VIS147B Adam D. Kamil Gallery Online Exhibition
An online exhibition featuring interactive microelectronic artworks by twelve artists, the exhibition focuses on recreating experiences and memories that ignite the viewer's senses.
Exhibiting Artists: Emma Backman-Smith, Zongze Chen, Tanner Cislaw, Pavel Demidov, Zhiying Guan, Soyon Kim, Angel Mai, Kurumi Miyazaki, Samantha Olsen, Victoria Tse, Carl Villegas, and Charles Weigel
Sometimes you just need to escape the stress of everyday life and treat yourself to a relaxing day. My piece intends to portray this by recreating one of my own personal memories from a day when I escaped my responsibilities and relaxed on a flower-filled hill. I used microelectronics to create a scene that mimics flowers blowing in the wind. The piece consists of flowers that are attached to servo motors in order to create a swaying motion. I want to revisit this memory because of its relevance to my present-day life and my current need for another day of setting aside my responsibilities. My piece seeks to duplicate the feeling of calmness I had on that day and to provide an opportunity for the audience to connect with those feelings.
My name is Zongze Chen, and I work both as a traditional and microelectronic artist. I’m always interested in building bodily interactive experiences that take advantage of the presence of the audience. I consider the actions, reactions, and consequences created by the audience as the core parts of an immersive installation. As someone who constantly travels between countries each year, I have a lot of experience with customs and airport security checkpoints. In the time of ever-present surveillance, those security scrutinization procedures aren’t any new, but there’s hardly any other time in which the presence of authority and inspection can compete. Who’s inspecting me and what are they looking for? Yet we keep moving in a long line slowly, silently bearing the worries of rejection which carries no explanation. In this project, I want to create a sarcastic and dramatic version of going through a security checkpoint. The project consists of four gates, each paired with sensors, light indicators, and speakers. They form a sequence of checkpoints in which participants must follow every instruction given by gates to pass, and yet they still have a chance to get rejected for no reason. All instructions are given in random order each time a participant is involved. I hope people will think about why they are being moved like chess, what the security checkpoint is looking for, whether they will get rejected, and experience the anxiety that I have in my memory.
In pursuit of combining my two deepest passions, design and rock climbing, I’ve created a piece that allows the mental and the physical to converge in a captivating spectacle which I’ve titled: LIGHT-headed. While the installation is interactive and user-guided, the true visual extends from the individual that is partaking in the demonstration and provides the audience with an alternative perspective. With the help of an Arduino UNO, an ultrasonic sensor, a hangboard (a common training tool used in climbing), and a projector, LIGHT-headed provides a unique viewing experience in being able to visualize disorientation. As the user hangs for longer periods of time, the projected visual becomes more color-intensive and chaotic, lending to the theme of re-SIGHT by transcending the physical barriers of the body and being able to see one’s internal strain. The intention behind this piece is not to encourage folks to test their physical limits, but rather to provide an inside view into the world of a climber and how the mind and body synergize with one another as they defy gravity.
The Synthwave Re-Collector is a unique instrument that uses a human hand's distance from a sensor to play chords simulated through the Arduino Uno controlling a laptop's keyboard, simulating a MIDI synth player. While immersing in to the sounds, each different note that is played plays a chord for that note instead of just playing the note, in a staccato pattern. The viewer can then be posed different questions on rotating papers, hopefully bringing them to an understanding of their past, an acceptance of their present, and a taste of looking forward to the future. The joystick can be pushed in the directions given to change between major and minor chords.
When I hear the word memory, I immediately think back to my childhood. They are my oldest ones and they possess a dream-like quality, in both the feelings it evokes and the actual visuals I can recall. Some of my fondest ones revolve around theme parks and in particular the carousel, which possesses a certain element of fantasy and a dear place in my heart as a staple ride for my family and me. Such fond memories were captured on camera and that helped preserve the memories, but the age of the photographs also adds to the sense of a distant dream for me.
The Merry-Come-Back-Around mimics different phases of my childhood, from my dinosaur obsession as a young child to the point as an adolescent where I give up many of the artifacts associated with these other stages of youth. I wanted to explore revisiting these phases from my memories and captured in photos and, so the mechanism is activated by the action of taking a photograph to explore old memories, using a sensor to light up the old memories. The materials even evoked old memories, since recycling material and other household items were my childhood method of creating, and it resembles a home project accordingly.
As a photographer and microelectronics artist who is fascinated by using film photography and microelectronics, I tend to capture memories and recall emotions through storytelling in photography. I am interested in investigating ways how feelings and emotions could interact so clearly and deeply with memory, time, and space. In this art installation, I wish to recreate the environment and feelings people acquire when looking at the photos and interact to relive memories in a three-dimensional space. I specifically used cardboard, paint, film, Arduino, ultrasonic sensor, speaker, led light strips along with soldering techniques to create this art space, and objects in the scene are placed intentionally, radiating from the directions to trigger emotions. The memories I immerse my audience aren't necessarily mine, but I hope my audiences could make stories for themselves in this "living" image. My use of ocean and the boat motifs serve to heighten the message of fleeting memories like waves washing away the memory and boat sailing away for the future. The chair also creates a welcoming effect advocating for people to join. This is intended to be a place to go to for both sadness and joyfulness. The sea scene serves as a place to relax and reflect, not just by the one seen on the water, but as a place to empty the burden and think about the past while looking forward to the bright tomorrow.
As the surging stigma against mental health hushes the voices of mental struggles, empathy nowadays is largely underestimated as a power to uplift ourselves and others. Soyon Kim attempts to break through this unaddressed gap through their research and artistic practice in the field of Affective Computing, where technology promotes, understands, and responds to human emotions. But what role does art play in the scientific field of Affective Computing? With EmpatHear, Kim transforms an ‘emotionally intelligent’ system into an art installation that conveys the magnitude of impact and meaning one’s empathy can have. The project is an Arduino-based mini-phone booth, where audiences engage in a phone call with strangers recollecting their mental health. Their level of empathy towards the stranger, measured and visualized on a computer screen in real-time using their biofeedback of brain signals and skin conductance, can make or break another individual’s day. Through the combination of scientific research and artistic storytelling, EmpatHear ultimately reflects on how art can impact one’s everyday life.
Obsoletion is the call center of agnostic purgatory. It is an interactive art piece with a radio speaker and a control box powered by microelectronics. The user takes on the point of view of a soul stuck in the bureaucracy of the afterlife. While waiting for their turn to progress into what comes next, the user is called on to reflect on their lives and contemplate their pre-birth existence. Sonically harmonious classical music becomes the dreaded tedium of perpetual hold music, while celestial synthesizers blend the heavenly with the associated irritation of repetitive drones. However, there is a hint of something darker as the user tunes between the channels.
Occasionally disrupting the monotony is a wide, dissonant chord overlaid over the sounds of a screaming mass of people. Designed to induce feelings of unease, a larger story emerges as the promise of a peaceful afterlife is contended by an ever-present, cursed frequency. The form factor of a vintage radio suggests a comparison between obsolete technology and an obsolete existence. Themes of birth, life, and death are suggested underneath a veil of humor. Overall, the project is an exploration of the psychological effect of sound and the juxtaposition of earthly mundanity and spiritual divinity.
Kurumi Miyazaki, in her multimedia work 'plant your words', recreates a ‘site’ that she had experienced in her childhood. The specific memory that Miyazaki reflects in this work is her Japanese upbringing which oppresses the individuality of the youth. In her memory, Japanese institutions prohibit students from freely expressing themselves by putting regulations on their attires, makeup, length of their hair, and more. There are to be no questions asked about the rules set by society, and those who fail to follow those rules are criticized. These regulations and oppression teach the younger generation of youth that it is right to ‘fit in’ and confine individuality in order to be considered praiseworthy.The flower represents the youth and individuals that are unique on the inside but are forced to assimilate and get flattened out. The sound detector detects the sound input and moves the servo motor to open and close the petals.Overall, the floral installation poses a juxtaposition of the lack of freedom to the flowers closing up to the slightest sign of oppression and losing their beauty, and serves as a reflection on the youth in the Japanese society she was raised in.
Sam Olsen is an artist whose focus has been her nostalgia for the early 2000s. Through the use of microelectronics, she hopes to transport, rather than re-site the audience to an unforgettable era. She hopes to evoke emotions and memories through sounds that reminisce the time when she was a child. Through her project ‘Synesthesia Time Capsule’ not only with microelectronics but the visual aesthetic of the time is also being represented with toys and other gadgets embellishing the era you are being transported back to. A visualizer also accompanies the project to further immerse the viewer and put them in a trance-like state, comparative to how one feels when experiencing the phenomena of nostalgia.
By using force sensors the user will step on pads on the floor which took inspiration from the children's game of Twister as well as Dance Dance Revolution. Depending on the pad that has been triggered with a certain amount of force, a track will play with a series of audio clips that can practically be seen by hearing them. Sounds from TV Shows, Popular 00s music, games and tech, commercials, and the sound of youth itself with children playing. Olsen’s hope is that the audience gets to experience what it is like to recall a memory specific to the early 2000s, a time that she looks upon fondly and constantly remembers.
Thank You for Living with Us Today. Here is Your Receipt is a piece that simulates the viewer’s mortality to compel reflection on the ephemerality of life. Through microelectronics synced to a thermal printer, I aim to trigger a fissure in the normal complacency we often settle in by presenting the jarring hypothetical of their own death on an otherwise casual day. The small unassuming scale juxtaposes the gravity of the interactive component of microtechnology; the act of writing and printing the viewer’s own obituary hypersensitizes the temporality of life and the fragility of their own existence. It encourages introspection on the satisfaction of their own life by posing questions like “what has your life amounted to?” The piece echoes the theme of the group exhibition: a technological investigation of the nexus between world-building and memories.
“Temporality” and “mortality” are themes often integrated into my practice; the exploration of our fleeting existence and the philosophies of individual purpose centers my work. My creative process involved establishing my intentions for my place in the group exhibition; rather than focusing on a system based on only my memories, I was more interested in building an interactive space that allows the viewer to explore themselves and their own memories. My piece is merely a mechanism in which you could use to explore within yourself; it gives back to you as much as you are willing to give it.
Carl Villegas is an engineer and artist in his 4th and last year of undergraduate education. Shadow of the Day is a dynamic shadow box that serves as a retrospective of his time in college that reflects significant memories and the emotions he held throughout his 4 years. The main theme is shadowing since shadows are associated with things gone by. He has made shadow boxes in the past of scenes of shows and popular media he enjoys, but with this piece, he hopes to bring a more personal story to its audience that revisits a core memory for some, college life.
Charlie Weigel’s project discusses the downsides of audio listening technology and reflects on the idea that memories are always being created in realtime. Charlie uses the saying "a fly on the wall" and a fly trap to symbolize how past conversations and memories can be misinterpreted or taken out of context over time. The fly contains a recording device that uploads words to a website using speech recognition. The website is full of overheard words which serves as the constant unnoticeable surveillance present in our society. The words are also randomized on the website, taking them out of context from their original phrase. website: https://charliedoubleu.github.io/fly-on-the-wall/