When Victoria and I were coming up with our anthropologists from the future performance, we both got really into the idea of an invisibility cloak and the use of the Barbie Walkie Talkies to communicate in a way that is less likely to be captured and sold. So since then we have been working alongside each other, making prototypes that explore a theme we have decided to share, ‘offline communication systems’.
Our aim is to develop playful offline communication systems that make anonymity, turn taking mechanics, direction and mis-direction and the promise of use data not being harvested.
I’ve found this kind of co-working really useful for this kind of lab situation, it’s been useful to have a framework to pull me out of my usual way of working.
I came to the lab with an idea for a system that allows people to use RFID tags to locate text descriptions of thoughts in public spaces or read them. In this system people either broadcast or read thoughts. My intention was to focus on exactly what is different in using text to describe a thought.
Over the week this has opened up into a system in which people take it in turn to tag real things, such as cups, plates, teapots, leaves, branches and bricks, with text statements and prompts to encourage people to elaborate. I’m still working this out, but I think, the gist of this idea is to use the spatial relationships and location of things, as a metaphor to visualise, track and map non-linear conversations.
This change in thinking has been influenced by…
Conversations with Victoria about surveillance, offline communication, using arrows to direct and turn taking / game playing style communication.
Benedict talking about dyslexics being 3D thinkers in a 3D world got me really interested in trying to visualise communication three dimensionally.
Getting absorbed in the structure of trees, flowers, bushes and other plants and the spatial relationships of crockery and cutlery on the breakfast table.
Getting excited again by Pierre Bonnards bathroom paintings and how he uses the structure of bathroom tiles to describe subjective experience.