Soft dialogue is an interactive fluid dialogue between a human and a computer, between the viewer and the message. Digital information of our lives is provided in a humane way, which the users would experience, interpret, and share with personal values attached. The user becomes an active creator, publisher, and a viewer.
Today, most of our communication is made virtually through a digital device. I believe that our desire to express, feel, and to communicate is growing, along with the development of media technology. The goal of this research is to design an interface and a visual language that would encourage the share of moments and ideas. Personal and emotional information that might even be hard to articulate would be vibed through a multisensory experience.
Converting and connecting the two different worlds, the digital and our real, is the main issue for this research. The threshold of the crossing from digital to our real lives, and our real lives to digital challenges me with the inspiration to create the meaning and the characteristic of the project. Projects currently on development includes multi-sensory data visualization, interface for expressive computation, and on-line communication as tangible experience.
Artists and technicians have been investigating on using computer as an expressive tool. Creative organizations such as the MIT Media lab and Siggraph conferences have been initiatives on developing interfaces and softwares that would network and augment our senses and bodily activities. Hence, digital came to be an extension of our body and our selves. Artist Merce Cunningham and Golan Levin have been actively employing the computer on performances to augment actor’s movement through screen projection.
My previous project Where the wind blows has been successful in providing a haptic experience and using the computer to push our imaginations. However, it needs to be improved to give more freedom to the users and to encourage collaboration. Also, I find it crucial to deal with data that are more closely related to our real lives. Data collected and analyzed from individual contents portrays the society as a whole. Lev Manovich, Jonathan Harris, and Aaron Koblin have been using the database, interface, and public participation as a source of art.
This research includes the development of input and output system, which would form a singular experience within our real lives. Projects currently on development includes interface for expressive computation, multi sensory data visualization, and on-line communication as a tangible experience.
As for the input system, the information will be collected with the organic and lifelike qualities attached. The information will then go through a custom filter to identify the character of the information and to convert it as a multisensory experience. Possible output includes data visualization, generative characters, video projection, sound, and even physical changes. As to keep the users be inspired in the continuous dialogue, the output could be incorporated with the response from another entity. Technologies such as indexing, tagging and augmentation would help on connecting the digital and the real world experience
I look forward to use the computer not only as an expressive tool but also as a creative agent for this soft dialogue. However, giving freedom to the computer might raise confusion to the users by making the result unclear. Also, the multisensory output might seem ambiguous, raising questions of why this non-verbal communication should be developed and shared.
However, as an artist, I put more emphasis on the quality of output that could be appreciated over what could be communicated. I value projects that are emotionally resonating in its concepts by augmenting our senses in its technology and design. How to keep the dialogue of the project resonating within the users’ lives and get the users engaged with the communication would be the next challenge for me.
Manovich, Lev. The language of New Media. Cambridge, Mass. The MIT Press. 2002.
Jones, Caroline A. Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art, Cambridge, Mass. The MIT Press. 2006.
Moggridge, Bill. Designing Interactions, Cambridge, Mass. The MIT Press. 2007.