Friday, November 12, 2010

Installation + Concept note

I believe in what I see and I know I can see myself.
But sometimes I do not believe because I cannot really see myself.
I am a non-believer. But that makes me a believer of some kind doesn’t it?
And here is when I see myself caught between believing and not believing.

A few years ago, I went on a road trip with my father to a village in Maharashtra.
We were going at the time of the Wari, a procession which took place in the memory of Saint Dnyaneshwar, a worshipper of Lord Vitthal. My father had walked the Wari a couple of times earlier and listening to his recounts of the journey, the culture, the people, their conviction and belief in whom they walked had made me curious. Why did they walk?
I am not a believer in Lord Vitthal or God and I find it difficult to hold such strong convictions. If asked I would say “I believe in myself, or rather my Self”, ‘Me’, who can touch, feel and whom ‘I’ can control.
And having identified that belief I decided to walk.
Little did I know the fragility of my ‘Belief’. Only a short way into the walk and I was completely immersed in the euphoria of everything around me. The people, the music, and the walk itself were converting me. I felt the power of the space and what it was doing to the Self within it and before I knew it, I was a believer.
For that short period of time, I became a believer of Lord Vitthal. I believed in the walk, the people I walked with and for whom I walked and that is when I saw myself caught in this act of believing and non-believing.
I saw myself temporarily slipping out of believing, entering non-believing and vice-versa. My Self and my beliefs would always be something that was in constant construction from the experiences I had had and was yet to have.This experience changed the very person I was.
Identities are formed out of certain beliefs.  Believing is so internalized, that we do not know that our identities are constantly being redefined by the act of believing. Who you are in this moment, your Self, becomes the base for the experiences that await you. Your identity is being constantly reconstructed through your experiences.
How does it feel then to have your identity challenged when confronted by an alien belief?  What is it like to lose control over what you thought was your Self, to relinquish the belief that this Self was inexorable? How does your Self handle the discomfort of having its identity questioned?
As a non-believer, I walked the Wari and it made me question how I could believe that I was a non believer when in fact I believed.
And because I had questioned that to such an extent, the grounds of belief and non-belief that I stood no longer seemed as firm and compelling. I experienced a fragmentation of my identity into my own beliefs and non-beliefs,
I keep slipping in and out of who I am because my identity stems from the beliefs that I have. But if my beliefs are changing, multiplying, I am constantly being recreated as another self which is always a little different from the earlier one.
A few years ago I went for a walk and it changed the way I look at a lot of things. We don’t know what lies ahead and what experiences may transform us, empower us, or even break us. For now we are who we are and all we can do is walk as a Self within a space.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rough Skeleton of the Walk

The absolutely important part of the walk and the experience is working. My sensors are working too..

Done with my rough setup of the events that happen in the walk. Couldn't project on a LCD. The corridor has no power supply.. Had no choice but to project on my Laptop... :(

Fixing on a space to test the walk

The space with the needed props. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A quick update of the past week

Designing the walk and the experience.

Tested the walk on a number of people, people who had no clue about the project too...

Observations: The element of play is inherent to the walk since it is interactive, now the challenge is to integrate the intent smoothly in the walk- visual cues- to direct the person - yet retain the intuitiveness...

Ideas Pre-installation: Installing an actual mirror(which will look exactly like the mirror LCD inside) before the person enters in order to pre-condition the viewer. Gimmicks - Providing a coat. The person wears the coat and takes a look in the mirror before entering.
Ideas Post-installation: Getting there! something that will make the impact last from the walk even after the person has made the exit. Providing a hanger (a visual cue) for the person to remove and hang the coat?

Plan V1.0
Still deciding whether to add a visual language on the floor - 
I made a very quick walk, finalized the events that would take place in the walk (real time, delayed time, the disappearing act), printed it out on a flex so as to start visualizing in it's real scale (size of printed flex: 8 ft x 2.5 ft) actual size of the walk: 16 ft x 5 ft approximately, coded the events in processing to test the experience/impact on people. 

Tested the switch from realtime to delayed time on people. 
OBSERVATIONS: Initially it was shocking to see themselves transition from the real-time to delay-time, but eventually they became used to the impact - became more playful. Many of them kept hopping from real-time to delayed time to experience the switch at a faster pace. The impact was pretty solid and looked very interesting..
By Saturday I aim to set the space up along with the lights. Very important to see check the lighting of the space/set the mood for the experience...The amount of testing required to set up an installation just never ends. But it is also the best part because the results are never known. You never know how it may turn out to be unless and until you test it!

A rough demo

This happened two weeks ago. The Demo did give the review panel an idea of the walk with the delay but they said it wasn't enough!! so i ad to go back to my very first concept which was that, as the person goes closer to the screen(mirror) the delay starts, then the person becomes a silhouette and finally he disappears when he is closest to himself. 
I further refined and modified the concept into: there will be one entry and one exit point into the space. As the person enters, he sees himself in real time, as he goes further - the delay triggers and on his way back when he is about to exit - he turns around once more to see himself in the mirror - and he disappears...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Found an artist who very simply illustrates the interactions.
Projects by Anaisa Franco

Finally.. I got it..

PS3 Eye
Spent an entire day at Java testing the Eye with mac and then windows 7.. It works.. Good clarity, better than my mac internal webcam!
Made it work with the code too...
I feel i have achieved a big thing:)