Ok. Bear with me here for a sec. The storyboard you’re about to see isn’t great in terms of imagery. I just whipped it up to help explain the path people will take in my anti-interactive interactive installation. The final one will be much much better. But before you take a look at it, let me explain my thought process and how this will all go down…
So I’ve got all the technical things working in Flash…motion detection that will not allow users to move through the scene unless they’re standing still…and a sound frequency listener (a la Max/MSP through FlashServer) that will allow people to interact with elements within the scene by fluctuating their voices at different pitches and volumes…I haven’t posted my earlier prototypes on this blog because they’re very simple and won’t work unless you use your webcam and microphone. But for those of you who have seen these earlier prototypes in class, you’ll remember the feeling of motion you felt while ‘traveling’ through the window, etc…keep that in mind when you see this storyboard, because that’s still the type of motion I’ll be using to move you through the scene. So now that I know I can get all the technical stuff to work, I’ve been trying to focus on what exactly the user will see – my visual language and what it will mean to people. Let me explain my thought process about that…
Basically, I want to guide people through a sort of quiet, meditative experience as they’re standing still. After much thought and several attempts to meditate myself, I came to realize that meditation is a sort of process. At least for me, it begins by becoming very aware of my immediate environment and the details that entails…but then I move past that to some sort of thought-space that is much larger and very real/sureal at the same time, and it comes to me bit by bit – one piece at a time. I travel through this space way ‘out there’ (but very real) for a time, but then must eventually come out of this state and back to my ‘reality’…which basically means that I come full circle and end up where I started at the beginning. It’s a process. When thinking about this process, I could relate it to Gestalt theory a bit (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts), and to the idea of relativity and, in some ways, existentialism. So I tried to keep that in mind for this storyboard…users experience each part and the whole thing at the same time.
So here’s how the storyboard works. It begins in a bedroom – a place that people associate with something that is quiet. It’s an environment we’re immediately familiar with. But then it moves past that and out the window where it follows rain upward into the sky. It then leads you closer to the raindrops until you actually go inside of one, where you’re surrounded by a prism of color. Moving through this color lands you to a bunch of balloons where you then follow one across the sky and eventually land at this huge ticking clock. The numbers on the clock begin falling off and you follow them downward where they eventually land in a sea. The current of this see then wash you across it until its wave slowly transition into bits of paper with writing on it. Currently, the writing says: “The universe is shaped exactly like the earth, if you go straight for long enough you’ll end up where you were…”. This paper then fades back into the bedsheets of the bed in the bedroom you first began at. Keep in mind while you’re going through this whole thing, you’ll be able to manipulate and interact with all the elements using your voice, thus encouraging people to hum or chant while they’re going through this sort of meditative experience. However, if they get too loud or noisy, everything they see will become extremely dissonant and ugly. Also, if they move, the scene will move backwards and take them back to the beginning unless they stop and stand still again so that they continue on.
Ok. Thanks for reading through all that. And now, here’s my somewhat (ok, mostly) ugly storyboard:
Yeah, it’s pretty bad (or confusing right now?). To be honest, I’m having a bit of a hard time with this. What I was trying to do is take people through a sort of narrative that is still abstract enough for them to interpret the way they want to. I know this scene is pretty complex, but if it’s too simple it won’t take users through a complete meditative process and it won’t be much of a story/narrative. Also, I wanted to incorporate a lot of elements that relate to meditation: intimacy, nature, water (as a symbol of life), light (and all the metaphors that come with it), and the idea of traveling through space and time and losing a sense of space and time.
…Does any of this make sense? Or am I totally crazy?
So basically what I’m struggling with now is how do I actually get people to use their voices? What cues can there be? How will they know?