The Fantastic World of Mr. Phelps

Dalit Shalom

By digging around the dusty archives of the New York Public Library and connecting the dots, a remarkable character was revealed. This is a story about discovery and becoming close to someone I never knew through analog Big Data.


2 months ago, I came across an eclectic collection of postcards at the New York Public Library. After spending hours sorting them, I realized that 60 of them belonged to the same person. These postcards were sent from all around the world, written in very close dialog, and I felt destined to find out who this person was. By connecting the dots through the texts I read, and digging in the right archives at NYPL, I was able reveal many links and information about this mystery man.

Postmark: Discovering Mr/ Phelps is an exhibition about discovery and analog archived Big Data. It's about social networks that have existed prior to Facebook and Twitter, and about how interlaced recordings of data have been around for decades.

This exhibition is part exploratory (visuals and clues posted on a wall) and part experiential (getting in the shoes of Mr Phelps) through fantastic worlds created as collages out of the original postcards. This experience will be viewed in VR.


Cabinets of Wonder, In Their Shoes

Monuments to Hart Island

Nicholas Hubbard, Rebecca Lieberman

Monuments to Hart Island is an explorable virtual environment that houses memorials to the present and history of Hart Island.


Hart Island is a one mile landform off the east coast of the Bronx, directly adjacent to City Island.  Originally used as a Civil War training, POW, and then burial location, it was purchased by the City of New York in 1869 and its primary purpose became serving as the final resting place for the indigent and unclaimed dead of the city.  Now managed by the Department of Corrections, Hart Island still fulfills this role, with as many as 1,500 bodies being buried on the island every year by inmates from Riker’s Island.

Monuments to Hart Island takes into account the island’s present condition, which is to say, nearly inaccessible and hidden in plain sight; you can’t actually go to Hart Island unless you arrange it through the DOC, cameras are not allowed, and unless you are a relative, you can’t visit burial sites (active or inactive).

As a result we have chosen the format of a virtual reality museum & memorial both to what physically exists on Hart Island and to the barriers faced when trying to encounter what’s there, using a 3d reconstruction of the island from aerial maps to allow a user  to navigate multiple layers of consciously obscured content and media. The experience is defined by a series of speculative & abstract memorials (or reimagined markers) that surface physical realities of burial on the island.

Our final installation at the ITP Winter Show will consist of:

An explorable virtual space/environment that tells the story of Hart Island, played in a headset (Oculus or Gear VR)

A small accompanying installation which includes a sign-in book that mimics the ledger visitors must register with through the NYC Department of Corrections

In-progress Unity demos


Cabinets of Wonder, DIY-VR, In Their Shoes


Isabel Paez

Technology can take us back to our Roots


I have been doing a lot of work and research for the design of my Museum for Cabinets of Wonder. The Museum of Ancient Rituals where the visitors will be taken into an experience that will try to take them back to their roots and explain the importance of the knowledge our native ancestors had. For my Printing Code final I am designing a whole Typography with shapes of roots and for my Temporary Expert final I am creating the work I want to show in the ITP Winter Show. This project will be a painting/sculpture that will light up and play music when people stand in front to contemplate the piece. The roots will be divided into four different colors and materials; each one will represent an element (Air, Earth, Fire, Water). A musician is composing the music because each element has a specific instrument that represents it. When all the roots have been light up the shape of a human will appear with its legs as the


Th code is working perfectly I only have to finish the physical building aspect which is the easy part for me.


Cabinets of Wonder, Printing Code, The Temporary Expert: Research-based Art and Design Practice

The ITP's Mind

Michelle Hessel

An interactive ITP brain sketch that will allow user to understand what moves/intrigues each of the 1st year student.


The “inQuery” is a project from ITP's Applications Class in which all the 1st year students must write a blog post about a topic that they are curious about. This is an opportunity in which we are invited to talk about anything that we feel passionated or indignant about. Throughout the semester I found myself very interested in what people were saying and because of that I made a javascript interactive screen visualization of this data. The sketch has the shape of a brain in which nodes move around. The idea is that user will be able to touch the brain nodes and discover each inquiry, its author's name and e-mail. User can also search for specific terms or names. My intention is for people to find interests in common, connect with each other and discuss more about it, whether the user is from ITP or not.


Applications, Introduction to Computational Media


Muqing Niu, Xuhui Xu

Two strangers compose music together to create implicit understanding.


The main purpose of the project is to create a scene where two strangers can play music together, without knowing the face and sound and tender of each other, building up some implicit understanding of these two people.
What inspire us is that nowadays most of the social network software are based on the tags, and it can't give us a distinct knowledge of this person, cause the tags may tell a lie. However when two people do something together, especially when they have no judgement upon each other, they can get a fair understanding of the other one, that could be a new way of social network.
So in our project we are building such a scene, composed of two separated space, using two computers communicating each other, using two kinects to encourage people exploring the depth, using two projector to create a emerged illusion. Two people step into the separated space and touch the cloth, the fire and ripple visual effect coming out, with the fluid of the visual effect on the screen they can hear the harmony music coming out from the black. Then they start to play the music, slower and faster, moving around or just stick in here, follow or escape, they can do what they want to do, meanwhile what they do is seen by the other person. So in the whole process, they play together and finally get the understanding of each other.
In a word, InBud is an engaging experience where two strangers make collaborative music generation by dabbling water and flame on the wall, and get implicit understanding in the progress.


Applications, Introduction to Computational Media, Introduction to Physical Computing