In the Internet of Things (IoT), not only people will interact with objects, but also Things with other Things, creating more complex material landscapes. However, IoT interactions so far are mostly mobile phones just used as remote controls (e.g., open windows, starting laundry cycles, etc.).
With Affective Things, we want to explore more complex interrelationships between Things. We investigate how objects affect others in their temporal and spatial proximity, and how interactions could be carried and moved through the house by Things.
On the other hand, we want to explore to which extent will Things be able to understand our behaviour from their limited perspective. With a series of everyday objects that collaboratively try to understand what is going on around them, we show some fictions and frictions of Things to Things.
The project is a collaboration between Iohanna Nicenboim, Elisa Giaccardi and The Incredible Machine, made possible through a Design United demonstrator grant.
The absence of the Author is not only a historical fact or an act of writing: it utterly transforms the modern text (Barthes 1998: 4)
What would happen if a bookshelf suddenly decided to become a writer? What would it write about, how would it react to different inputs and in which ways could it challenge human authors?
To explore these questions the team decided to build a bookshelf that reacted to books placed on it and produced new texts.
The installation worked as an entertaining and humorous interactive poetry generator as well as a critical reflection on remix culture, artificial intelligence and the question of authorship in a world where digital objects obtains more and more agency.
How it works
The shelf produces text by combining words and sentences from the books that are currently placed on it. Every time a new book is placed on the shelf, a .txt file with an excerpt from that particular book is loaded into a Processing sketch, thereby expanding the vocabulary of the bookshelf. Through the use of Markow chains and the RiTA library, new sentences are created that blends the words from the different books in unexpected and chaotic but grammatically meaningful ways.
If no books are placed on the bookshelf, it will use sensor data (light, temperature and speech recognition) as inputs to write poems about loneliness.
As additional sources of input the bookshelf will use sensor data in the form of time, light and temperature to describe feelings of being lonely if no books are placed on it. It will also occasionally listen in on conversations in its proximity and use parts of these in combination with the vocabulary from the books placed on it.
Behind the bookshelf is a hidden printer, which automatically prints out the texts generated.
Barthes, Roland 1998: “The Death of the Author” in Art and Interpretation: An Anthology of Readings in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Eric Dayton.
In recent times, the selfie culture has risen in popularity, but it has also raised a few questions. Whether the Selfie culture helps to build self-esteem or does it force us for self-obsession? Is it an expression for admiration or is it to achieve a sense of self, place and community?
What if nature gets addicted to this selfie culture and expresses itself. If it could record moments like blooming of a flower or a new leaf, and then share these moments on the social network. What if this expression could draw people’s attention and invite participation. How would people react if a normal plant starts to interact with their social lives.
The Selfie Plant is an attempt to provoke some thoughts in the above genre of expression. The Selfie Plant expresses itself in the form of a nice-looking selfies, which it clicks according to its mood, weather or occasion. It mimics human behaviour, by giving it’s best pose and adjusting the camera angle to take the perfect selfie. Undoubtedly, the plant posts these photos on social network via it’s Facebook profile. It is powered by Arduino Yun and uses Facebook's graph API to post these photos at facebook.com/TheSelfiePlant
Possibly in a future scenario, the plant can become autonomous and not be owned by an individual, but shared within a community. Everyone would take care of the plant in turns. With its unique social behaviour the plant might be able to draw public attention and would act as a bridge between humans and nature.