What I have done so far
So for the analogue part of the project I created a cloth room that provided a space for people to pause and rest. The installation reformed a space such participants felt confused yet calm.
This was a reflection of my current state of mind, that is I felt like there was something missing in my life. I do not know what it is, but it’s okay, because I feel okay. And I want people to know this as well. It is alright to not know everything, it is okay not know where you are going, it is okay to wander.
Create a space where people can ultimately feel calm.
So for the setup, I used the truss room. I hung of the cloth walls by using the metal truss in the truss room. However, I realised that if I used the truss for all 4 walls, the cloth walls would be too short. And thus I decided to add my own bamboo poles to create a smaller room. (but still sizable enough to have the effect that I want.) To hang it on the poles I used typical household clothes pegs.
For the cloth, I used satin as I loved the comforting soft and cold feeling that satin gave. As compared to cotton (which I was offered at first at joo chiat complex).
I also placed a vanilla scented candle in room to give it a calming scent and placed a standing fan to make the walls bellow in the wind. This makes it seem like the room itself was also breathing. Surah Yaseen was also playing in the background.
What it looked like:
So how did the installation work.
- I would get the participant to close their eyes.
- Then I would lead them by the hand to the center of the room.
- When the reach the center of the room they would have to take 8 deep, long breaths.
- Once they are done with their 8 breaths, they can open their eyes.
- When they open their eyes, they will see a poem at the end of the room.
- They would then have to complete the poem by taking the panels of the floor and fit it into a frame at the end of the room. After which they can exit whenever they feel ready.
Review and reception
So out of the roughly 30 people I brought over to experience my project, all of the participants gave relatively good reviews. About 7 participants gave very strong responses (overwhelmingly positive, which I identified as speechlessness, teary eyed, excitedness when talking about my artwork after). Almost all of them stated that they felt calm while inside the space.
What did I do well
- I managed to engage almost all the senses to create an immersive experience.
- The 8 breaths was a really good start to reset the participant’s perception. An this made the impact of suddenly being in a white room a lot stronger.
- The idea was simple, yet very powerful because of the execution
side note: A happy accident that worked well was using clear acrylic and layering them to complete the poem because when the poem is complete, the clear acrylic becomes like a mirror of sorts and the participant sees themselves. And this worked well with the theme and the aim of the project.
What can I do better
- Two participants felt like they were at a funeral. One of them was muslim and felt this because of the white cloth and the religious prayer. The other participant while not muslim also recognized the background prayer as religious and felt like the white cloth made him feel as if he was at funeral.
- A few participants thought that the artwork had a religious connotation. And this is something that I don’t want.
- A few participants thought that the poems were instructions. Bridgel thought that she had to run out of the room
- A few participants felt that the beginning part of the installation was really good, but after they finished the poem, there was nothing else to do.
Adding the technology
When adding the technology what do I want to achieve.
- It should add to the end experience, to make it as impactful as the start experience so that the participant ends on a high note too.
- The idea should still be very simple but very strong and impactful.
Idea 1) If I have all the resources and all the money in the world
place huge tv screens behind the cloth walls. The cloth walls also would be thinner and more translucent. The TV walls then would play a different video when the poem was complete to give a “trippy experience” eg. Of what falling through the skies, or of being in the clouds. The tv walls could also mak the room much bigger than it actually is.
Idea 2: To use Projection mapping
Innitially I thought maybe something could be projected on the cloth wall and an animation could play when the poem was completed however, I do not like this because the projector would create this white lighted rectangle even when the animation is not playing and I think this would break immersion.
The other option is to project on the exit entrance wall as the participant would most likely be facing away from it during the experience and an animation can play as they exit.
Idea 3: To create a cloth LED flowed X 1000+++
So I am thinking of adding a layer of cloth flowers with LED lights to the roof to create a LED cloth flower roof. The LED light will also be covered with a layer of plastic, so that I can also play with shadows. This roof will then light up and pulse when the poem is completed.
I like this idea mainly because it is very simple, but made amazing through scale.