A Space for Reflection
The most powerful tool an artist can use are the memories of their audience. A Space for Reflection explores this concept as an interactive composition that creates memories from each participant that change the course of the composition itself. With each new interaction the composition itself grows through subtle changes in its from and dynamics. To create this process, the compositionâ€™s form is pre-composed while the content is user submitted. This allows the participant to obtain a level of personal connection with the content. The participant is also not constrained to an experience of only receiving input. By allowing their placement within a physical space to control the composition playback, the audience member also becomes the performer.
To begin, a participant is sits down at a table with a computer with a microphone attached. In front of the computer sits a pair of wireless headphones with a wireless transmitter attached, in this case an Xbee device. On the computer screen the software instructs the participant to put the headphones on and press the spacebar and a piece of music will begin to play. When the piece is over, the software then instructs the participant to press a button and say the first word that comes to mind as a response to what they have just heard. This word is then added to a database that contains all previous participantâ€™s submitted words. Next, the software instructs the participant to stand up and slowly walk down the hallway.
As the user progresses down the hallway, a generated composition using the database of words is played back in the participantâ€™s headphones. The audio received is being sent to the participant via an FM transmitter connected to the computer. Their distance from the beginning of the hallway is then mapped to control the position in the generated composition. This allows the composition to be mapped to a physical space. As the participant steps forward, the composition accelerates and as they step backwards the composition is played in retrograde. Once the participant crosses a distance threshold, for example fifteen feet, the composition performs a closing phrase and the piece is over. A space for Reflection also gradually changes is in form, size, timber and density with each new participant. This growth process allows for each interaction to be a unique experience.