A study about contemporary aspects of language
and the sensitization of movement in search
of a personal unique creative pulse.
BA graduation project in Design.
Luiz Gustavo Ferreira Zanotello.
Universidade Estadual Paulista.
Bauru, Brazil. Jun/2012.
How to touch the very movement of the virtual?
How to bring the intangible tangible?
How to glimpse the liquidity of the real and actual?
Nama is a compositional experience that works with the synesthetic
perception of movement. It deals with the intersection among design,
art, and technology, seeking ways to sensitize an immanent virtuality
in order to produce positive affects to a person's unique creative pulse.
Empty of objective representations, it aims to bring to surface the own
subjective feelings of whoever access it through a liquid experience.
"A fragment of life, reminiscences of places, people, past and present, exchanged words, an atmosphere of smells, colors, tastes, sounds: a fragile tissue that tends
to dematerialize if we get too close and whose
consistency is only fluidness itself".1
Acting on the physical-perceptual aspects of the movimentation of a
piece of fabric, the interaction occurs through desires and temporalities
on an organic web of certain compositional unpredictability, bringing
audiovisual feedback as return. Dualities between speed and slowness,
liquidity and solidity, chaos and order, extensibility and intensiveness
are worked through the interface interaction, in order to incite a unique
understanding about the fluidity that constitutes subjectiveness itself.
A playful environment of discovering meanings is built, where
the output poetically weaves a relational communication to both
the interactor's movement and the system's lines already modified
by past interactions, turning visible multiplicity itself. In that way
the space is hybridized, so that the virtual seems to gain the time
of the actual inserted between the gap of the tangible and the
intangible, bringing new ways of feeling and acting to surface.
Through the research on contemporary theories of virtuality,
a relations design was created as a map for posterior experimentation
in contemporary digital languages. The research report of the project
contains essays about some of the findings woven by an initial opening
process on the internet (blog "Devir").
It begins by defining a possible "schizo-project", a way of virtual
desiring design that occurs at the processual level, passing
on a second essay to glimpses brought up by trying to comprehend
the liquid contemporaneity and its possibilities. In a third, a way
of designing as free as playing is endowed with a "poetic of making"; while a final essay travels through the conception of a volatile and
relational type of project by silencing all representational forms.
Along the essays there is a report of the entire practical process
of the conception and development of Nama in various areas
of contemporary languages: design of computer codes, design
of tangible interfaces, design of organic systems and generative audiovisual design. Ultimately, it describes the outcomes and
new becomings opened by the process of designing this project.
"Folding-unfolding no longer simply means
tension-release, contraction-dilation, but
(1) - Anne Cauquelin, “Freqüentar os Incorporais”. Description of the concept of "incorporal", excerpted by the project's author. (2) - Gilles Deleuze, “The Fold”.
Tangible dimension of Nama, the Instrument is a textile interface.
An open hardware that has open purpose and usage, being able
to be freely folded, twisted, tightened and manipulated in various contexts to generate real time digital data of its movement.
Based on the concept of relational object created by Lygia Clark, the
interface is built upon a fabric tissue given its physical particularities
that, through its interaction in motion, are able to bring to senses
characteristics related to virtuality such as: fluidity, flexibility
and mobility. Therefore causing, along with the sensible feedback,
a non-verbal and kinesthetic understanding of virtual liquidity.
The current setup of the interface has a single Lilypad Arduino,
5 Lilypad Accelerometers, one Xbee Module, and a LiPo battery
sewed altogether manually with conductive thread. Data is gathered
by the accelerometers and sent wirelessly to a computer through
Arduino and Xbee, where they will be reprocessed into some kind
of output. The project also includes a customizable software
specially designed to receive the data from the interface.
Originally designed for the interactive installation of Nama, the architecture of the Instrument can be easily adapted to new uses
and contexts such as on clothing, wearable interfaces, or new kinds
of interactive media. In order to facilitate this adaptation, a document with technical specifications and a step-by-step tutorial (DIY)
is provided at the Open Source section along with its open source
software and construction schematics.
The above diagram technically demonstrates the overall functioning
of the interactive installation organized by data flow. Three digital
systems constitute the installation: an organic digital web, a generative
visual system and a generative sound system. In short, the first includes
the data from the tangible interface into a cellular system, modifying its
structure gradually by the interaction of multiple users. The other two
compose the audiovisual feedback system, responding directly to the
movement of the interface with qualities developed by the web.
Emergence, self-organization and hybridization are the concepts behind
this system. It consists of a cellular automaton, that with the input
of data from the Instrument constitutes an autonomous system with
a certain degree of intelligence. Its function is to enable an organic
feedback to the whole interactive experience, acting like a living
organism that slowly adapts to the current interactor of the interface,
continuously seeking new ways to interact with him uniquely.
A generative system that displays images and sounds reacting
to the movement of the interface based on the digital cellular
web hybridized in constant creation. Its composition seeks
to affect the interactor through intensities and relations in motion,
in order to maintain representation silenced to give space to an
immanent relational universe, in a way that the meanings remain
open to the point of awakening new types of emotions and feelings.
The images seeks to visualize the multiplicity in flow at the installation,
and how it reacts to the interaction. It operates in a immersive way,
exhibiting three consecutive planes concerning different points
of view of the same multiplicity, in order that the only visible
forms are the movements of the interaction in constant motion.
The sound enables the interactor's immersion into a new space,
expanding his perception to a field of affection. Three classes of sound
coexist in the same landscape: a first simply turning audible the noisy
movement itself, a second with harmonic affects that jump from
the current form of the fabric, and a third as a harmonic web
in the background, giving consistence to the piece.