Emotion, 2012

EMOTION is an installation that activates a public space by bringing selected objects to life, rendering a whole environment suspicious.

The space can be a lobby (corporation, administration, train station, airport, museum, concert hall) a catering area, a store, or a waiting area. The selected objects can be pieces of furniture, plants, curtains, TV sets, digital devices, lighting, or utensils. The selected commodities will be part of, or seamlessly blend into, the environment. Only when activated do they become recognizably different. Sensors and cameras detect presence and motion, triggering unexpected special effects that upend our expectation of what an object is meant to accomplish. Some will glow, some will cry, some will dance, some will melt. For instance, a standing lamp will behave in a shy manner when it detects a person approaching. Its head will turn away in the opposite direction while its bulb is dimming. The closer the person, the more the lamp bends and dims down.

The visitors are taken by surprise. When an unsuspecting user encounters a commodity whose usage is erroneous, it feels awkward as if something was going wrong. When the same user encounters one or two more of such commodities, then the whole space is rendered suspicious.

Culturally, as our emotional states are used in an exchange with currency (through manipulative advertising, media, and entertainment) we grow disconnected from what we really feel as a human. EMOTION aims to imbue everyday objects with basic human emotions through light, sound and movement. Creating something that has a specific emotional state disturbs our expectation of what an inanimate object is capable of, causing us to feel and reflect on our own emotional state. To heighten this sensation, most of these pieces contain qualities of opposing emotions (fear/comfort, anger/peace), illustrating the polarities of different emotional states. EMOTION ultimately aims to challenge our daily perceptions and understandings as we navigate through the world.


Example of responsive object  >>

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About five reactive objects will be created for the EMOTION installation. All the selected objects will detect presence through cameras and/or sensors that will trigger their activation.

List of 5 objects:

– Shy Light: a floor lamp that bends while its bulb dims, as if feeling shy and embarrassed when a person approaches.
– Dancing Chair: Chair that dances, happy, happy!
– Punching Drawers: Bureau or dresser drawers that open and close, aggressively.
– Vanishing Portrait: A painting that melts, in despair, as if crying, tired, and comes back up together again.
– Green Salutations: a tall plant, with a flexible stem and large green leaves that undulate and wave as to welcoming the passer by.

(Production on hold until funded)

Responsive Objects’ descriptions:

Object 1: Shy Light
Shy Light is a floor lamp that behaves in a shy manner when it detects a person approaching. Its head turns away in the opposite direction while its bulb dims or blushes. The closer the person, the more the lamp bends and blushes.
Shy Light is modeled on a standard metallic floor lamp, about human size. Hidden sensors detect presence and trigger reactivity. It features a flexible metal gooseneck and motors that activate torsions in x / y / z directions. The distance of the presence is measured, which determines the graduation of the neck’s torsion and the intensity of the light. The less depth detected, the more torsion and the less light.
All components will be integrated within the design of the lamp and look similar to a stylish, sleek metal floor lamp.

Object 2: Dancing Chair
Dancing Chair expresses happiness when it detects a passer-by. The chair starts lifting one leg, stretching it outwards, then another, and then all four legs move in a choreographed manner. The closer the passer-by, the more ecstatic the dance.
Dancing Chair has a polypropylene shell that hides the electronic components as well as the motors under the seat, and an aluminum structure and anodized aluminum legs to accommodate the ease for motion.
I would be interested in using the “Lord Yo” (1994), or the “Cosy chair” by Philippe Starck. Their designs are nicely appropriate.

Object 3: Punching Drawers:
Punching Drawers are about aggressively. A bureau or a dresser –depending on the environment (public/intimate)- will have their drawers open and close aggressively. As soon as presence is detected, a drawer pushes open with a loud clash, then loudly closes back. Immediately afterwards a second drawer acts similarly, then, if presence is still there and even more if it approaches, multiple drawers open and clash with slamming noise. As if a boxer’s or fighter’s fist was reaching out to hit the passer-by.

Object 4: Vanishing Portrait:
Vanishing Portrait is a painting hanging on the wall. The painting could be of the iconic Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s a faked painting whose frame conceals a digital screen and electronic components behind it.
When the painting detects a person approaching, it starts melting down as in despair, as if crying for help, as if tired.
The paint just melts, starting from the top and going down the portrait, cumulating the material, mixing it up. If the passer-by stays around, it will melt down to the bottom and mash all the paint there.
When the presence leaves the detection area, the painting comes back up together again, ready for the next passer-by.

Object 5: Green Salutations:
Green Salutations comes in the form of a potted tall plant with several flexible stems and large green leaves that undulate and wave to celebrate the presence of a passer by. It expresses welcoming, recognition, joy.
The plant welcomes presence by bending and bowing. It applauds the presence if the person stays in its vicinity by clapping its leaves to one another. When the passer-by retreats, the plant straightens up and rigidifies again.

Technical: sensors, cameras, robotics, microcontrollers, computers, light and sound. Perhaps liquids, fragrance, wind…

EMOTION can also take place in a museum or gallery space by re-creating the layout of a furnished loft or apartment (or any dwelling or work space), where 5 or 6 objects in the space are activated. It can be a “touring” installation, taking shape in various locations. It will create a growing “family” of reactive objects, which ultimately can be sold as prototypes or small editions.

Little Box Description

Marie Sester PROJECTS Statement Résumé Contact <<  Back to the Little Box Blog Little Box is an elegant responsive box using sensors, robotics, light and sound to express peace and harmony. Through its interactivity, it seamlessly teaches us to calm down. When an individual enters the detection zone the lid slowly opens automatically. Light glows … Read more

Little Box : Tray

Marie Sester PROJECTS Statement Résumé Contact << Back to the Little Box blog The tray is an important element to the box. It needs to be elevated and flush with the top of the box and also allow the actuators to pass through, lifting the lid. To bring the tray up making it flush with … Read more

Little Box : Sound

Marie Sester PROJECTS Statement Résumé Contact << Back to the Little Box blog We attached speakers to the underside of the box for the sound to emanate from.  Merche Blasco is creating the sound for the piece.  Two speakers that are small enough to fit under the box have been attached and connected to an … Read more

Little Box : Sensing

Marie Sester PROJECTS Statement Résumé Contact << Back to the Little Box blog We are using four of the Maxbotic EZ-1 Sonar sensors, which turned out to not be so “easy” when using more than one sensor. The sensors send out a sonar which bounces off an object allowing a distance calculation to be returned. … Read more

Little Box : Metal Legs

<< Back to the Little Box blog To make the sensor looks as intentional as possible we discussed placing the sensors underneath the box, rather than drilling a hole into the box.  To place the sensors underneath the box we needed to create legs which would elevate the box up high enough for our sensors … Read more

Little Box : LED Wiring

<< Back to the Little Box blog We are working with the LED Strip lights which come 60/meter and were purchased from Adafruit. These LEDs are Non-Addressable but can be cut every 3 LEDs. We purchase 15 meters and used them throughout the box. Although the LEDs can be cut every 3, the provided soldering … Read more

Little Box : Actuator Housing

<< Back to the Little Box blog To house the actuators within the box we knew we needed to create a cage that would secure the actuators in place without vibration and also allow the actuators to be removable in case, for some reason, they broke. We came up with a “cage” that would be … Read more

Little Box : Hinge

<< Back to the Little Box blog We purchased a stainless steel hinge from McMaster-Carr and installed it on the box after receiving the corrected tray. We chose not to get the hinge with premade holes as we will decide where the holes and bolts should be when we position the hinge. The hinge can … Read more

Little Box : Corian Box Received

<< Back to the Little Box blog We received the box back from Corian today. Although the exterior looked beautiful, we immediately realized that the inner tray was made entirely out of the non-illumination series. We specified the bottom of the inner tray to made out of the illumination series. We also noticed a large … Read more

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Kyosaku, 2011

Kyosaku will motivate people to master their many digital devices when induced stress arises, using these same technologies to promote sanity and awareness. Follow the project’s development >> Credits Marie Sester, Concept and DirectionMustafa Bagdatli, Creative TechnologistMerche Blasco, Assitant Creative TechnologistViktoriya Kuntsevich, Research ScientistAviv Bergman, Research Scientist Thanks toNeil Theise, Professor, Pathology and Medicine, Beth … Read more

Little Box : Corian Technical Drawings

<< Back to the Little Box blog Below are drawings that were submitted to the Corian Fabrication house, Evans & Paul.  We had the box fabricated in house at Corian because the material is difficult to work with.  It can not be laser cut with most lasers because it tends to bend and melt before … Read more

FEAR, 2010

FEAR is a public art work that uses a common object as a focal point of emotional interaction. Situated in the middle of a lobby, a table is illuminated from within, surrounded by sound producing chairs; all of them “breathing” peacefully. When this calming point of attraction is approached, the soothing light gradually becomes aggressive … Read more

Tell Me the Truth, 2009-2010

Tell Me the Truth is an interactive artwork that consists of a rectangular mirror on the wall, about 20 inches high. When approached, the mirror transforms the viewer’s face into the iconic artist, Andy Warhol. This transformed image reflects and mimics the viewer’s movements. When the gestures, faces or behavior of the viewer are out … Read more

Little Box : Open/Close Animation

<< Back to the Little Box blog The first prototype for Little Box project was building a system that can open a box seamlessly. This is a main step for the box and most of the next steps will be shaped according to our solution for this problem. We needed to make this system seamless, … Read more

Little Box : Mechanics Development

<< Back to the Little Box blog After testing out the bevel gears, we realized that we could not get the pivot point of the lid close enough to the back of the box. If we wanted to integrate the rod into the back of the box, we would need to create a false compartment … Read more

BE[AM] 2004-2008

BEAM Featured

BE[AM] is a spatially interactive immersive installation which displays visuals from a database of American pop culture and offers the visitors control of three familiar iconic characters via video gamepads. BE[AM] projects video imagery onto the three walls, ceiling, and floor of a public space using a robotic projector. The three characters, Charlie Chaplin, Wile … Read more