Description

The purpose of this assignment is to provide insight into two interactive art pieces, as well as look into the rule sets and descriptors/dimensions of finished interactive art installations. This goal is supposed to be attained through critique and analysis of any chosen art pieces. 

Tweenbots

In this piece Tweenbots - described as human-dependent, small, endearingly-looking robots - roam busy and dangerous park squares of New York. Tweenbots are able to move only in one direction - forward. Each of the Tweenbots carries a noticeable flag clearly designating its destination. As such, a Tweenbot's success is dependent on the assistance from bystanders, who are, sometimes unknowingly, pulled into the performance.

The audience of the experiment is anyone standing in the location of a Tweenbot, may it be the primary location or one along the route. The audience becomes de facto actors by steering the robot safely towards the destination. The physical space is set outdoors, in a potentially dangerous (to a robot) environment, thus attempting to use the audience's empathy and willingness of help. The rule set is constant ("Help me achieve my goal destination safely."), the interaction is real time. The inputs are human motions (and potentially, emotions) while the output is a motion of a tiny robot. There is no video output in the presentation, and no sound output. The presentation relies solely on the endearing presence of the robot and the willingness of bystanders.

The artist is trying to embody the fact that simple technological objects are able to create complex networks when powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interaction. The artist also attempts to make the audience reflect on the nature of empathy and the necessity to go out of one's way to assist others.


The Whisperers

The Whisperers, a piece by Wela (Elisabeth Wierzbicka) is placed in the Copernicus Science Center, in Warsaw, Poland. The Whisperers is a study in the real-time delivery of misleading natural background sounds. The installation consist of 16 variously shaped metal columns equipped with sensors and speakers, placed outdoors, on a separated plaza. Upon the arrival of a visitor the distance sensors in columns begin to play appropriate sounds, being a high-quality recordings of natural sounds, mixing the virtual and real environments through interspersing sounds (as the nearby streets, wind, and people also introduce sounds).

The rule set is constant. To induce the sound, one needs to find himself nearby a "whisperer", the metal column.

The audience is the major part of the installation, becoming its actors through enabling various sounds and "mixing" them with the environment. The physical space is outdoors. The inputs is the human presence and motion, while the output is sound. No video is present, but the sound is played on loop as long as the person is present, effectively becoming a part of the background sounds.

The purpose of the installation is to provide an experience in which the misleading background sounds remix and intersperse with the true background sounds, crafting an unusual soundscape that does not seem out of place until thought about, effectively reflecting on the growing dependence and imprinting of real and virtual worlds onto each other.