Cascade no. 2 is a continuation of the analog version of Cascade, but utilising different type of strings – aka rubber bands. Intended for audiences to pull and interact with, the elastic bands are meant to generate sound feedback, which would be more processed the further one stretches the bands.
However, I altered the structure of the initial concept as pulling sideways is a more practised movement than pulling it downwards. Pulling the rubber bands from underneath would also cause the elastic bands to pull back and jump around, potentially messing my strings. Hence, the sideways arrangement of the final project is more idealised for both restricting rubber band elastic feedback/movement and adapted for used human gestures.
Prof feedback-ed that this project might be an instance of too many details, whereby it could be further simplified yet bring across a more ‘purified’ message. I wanted each band to sound their own unique soundtrack, which instead made the patch more complicated. I also intended for the feedback sound to be more in tune with the vibrations (and hence more responsive), instead of just relying on changing the speed. However, I was not able to produce these in this piece. These are simple details, but yet were exceedingly crucial for this project to be successful. I should have tried it out earlier, and ruminated more on the different types of options for this project – eg. recording the physical twang sound and manipulating it instead of using a pre-recorded sound – perhaps, this would strengthen the linkage of sound to object, and increase responsiveness of the project.
Cascade’s interactivity involves appealing to others to play with and cut the strings. The colour scheme of the installation is pink-based, which was intended as an attractive and appealing colour. As one walks closer to the centre of the strings, the colours become still; white surrounds you.
Feedback from class:
Without cutting the strings, there would be little to no interactivity; for after walking through the strings and feeling it, one is less inclined to interact for long with the installation.
In order to create a more welcoming atmosphere, and directed hint to allow for the cutting of strings, perhaps the floor could be littered with some strings as indication
Perhaps, the scissors could be placed on the floor? Current structure of scissors hinders the navigation and cutting of strings to a certain extent.
Reflections If given the chance, I would love to create a larger installation and with longer strings to give off a more immersive feel. Also, I would like for the board to be more strength-withholding, such that perhaps other items could be hung from the strings/strings could be tugged at.
I initially wanted it to be like an artificial waterfall, which would cascade down the roof and into the ADM pond. Should I have placed it here, my ideal colour pick for the strings would be a cool-themed colour.
After a round of consultation with prof and classmates, I realised that 1. the interaction was lacking 2. it was more of a sculpture, and did not lure others to interact with it.
Also, I realised that it might be a safety hazard with regards to hanging it on the roof. The strings might tangle too, but I was ready to secure it to the bottom by weighing it down. However, I decided to switch it up instead, and shift the installation to another area.
Hence, I transplanted it into a singular, rectangular installation (instead of previously fronting only the edge). Within the installation there would be scissors, which would ideally tempt others to join in and cut the strings.
Initially, I wanted to place it in the corridor and use shower rods to secure it up. However, safety issue was to be taken into account, and I had to pay extra to purchase shower rods – hence, I decided to place it in the level 2 empty area beside the stairs (level 2 to 3 stairs) in adm. There, I could use strings to secure it.
The top supporting the strings would be a foam-board, chosen as it is lightweight, relatively durable, and also, able to support some degree of piercing. The strings were meticulously arranged separate from another at a distance of 3cm, measured out and indicated on the board.
After finishing my preparations, I had to meticulously string those on the board. Initially, I planned out 90cm for each string length, but measuring them one by one was taking way too much time hence I decided to just estimate the length. In addition, the strings were pretty much tangled up so I had to resort to estimation else completion would not be a reality.
Also, I intended for the scissors to be of a different colour from the strings: to be easily seen and lessen the risk for walking facefirst into it, and for it to be a prominent object (with a status) within the artwork itself.
How to string 101:
I decided that the lighter colours would be on the inside; as the chosen area might be a little dim at times, and the inner colours would be dulled. I chose white as it was a metaphor for clarity, upon passing the darker colours on the outside. In addition, it could create a density which I wanted.
Upon completion, I lugged it to adm to be hung up. The four corners were tied with black string to be suspended.
I intended for the installation to be at a height whereby the bottom of the strings would be touching my chin; at this height, it would create a more immersive feeling for when the viewer looks up, all he sees are a cascade of strings.
Initially, I meant for it to adopt a squarish format, of which my chosen width would be at 1.2 x 1.2m. However, I ran out of strings, hence I shrunk the size down to about 80cm x 1.1m (estimated).
When seen from the 4 different sides, the strings look slightly different, partly due to the pattern of stringing and lighting conditions.
The strings also got slightly tangled up, but due to the quality and weight of the strings (specially chosen for such), it was generally weighed down and added to the beauty of it.
One point I noticed was that the scissors were a safety hazard. Particularly, that was the reason why I opted to purchase childsafe scissors with a small blade. However, if the viewer does not close the scissors after using it, the blade might hurt him/someone else.
When looking from the bottom, the middle of the board is noticeably white.
Colours from inside out:
white > yellow-white > pale pink > hot pink > royal red > dark brown
Definitely, this installation would be much more immersive if it was larger; when seen from afar, it appears small and isolated. However, I am thankful that it managed to achieve density and the experience that I sought for.
It would also be interesting if more people could interact with it, and see how they would cut the strings.