Hyperessay: Windows to the Heart (Coelho, 2018)

About the Artist

Marcelo Coelho – The rising pied piper to the world of interactive media is a Brazilian designer/artist that sets his focus on interactive installations, photography and robotics. Being a contemporary artist of this age, he made a proper mark on the current art scene by relating to current issues and first world problems. This made him highly retable among the crowd and even though he is understated, his works are slowly emerging to be among the worldwide praise.

Coelho wants to challenge the masses’ perception of material goods and this drive won him several recognitions like the Designer of the Future award and an honorary mention for Interactive Art. He has many memorable works and some of them include Sandcastles (a collaborated work with another artist), Hyperform and Windows to the Heart (WTTH). I chose him as a subject to my hyper essay and here is why.

http://www.cmarcelo.com/window-to-the-heart/

http://www.cmarcelo.com/window-to-the-heart/

Background Information

Early this year, Times Square Arts introduced the winner of this year’s Time Square Valentine Heart Design and Coelho’s work emerged as the top! Windows to the Heart (2018) graced the streets of New York Times Square, a bedazzling resin-made set up that lit up the vicinity during Valentine’s Day. Many couples got proposed in front of the very set-up and it marks a very significant moment for them. The iconic area is an effective symbol of the digital age, where people are so affluent with the upkeep of the ever-advancing technology.

Locals and tourists stroll under the pulsating lights of the ever towering digital billboards and advertisements. In this aspect, the Time Square is an emblem of a physical manifestation of our culture, the digital age where the documentation of daily life is represented on tiny squares through social platforms – A way to glorify the mundane. The use of digital devices became prevalent, instead of appreciating the moment, we choose to view reality behind the tiny screens of our phone, firing the shutters away. Being one of the world’s most Instagrammed area, the location reflected the rationale behind the very project.

Rationale/Analysis

The camera lens, an unsung hero of our computer age is quintessential in our daily life right now. Windows to the Hearts installation is 3D printed using clear resin to pay tribute to the Fresnel-type lens. Coelho retained the optical effect of an actual camera lens as an attempt to triumph over ancient methods of lens making – This provides a mean for participating audiences to reimagine the world they frequently photograph.

As a huge embodiment of camera lens, WTTH serves as a reminder to not forget the fact that reality is distorted when viewed through mediums as such through all the filtering and sharing.  In doing so, they misrepresent the very fundamentals of seeing. One of the astounding facts is that WTTH, a 3 meters wide Fresnel lens is the world’s largest lens. This aspect is a unique selling point to Coelho’s work.

People can interact with the very work by putting their heads through the heart-shaped window to be photographed. The actual magic happens when the material of the installation optically bends and distort the lights that are reflected against the surface. Fuel by the city lights, the entire structure comes to life. The role of the participants become crucial because, without their participation, the rationale behind the work cannot come through. Being an interactive media, the main purpose is to communicate.

Conclusion:

As this set-up stands alone in the grounds of Times Square waiting for engagement from the users, it becomes impossible for Coelho’s work to perform if no participation and response were gathered at the end of the day through physical activity within a responsive environment. In view, participants can be seen as part of the work, spectators who are photographing the set-up become collaborators. All these aspects contribute significantly to the experience of the art piece. The terminology “audience” may be referred to as passerby who is viewing an installation. The activator then becomes a player, and viewing members, in turn, becomes spectators. When an action is taken, their role morphs into a collaborator. WTTH can be used as a collaborative experience, especially when it is placed in such a prominent location.

Coelho’s artworks balanced the different components in an aesthetically pleasing yet enlightening (literally) way. He employed a light-hearted technique to deliver his message across to the general public and this allowed him to reach more beyond a specific age group of target audience. People of different generation can come together and enjoy his captivating work of art and it is one without language, age or gender barrier.

Video Reference as follow: 

References: 

  • http://www.cmarcelo.com/#/window-to-the-heart/
  • https://www.designboom.com/tag/marcelo-coelho/
  • http://arts.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/artists/marcelo-coelho/index.aspx
  • http://bustler.net/news/6106/aranda-lasch-marcelo-coelho-s-12-foot-diameter-window-to-the-heart-wins-2018-times-square-valentine-competition
  • https://www.archdaily.com/tag/marcelo-coelho

MARCELO COELHO – I Choose You

This is Marcelo Coelho. Never knew of him until I started this research phase, and I have to say his works are one of the most impressive few I’ve come across! He placed a lot of emphasis on the rationale behind every one of his live installations and focuses on the boundaries between matter and computation. His installations appeared at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Opening Ceremony as well as many other renowned museums worldwide. Being a Brazilian computation artist and designer, he also curated many wearable products and robotics. 

To briefly sum it up, I enjoyed this work titled “Window to the Heart” where the whole fixture was made of resin. (how very expensive!) Situated at the Times Square during the period near Valentine’s Day (2018), a few couples got proposed at the very spot where the illuminated installation was placed. I’ll delve deeper into the artwork in future time, but here are some visuals for you in the meantime. 

These are the top 3 most intriguing works, if you’re interested, please click! 

Window to the Heart

Alike

Beyond Vision

Installation: Find Jane

Hello Everyone!

This is Project #FindJane.

First of all, I have put together a short video of our Installation which documented processes and feedbacks from our dearest classmates and lecturer!

Press play to begin.

 

Some background information about this project: 

Find Jane is an installation that uses various mediums such as sound, video projection and physical space to allow the viewer to trace the footsteps of Jane as she falls victim to a stalker.

Uncovering the mystery of Jane’s call for help and eventual disappearance, the viewer will be exposed to her experiences through a third character – The detective. Using various social media platforms and manipulating sound and space, it proves to show our over-reliance on the Internet holds many dangers for those around people who confuse the virtual world and reality. Our mixed media installation targets young teenagers, especially those between the age of 13 and 18, and warns them about the dangers of the Internet and social world.

 

The exterior of our installation: 

We made use of mainly garbage bags & raffia strings to corner up a little area for our set-up. As the room belongs to a stalker, we envisioned it to look nothing less than creepy. With the use of garbage bags, we blocked out almost 90% of the surrounding lights, giving the atmosphere an extra boost of eeriness.

Some bits and pieces of the detailing:

In the interior of the room, the only source of light comes from a dimly-lit table lamp. The light which reflects against the wall would then reveal the stalker’s underlying fetish. We ensure that the photos on the wall were sufficient enough to appear like he was indeed crazy over Jane. This might just be the highlight of our installation as it would be the first thing viewers notice as they walk through the flap of garbage bags.

Cake with a candle on top. A representation of his “big day” (birthday). It is the very first indication which hints the purpose of his capture.

A birthday card he wrote to himself to establish his oddish personality – alongside with a camera to reinforce his photo-taking habits.

A calendar marked with his birthday – Hints his excitement to “meet” Jane, for every day nearing his birthday is a day closer to seeing Jane again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stalker’s attempt to print out Jane’s weekly timetable – it only showed how overly obsessed he was. He kept track of her movements, constantly. All of the hearts indicated the time period where he would get the chance to see her as she passed by the security guard house.

 

His retrenchment letter alongside a Security ID Card. Established his current financial and emotional state – at lost and desperate. It also helps viewers to link back to how they met, which is through his daytime job as a security at her secondary school.

 Newspaper scattered all over the floor, specifically news on Jobstraits. Some jobs were either circled or crossed out. It provides insights that he is desperately on a lookout for a new job.

Notes against his window that speaks about his misses and longingness. All these details are inserted with the intention to hammer on the idea of his psychotic delusions.

On Carousell: The stalker’s attempt at cheating Jane to meet him.

Ambience Noise:

This was recorded in an extremely echoey setting so as to reinforce the idea of being kidnapped in a god forsaken place. The soundtrack was looped to enhance the audience’s experience as they immerse themselves in the “stalker scene” setting.

 

Additional information on Character Profiling:

Purpose of this installation:

What is an installation without an objective, right? At the end of the day, the main message we wish to send out to the young masses of teenagers out is the danger of social media and how we should practice safe usage of the internet at all times. Everday, we are airing so much of our personal details online – regardless if its photographs or private information. However, beyond just our own circle of friends, we would never know who else is viewing our profile.

Our set is inspired by: 

‘Perfect Blue’, Directed by Satoshi Kon

and ‘Stalker’s Room’ by Eleanor Bull ( http://cargocollective.com/eleanorbull/Stalker-Room )

We adapted its sense of chaos and desperateness and incorporated it into our installation.

 

Overall, we are really happy to be given a chance to work on an actual installation as it is our very first ever experience!