Birds” for our project. We decided we wanted to code a simple video game. Since our book had no narrative to follow, we had a lot of room to interpret it as we like.
We centered our game about bird watching. The game is to be played by four people, each player controls their own character on the screen, which is represented by a pair of binoculars, and their objective is to collect birds from the “play area” and to trade them with each other.
The game is played with each character looking at the same computer monitor. Upon startup of the page, they can see a stylized game board that is divided into four quadrants which represent the domain for each player’s icon to move in. Four species of bird can be seen flying around the laptop screen:
the scarlet tanager (red) the bluejay (blue)
the tree swallow (green) and the meadowlark (yellow)
Each player uses their own smartphone as a controller, connecting to the webpage for their user by scanning the associated QR code. The object of the game is to collect all 4 of your bird species, at which point you receive a “winning” message, and the rest of the players receive a “losing” message.
AerForge is a project about change, and how the different spaces in which we create change the creation itself. The entity with which the user interacts transitions through realms and dimensions of creation, exploring and connecting the environments we learned in class.
To begin with, the AerForge experience is intangible. The user draws an imaginary line into the air in front of them, and out of thin air comes a visual. Projected on a screen in front of the user is the line they began to draw, and as the user continues to move their hand through nothing, they create something. Thin columns appear on the projection, their height matching the height of the user’s line. With a wave, the user rotates the projected image and out of lines and columns emerges a form. Though empty-handed, the user is able to create and engage with a virtual object. The user places their hands out in front of them, palms up as if asking for something. This gesture cues the virtual object to be downloaded and sent to a 3D printer. The final transformation brings AerForge into the physical world, and into the hands of the user.
We created a pair of gloves that warm up when you make a fist, press your hands together, or hold somebody’s hand. The main components are conductive pressure sensing fabric, conducting warming fabric, hand-sewn fleece lining, and a store-bought outer layer. The Eeontex Pressure Sensing Fabric is our sensor, which triggers a current to run through the Thermionyx Non-Woven Warming Fabric.
This project began as a tattoo design. A friend of mine, who over the years has owned approximately nine snakes and six other reptiles, wanted a tattoo of a small ball python around her ankle. To design this tattoo was my original intent, but due to the limitations on drawing that exist when coding rather than using traditional materials, I took the theme of snakes, and went in a different direction.
The role snakes play in mythology peaked my interest while I was researching types of snakes. Due to their ability to shed their skin, they were often associated with immortality and healing, which has carried on to this day, at least to the extent that entwined serpents are the symbol for medicine/physicians. Snakes are often representative of the underworld, as well, and the mythical. From dragons to Medusa, snakes play a key role in monsters, magic, and ethereality. These are the themes that became the foundation for the project, Eidolon, which itself means an apparition or ideal.