Exhibition Next – Final Project Documentation – Matthew Couch

Museum/Exhibition Title: Museum of Cigs (香烟一点都不香)

The English name needs some work. The Chinese name is supposed to be a little more creative, with 香 being a character in the word that means cigarette while also meaning “fragrant” (smells nice).

Mission Statement

The Museum of Cigs is designed to discourage nonsmokers from starting smoking and encourage current smokers to quit by displaying relatable exhibits (with a twist) that are hard-hitting, causing the viewer to really consider either their future or current goals with regards to smoking cigarettes. It was inspired by my own struggle to quit smoking, which I have tried to do many, many times to no long-term success. I view the museum as particularly important in China, where the smoking culture is very prevalent, and many people seemingly don’t even know about the health problems that come with smoking. One reason for my struggle to quit is the fact that many of my Chinese friends also smoke; I hope this museum can have an impact on them and anybody else it can.

Description

 

The museum will be a temporary popup, changing locations around China

First Location: Vacancy Gallery (乌鲁木齐中路19弄2号)

Architecture: 3 story apartment building converted into an open space

Ticket: normal ticket

Featured Exhibits

Man in Coffin

A life-sized coffin with a mannequin inside, buried in cigarettes

Interactivity: current smokers are encouraged to place one of their own cigarettes into the coffin

Inspiration:

Actual creation + process:

I wanted to create this project using as little money as possible. I used cardboard boxes from purchases I had made on 淘宝, scissors, double-sided tape, a mannequin I had at home for drawing purposes, and three boxes of the cheapest cigarettes that were available at the store (total cost of this part was like 20RMB). If I had put more money into it, it could have been much more realistic; I could have used thin pieces of wood and nice glue that would not be visible like the tape is. This is just a proof of concept piece. Next to the coffin I placed a piece of paper with the following text:

“Everyone dies. Cigarettes, however, only speed up the process.

If you currently smoke, place a cigarette in the casket.”

Cigarette Shop

A cigarette shop inspired by the ones I have seen in Shanghai

Purchasable cigarette packs, however the price is not in RMB; it is in time (in relations to the health impact smoking cigarettes has)

The cigarette pack itself is real. Inside are facts about cigarette smoking that are rolled into the shape of a cigarette

­Example: Smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S. every year.

Scannable QR code to “pay” via WeChat that redirects to a website about quitting smoking

Inspiration: Lawson cigarette sales counter

Actual creation + process:

Like before, I wanted to spend as little as possible. I used a large piece of cardboard from another 淘宝 box to be the thing that all the cigarette boxes would be placed on. I asked my friends (almost all of them smoke various cigarettes) to not throw away any cigarette boxes after they had finished smoking. I ended up with around 11 different types of cigarette boxes (with some duplicates to put into the coffin) that I priced according to the tar/nicotine levels. The higher the amount, the more “expensive” (time wise) that each pack was. I tried to mimic the font of the design in Lawson.

Dark room: music

There is a dark room where headsets are available to listen to “Nikki” by Logic.

A screen is on the wall with a number counting the people who have died from smoking related diseases.

Inspiration:

Actual creation + process:

No pictures of this; the headphones can be seen in the final project picture below. My friend let me borrow his wireless headphones, which I placed on the table and instructed people to listen to the song. Being wireless meant a cleaner exhibit, although in an actual situation the battery would become a problem.

Final pics

Reflection

After hearing the critique, I know that this museum/exhibit’s core ideas would have to be altered for it to work. They made a good point: why would current smokers go to this exhibit? They wouldn’t. I should make it a more general cigarette museum, including both the positives and negatives as well as the history and any other information about cigarettes. Let the museum be open for debate/conversation, rather than pushing my narrative onto everyone forcefully. The facts/exhibits should do the talking for themselves. Overall it was a very fun project and it has even encouraged me to work with my good friend to slowly quit smoking ourselves.

Exhibition Next. document on technical component.

Document the needed element for an exhibition piece.

Exhibition Next. Final.

caption.

project appearance, digital and nature.

interactive element.

One week to grow the nature part of the project.

MVI_49031 

An animation with nature soundtrack.

Serial communication:

import processing.serial.*;
import processing.video.*;
Movie myMovie;
Serial myPort;
int bamboo=0;

 

void setup() {
//size(800, 600);

myMovie = new Movie(this, “bamboooo.mp4”);
myMovie.loop();
imageMode(CENTER);
fullScreen();

 

printArray(Serial.list());
String portName = Serial.list()[5];
myPort = new Serial(this, portName, 9600);
myPort.bufferUntil(‘\n’);
}

void draw() {
serialEvent();
if (bamboo==1) {
image(myMovie, width/2, height/2,width,height);
myMovie.play();
} else {
myMovie.pause();
}
}
void movieEvent(Movie m) {
m.read();
}
//image(img, 0, 0);

//void draw () {

// tint(255, 20);
// if (val =< 10) {
// movieEvent(Movie myMovie);
// }
// else if (val> 10) {

 

// }
//}

 

void serialEvent() {
// read the serial buffer:
while (myPort.available() >0) {
//String myString = myPort.readStringUntil(‘\n’);
// if you got any bytes other than the linefeed:
//myString = trim(myString); // to remove empty value
bamboo = int(myPort.read()); //myPort.read();
println(bamboo);
}
}

//void movieEvent(Movie m) {
// m.read();
//}

//}

 

Arduino:

int sensorPin = A0;
int sensorValue = 0;
int cmd=0;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600);
}
void loop() {
// read the value from the sensor:
sensorValue = analogRead(sensorPin);
Serial.print(sensorValue );
if(sensorValue>10){
cmd=1;
}
else{
cmd=0;
}
Serial.write(cmd);
delay(1000);
}

 

hardware: moisture sensor, Arduino, projector, laptop.

 

Week 6: Reading Responses to O’Nel – Rosie Gao (Liu)

“Therefore, exhibitions always need to be understood as institutional utterances within a larger culture industry.”

Connections and movements between spaces, things, and viewers are manifested, navigated, and transformed through “relational techniques.” (p.95)

“…exhibitions have the potential to activate discursive processes that enable dialogical spaces of negotiation between curators, artists, and their publics.”

“The exhibition is now a form of self-portrait, a curator’s courting of the gaze, in which an exhibition’s meaning is derived from the relationship between artistic positions as presented by the curator.”

 

 

Final Project: Sleep Museum – Rosie (Liu)

Name Rosie Gao

Instructor Chang Liu

Requirement

Project Sleep Museum

(The museum logo, using a calming and fairy style)

Requirement 

The final display is one object from your museum collection;
– The final display could an experience which is part of your museum.

Description 

Sleeping has been part of human nature and one-third of our daily life, and at the same time a mystery to be explored and a problem to be solved for modern people. We do the sleepwalking in our sleeping process every day, knowing few about the true demands of our bodies.

The Sleep Museum will lead you to a trip studying your sleeping as a whole personalized experience with details you may never pay attention to, including sleeping environment, company, method, etc. Welcome and sweet dream.

Arrangement of Space

The museum is divided into four parts, the part of impressions, introduction, experience, and sharing.

  • In the part of impressions, several artworks about people’s impressions on sleep and its relationship with humans are shown as a guide into the topic.
  • The part of the introduction is for people to learn about studies on sleep, including environments, history, technologies, etc.
  • The third part of the experience is the most interactive, including the rainy room project in which audience will get to feel their “perfect and favorite” sleeping environment, pillow carnivals in which audience can see some amazing designs of pillows, etc.
  • The sharing session is for the audience to share their own sleep experience and leave comments and suggestions on the museum. The notes will be recorded and published to the museum website for further studies and exhibitions.

Sample exhibition

My exhibition area is in a corner of the gallery 1250 with a movable wall. As a sample of my imaginary museum, it contains elements of each part of the museum, the “like the blind men feeling the elephant” diorama(revised), the elements of sleep, the “rainy chair” project of the rainy room(revised) + the pillow carnival(sample), and the sharing wall. The whole environment is designed to be dark with two light sources.

  • the “like the blind men feeling the elephant” diorama(revised)

Using cotton as the background to distinct the dream part and the real part and to create a sense of mystery. The diorama is placed on a lamp with sleeping light and jasmine fragrance, as a part of the rainy room.

  • the “rainy chair” project of the rainy room (revised)

                       

(Audience experiencing the project)

The rainy room is a small room in which the audience can experience a sleepy rainy day in a cozy, relaxing and ideal nap room. The room will adjust the light and sound according to the audience’s sleeping condition in a scientific, humanized way.

The rainy chair is a chair which plays rainy sounds in the headphone when people sit on it. Different from the last version, it uses FSR( Force sensor resistor) which is more sensitive to user’s movement than flex sensor and serial communication (Arduino, processing). When people experiencing the chair, they can hug the cat back pillow and put on the eyemask if they want to.

  • The carnival of pillows

  • The elements of sleep: scent, color, sound, light

There are brochures, stickers, time counter, and tickets available on the table, as a part of the reading before sleep experience and introduction as well. Tags are stuck onto the walls about the details of sleep condition.

  • Sharing sessions

There is a wall which audiences can write down their comments and advice, and also as a part of “the color of sleeping”.

Handout design

 (ticket)

(brochure)

Development

  1. More considerations on the realistic planning of the museum, including funding and location.
  2. Hide the wires and sensors to make it visually better.
  3. Show more research materials for educational purpose.
  4. Clearer captions to show the touring order.
  5. Consider to improve the lighting.

 

 

Exhibition: Next – Diorama Project @Finstagram (Millie)

@Finstagram Website Diorama Link

The “fake Instagram” – also known as a finsta – is a recent cultural phenomenon where people will create private Instagram profiles to reveal their true selves. Just as a public Instagram account and a “finsta” reveals that not all is what it may seem, this web diorama replicates that on a number of levels.

Initially I used photos of potatoes as a placeholder for developing the site before using my own illustrations, but I found that it ended up being a very funny allusion to the common complaint of selfie-takers stating, “I look like a potato.” That is, the term potato is used to reference raw, unready, and essentially poor looking.

The website itself is designed as similarly to Instagram’s own web interface as I was able to.

And the captions are from a real finsta account. Typically the culture around finstas is that the photos don’t matter (contrasting strongly with a standard Instagram account) and that the emphasis is on the caption and its emotional content.

I imagine this diorama to be created as part of my “socio_media” museum, to be displayed and accessed from the internet. It demonstrates the duplicity of a social media account and approaches a heavy topic of mental health on social media with a little bit of humor.

 

Zeyao – Exhibition – Broken Heart Museum

Broken Heart Museum is a mixed reality museum that brings the visitor to a room of broken heart. The museum is the final work of a 7-weeks class “Exhibition: Next”. The class explores how emerging technologies can be applied to the museum and exhibition design to enhance museum visiting experience. Broken Heart Museum is a museum that digs into possibilities of mixing the physical world and the virtual world, and blending both of the worlds together. The museum is heavily inspired by “Milk and Honey”, a collection of poetry that is written by Rupi Kaur, about the experience of violence, abuse, love, and loss.

Broken Heart Museum contains 3 parts. The first part is the physical experience. Once the visitor enters the physical space in the gallery, the visitor can start experiencing it. I recreate a working space of a teenager who has a broken heart, thus the visitor can feel the vibe of it immediately. Salt and Tear, a series of digital illustration that I remixed from the illustration in “Milk and Honey” is hung on the wall.

The second part is the digital experience of the museum. On the PC screen, the visitor will see the online museum that leads to the virtual bedroom of the teenager. The visitor can interact with the furniture or other objects in the room by clicking it or getting close to it. The online museum is based on aframep5, a wrapper that makes user write Web VR on p5.js. The wrapper is initially created by Craig Kapp, updated by me.

The museum also provides the VR immersive experience. It supports Google Cardboard or other mobile phone VR headset. The visitor can enter the museum through the browser (preferably chrome) on the phone, and put the phone in the VR headset to experience it. The visitor can click the “tile” on the floor to move around.

Week 5: Diorama and Paper Circuits

For the diorama project, I started with a shelf I found in front of my apartment building and an idea about creating a miniature print-making studio, in order to continue working on printmaking techniques. What if Philoctetes had had his own printmaking studio during his years of exile on Lemnos? What kind of pieces would he have created to express his pain?

I first painted the shelf white, and drew different scratch marks on the wood as if Philoctetes was counting down the days. Then I began carving different prints out of miniature rubber blocks: a hand, a skull, Philoctetes’ cursed leg with a snake, fire, etc, and experimenting with different test prints on water color paper. Philoctetes’ leg was by far the most complicated print because it involved using three separate block prints to print the colors of black, red, and green.

I had to find small props for the print studio; I bought a 10 kuai miniature wooden table from Daiso and cut fabric from a 10 kuai apron. I placed the red fabric on the table, along with carved rubber blocks and snapped toothpicks (which I used as miniature carving tools). I also used a thimble as Philoctetes’ drinking cup.

Here is the final product:

As for the paper circuits, I enjoyed this assignment; it was simple, straight-forward, and easy to put together. Here are some of the different circuits I worked with:

While I did not have time to use paper circuits in my final project for this class, I am considering using them for a final project in my studio art class.

 

Week 4: Interactive Chair Assignment

My chair assignment went through multiple iterations; I knew I wanted to explore the concepts in Philoctetes. My initial idea was putting a chair on a rooftop, and having a megaphone connected to the chair; people could vent their emotions into the megaphone by screaming and shouting. I quickly realized this wasn’t going to be feasible, however, because I realized that finding a rooftop would not be easy, and the project would legally probably be very difficult to carry out in China.

I wondered, then, if I could place the chair in front of a window, and doodle on the glass so that the viewer could see a surreal landscape superimposed onto the city: Godzillas crushing buildings, giant people stepping over them, etc. I quickly realized that this would be difficult because of different viewers’ height differences, which would shift the image several inches off depending on whether they were taller or shorter than me.

Then, I debated trying to create a room-size Camera Obscura using the black construction paper I had ordered off Taobao. This became difficult because none of the rooms at the AB were suitable; either the whole wall was covered in windows, or there were no windows at all. It was then that I decided to explore the concept of a dark room. What emotions could I explore?

I decided to have the focal point of my interactive chair be a pair of headphones attached to it; what would someone hear if they sat down and put the headphones on? I instantly imagined either 1) the sound of someone crying, or 2) the sound of someone descending into madness, but decided to stick with the second idea. I found a Youtube video of someone crying, edited the audio, and put it on my iPod.

Reactions to the interactive chair piece were mixed; some people jumped up and took the headphones off as soon as they put them on. Others sat for minutes, listening quietly to the sound of someone cry. I was very interested in peoples’ different reactions, and thought that this project was a good starting point to exploring how humans react to expressed pain.

Week 7: Ablution Museum (FINAL)

For my final project presentation, I wanted to create a location-specific installation for the Ablution Museum. When we chose our different areas of the gallery, I had a long cabinet with glass windows. It was at this moment that I decided to create an installation in three parts: 1) a hand-printed textile, 2) a small shrine, and 3) a shadow box using the glass windows as a display.

For my hand-printed textile, I chose my favorite line from Philoctetes:

“Let me hear a voice — do not fear me and 

panic at my wildness”.

I carved this line onto a rubber block, and printed it repeatedly onto a 1.5 m x 1 m bolt of dark blue fabric; the hardest part was choosing which typeface I wanted to use.  The block print was fairly small, and so the words were difficult to read.

For my small shrine, I built it out of a stuffed animal monkey, flowers and vases, a bottle of prescription pills, and a skull.

The final part was making the glass display. I decided to cut out the shape of a person grieving on black construction paper, and place a bright floodlight into the display case itself to add contrast to the silhouette.

Here is the installation altogether:

Then, I worked on polishing the museum name and mission. I realized that I did not want the museum to just be a place to tell the story of Philoctetes, but a place where a community could process pain together and better understand/explore the relationship between a society and individual pain. For this reason, I called the museum Ablution Museum. The word ablution refers to a ritual action of washing oneself. The mission statement is as follows:

Inspired by the tragedy of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, Ablution Museum explores the relationship between society and the pain of an individual through installations and performance art exhibits. In addition, Ablution Museum provides a space to express, process, and share pain through community events and even an artist-in-residence program.

Here were the posters I designed:

And the logo:

I also created sample programming for the museum:

October 31-December 11: Cry Out, an installation

November 10: Primal scream and ecstatic dance

November 25:  Untitled, performance piece

November 30- December 2: Art Retreat

Exhibition: Next – Reading Response (Millie)

  1. Here, communication lies at the heart of exhibitions, whereby the communicative medium is not a neutral transmission of information but something that contributes to the positioning and controlling of the spectator in a space of display (p.90).

I absolutely agree with this. Especially in situations where the artist also controls the exhibition of their work, space is such a critical factor to how the work is engaged with and perceived. The whole experience of walking in and the room itself can control mood with which the viewer will regard the work; this alone is a “communicative medium”. For instance, for many of Rothko’s pieces, he requested that it be exhibited in dim lighting and with high ceilings. In this way, he is “positioning… the spectator in a space of display”.

2. They (Exhibitions) are political tools for maintaining the status quo – modern ritual settings that reinforce identities, whether these be artistic, avant-garde, gender, racial, subcultural, regional, national, international, global, etc (p.91).

This is a cool section because I love discussing (contemporary) art’s intersection with identity and society. I feel that in this case, the tone of the exhibition depends on the curator, which is why we need to continue to diversify the art world even in curation. The fact that the star curators of the world are older, white European men means that they hold the control of what art culture to exemplify and exhibit; “political tools for maintaining the status-quo” where they get to remain in power and wealth.

3. Connections and movements between spaces, things, and viewers are manifested, navigated, and transformed through “relational techniques.” (p.95)

I feel like this relates to my first comment, where numerous spatial factors can adjust how a viewer experiences a piece or an artist. I also really agree here.

4. Yet his argument – that the invisibility of the curatorial hand can reinforce the “belief that art speaks for itself” and that curating is a “necessary, if insufficient, medium through which the communication between art and its audience takes place”

I’m actually not so certain about this one; I really agree that curation is important, but I question the lengths at which curators should be given the sole power to perform such a task. It seems almost the role of the exhibitors collaborating with the artist. But it seems that in situations where the artists have passed, curators are translators rather than the “invisibility of a curatorial hand” to be able to collaborate with the exhibitor on interpreting the work and themes that pair with them.

5. Rather than texts waiting to be read, exhibitions have the potential to activate discursive processes that enable dialogical spaces of negotiation between curators, artists, and their publics.

Rather than texts waiting to be read, exhibitions hold and display visual discourse. Beyond that is really an unseen, unspoken “negotiation”.