zë – sinesthetic paths

This project started as an investigation between content, matter and medium on art pieces, focusing on how these choices can shape the aesthetic experience of viewers.

To further understand the relation, I decided to develop this project through a collaborative process. A series of interviews were made with people who have a busy cultural life, to talk about art experience and stimulating a debate about how art exhibition is being thought in private and public spaces, encouraging them to share their past experience – as well as proposing a new one, focused on stimulating senses.

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With this research I concluded that for the user to have a better fulfillment of the art experience, it should be divided in three different moments: preparation, the experience itself and documentation. This script guided me to achieve my main goal, which was to design a full experience. To materialize the experience, I chose Time as the subject of it and went back to the users, leading a research over the definition of Time. With their feedback, I decided I was going to create a synesthetic environment, in which sub-definitions of Time (assemblage, speed, ethereal, accumulation, transformation and relativity) were translated in elements that stimulated sound, vision and touch all together.

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To give life to this environment I decided to generate interactions through Arduino, using physical sensors as output and input. The light would change its color when someone entered the space  and the rubber bands were covered with conductive paint – so every time someone went through the installation they had to touch them. The sound would respond, changing the noise it was making. There were also other elements, such as sand and glossy plastic that also stimulated the senses of the viewers.

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For the preparation step, I launched videos that showed in a very subtle way some of the definitions and the output I gave for them. At the space the installation was placed, there was a manifesto available for the public to read and take home.

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After they had gone through the installation, I’d encourage viewers to leave voice testimonials as a medium of documenting the experience. These audios were tagged within the sub definitions and ideally would available at a website for anyone to access not the installation I designed, but the experience that in fact existed – the one lived by people. 

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