Narrative & Art-Making Through Digital Interfaces

Research explorations for this proposal arose from the intention of working with interactive projections mapped to various surfaces and structures resembling those of botanical origin. Ideally, these projections will be rendered in real-time and pertain directly to a deeply personal interaction between the spectator and the sculptures. The animations will be driven by various forms of information received from the individual. We expect a randomized collection of data to be generated from these interactions due to lack of strict guidance and limitations as to how one interacts with a sculpture, its parts, and in what way. 

The types of artifacts that could serve as possible interfaces in this exhibit include video in devices, audio input devices, various sensors that receive data from human interaction, Arduino, projectors and software. The idea of this piece is aimed purely at the individual. We intend to target self-infatuation and obsession in relation to the environment. To do this, the instances of interaction must be participatory, but not collaborative. In a lot of ways, we are striving to mimic the type of environment similar to many social media platforms where growth/ profit is directly related to the quantified form of its users’ attention. 

That being said, the sources of research for this proposal have mostly surrounded forms of interface that can be used to bridge the gap between nature and humans. The types of interactions can be an active gesture of physical touch, or an involuntary capture of the user responding to the system. The latter of the two would require several mechanisms for recording instantaneous reactions from the user at a random time. This led me to research the broad category of biosensors and various applications of these devices in immersive exhibitions. 

Saša Spačal uses various forms of biosensors in her installations, which often focus on the emerging biotechnologies of today. In the exhibit, Myconnect, Spačal uses symbiotic interactions between organisms to generate a circuit of signals and impulses that are eventually translated into some form of observable feedback. Most of Spačal’s work incorporates one or multiple types of biosensors. These biosensors are typically used to gather information about the spectator’s physical presence and uses this data to drive a system of organisms uncommonly associated with humans. There is a translation factor that always happens in the middle of these exhibitions that reveals an unconventional overlap between society and the environment. 

There are many ways in which this technology could be applied to Changing Nature’s proposal. The most obvious option of integration would be to use biosensors as a form of data input. This data could stem from the heart rate, breathing, CO2 emissions, blood pressure, etc. of the spectator and used to demonstrate a deeper connection between user and botanical lifeforms via scientific evidence. 


10.1145/1056808.1056851 Aitch H.

Sato, M., Poupyrev, I., et al. Touché: Enhancing touch interaction on humans, screens, liquids, and everyday objects. In CHI’2012. ACM. 

Cassinelli, Á., Perrin, S., Ishikawa, M., Smart laser-scanner for 3D human-machine interface. in CHI EA’05, 1138-1139. 

Ivan Poupyrev, Philipp Schoessler, Jonas Loh, Munehiko Sato. “Botanicus Interacticus: interactive plants technology,” ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 Emerging Technologies, Los Angeles, USA, August, 2012 

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