Construction: For the second phase of the project, I twisted two wires to reinforce its strength before taking a third wire and twisting it around the wire loops. The result is a slightly more rigid, yet flexible piece of metal that can be readjusted often to change the path, and hence the difficulty level of the game.
I tested the overall conductivity and found that it was acceptable, so I begun daisy chaining the wire circuit with a 9 volt battery. After testing the circuit again, I begun soldering everything together. I also added a piezo board to give players a feedback in the event that the wire loop made contact with the wire maze. I added a switch just as safety so that players can wear the suit and link with the maze before someone else switches it on.
The rationale behind the project became clear as soon as I was halfway involved in the construction. I toyed around with the idea of someone being trapped in a cage of his/her own making, while constrained to a path of someone else’s making. Players engaged in traversing through the path will eventually come to the understanding that successfully passing through the gauntlet isn’t the end, and that we must all forge our own path. Yet we are compelled to define ourselves in the eyes of someone else by putting on a suit ( or an identity ) before playing this game.
So for my assignment, I’ve decided to create the penultimate in looking glass technology. I’ve decided to hot glue all 6 pairs of glasses.
I also decided to experiment with the idea of warping someone’s line of sight as I realized that adding additional lenses wasn’t entirely going to increase the overall degrees. It was more of the individual curvature that was affecting the sharpness of the image.
I then decided to pull apart a pair of binoculars and pull out a prism, then experimented with turning the individual pieces laterally to manipulate the depth perception. I created a circular rig around the two prisms and attached it to two different steel hooks. The hardest part was in keeping the lens from sliding down, so they had to be kept tension before I started gluing them together.
Once that was done, I hooked them up to a plastic glass frame, and added a pair of double convex lenses, but only to act as a polarizing filter. The types of lenses used were optical inserts, old discarded spectacles and binocular lenses.
If there is anything that could be improved, It would be the overall weight, or the way that it is mounted on the user’s eye. Since it’s a little too heavy to be worn for extended periods, a better way to wear it would be to strap it on a pair of goggles bound together with elastic leather straps.
For my project, I’ve decided to work on a steel wire mesh suit. This idea came into fruition as I was looking at pictures of bear suits and Iron maidens. I had initially thought of using flexible steel or bronze plates, but eventually settled with steel wires due to budgetary constraints. The material chosen also came with its own set of disadvantages. Firstly, weaving the suit was slightly difficult. There was an alignment issue with the helmet in terms of overall diameter and straightness of vertical columns. I initially used a single piece of wire for the vertical columns, but as soon as I begun work on the chest piece, I decided to weave the vertical columns one at a time to avoid the issue of having to cross over and under the horizontal wires.
I also gave some leeway for the belly area as I wanted others to be able to wear the suit. Once that was weaved, I attached the helmet on top of it, and soldered the cross sectional areas as there were pieces of steel wire sticking out. The easiest way to solder the loose ends was to align them with the adjacent wires so that it would only require as little surface area of contact to solder together.
The initial idea was to have a self-contained air conditioning suit that would cool the user through the use of numerous ice cubes, which are suspended around the rig. However, just wearing the suit itself and keeping it on is a feat in and of itself. I recommend that everyone give this experience a try as it’ll change the way that they perceive and interact with the world.
I was initially thinking about doing a giant cockroach suit and moving around in public to film their reactions, but I guess someone else had done it already, so there goes that idea… However, in my defense I was just thinking of getting a giant suit rather than filling up a suit filled with actual cockroaches. The niche field of cockroach reactions have already been filled.
I was less certain that my second idea would be free for the taking afterwards, and sure enough, there were numerous art exhibitions where there was nothing being presented . I was initially thinking about doing this as a joke, and although there was an instance where Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring put such an exhibition to prank gallery visitors, (Link) this idea had been taken seriously by Andy Warhol in his artwork titled: Invisible sculpture, and John Cage’s noiseless 4’33, where he just sits in front a piano and does nothing. It was at this point where I was beginning to simultaneously lose faith in humanity and increase my motivation to try something more worthwhile.
To approach the third idea, I had three rules that I wanted to stick to. I don’t think that everyone needs to follow this method, but I feel that it helps me to focus on what I want. The first was to ask how much the project cost, and the second was to ask if this installation is going to be practical and easy to make. The third was to see if audiences are more than willing to participate or interact with it.
Hence, I came up with a third idea of making a string sculpture that everyone can contribute to. Since this isn’t entirely a novel concept in an of itself, I decided that this idea should have some form of twist, or include an additional element like papers, plastic bags or pieces of different colored fabrics. Another idea would be to soak each one of them in different brands of soaps and act as a sort of aromatic trail for the viewers. Not all of them are going to be scented, so they’ll have to figure out where they would like to go. Another idea would be to demarcate the region with tape and create an “empty” space that is also filled with annotations.
Another idea I had was to basically freeze as many ice cubes as possible before placing them on a metal framework, which would in turn be affixed to the person. The idea would be to create a small pocket of cold air around the person. I had the other idea of fusing multiple ice cubes together with a little bit of water before placing them back into the freezer. The only problem with this idea is the collection of ice cubes, and the construction of the framework itself.
Constructing a seamless dome shaped helmet by fusing the ice cubes together might work, although I feel that this would most likely be a one-off project that can only be shown as a recording, and not something that can be demonstrated in-class afterwards.
Update 20/2/2018 I’ve added a framework for the ice rack. My approach was to weave together a helmet mesh using only steel cables. Instead of welding them together, i decided to loop every section of the wire onto each other, creating a mesh that resembled more like a barbed wire fence. I made sure to avoid cutting myself, while keeping the cables in tension, while checking to make sure that there weren’t any sharp edges facing inwards. Once the framework was complete, I decided to go for a more freestyle approach, weaving in any direction and seeing where it would take me. Although this particular project was meant more for the next assignment, I thought it would still be noted as part of my research as I could carry over aspects of spacial navigation.
The frame could also be looked at as a miniature for something much larger. It could be a space where cold air is blown in a small dome through the use of fans and ice cubes (like a reverse sauna), or it could be the framework for hanging together coloured strings. The idea would be to create a space where people can cool off after a hard day at work.
For our project, we’ve decided to choose a hundred pages of journal entry, all of which would be taped together vertically to form a kind of modern tapestry. The idea would be to place it against the wall or have it dangling, and have people who are curious to walk past it and analyse it. Since it has been some time since that journal was completed, I have almost no idea what I have written. Most of them are mere descriptions of my location and some others are more esoteric in nature. Nonetheless, among the receipt descriptions, license plates and technical jargon, there exists posts where I might’ve written my darkest inner thoughts.
I had the pages photocopied and cut to size as the scanned images aren’t in A4, after that was done, we fastened them from end to end with clear tape. Makoto was then in charge of securing the space in which to hang the artwork. However, as the schedule was tight, we were unable to get a slot to book the area, so we setup the assembled pieces near the atrium area and take a couple of shots of us unraveling the tapestry.