A graduate student's musings on art, metalsmithing, digital fabrication and design, life, and everything in between.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
iAm - Functional?
When I came up with iAm, I hadn't considered its actual use to be part of the project, but today I am starting to feel different about its function. On multiple occasions, from members of my graduate committee, other professors, classmates, and visitors to my studio, I've been given the suggestion to place "more directives" near the iAm socket, such as footprints. I've never been entirely into this idea of footprints because it reminds me of childhood experiences at the zoo and museums... But while the footprints in the museum did make the adventure of locating the Tyrannosaurus skeleton more suspenseful and thrilling, those feelings have never been what I've been aiming for with iAm object itself. I want iAm to be a boring object, so the directives must be more subtle. It is my hope that this will allow the adventure, thrill and suspense to be something that can occur in the viewer experience. With all of this being said, I was, however, curious about the stance a viewer might take near iAm when being used. So, today I decided to take a piece of newsprint, some uncompressed charcoal and use iAm. Keeping in mind people may spend varying amounts of time at the object, I set an alarm and decided I would do a 25-minute standing meditation plugged into iAm. So, I set up a video timelapse on my iPhone, rubbed my feet with charcoal, stood up, and plugged into iAm. Immediately upon plugging myself in, I start to follow my breathing and posture, like how I start a normal meditation and then the first thought pops up - I think "How am I going to clean this up?" Eventually, I was able to let this thought go, and remembered that I should just simply enjoy this beautiful 25-minute break from worry, thought, the past, and the future. My body began to relax, and I started to notice that with my inhales and exhales my body was moving ever-so-small-ly towards and away from the wall. "iAm a buoy." I was tethered, connected, secure, and comforted by the distance between my body and the wall. The wave of experience could not knock me from this place because I was designed to float, to be anchored, to be a symbol. (Wow, who knew 'being a buoy,' could be so powerful?) I didn't anticipate this, but my alarm didn't go off. I ended up standing comfortably at iAm for 50 minutes before coming out of my meditation, knowing that what I had experienced was enough to satisfy me for today.