Friday, February 06, 2004

One questionnaire filled:

- What do you think about the project ?

Cool stuff !
I can see a lot of possibilities based on the same principle.
ok , the free text / free image thing is the first idea : graffiti / public
expression space.
But depending on the set of images and constraining the set of words, you
can radically change the meaning of the installation.
I would go for a much more authorial / editorial view, based on a very
specific theme : carefully chosen, strong images and provocative
theme/question apparent on screen to trigger and contextualize audience
input. I would even go as far as filtering user input.
I would structure images in a much more collage / clashing way. Not simply 5
horizontally aligned tiles, but image elements of any form, size, location.
I would structure the experience in time much more. Not clog all the
sentences one after the other, or each sentence replacing the previous one.
I would suggest a theme - can be just a word - a the top of the screen. Or
simply by one big striking image.
Some random ideas :
- There is the image of the body of a person, composed of hundreds of
different pictures of heads, torsoes, legs, hairs, penises, livers, wigs,
etc. You decide to ask people how they feel about the body, you will get
messages about diseases, aids, fitness, anorexia. Then you only retrieve
images based keywords on that specific thesaurus.
- We have an imaginary city that gets composed by people's dreams. Utopia.
As people text sentences about urban life, the city becomes built.
- You have random images of people talking : personalities, cartoons, film
scenes, with empty speech bubbles. When you send a text, it appears in the
bubble for a while. You could imagine that the text cycles through,
disappears for a while and comes back.
- MadLibs. There is the image of a woman dreaming at the window and a legend
with parts of the sentence written, parts empty. You can fill in the gaps.
An engine could filter words based on their type (noun/adjective/verb, etc.)
- public poetry - encourage people to write poetry, or what they are
thinking when they are in the bus, and their sentence becomes part of a
giant poem arranged in space like a tree.
- anonymous confessions - ask people to confess personal things
- You have some dramatic movie clips of Indian movies from the 50s and
people can send their own subtitles.

Another one is to image more cooperation between people, where there are
different phone numbers, or different numbers to be entered before the
message, etc. so that when you text, it appears in a different place, with a
different function, e.g. there is a round-table discussion between four
ministers / drug dealers and you can send a legend for each of them (what
they're thinking).

- Where would you see this project used ?
A lot of places - true that its use will depend totally on where it is
General as it is, it can be used as a public forum anywhere : in a club, in
a company, in the street, in a museum/theatre, where you ask for audience
feedback. You can imagine that it is moderated, or that there is a junk
filter. There are applications where you do not send your message for it to
be displayed immediately, but thoughtful comments that you want to stay for
a week.
Probably best in these public "waiting" spaces where you have nothing to do
and you're embarrassed - it would give you a reason to talk to strangers :
bus/subway stations, ATM lines (especially in dublin).
Or more political - but it on an embassy, a building about to be torn down,
etc. So that people can say what they feel about it.
Do you know the project http://www.helloworldproject.com ?

You could imagine a screen with two sides. A guy on a side, a girl on the
You encourage couples to have conversations about things that they don't
like to talk about.

- What kind of interactivity

If it is a small space, it would be good to detect presence, so that the
system can adapt its behaviour to new people coming, resetting when they're
leaving, etc.

- Other comments

keep me posted about new developments !

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