Continuing Creative Conflict

November 24, 2007

After our first prototype was pretty well-received by teachers and classmates, we were still struggling to push the idea further. We starting working further on the physical fabrication (thinking of illuminating the acupuncture ‘spots’ with fibre optics) and the Processing visuals (working with loading in and switching between recorded videos).

We began to feel that we weren’t moving forward in an appropriately steady manner. Aram felt it might be beneficial to get some ‘expert’ advice, and he set up a meeting with his friend and former ITP student Joo Youn Paek. This which was really, really helpful. Joo Youn really made us aware that we hadn’t answered a fundamental question: who was our target user, and what did we want them to experience?

Joo Youn emphasised the need for our project to communicate clearly – we soon realized that we’d been proceeding on different, competing paths with our visuals and our physical model (if our physical form was going to light up, how might this be useful to the user, besides being potentially pretty? What kind of information were we conveying, and how would we coordinate this?).  She made use consider the user-incentive to interact with piece, and asked if the existing mystification of acupuncture was something we wanted to combat or something we might knowingly incorporate. She really provided clarity on our own need for directness in at least some portion of our project if we hoped that people would connect with it.

While Joo Youn seemed excited by the educational potential of our project, we still weren’t certain that we wanted to make it a teaching tool, and it brought up the biggest issue we hadn’t really answered. The overriding conflict in this project was the choice between an educational, instructive model – a chance to impart knowledge and illuminate and oft-misunderstood process – and one that had a greater capacity for personal and creative involvement, where we might bring our own feelings and intepretations to bear.

While we wanted to involve our knowledge of acupuncture and it’s process (mine recent and relatively shallow, Aram’s older and deeper), we didn’t want to end up with a museum exhibit piece. And we weren’t looking to promote acupuncture – we both agreed that we were more interested in using acupuncture as a ‘base’ for the project, and allow a certain freedom of interpretation in the work, so that it’s reach would be extended – people need not fully understand or agree with the process of acupuncture to be interested or intrigued by its underlying concepts as presented in our work – we wanted to give ‘clues’ about acupuncture (accurate clues, in a sense) that would allow a greater, metaphorical relationship to grow with the work. That’d be the ideal. How we were going to achieve that, we still didn’t know.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: