The Five Senses: Final Project

Super Mario Installation

Idea #1:
Initially, we thought of making a 3D Mario game. We would try to represent how it felt when you put yourself in Mario’s shoes and you yourself would have had to play the game – jump and collect coins etc. So, we thought of making a life size maze and the player would have to physically play the game like he would on console.

Feedback:
It was going to be very difficult to execute, given the amount of time we had. We wouldn’t have been able to make an exact representation of the Mario game in real life, it sounded like something that would be in an amusement park.
We were also told to abstract the idea – probably use a projector or a treadmill instead of the maze.

Idea #2:
Our second idea was a slightly abstracted version of our previous idea. We would make a small cube (8 bit cube) in which a person would go into and sit. It would be dark inside, a video would be projected onto one side of the cube and the person would also hear various video game sounds. On the top of the box, there would be a hole from which we would throw things like coins, mushrooms and other elements from Super Mario into the box. The aim of this installation would be to suffocate the person (player) sitting inside.

Feedback:
Our idea was too literal – we were asked to abstract the idea even further. The execution again had several issues. We would’ve had to construct a huge box that a person could fit into, placement of the projector would’ve been an issue as the person sitting inside would cast a shadow etc. The sense of smell and taste weren’t coming out too well in this idea as well.

Final idea:
Our final idea was a very abstracted version of the previous two ideas, we had finally decided that we were going to focus on addiction and the side effects of gaming. So to bring that experience and engage all the different senses we decided merge our senses, because gaming is an audiovisual experience with touch felt by a console or a touch pad and of course the slouch created because of the seating position. Taste and smell come in secondary, but are equally as important. We wanted to show how harmful the effects of excessive gaming could actually be once their visuals are simplified and kept without an interesting plot or interface. We also wanted to make the viewer feel absolutely claustrophobic. To execute our idea, we constructed four different boxes. Each box had a computer screen in it and a very small and narrow opening on it for the audience to look into. These boxes were painted black on the outside as well as the inside to ensure no light passes through except for the light from the screen when the viewer is looking inside. All these boxes were kept at a considerably low height so that the viewer would have to stare at the screen while slouching that would get very uncomfortable later.

Box

This is how we classified each of the senses to make the execution of our idea an easier process:

Sight – Video games use extremely fast moving visuals that keep on changing when it comes to motion and color. Usually these colors are extremely bright and vivid. Most of the time the game is a highly visual experience, so therefore we kept a video as a form of a visual in every box which was merged with another sense or feeling.

Sound – Music that would be extremely difficult and painful to listen to if it would be continuously played. So to recreate the same effect we used 8-bit sounds for each of our boxes.

Touch – The slouch that the gamers sit in for hours at a stretch every day and the numb fingers as a result of the constant grip and movement on a keyboard/ touchpad or controller.

Smell – Gamers are so deeply involved in the game; they aren’t affected by or notice the smell that surrounds them. A lot of them don’t even shower for days and just use a deodorant as a substitute. Other smells that gamers are used to are junk food, the stench of body odor and other awful scents such as stale food. Our aim was to recreate the same repulsive sense of smell that would get monotonous. We kept the extremely repellent smell of spray paint mixed with deodorant constant on each of our boxes to make the audience experience the same feeling.

Taste – Gamers usually tend to munch on junk food – chips, aerated drinks (any junk). So to recreate that feeling, we mixed our sounds with the crunching of chips and we kept some cake for the viewers to eat at intervals of each box.

Super Mario Cake
So we constructed four boxes and placed screens inside them, which were showing different things. Each one would lead to the next box.

The following visuals were paired up with annoying video game music:

Box 1: This is not straining to the eye.
White text runs across a red screen really fast and one is supposed to figure out what is says. We kept an 8-bit music in the background for this mixed with the sound of chips being munched on. This was the first box, so, we wanted our audience to warm up with the speed of the visuals and provoke them with the senses of eyestrain, the repulsive odors and the taste of junk food through memory.

Box 2: A dancing red dot on a neon screen.
A red dot kept moving really quickly from one part of the screen to another. It was placed on a neon green background and the longer you stare at the dot the more blinding it gets for the eye. This was accompanied with another 8-bit soundtrack that was playing at full volume and again merged with the constant smell of spray paint and deodorant. The aim of this box was to further irritate the viewer by an increase in the intensity of the audiovisual.

Box 3: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and You Win!
This box was supposed to cause the eyestrain at its peak. It had the words flashing on the screen really quickly with the color of the type changing to black and white back and forth, and simultaneously the background changing to all colors extremely quickly. It was supposed to mimic the visuals that cause epilepsy also and the 8-bit sound in the background was supposed to make the user feel even more traumatized.

Box 4: Typing test.
This box was supposed to recreate how the effect of excessive gaming strains and numbs your fingers. This box was intentionally placed right in the end after the intense audiovisual experience. The viewer was made to type on the screen using a touchpad (that he ideally wasn’t supposed to see). The construction of this box was a little tricky, as we did not have the ideal software and hardware. We mirrored our phone display on the computer screen and made our viewers type on the phone while we supervised them and made sure they did not look at the mobile display, but only stared at the screen.

Typing Test

On the top of the box, we made a Mario stencil print artwork.

Mario stencil
Mario stencil process

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Sense of Sound: Assignment 2

Sense of Sound: Trance Music

Woodstock

Loud amplifiers, screaming girls, fainting fans, and an overcrowded arena – the magic of four boys from Liverpool that brought about a revolution that dissolved boundaries and changed the face of music forever. The age of Beatles spearheaded the Rock ‘n’ Roll revolution to create an era of the rocking sixties lasting from the alleys of wet Liverpool to scintillating Hamburg to a hippie California and forming an age of spiritualising the west on the banks of river Ganges at Rishikesh. The Sixties have seen it all. The Rock ‘n’ Roll era saw the formation of legendary bands with the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Rolling Stones, Aapro Freddie’s Queen and many others. These bands weren’t only another brick in the wall but led to a stairway to heaven which went down in history to be etched as the greatest artists ever to grace the music industry.

Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. The guitars fell silent, the drums lost their beat, and microphones lost their vocals. Headbangers replaced by intoxicated teenagers moving their bodies to the beat and lip syncing the occasional lyrics. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now. Standard of music dropping faster than the “drop” created by this noise people call EDM in pop culture. Revolution it was back then, revolution it is now.

Electronic Dance Music, EDM, “techno”, “house” or “chill” as they call it has brought about a revolution so big that the last time this happened people called it the music of satan also known as the age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. For the first time after the sixties, when the world has moved on to more materialistic elements, EDM is introduced as an element of change.

Noise for some, big bucks for some. The EDM music industry right now has a networth of $6.2 billion which is projected to increase many folds in the coming years. Popular artists like Avicii, Tiesto, Hardwell and Skrillex make big bucks for each gig they play and are jetsetters around the world for over 300 days a year. Big artists and even bigger chequebooks, the largest annual electronic music festival in the world Tomorrowland takes place in Belgium. It is where the whole EDM fraternity comes together over a weekend for the biggest performances causing the organizers of festivals like Coachella, Woodstock and Glastonbury to shame.

The music industry is not only about music anymore, it’s much more. From throwing cakes and champagne towards the crowd to blasting them with CO2 Jets, it’s all about the hype and the high. Merchandise hitting the shelves at the highest prices and the patrons of the act are even higher on their MDMAs and other drugs which they use as an ‘enhancer’ to enjoy the music even more.


Sense of Sound: Cinema and Sound


Charlie Chaplin

“Use a picture; it’s worth a thousand words”

Add sound to a picture and it’s worth a million.

From the times of Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean from the Lumière Brothers fame known as the founders of Cinematography or as we call it cinema today, sound has always been an integral part of cinema. The first display of cinema took place in the year of 1895 in Paris, the Lumiere Brothers displayed their first movie Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). The audience thought of the two brothers as if they were the first people to have discovered fire. They weren’t aware of the fact that they were going to be the ones to change the face of how coming generations would see, hear and even feel things moving. After making over ten movies not lasting more than fifty seconds of total time duration, the Lumiere Brothers travelled around the world to show their newly invented technology and even held screenings in Bombay during the rule of the British empire.

Earlier synchronization of the moving figures in cinema and the sound (pre-recorded music) was difficult to achieve as there wasn’t proficient technology available until the 1920s. The first breakthrough in sound and cinema as a synchronized part took place in the year 1927. The movie “The Jazz Singer” was presented as the first “talkie” or a commercial feature film.

Sound is associated with feelings and emotions; we associate one a particular sound with a specific emotion, for example, recalling the silent days of the legendary actor who set a big milestone in establishing that all men with a moustache that resembles a toothbrush aren’t cruel dictators, yes it is the one and only, Sir Charles “Charlie” Chaplin. The best use of sound as silence was made by the godfather of silent films, Charlie Chaplin, through his legendary movies with the help of his renowned acting skills. Sound played a very crucial in depicting these works of art and as there wasn’t any dialogue in silent films, and some didn’t even have a background score or any sound effects, so it was very important for sound to come across in actions of visuals. Charlie Chaplin tried to depict the same without any use of words, for that purpose he even composed the music for his own films.

Not to forget in the Indian film industry, Raja Harishchandra was released in the year 1913 and after that it took them 18 years more to see the birth of the Bombay Talkies which is what we know as Bollywood today. The creators of the film Alam Ara made us realize the importance that sound would have on the cinema and raced for the completion of the film before other contemporary movies. The crowd’s response was so overwhelming that police aid was required to control the public during the screenings of the movie. From then till now the Cinema and Sound in the Indian Film Industry has reached great heights in the areas of music, sound engineering, and back ground score as masters like A.R Rahman and Russell Pukooty receive Oscars for their performances in the field.

What To Expect After Expecting: Senses Final

We use our five senses everyday. Each playing a more important role than the other. What is most important is to not scatter these senses or go through each of them unconsciously.
Through this assignment we tried to incorporate all five senses into one “Touch and Feel” book. Our idea was to create a book targeting new parents after they have their child. It is a fun book filled with the entire experience. We created the book digitally with vibrant colors and somewhat quirky and fun illustrations to show what to do and what not to do. That fulfilled our sense of sight.
We had incorporated cerelac powder, baby soap, towels, diapers, wet wipes etc and separate sheets on how to try each step. This was aimed at helping the buyer to engage with the senses of smell, touch and taste. We also incorporated a CD along with the book filled with songs for each mood of the baby targeting the sense of sound. Through this we tried successfully incorporating the whole experience through our book.