“I love the playful approach to interface and interaction. A great set of experiments around nonvisual and nontraditional interface design.” —juror Josh Goldblum
“So creative! Loved the way this project leverages our senses—sound, touch, smell—to convey its message.” —juror Isabel Kantor
Overview: Invisible Sculptures is a series of artistic experiments that challenges human perception through sculptures that can only be “seen” with senses other than vision—they are made out of sound (Sculpture I and Sculpture II), heat (Sculpture III), directional air flows (Sculpture IV) and odor (Sculpture V). To perceive these objects, viewers must align multiple sensory functions to find and feel the form, texture and boundaries of each sculpture.
Comments by Yeseul Song:
What motivated you to create Invisible Sculptures? “There are spaces that exist but are not visible. For instance, in a restaurant, people tend to avoid sitting near bathrooms or garbage cans. Although there is nothing physical, I can sense invisible boundaries around those spaces. I wanted to create a place where invisible forms are perceivable. Invisible Sculptures invites audiences to develop senses toward structures and boundaries that affect us but are not visible to us.”
What software, back-end technology and programming languages were used? “It varies depending on each sculpture. To list some of them: openFrameworks, a software music sequencer, infrared cameras, a thermal camera, the invisible spectrum of the electromagnetic spectrum and infrared heating elements. During the development phase, I made multiple invisible sculpture prototypes with different sensing technologies and a variety of complexities in the form. I conducted user testing with the prototypes to find a sweet spot for the sculptures, which are perceptible but not too easy to get. The sculptures also sit on top of identical plinths, which were designed to hide all of the hardware components, and each is independent from the others. This provides viewers with a seamless experience without being distracted by the technology used to create it.”
What was the response? “From my observation and visitors’ feedback, most people were amused and inspired. Some people were confused at first when being pushed to deactivate their primary sense, vision, but soon became immersed in the experience. I asked the audience to use clay to mold physical sculptures in the likeness to what they had experienced. It is interesting to note that although everyone was provided a similar experience, each person’s interpretation had some variation in the shapes. The sound sculptures (Sculpture I and Sculpture II) resulted in the most consistent clay sculptures while the odor sculpture (Sculpture V) resulted in a huge variety between what people saw.”