Stephanie, Flora, and Raquel’s Public Projection: Kaleidoscopic Light

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For this project our group took three projectors out to Schenley Plaza and projected kaleidoscopic images of marbles onto the tent.

Our original intent was to project onto a large snowball, but we chose to use the tent instead in the interest of modifying an already existing structure instead of creating a sculptural piece. Our main goal was to transform the space and project interesting geometric visuals and we found that the tent was a good, smooth surface without any patterns on its surface to disrupt the projection.

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Our piece was well received by passers-by. It was very cold that night so not many people were walking around, but a group of Korean college students came by and asked us about it. They watched for a few minutes before going on their way. A few other people also walked past and gave us shy but curious looks.

When we were satisfied with our work with the tent we turned our projectors to the giant snowball we had started making two weeks prior. This was simply out of curiosity for how it would look and we were satisfied with the results. We agree that it would have had far more impact if we had been able to make it bigger.snowball

We were surprised when at this point a man walking by walked up to us and asked if he could take a picture. We invited him over and took his picture next to the snowball. His English was a bit difficult to understand but he seemed pleased and went on his way. It is possible that the snowball being smaller and closer to the ground than the tent made it more accessible to him as the audience, and so he initiated an interaction.

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We were very glad that we had decided to use three projectors, because if we did not have that many it would have been impossible to see the images with all the ambient light in the area. Prior to this attempt we had run into problems with our inverter and one of our tripods,but thankfully we were able to resolve those issues and get good results.

Here is the video we projected:

Design Assignment 2: Carrying my Troubles with Me (Performance/Action in a Public Space)

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For this project I chose to focus on my life as a Carnegie Mellon Student and the burdens that come with the lifestyle I live here. I wrote down several of my life problems onto eight cardboard boxes and attempted to carry them all with me around campus. To add to the drama I filled some of the boxes with leaky bags of water that dripped down the boxes and soaked the cardboard and my clothes.

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The idea of carrying boxes attracted me because they are difficult to carry even if they are not heavy. They are awkward and unwieldy, even if they can be very light in comparison to other things. If they are light you can deal with them and lift them without hurting yourself, but you’ll have some trouble doing it. This was the same allegory I wanted to make with the problems I have as a CMU student (or a college student in general). My problems are light compared to those of others less fortunate than I, but to some degree the struggles I face are real.

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The reactions I got from other people were mostly curious looks as I struggled to balance the leaky boxes with strange words on them. However I did get one nice reaction. As I was starting to walk with the boxes I dropped them for the first time and two guys ran up to me and offered to help me out. I politely refused but was glad that I had elicited a positive reaction from people. It’s also nice to know that people, even strangers, were willing to help me as a fellow student with my problems. Another interesting thing that happened was that as the water got all over me it actually froze directly onto my coat. It was really cold that day.

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So I consider this project to be successful conceptually but I feel that the execution could have been done differently. The water didn’t soak the boxes as much as I thought it would and they didn’t fall apart like I had expected them to. Also if I were to re-do this project in the future I would paint the boxes gray or some other neutral color to dis-associate them with shipping packages. However, I do feel like this project was an overall success because of the interactions and reactions it provoked.

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