ITP Spring Show 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2-6pm & Monday, May 11, 5-9 pm

David Golan

The Dinner Party

The viewing of lost and found footage, and its deconstruction, is based on the number of unread emails in your inbox.

Dataflow Programming for Projects,Persuasive Technologies: Designing the Human

Many people feel quite overwhelmed by their email inbox as they deal with managing a constant flow of important correspondence mixed with spam. Some become obsessed with constantly checking their email, while others may neglect their unread messages and let their inbox overflow. My project is an attempt to visualize the extent of how busy people’s lives are as measured by the number of unread emails in their inbox. I use found footage from as a means to elicit a sense of nostalgia for a “simpler” and less complicated time. The video is deconstructed, or scrubbed frame by frame, back and forth, to allow the viewer to explore the emotional quality inherent within the shot. The more unread email you have, the more deconstructed the video displayed. The deconstructed video acts as a visual representation for how “clogged” one’s life (inbox) is, and it will provide the user differing images as means of reflection. It will play differently every time the user’s email inbox changes - the entire video will play in real time if their are no pending emails, or will slowly move frame by frame over a single shot if there are many unread messages. The user is encouraged to return multiple times to fully experience the different visual scenarios that depend on their inbox size.
This project utilizes Processing to retrieve the user’s unread email count, which communicates with Pure Data to handle the “deconstruction” of the video. The intent of the project is to persuade people to think about how their lives revolve around their email, how they manage their email at different times in their lives, and how one can reflect on these issues.