Four-Year Capsule is an interactive sculpture that plays a mixture of English and Cantonese voicemails I’ve received from my family these past few years while I’ve been living away from home. When the button is pressed by the viewer, it triggers the Arduino to play the next voicemail through the speaker. In essence, this sculpture encapsulates these small moments of the past and crystalizes them in the present. As much as it is a conscious preservation of my history and family, it also presents a mode of release. Similar to the event of a random viewer who presses the button to hear a voicemail from the sculpture, these moments in time involuntarily ebb and flow from my memory. Physically, the compact size and transparency of the sculpture mirror the level of intimacy of the content being played. It begs the questions of what is private and what is public, and which parts of myself are retained or shared. Ultimately, Four-Year Capsule is an exploration of identity and vulnerability through the concept of family in relation to memory and the inevitable passage of time.
Band practice is an interactive sculpture that features 3D printed bullfrog-like creatures. The eldest of the group and the bass on the left is Heathcliffe. Pawpaw is the center frog and he sings the lead part. Finally, Bonnie, the newest member, sits on the right and sings the melody. There is a pressure pad shaped like a lilypad that is on the ground in front of the three bullfrogs which is how the audience interacts with them. Upon pressing the lilypad the Arduino inside of Pawpaw and a wireless transmitter will tell the other two to sing. It is important for the viewer to keep in mind that this is still a practice, not a concert, there are bound to be some mistakes in their song. While I am their creator and their composer, they truly feel autonomous from me now. They are on their own path, a path that all great bands had to once take.
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours is an interactive artwork that asks viewers to share something personal in order to receive something personal about the artist in return. Participants are invited to write something embarrassing or personal about themselves on a slip of paper, fold it up, and put it in the corresponding ceramic box. After doing so, they may then press the ceramic button on the second ceramic sculpture, which prints a receipt with something personal about the artist. Both the artist and the participant are left with a physical memento of their brief, intimate interaction. In another context, it may be uncomfortable to tell a stranger your most embarrassing story; however, in this context it is anonymous and enticing. This work brings into question the connection between artists and their audiences and the exchange that occurs between them.
The internet has a fascinating tendency to draw out sensitive information. There’s an assumption of privacy and safety when you fill out a form with your most vulnerable personal data. Yet, this safety repeatedly proves to be an illusion, as that data eventually travels to the hands of another human being who can do with it as they please. Confession Fish lampoons the online tendency to indiscriminately share without thinking about where your information will land.
A confessional booth with a sign instructing the viewer to confess their regrets is the first component– this booth is intended to lull the viewer into a similar sense of anonymity and privacy that a digital space may. The viewer speaks their confession into the microphone in the booth, which is simultaneously broadcasted through the mouth of the fish. The participant would later encounter the fish and understand its connection to the booth. The questions elicited by this uniting moment are the heart of this work: Who heard what I said? Did they know it was me? Does it still remember? Is my secret no longer safe?
This work could be described as a data leak on a controlled, miniaturized scale. This relatively safe, declawed version of personal data mining guides the viewer to think about what they’re sharing and who is listening.
Many people struggle with their personal image, and they do not appreciate their own beauty or their worth when looking in a mirror. This project aims to help that issue by telling people, “You are loved” and, “You are beautiful” while they look at themselves in the mirror. Affirmation Mirror is an interactive piece that displays two positive affirmations on an RGB LED matrix. Paired with a PIR motion sensor and an Arduino Uno, this piece detects when a person walks in front of the mirror and relays that signal to the Arduino in order to display the affirmations. When hung on a wall, the mirror reflects the viewer’s image and the message shines through the mirror. In dealing with this issue myself, I wanted to create something that could not only make me think more highly of myself but also of anyone who interacts with it. By positively affirming each person who walks in front of the mirror, this piece has a goal of spreading love and hope to those who especially need it.
ERROR ERROR – is an electronic installation that comments on negative labels in society through the use of an LED matrix and electrical tape. Behind the frame houses all of the electrical components hooked up to the Arduino and the matrix itself in order for the piece to function properly. The LED matrix has a code designed to flip through positive affirmations, but there is also a part of the code that acts as a glitch in the system. We are all guided by – ERROR – emotions and feelings because it is built into all of us. There are two sides to a coin: With the positive comes the negative. Therefore, as the matrix flips through these positive affirmations and it is interrupted by the – ERROR – “glitch” in the system, it restarts in an attempt to remove the negativity. Maybe we all need a “reboot” at a point in our lives to remove the negativity and hurt from our ——- systems.
A physical vision of utopia that represents a solution which thrives to inspire the viewer to think about alternative lifestyles.
Enchanted is a framed light box that depicts a scenic view by the use of paper cut-outs. Powered by Arduino, the LED strips which line the interior of the frame shine through the 12 layers of cardstock placed before them to create a silhouetted landscape. Although a single image rather than a collection, Enchanted is dedicated to storytelling or, more specifically, the art of storytelling. Inspired by Lotte Reiniger’s iconic cut-out, silhouette style used in The Adventures of Prince Achmed, as well as Eyvind Earle’s incredibly stylized backgrounds in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted is a piece that calls back to the storybooks we loved as children. It is a reminder of the way the illustrations and the 3-dimensional pop-up creatures and castles fascinated us. It awakens in us that excitement we felt when it was time to be read to before bed.
Dream Box is a small sculpture that is a visual representation of what dreams are like. In the middle of the box, a screen displays multiple visuals. It’s a slideshow of sorts, ending in snowflakes and starting with lines moving across the screen. The screen does this by using several wires connected to an Arduino board. The wires are hidden so that they wouldn’t be too distracting from what’s happening inside. Inside the box, I’ve made everything disorienting. The furniture is all over the place and even out of reach. The chairs are on the walls, the desk is on the ceiling, and books are flying all over the walls. I wanted the Dream Box to be chaotic because I believe chaotic and disorienting dreams are the truest dreams. They are the purest form of our subconscious mind. They don’t make sense and they are wild. That is how dreams feel.
The Egg is an interactive object that adds life to the usually lifeless form of art that sculpture can be. It uses an artificial ability to sense the heat of nearby viewers and reacts to them by watching them with an alien eye. With the use of multiple sensors positioned around its form, it is able to watch and follow multiple people at the same time, having its watchful eyes follow in direction of where heat was sensed. By allowing the art piece to look back at the viewer, it creates an interesting dynamic between the viewer and the living piece of art. It is no longer just something to be looked at, but to be aware of and not assumed to be inanimate.
Introverted is a wooden, domestic sculpture reserved to a limited audience. When switched on, it has a timid glow that slowly changes color over time, selectively illuminating the environment within. In a bright setting, the colorful lights are barely visible. The insides seem plain and static. However, the darkest setting will bring out its true and less interpretable beauty. Shapes are more fantastical to behold when they are cloaked in ambiguity and softly lit in temporary places. What encloses the mystical scenery is a wooden shell which only allows the viewer to see through slivers and some larger windows that take the form of leafy branches. An overall comforting and homely feeling makes the sculpture belong inside a household, rather than in public. The piece itself feels most safe when it is less seen.
Wireworks & The Iceberg is a sculptural piece that changes depending on the temperature of its surroundings by utilizing a block of ice, wires, LED bulbs, and an Arduino. Visually, the piece starts as a block of ice with a thermistor inside of it placed in front of a firework-like web of wires with RGB LED bulbs at the ends at maximum brightness. As time goes on, the ice will melt and become a pool of room temperature water, and once it reaches room temperature the bulbs will be completely unlit. This is because the brightness of the LED bulbs is being controlled by the temperature reading obtained from the thermistor embedded in the ice.
Wireworks & The Iceberg is made to illustrate the relationship between capitalistic, technological innovation and climate change. While the global environment has maintained a functional state thus far, we are clearly seeing this state will not last forever and we will be forced to face the oncoming disaster of global warming. Despite this, technological innovation from capitalist systems care little about solving this issue and instead pursue short-term profit. This could very well be its downfall as illustrated by the lights of the “wirework” going out as the ice melts.
When faced with the issue of students with fine motor disabilities being unable to partake in artmaking, I immediately jumped to a solution, The Exploration Station. This interactive artmaking sculpture produces different results with each viewer’s, or in this case artist’s, interaction. The versatility of this interactive sculpture allows for the artist to choose their medium and canvas or paper, then they can begin making art. The Exploration Station has an ultrasonic sensor that detects motion, which then causes the Arduino to activate the servo motor. Attached to the servo motor’s arm are loose wires that hold the different artmaking supplies in place, but also allows for some free movement. Now, no matter my students’ level of ability or disability, they will be able to independently create an artwork to be proud of.