Passerelles

Architecture for Shared Human Experience

Passerelles is a piece that explores the possibility of creating public experiences to dramatically increase individual and community awareness of the power of human connection. Different perspective: You are here but you are not here, you take distance and observe, perched on different levels of passerelles. Taking the stairs for the sake of taking the stairs. Going somewhere, as a metaphor. Bridging.

How could we create a building that encapsulate a little bit of the sky? A piece of sky that would give all its meaning to the whole stair sculpture. This building would not be a skyscraper trying to go always higher than the neighbors but would aim to honor the sky and make us more aware of its ubiquitous presence. This sky would also bring to the space the aspect of time, as time passes by, the sun and clouds traveling would cast living shadows of the stairs in a dynamic way on the floor and on the other layers of stairs, giving the space its « soul »

Medium: Assembled wood sculpture ( 70cm × 70cm × 150cm)

Photos: Jonathan Williams

The ORB

Despite the important role that vocal communication plays in everyday life, emphasizing an intimate relationship with our own voices, we often lack the experiences and spaces to allow us to become fully aware of the profound resonance — in every sense — of our voices in our lives. We can more deeply connect with ourselves when we can understand the voice’s expressive potential as a physical instrument, can feel the intricate sensation of its vibrations, and can fully appreciate its emotional and cognitive significance as conveyed through the body.

Vocal Vibrations is a multisensory project by composer Tod Machover and his Opera of the Future Group at the MIT Media Lab that attempts to encourage and inspire just this connection, exploring the power of finding one’s voice as an emotional, cognitive, and physical transformation, all in an enveloping context of immersive music. Moreover, through the Vocal Vibrations project, we propose that the singing voice could influence mental and physical health through physicochemical phenomena and in ways consistent with contemplative practices.

 As part of the Vocal Vibrations experience, the ORB is a voice-activated device that allows people to feel the physical vibrations of their voices directly in their own hands, increasing the power and potential of such vibrations to influence mood, behavior and state. Fingertips contain more sensor receptors than our vocal vibrating chamber and we have found that hands can detect many variations in vibration caused by amplitude, frequency, and timbre. The materials, mapping and precise settings of the ORB have been carefully chosen chosen to maximize the tactile feeling of vibration while minimizing any audible resonance.
The ORB was created by Rebecca Kleinberger, researcher in the MIT Media Lab in Tod Machover’s Opera of the Future group and designed in collaboration with Professor Machover, Elly Jesop and Bold Design, and with the support of Le Laboratoire Paris. The technology was custom-designed at the MIT Media Lab and is composed of a mini-computer, drivers, boards and custom electronics hidden in a custom cast polyurethane elastomer base. The ceramic ORB was made in porcelain as ceramic-type materials have the microstructural property of presenting no directional atomic order and guides the vibrations smoothly.

 

Video presenting the Vocal Vibrations Exhibition

Images of the Vocal Vibrations Installation, The Media Lab Team and the ORB

Medium: Porcelaine shell containing electronics on a polyuréthane base ( 15cm × 15cm × 20cm)

In Collaboration with: Tod Machover, Elly Jesop and BOLD Design

Photos: Julien Benayoun

Featured at:

Egg Shell Carving

Expressing the hidden things inside, taking the most fragile of media to tame and transcend the inner most fragile parts of myself.

Hand carved illuminated Hen, Duck, Blue Duck and Goose egg shells. After emptying and cleaning the shells, I use a hand rotary tool to carve the surface.

 

When illuminated

In Neil’s Gershenfeld’s class Machines that Make 2015 I designed TAMAGO (Technology for Automated Milling of Avian Gestational Objects): a CNC machine for eggshells. It has three degrees of freedom, one for the egg rotation and two for the end effector. The X and Z motion are coupled such that the tool follows the curvature of the shell. The machine is designed to fit eggs of hight from 5 to 10cm which includes hen, duck and goose eggs.

Medium: Eggshells on a plastic electric tea candle ( 5cm × 5cm × 10cm)

Featured in:

  • MIT Art Party 2016
  • Annual Grad Arts Showcase 2016

Fablur

We explore the limit of the self in its relationship to others thought the medium of clothing. Fablur is a augmented gown that uses rear dome projection system on the surface of the fabric and use the hoop skirt dress as a screen. It intends to initiate a dialogue through technology about self, femininity, time and empowerment. This novel technological interface presents both a performative element and a seamless integration in women’s life experience. This integrated wearable project questions the boundary between the self and the others, the boundary between the individual and the society and the boundary between the body and nature.

The system and entirely wearable . The effect is more optimized at night or in a dark environment

Medium: Fabric with electronics ( 100cm × 100cm × 150cm)

In Collaboration with: Alisha Panjwani

Photos:Andy Ryan

Featured in:

  • MIT Art Party 2016
  • Open Mind: Open Art Gallery opening 2017

I Is Plural

A novel wearable tech installation that represents the links between individual and collective feminine conscience. Our MIT community is a treasure of diversity and we want to remind that every individual of this community is multifaceted. Some of our facets are suppressed, either by inner personal conflicts or societal pressures. This is particularly true for women and for the feminine parts in all of us. This participatory artifact captures and express the diverse inner attributes of our community

Medium: Textile with electronics ( 100cm × 100cm × 150cm)

In Collaboration with: Alisha Panjwani

Funded in part by a Director’s Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT

Featured in:

 

Voice Caligraphy

This project is a calligraphic representation of a voice. The result is a visualization of the physical and mechanical process of vocal production. The contractions and motions of the muscles are analogically projected to a 2D surface. A small mirror is attached to the active parts of the user’s neck and the small rotations and motions of the mirror control the trajectory of a laser ray pointing at the mirror. A camera captures the trajectory of the laser point and the video is then post-processed to obtain an effective visualization of the verbalization (Figure 10.) The variations in the result reveal elements of the person’s affective state, as it shows through in the muscular movement.

Setup

 

Medium: Digital

In Collaboration with: Peter Torpey

Partition at the MFA

Art installation at the MFA Overnight event. Two facing benches transform voices, secrets, purring and heart beats into vibrations for an embodied experience.

Medium: Wood with electronics ( 200cm × 30cm × 50cm)

In Collaboration with Adam Horowitz, Gershon Dublon, Ani Liu, Nicole L’Hillier and Xin Liu

Photos: Adam Horowitz

December 9-10

Stuffed Toys

An idea, a few sketches, sewing patters, prototypes and voila!

Great learnings in maths, geometry, material sciences and mechanical engineering.

High Tech plushies:

For Migration Ducks I made 150 plushy ducks containing a unique RFID tag for the MIT Media Lab Future of Festival.

In collaboration with Donald Dereck I build a Nocturnal Musical Insect embedding  a musical controller and speakers.

Medium: Fabric with electronics (various sizes)