Made by Elizabeth Han
Created: November 6th, 2019
I was inspired by ambient media* (initially explored by the MIT Tangible Media Lab in the 1990s), where media is integrated into your surroundings at the peripheries of your vision. Rather than trying to immerse a user into an out-of the world experience, ambient media serves to become a part of your surroundings.
How can media architecture be more integrated into the typical surroundings, rather than pull a user into an all-encompassing experience? This installation serves to answer the question through ambient media in the context of a meditative space.
*Ambient media reference: http://materials.dagstuhl.de/files/17/17161/17161.AlbrechtSchmidt.Preprint1.pdf
This audio-visual installation is designed to be situated in the Mindfulness Room on the CMU campus. In its passive state, a simple audio-reactive animation is projected along the wall, taking up a slim amount of space to blend into the physical environment.
When a user approaches the installation, they can use simple hand gestures in the air to “open up” the animation from a different angle, revealing the complex architecture of a seemingly simple media.
While the installation seems simple in its passive state, the complex architecture is revealed upon the active gesture of the user. It reflects how people have control over their unwanted thoughts. One can come to terms with the complex architecture of their thoughts during their active engagement with the installation. Shutting out unwanted thoughts can be easy as not engaging with them, just as a user can simply walk away from the installation. The installation in its passive state allows the user to return to their mindful state, through its slim use of space.