Making Interactive Art: Set the Stage, Then Shut Up and Listen
“Don’t interpret your own work”
As creators and artists, the idea of providing the user an interactive experience without description is always the hardest part of the creation. Since we are used to giving description of the “what” and “how” of a product, we are often faced with questions how to let the users flow through the interaction without these pre-described elements. Personally, I have always tried to create a unique experience for the user through my creation, but I tend to end up trying to guide the users in a certain direction – limiting them to think in different perspective on the product. After reading this blog article, I realized I have to make the operation of the product discoverable, setting only the necessary elements to “begin the conversation”. This brought me back to the importance of signifiers- to allow the users to easily navigate through the experience without the creator mentioning any instructions. Also, I realized that using personas – the different cases of the experience based on potential users – will help the creators better visualize and understand what elements are necessary to be added or omitted to make the product suitable for users to interact without the creator stepping in.
My mid-term project definitely showed this fault of having myself to explain how it works and what to expect from the product. For the final project, I will encompass these traits so that I do not have to limit the possible interactive possibilities and let the users take their own approach.
Physical Computing’s Greatest Hits (and misses)
The articles provides with a number of variations of a physical computing products as well as the necessary components involved to create the product. The article definitely opened up the various pathway that I can take for my future projects since it also provided concrete example that I can take as an influence. Especially, I was intrigued by the idea of using flex sensors in gloves – as a drum gloves. From this idea, I wanted to implement a MIDI system of multiple EDM sounds that you can manipulate using different fingers to make your own electronic song – a launch pad transferred to gloves.
Moreover, the idea of “originality” used to be one of the main aspects that I consider during my creation process. I have always believed that the products I create has to be “unique”. So, whenever I encounter an interesting idea for the product, I would search on Google to see whether there is an existing creation. If I do find on on the internet, I would try to think of something else. However, after reading this article, it led me to think again about my process. First, I have never copy & pasted an existing code to my creation. Second, if I have been influenced by an existing idea or theme, I always gave a tweak. With these two parts of the process, I realized that the product is already original. And, this led me to look back at all the different ideas that I discarded.