The Temperament of Space is enriched by an understanding of how people interact in its different environments. How do participants feel about media that “sees” them and reacts to their movements: relaxed, challenged or curious? We are always interested to explore these questions, and invite you on our journey.
Students, faculty and alumni at The New School gave us insight into what they expected in the first prototypes of Curiosity, Challenge, and Individuality in a series of workshops. We first investigated how participants discover the space’s affordances, where they could be surprised and stumble into interactions. They preferred an experience that mirrored the serendipity of nature, like sitting by a stream where the water could suddenly babble, a warm breeze blow by or a branch fall from a tree.
In the next workshop, we focused more on the performative aspects of the space and participatory hands-on research activities. We tested a multifunctional space where participants could choose between engagement with our research activities and self-directed experiments with actual and digital interactions. We also tested people’s comfort levels in terms of their openness and willingness to try something new. Thank you to our guests, friends and colleagues who made it such an exciting experience.
When Curiosity was exhibited at The New School’s Dawn of Summer festival, we were able to engage with with an audience for an extended time. Visitors could interact playfully with the installation and we could observe what drew them into the space, how they chose to interact with audio objects and what awareness they had of their effect on the video layers projections. We found that at least 10 visitors wanted to dance in the space; several commented that the piece relieved them of the stress of final projects. For most visitors, however, their first impulse is was to act as spectators rather than participants in the ambient visual and audio landscape.