Project Development / by MK luff

New ideas/questions

-What if the chairs invited you to sit? When you got close they offered a place for you to relax, when you sat they were constantly and nervously checking to make sure you were okay, to see if you needed anything else.

-Incorporating ways in which we miscommunicate by adding another sculptural element that was like a speaker above the bean bag that people could speak in to and then whatever they said would be altered and re-shared elsewhere in the room (could be shared as audio, visually, etc.)

-People don’t view this as sexual, it tends to feel welcoming, comforting, and a lot of people related it to mothering and nurturing - How can I use this to my advantage and what does it allow me to say?

-What if the chairs moved? They could roll around and if they bumped into you apologizes or keep following you around apologizing

-What if they invited you to sit, but everytime someone sat they deflated a little more.

Thesis Concept

I think my final thesis project lies somewhere between the last two projects I discussed, but I’m still struggling with how it comes together as an actual installation. I’m interested in the idea of communication between genders, the ways in which women’s voices are often silenced or only believed when they receive support and validation from men.

The first thing that comes to mind is some kind of visual representation of the ways Yes and No can be manipulated. This relates to the ways in which women aren’t always believed or are constantly undermined. When men are taught that if a woman says no what she really means is maybe, or change my mind.

No - denial - noncommittal - ambiguous - mystifying - magical - marvelous - breathtaking - appealing - tempting

Using only synonyms it’s possible to go from No to Tempting in only 10 words. A direct command of No can be twisted and manipulated so far to a point where it turns the tables and instead of its original mean turns into a tempting and open call.

Similarly with the word Yes we can go from Yes to Unstable in only 10 words.

yes - Precisely - sure - persuaded - influenced - changed - reversed - opposite - inconsistent - unstable 

Language is so easily manipulated. I want to bring people into a situation that twists and manipulates their communication and blurs the lines of communication. Showing people that even the simplest statements can be read in multiple ways, sometimes to your benefit sometimes to your detriment.

Additional Notes

1.) Miscommunication

I’m starting to view this as a combination of the first two projects I wrote about. I’ve been working with found glass objects lately to start creating new sculptures and I think this would be an interesting medium for this project. Using found objects and manipulating them/repurposing them fits in with this theme manipulating memories and thoughts.

-First part of the sculpture would be where people input their own personal experience. I think this would be an audio to text interaction where peoples audio is converted into the text that is then processed through the rest of the sculpture and manipulated.

-Text is analyzed and the words are run through a thesaurus several times to start manipulating the meaning. Only 6 clicks through a thesaurus and I was able to go from happy to demon.

happy - upbeat - fond - addicted - fanatic - demon

-I could use the found glass to create almost speaker like sculptures where the new sentences (after being run through a thesaurus) are being read out.

-Have the program look for certain words that I could then relate to color. (ie. emotional words like “sad = blue”). These colors could be projected through certain parts of the sculpture and then change as the words themselves change. How would a color change from happy to demonic?



2.) Bodies

I’m testing out an idea for this for my interactive installations midterm. I’m creating a a simple bean bag chair but with a few modifications to make it resemble a breast. There will be a sign next to the chair encouraging people to “Please, make yourself comfortable”. When people sit on the chair it will let off a sigh.

I want to explore this concept of how women especially are expected to place another persons needs and comfort above their own needs. This happens in a range of situations that can be both sexual and non-sexual. Kind of like how a sigh can be something sexual or simply a sigh of relief.

I like working with the human form so for the moment using body parts that are traditionally associated with the female form makes sense. But as I expand on this idea I’m trying to figure out additional representation of female form and interactions that could be more inclusive. While women often put the comforts of others above their own the same thing happens within the female community, with female PoC, trans and non-binary folk having to put the comforts of white women above their own comforts and even safety. While I can not create artwork that speaks for those communities I can try to create something that talks about how women can both be the victim of and implicit in perpetuating these problems.

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Project #1 - Miscommunication

Users are asked to input a brief memory or emotion of some sort. Those words are then taken and run through a process that pulls synonyms for each word in the sentence, reformulating the sentence multiple times until it is so distorted it bares no resemblance to the original sentence.

Sculptural component - each time a new sentence is generated it is displayed on a screen that is covered by some sort of glass sculpture. The glass sculpture further distorts the text image adding to the distortion of the memory/emotion. 

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Project #2

Drawing inspiration from Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories and from sculpture artist Amber Cowan., I’d like to create a non-linear storytelling experience. The sculpture would be created from found materials. In order to experience different parts of the story you would have to interact with different parts of the sculpture very closely and intimately. It would not be possible to experience all of the sculpture/story at once and you would have to slowly gather information from each interaction.

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Project #3 Bodies

Multiple soft foam casts of feminine forms that people can touch, sit on, and physically interact with. Each one would produce different sounds ranging from calming ambient tones to cheerful laughter. The initial encounter would be crafted to be playful, sparking joy and putting people at ease, but with an underlying thought of how women are frequently relied upon as support even when it is to their discomfort or without their consent.