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ON INTIMACY

Arduino Uno, 3D Print, wires, found leaves, HC-SR04PING sensor | 2019

Usually, when I try to think of ideas for the major projects, there would be one word or an image I can only think of and I would be unable to think of anything else. It almost feels like a psychic calling, but because I can’t think of something else that means I have to make the project based on that word. The word “ribcage” wouldn’t get out of my head, and for these past months, I have been pondering the concept of intimacy. After a few bitter experiences with general relationships, now and then when people approach me I wonder what they want from me. Because of this subtle distrust, even when I think that I want to grow closer to someone, when they approach me, I back out.

This piece uses the HC-SR04 PING sensor to detect approaching motion, and according to the motion it detects, the wires attached with two micro servo motors control the movement of the 3D printed ribcage. The dry leaves in the center are from the winter shrubs, and the rest are soldered wires and white 3D printed filaments. To display the opening and closing of the ribcage explicitly, I used a Dremel tool to shave down the spine part of the 3D print to allow smooth opening movement. However, the robotic movements did not move as planned, and rather than a continuous movement that allowed clear opening and closing of the ribcage, it displayed quite a different result. The unexpected movements and sounds of the servo motors allowed it to have a mind of its own which was a serendipitous outcome.

 
 

MEMORY PROCESSOR

3D printed interactive structure, string lights, bowl, paint, water | 2018

This projects invites the viewer to come into a dark room and interact with a small, dome structure adorned with string lights. The structure has a water basin underneath, and small sheets of paper, a pen, and a pencil is provided on the side. One of the slips of paper says “By feeding this Basin your written concerns / past, your sorrows will dissolve away”, and instructs the viewer to write down their concerns and put it under the dome. When I presented this project, I asked for the viewers to go into the dark room one at a time and instructed to not tell anyone else about what happened in that room.

My intentions of this project was to create an engaging environment where participants can be as honest and personal as they want. Recently I was under the impression that a lot of people I encountered did not have a healthy outlet of their stress because they did not wish to be vulnerable by sharing their concerns. I had hoped to create a reflective platform where users can be comforted without having to be vulnerable.

Actual outcomes of this project was delightful. As soon as I brought back the dome structure and all other components, participants asked whether if they could create another paper slip, which for me indicated great amount of viewer engagement as well as their satisfaction with the project. Participants also said that they felt like their finals week stresses were relieved so it was joyous to hear that this project had accomplished its goal.