Notes on readings for Week 5:
...if you’re thinking of an interactive artwork, don’t think of it like a finished painting or sculpture. Think of it more as a performance. Your audience completes the work through what they do when they see what you’ve made. Figure out how to suggest to them what their course of action could be, and how they might uncover their story, and their own emotional interpretation of the work.
Example: Happy Feedback Machine
One thought on this I had from talking about interactive pieces in class today was that at Yoko Ono's retrospective at MoMA a couple of years ago there was one room where the instructions were simply: "Touch each other." I noticed that no one was going in that room. Maybe they were intimidated by the open ended-ness of the instruction. I am wondering if sometimes there can be too little instruction too. So getting the balance just right between too much and too little instruction could also be key in helping someone know what to look for or how to get something out of the experience. Another quote I thought of, though I can't remember who said it, is that sometimes if you don't tell people what to look for, they'll miss it. Once I held a concert at sunset and advertised in the description for it in the invitation that the sun would set during the first set. After we played a few people came up to me and said it was so nice to watch the sun set while the music was being performed. I also wondered if they would have had as much awareness of that, however simple it was, if it had not been pointed out as intended as part of the experience. However I also think there is an analogy between books and movies here — books allow you to make your own images, hence freeing the imagination. Movies do it all for you, making it easier to check out the imagination part of your brain.
I ideally would want it to be so obvious how you would interact with an installation that barely any instruction would be required; the installation would set the scene in itself. If the intention is to create a meditative installation, is it necessary to say that or just most important to create an inherently meditative space where people can do whatever they want or feel inspired to do, or feel whatever they choose to feel while in it? I like the idea that the audience completes the work — they are an integral part of the whole interaction, and they are not controllable. Nor do I want to control them, but maybe rather suggest a way of experiencing or interacting with the space through how it is set up, without words. These are all things to think about when starting to make interactive projects in the future.