Micro-Project 2 – Crowd-Sourced Art 1 Join 1 Flick


1 Join = 1 Flick

The objective of the work is to allow the crowd to participate in my conditioning. An example of conditioning is training the test subject to react to certain triggers, in this case my group has conditioned me to react to a new ‘joined’ notification by anticipating a flick on my forehead.

We uploaded a post on Instagram to preempt the audience of our project but we did not reveal the purpose of it. Then, we started an Instagram live video that can be accessed by my followers. We started off the project by using tickling as an action and using likes as a trigger. As the participants were either my friends or acquaintances, they enjoyed the little exercise quite a bit by leaving comments such as ‘I spammed likes, tickle him harder’ and so on. They did not take it seriously as they were able to feel satisfied with low consequences as ‘flicking’ was not inherently dangerous. After a while, I stopped reacting to the tickles as I was used to them and the participants were able to spam likes on a live story, making the reaction less responsive.

We decided to create a better conditioning by changing it to flicking my forehead as an action and joining/leaving a comment on my live chat as a trigger. Whenever someone comes to watch the live video, a notification will appear and state ”XXX joined”. When that happens, either Li Xuan or Han Yun will give me a flick on my forehead. After awhile, I become accustomed to the feeling of getting flicked whenever a new person joined, and I had some anticipatory reaction even when the two of them did not flick me. At that point of time, I still flinched whenever new somebody joined as I was conditioned.

The creators of the project were both the crowd and the test subject (me). Without the participants, the work will not achieve the intended outcome as I will not get flicked and be conditioned. It was different than the classic conditioning done by Ivan Pavlov – refer to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iawj42z4dPM , as my project involved a crowd that was essential to making the conditioning work. Unlike his experiment having a constant, mine did not have one as my participants were a variable. They were able to choose whenever and how many times they want to appear.

How are we so sure that the participants (my friends) would join the live chat and watch me get flicked? We based it off the schadenfreude experience. Schadenfreude is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another. It is one of four related emotions or concepts. Hence, we were sure that my friends would want to see me get flicked. Indeed, there were some who left the room and rejoined just to see me get flicked more than once.

We had to switch up the project as we did not get the intended response whilst using 3 phones as Li Xuan and Han Yun’s friends did not know me and did not care to inflict pain on me. Additionally, I learnt that having a controlled group of participants were important as the context of the audience would affect the intended outcome of the work.

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