To be honest, I still don’t know what exactly I want to make for my capstone project–but I do know that I want to create something tangible, interactive, and playful.
MIDI Sprout is a kickstarter project that aims to convert the activities of plants into music. By sending a small electrical current to a plant and measuring the plant’s resistance to the current, the MIDI Sprout is able to create music from the plant’s natural biorhythms. While the project is still in its early development phase, I feel like it has a very poetic concept with a lot of potential. Recognizing the omnipresence of music in our daily lives and actually manifesting it in some way is one trait of MIDI Sprout which caught my attention–another trait is its ability to depict plants as sentient beings capable of making music rather than just…plants. Because of these characteristics, the project sparks a lot of curiosity in me and makes me want to test the device on all the plants I can find to see the results. I hope I can evoke a similar feeling from people for my capstone project.
Fine Collection of Curious Sound Objects by Georg Reil
This project exhibits the same ‘playful’ characteristic I described above. What I particularly like about this project is that the behavior of each object is not immediately apparent from the object’s appearance. That characteristic adds more wonder to each object and encourages viewers to discover each object’s function. If I am unable to come up with other ideas, I may end up doing a project that will be very similar to this one–I just need to find ways to distinguish my project from Reil’s.
Mew by Emily Groves
What captivated me about this project is its poetic simplicity. Mew is an interactive sound piece that basically purrs as the viewer approaches the piece, and makes distorted cat sounds when the viewer strokes the fur. The piece is simultaneously charming, playful, uncanny, and unnerving–and it’s only a lump of fur on a crudely-made wooden stand. Its unassuming appearance prevents viewers from having many predisposed expectations of the object, so its behavior when the fur is stroked would come as a weird surprise to people. Ideally, I would like to include a similar element of surprise in my capstone project, but ‘surprise’ is difficult to achieve because it’s hard to create a novel idea that not many people have seen before.