Jordan Backhus

Physical Computing: Questions for the User / Progress Report

Questions for the User:

1) Do the visuals correspond to the artists’ themes?

2) Do the visuals compliment the physical interaction?

3) Is the physical interaction satisfying? Does it correspond with the visual stimuli?

4) Is the interactive experience more valuable amongst others or alone? 

5) Would the user describe the experience as transformative? Does it facilitate imagination?

6) Which movements does the installation facilitate? Any particular angles of interest? 

7) Is the installation inviting? Is it engaging? Which emotions — in particular — does it garner? 

8) At which scale can you imagine this installation? Be specific.

9) Is this project instrumental, expressional, and/or educational?

10) Does this project “work”?

11) Are there any questions / comments for improvement or alternative thought?

Progress Report:

– Creation of portable and practical prototype w/ small-scale tulle arrangement and Samsung Pico Projector 

– Manipulation and improvement of midterm Processing sketch to increase the effectiveness and clarity of our vision

– Sensor-testing to improve the quality of interaction and the installation’s visual response system (this includes multi-user testing)

– Purchase of extra materials to increase the scale of the original installation

– Reservation of studio space (Room 50) for final presentation on December 11th


Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 7.34.03 PM

One thought on “Physical Computing: Questions for the User / Progress Report”

  1. Hi Jordan, nice new blog theme! I will check back with your blog later for your final write-up based on the class checklist, but in the meantime, here is feedback from today’s presentation.

    As is the case from your midterm, this is a beautiful, immersive, mesmerizing piece. And as I mentioned to Sergio, the subtle refinement (i.e. the addition of fine-lined constellations) of the animation makes a big difference in terms of making the work feel very polished and granular. The implementation of the Kinect also contributes to this.

    That said, I think this work may be too conceptually and structurally similar to your midterm, and to previous work by other artists, to feel satisfyingly fresh. You mentioned some of the “hidden gifts” that came out for users who interacted with the piece in unexpected ways, it might be intriguing to play up those gifts to add distinction, uniqueness, and character. The piece is so polished at this point that I’d like to see you take more chances, or at least experiment with how those chances may enliven the work and make it more vibrant. This may also come out through the audio, perhaps through interactivity or even just through greater textural and timbral variance.

    Another challenge that you may want to tackle is to go further in your treatment of the physical space, particularly the cascading screens. Could the screens be more physically interactive? Could they help to guide the user on a path that is not just linear? In our 11th class, you mentioned that you might implement a new kind of curvature to both your physical setting and your animation— this could definitely help distinguish this piece from your midterm and other art works.

    While the current iteration of your piece feels a bit static, I do hope to see the piece in another incarnation at the Winter Show or another environment or time— there are so many possibilities, and you are clearly adept at controlling the visual, aural, and physical elements to coalesce into a cohesive work, so ‘d love to see how the piece evolves!

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