Life in the box : Full Text


The link to full text, PDF Format :


The little space calls 'elevator' is so unique. It is the transit space that we have taken for grated in our daily life. It is the essential components of the urbanized society, which also help enabling the expansion of vertical city, like New York. However, this steel cage has always been unpleasant for human. The sense of awkwardness, tension and stress often signed within the elevators. “Life in the box” project is intended to explore these aspects of human behaviors in relations to the elevator. Through the concept of ‘building human Companionship’, the project aim to answer these questions;

- What is the relationship of human behaviors and emotions with closed space?
- Why does people closed themselves to others as the strangers in such place?

- Can design and technology help easing personal tension/stress/awkwardness and create the ‘instant’ communication and relationship?

- Can we change the experience of elevator riding?

The key strategy for the project is to establish the relationship/bond between the visitors and ‘the elevator pet’. We believe that the existence of the life-form in elevator would eventually promote interaction between strangers (or triangulation) as well as releasing stress in each riding section. By introducing the series of prototypes from the basic (non-digital) to digital, we have created the effective experiments on the elevator riders at Parsons, the New School for Design.

Many interest feedbacks have suggested the valid proves, that the concept of building human companionship with elevator pet could potentially be further developed into fully integrated digital installation. Questions still remain unanswered, due to the fact that each elevator has its own unique culture. The installation must be carefully implemented with the research on the particular rider behavioral pattern. It is simply because human is complicated and unpredictable.

Elevator Pet
Prototype : Elevator Invader!!
Prototype : My elevator friends

Prototype : Elevator Pet has born.


Cube World

One of the inspirations of my concept life in the box

What is Hitch got to do with my project. Watch the first part of the movie where he uses the dog as the connection between strangers.


Proposal for Interface Fall07 Final Project : Part02 Concept Sketches


1) Create identity within the space
- via human figure (lift boys/ladies)

- via surveillance (big bro. style, camera and speaking voice)

- via non-human (animal, plants, insects, robot, AI)

Robotic installtion by Fernando Orellana, at Tang Museum.The four robots include small speakers for the output of sound and sonic sensors for sensing their world. Each has the capacity to open its own door in the elevator's ceiling, extend itself into the elevator's space, "look around" and respond differently in song depending upon the behavior of the humans it carries.


2) 5 sec. games (e.g. crosswords, O/X, roulette, brain testing game)
- Could be challege by another elevator’s visitor (in case on 2 elevator)
- Tetrist

3) Overload Information ( weather forecast, time, news, traffic status etc. from website – widget styles)

4) Environment transformation ( Sky in elevator, moving wallpaper – narrative approaches – world above)

Fremont Street Experience - Las Vegas : largest LED roof in the world

5) Information Fun (Kinetic typography, synchronise motion of elevator with the typography – sliding type)
“Checked Out,” public art commission for the Minneapolis New Central Public Library, Ben Rubin, 2006.

6) Instant Gameshow (force visitors to participate in the game – cube the movie)

7) Hideaway space – quick meditation space

8) Photobooth (Let’s take photo together, smile)

9) Very Short film cinema
- 360 degree movie
Installtion at the Museum for Contemporary Art, Leipzig.

Sound interactive Installtion in the elevator's floor built-in screen by Theodore Watson, at the Ars Electronica Futurelab

10) Shadowplay installation

Proposal for Interface Fall07 Final Project : Part02 Proposals Research and Concept Sketches

Write a narrative description of the project(s). What is it, who is it designed for, what is it designed to do, what kind of technology does it explore, why should we care about it, where will we see or what is the project’s life beyond the classroom, how does it make a difference?


The main motivation for the project is out of my personal curiosity about a small metal space called ‘Elevator’. It is an essential instrument for transportation vertically floor to floor in high-rise buildings and skyscrapers in the modern society. In our daily life, we have been using elevator so much that we take it for granted. As technology progresses from the last decades, elevator has become much safer and faster. Stairways are left isolated and only serve as the emergency escape. Office works waste lesser time traveling, and buy more time working and making money, the true capitalist ecology.

However, the approach of this project is focus on more psychology and sociological ideology behind elevator. The objectives of the project are basically trying to answer the following questions;

- What is the relationship of human behaviors and emotions within closed space(elevator)?
- Why does people closed themselves to others as the strangers in such place?
- Can design and technology help easing personal tension and create the ‘instant’ communication and relationship?
- Is there anyway to encourage being in the elevator as the gathering place.?

The installation within the elevator will be the vehicle for exploring the possibilities of technology regarding to the answers of these questions. Particularly, this installation will consist of 4 elements;

1) Participants: Visitors to the elevators
2) Hardware Setting : Screen or other decorations
3) Media : contents within the screen, (interactive or non-interactive)
4) Controller : computer automation and feed back system

The foundation of this project will be developed from the communication design point of view via the combined narrative and interactive techniques (visual and sound), and using technology as a tool for delivering these ideas.

TARGET AUDIENCE (Who is it designed for?)
The primary target audiences are the ordinary New Yorkers, those who live in the modern lifestyle ; university students, office workers, businessmen(and women), delivery boys including everyone who use elevators as the daily transit space. Particularly, we will focus on the target group ages from 18 to 40 years old, the average income owners.

Although, the behaviors of people in the elevator could be assumed to be in the similar pattern, but the cultural differences must be taken into the account, as the level of interaction are arguably differed in each countries/locations.

OBJECTIVES (What is the design do?)
- To encourage interaction between strangers (Triangulation, interaction appitizers)
- To eliminate the awkwardness within the closed space
- To loosen the high level of tensions, pressure and forcefulness in elevator
- To create the sense of ‘instant community’
- To create the new experience in elevator riding, warming up the frozen cage
- To experiment on the idea of civil inattention, proxemics and human behavior
- To explore on the narrative approach to human centered design and everyday problem solving.

TECHNOLOGY (What kind of technology does it explore?)
The excepted technology for this project will be in the realm of visual/audio, screen based technology within the environmental design aspect. Real time feedback technology from the visitors as well as the movement of the elevator will be explored. The performance would be trigger by the visitors as they took the dual roles of performers and audiences. Note that the technology apply here, will take the role of aiding to strangers’ interactions, rather than being an aesthetically pleasing art work. Furthermore, the networking features could be added in the further stage, which will enable to ability to share activities/results between elevators within the same site or through the internet.

Why should we care about it?
Have you ever question yourself why do we all suddenly act so strange when we get on the elevator? To the users, if it is not the essential vertical transportation vehicle, there is not much of desire to ride one. The elevator acts as the closure to the outside world, concealing the privacy of those who ride alone or with friends, on other hand, it became a metal public cage, where strangers are forced to share the small space regardless to their desire, and often the personal space have been violated. The word ‘civil inattention’ was given by Evering Goffman as a part of ‘behavior in public places’: “After a quick but open glance at a proper distance, the participants’ looks are lowered for each other and raised again only at the moment of passing. They neither signal a recognition, promising an openness for contact nor should they be full of distrust and hatred.” (Hirschauer, 1997).

The elevator has become the place of sociological experimental ground for the study human behaviors, interaction and violation of personal space. Therefore, via the use of visual design and communication what can be done to this small space, in order to breakdown the ideology of elevator.

Locations of Implementation
The implementation of the project is aimed to the public building’s elevators where the visitors are mostly different in occupations, status and genders. The building such as public library, department stores, museums, hospitals and even hotels are the target location.

However, with the time limitation and other technical constraints, most of the prototyping section will be conduct locally at Parsons’ elevators. The target audience will be shifted from the public to university students as well as the unevenly distribution of visitor ages. Under this above circumstance, the conclusion of the projection will not be reached; in fact, the primary goal is to achieve the project valid guidelines for the further execution stage.

Life of the Project
The installation of elevator project will be temporary within the period of 1 -3 weeks, due to the insufficient amount of media and the repeated visual pattern for regular visitors. However, for the final implementation stage, the installation can be permanent depending on the management and update of media. The predicted lifetime time of a set of media could be at maximum 4 weeks. The real measurement will be finalized during the prototyping stage.

How does it make a difference?
The strength of this project can be found on the objectives. It is the idea that installation can act as the third identity within the elevator and to encourage communications between strangers in any forms visually or verbally (create triangulation within the space). It also emphasizes the sociological outcome and the process of interaction the participants.


Proposal for Interface Fall07 Final Project : Part01 Questioning and Brainstrom

Questions of Curiosity

1) Why does people try so hard to do nothing or stay still in the elevator/subway? The physical space between people is so close but why the mental space is enormous? Strangers/Friends/Sharing (Psychological question)

2) What is the relationship of human behaviors and closure of space? Wall/Floor/Entrapment/Freedom/Privacy

3) What form of entertainment/performance(Narrative/Interactive) can make a sudden impact on the first time audiences? How to get them excited in a short time?

4) What is interaction appetizer? How long does it take to get a response?

5) What is the relationship between pet/animal and his owner? Play/Feed/Royalty

6) What can we do in elevator? What is the needs or desire?

7) How to decorate a small room with a lot of users? Visual responses in Toilet/Phone booth/stairways etc.


SOCIAL NETWORK : Hi5.com for fun!

Hi5 crews talk about Google's OpenSocial.


Hi5 social network research :

With more than 60 million registered users, Hi5 is one of the biggest social networking sites in the world among Facebook and Myspace. It was launched in 2004 by a San Francisco based company. One of the advantages of hi5 over the other giant social networking sites is the multi languages, since the large portion of its audience is international and non-English speaking based. In addition, it is the no. 1 social networking site for the Spanish speaking users. With free sign up, the users can enjoy the interaction with their friends and family or even make new friends within no time in the fun environment. Hi5 is the ‘traditional’ base social networking site similar to Myspace and Friendsters, in comparison with Facebook. It have most of basic social elements from forums, groups, chat rooms, photo albums, music and videos.

Similar to other social networking site, hi5 is used for getting in touch with friends, share your life experience with others through photographs, video and music, joining group of discussion or forums and great place to organize the social gathering. Although, the features are standard to other social networking sites, each of them have their unique cultures. Facebook for example, has a more community feel, simple interaface and easy to use which is perfect for keeping in touch with close friends aboard in personal level. Myspace on other hand is indeed exciting, full of online activities, blogging, forums, it is the gathering place for persons to companies to politicians to celebrities in the large global scale. It is also over commercialized sometime, with overwhelming adverting banners and product promotion comment virus. People use Myspace for new social connection, promote their works, orgnise events and party, expected to reach the wider audiences.

Hi5 is attempting to be on the personal side while encouraging the online interaction and networking. With its low privacy level in comparison to Facebook, the users can easily view anyone profiles, leave comments and give them 5s without friend’s restriction. ----

As the hi5 creators are aware of their major international users, they have constantly enhanced the multi-languages features. Today, hi5 has 10 foreign languages supports from Spanish to Turkish, and future promises for Asian languages such as Thai and Chinese. Hi5 also provide the language Forum, for the users to discuss hi5 internationalization, localization, translation and language issues.

After raising $20 million dollar funding in July this year(2007), hi5 has taken a step further to put itself in the hot seat in competition with Myspace and Facebook by joining Google’s new OpenSocial platform. Although Hi5 has made the tight relationship with company such as Slide and RockYou to produce quality widgets, OpenSocial is expected to greatly expand its widget systems. It also enable the new opportunities for new developers to create powerful applications that could easily run on multi social network sites (as OpenSocial’s partners, Orkut, Friendsters, Ning etc.) On the other side, hi5 users can benefit from the new media applications such as ‘ilike’ that tracks your favorite music online, Slide’s Funwall allow multimedia interaction with graffiti and photo, and Flixter’s movie sharing application. In addition, the more development will also devote to international language system that help hi5 to be more localized.

An recent example of hi5’s attempt to be localized with the international audience, is the company’s joint venture with Topspace from Thailand. As hi5 is now the top social networking site in Thailand, Topspace will handle all the hi5’s media advertising for Thai market. This would mean hi5 is now speaking in Thai, and becoming closer friend to its audience.

Hi5 Networking Observation

Hi5 is an online social network based on triditional social networking site like Myspace but the recent cleaner interface give the more personal feel to the site similar to Facebook.
1) Easy Extension of friendship right in your home page
Many tempting features such as : Friend suggestions, Friends update, Friends of friends, Friends requests, Profile visitors. You are just a click away from those beautiful people.

2) Photo driven society
Friends update display mostly pictures of strangers. It is indeed easy to just click their nice picture and view their profiles. The hi5 users are more careful to put the profile pictures and well as the self promotion pictures in their albums. Many widgets are created to support photo mania such as slideshow etc.

3) Who are the big brother?
One of hi5 cool function is profile visitor tab from last 30 days. You could take it as the rating database, find out who r those people and sneak in to look at their profile. It is another way to trace back big brother and somehow create more interaction between strangers.

4) Its all about adding friends

Due to its low level of privacy, it makes life much easier to get connected with friends as well as strangers.

Friends Request feature will always remain you when ever you return to your home page. Vice versa, adding a new friends seem less restricted with just click on 'Add freind button' and the request is send to that users. However, the users still need to approve your new friendship first. It is interesting to see who many strangers want to be your friends everyday.

5) Group
You can search for more than 100,000+ groups from the directories or you can create one for your own.

Group and discussion in hi5 is not so lively as in Myspace and Facebook.

6) Widgets : personal enhancements

7) Scrapbook features



Question #1
Strengths (what did the solution do very well?)

To begin with we had more ideas than we needed. We needed about 4-9 ideas and we actually had 10. We were then able to categorize them into groups like necessities, games, creating curiosity and Action. To our advantage we were able to integrate many of these ideas even though they fell into different categories, like cross- grouping. For example, we wanted to merge the lounge idea with the bonfire and the play of shadows. This made our experimentation process very versatile.
For our first idea we wanted to implement the ‘Cardboard Cubes’. This was extended and we eventually created two variations of this. The first one, we had a spinning brown cardboard box almost cube shaped and we left markers that were tied with string to the pole that the cube balanced on. For the second variation, we bought 8 white cube shaped cardboard boxes that were 24X24X24 and we created a colossal white cube. This was visually interesting and there was a lot of improvement that could be seen from the first to this variation. This was much larger than the first one and was more in proportion to the actual black cube. Also, this was white and hence showed a stark contrast in colors. These variations of the first experiment achieved our goals directly. It increased activity on the island, invited more people and maximized social interaction and triangulation.
Our implementation of this experiment was definitely a strength in itself, because we bought good quality boxes that helped us create the fabulous structure both times. The strength as a whole for this project was the fact that the strategy of the project was very welcoming. It was an activity where people had to come and share thoughts with words and drawings which they illustrated on the cube. It was interesting to see peoples emotions and how each of them interpreted it differently. Our implementation techniques was the strength that actually brought us so far in the process, because without the idea being well executed we doubt the goal could have been achieved.
The second experimentation was based on the ‘Spinning festival’. We had very few, countable strengths here. One being the fact that the projections we wanted to create was visually capturing, and thats bout it.

Question #2
Weaknesses (what could be done to improve the design?)

As for the first experiment, we could have got a strong base right from the start for the very first variation. As for the second, we were not as well prepared for the second implementation as we were for the first. First of all, for the second variation, the base was not at all strong, and the cube would not balance. We wasted a lot of time actually experimenting and playing with the structure to get it together and ready and working on the site itself. By the time the sun had almost set. We had to cut the holes over and over again for this second time. After we did all that we needed to make it stand upright, it wouldn’t. We then decided to cut an extra amount of the base of the cube, which provided it more balance to stand on the little wooden base we reused from the first time.
This time round it did work! And worked well! However, our implementation strategy was much weaker than the first and it almost followed an experimentation process of its own. In our opinion, if we had more time, we could have discussed and theoretically devised the installation process, before we put it into action.

Question #3
The design process (What were some of the key moments/decisions during the process? What were trouble spots? How did the collaboration play out? Who took on what roles and how were decisions made or conflicts resolved?
Answer #3

At the beginning of the project the entire team sat down and brainstormed a dozen ideas. That was definitely a key point for the group because it helped us get to know each other, our strengths and what each member’s role would be in the project.
There weren’t that many trouble spots other than us realizing that some of our ideas were too grand and we needed to tone them down a little also we needed to narrow down to one single idea and execute that well. Thankfully the four of us worked very well together, talked out our ideas and consciously as a group along with our ethnographic study of the area, decided to test out two different installations. One idea was the cardboard cube idea (we mimicked The Alamo which is the already existing big black art piece at Astor Place) where we chose to let people express themselves anyway they please using our cube and four sharpies. The second test was the Spinning festival, where we chose to let the general public spin the black cube and be a part of a world record while a huge digital counter was projected on the cube itself.
We worked as a team and everyone helped out in every aspect of the project. Jason hand constructed the base of the Cardboard cube, Reema and Rabia put the boxes together for the cardboard cube. All four of us visually documented the entire process. Tu and Jason designed the flash projection for the spinning festival. Tu designed the documentation presentations. We chose as a group to work together on every aspect of the projects from the construction to the documentation and therefore though each of us took the lead on one aspect, the rest of us still voiced our opinions and molded the project accordingly.

Question #4
Include your analysis of at least 2 new media public space instruction sets that are related to your project. Critique these projects in relation to your own: how are they similar or different? What can be learned from these projects if you were to evolve your design further? Include visual examples of the projects described, as well as information on who produced them, when, where, and why.
Answer #4

March 14, 2005
1) Astor Cube Replacement!

When the Astor Cube disappeared, a great disturbance was created in the hipster force- as if a million art students were all crying out at once. Thankfully, this rift has been repaired. Mohit writes in:

We would like to notify you that we are replacing the Astor Place Cube at 3.30 PM today. We have built a new Cube, which we have dubbed the jelloCube, out of PVC piping and concrete. In 1968 Bernard (Tiny) Rosenthal built the Astor Place Cube, one of the last commissioned work of public art by the City of New York. Today we are replacing people's Art.

Viva la Cube!

On the spot picture by Aaroneous on Flickr.

2) Astor Cube

The Rubik's Cube stayed up for the entire day. It got a small amount of grafitti which was to be expected given the usual crowds that hang out there, but it wasn't too bad.

At around 5pm, I was curious if it was still up since I hadn't heard from anyone for a while. I called Starbucks:
SB: Starbucks. How may I help you.
Ben: Hi. Is there a really big Rubik's Cube outside?
SB: There sure is.
Ben: Thanks. Bye.

It stayed up through evening rush hour, when people seemed waaay more excited about it than they did at 6:30am on their way to work. It was pretty awesome.

But then around 8pm a strange thing happen. A van from the NYC maintenance department (or something like that) pulled up and two men stepped out and proceeded to powerwash everything off the cube! Disaster!

Oh well. It lasted long enough to make us all really happy, which is all you can really ask for, no? It got through a morning and an evening rush hour, so pretty much everyone who was going to see it, did so. Huge!

3) Chalking is Not a Crime
Posted April 3rd, 2006 by Canek

The Gothamist recently posted a story about a festive day of street chalking, which was ruined by a pair of self-righteous snitches and some bored police officers. An eyewitness and participant in the day of chalking describes his experience.

We took a grand old stroll near the cube in Astor Place. On the sidewalk around the cube, we saw a ginormous yin yang drawn in chalk on the sidewalk, and two girls drawing stuff around it. We grabbed some chalk and joined in… Others joined in and left whatever messages they pleased. Eventually, one of the girls started to draw on the cube itself. Verily, this was the trickle that started the flood, as everyone else followed afterwards. Including us. People climbed ontop of the cube to defa– draw on it. It was a grand old time.

Judging from these pictures, the chalking engaged the interest and participation of many a passer-by. Fun for the whole family. Sadly, a pair of cranky graffiti haters were so disturbed by the chalking that they decided to call the police. The authorities arrived and arrested several chalkers, as well as a group of girls who had protested the arrests by chanting “let them go!” These two girls eventually spent 26 hours in police custody, were tried and eventually their charges were dismissed.

Seth, one of the individuals arrested, posted these comments on the Gothamist, reflecting on his experience in detention.

i spent 26 hours in jail for this shit, was rather ridiculous. it wasnt free speech or defacement, it was us having a little bit of fun that didnt hurt anyone. everything was temporary, but the cops treated us like shit. noone was caught with drugs, though they mistook a bag of maple sugar candy my friend had for crack before they tested it. it was outrageous to waste my weekend like this, and thats not mentioning how many different ways the cops broke the law in processing us. they held us for 12 hours in the precint, denied food, water, or bathroom usage. one of the guys in the cell with me was a diabetic (arrested on a different charge) but his request for medical attention or a sugar level check after he realized he couldnt feel his fingers was delayed for 2 hours while the cops told him to wait. meanwhile, it was 6 hours after we had been taken in before the precint bothered to notify our parents. i resent how some people have made us out to be the villan of this piece, but our having fun was not a justification for how the cops had theirs at our expense.

One of the kids who was arrested, calling himself “the marshmallow kid,” summarized his experience before the judge.

after spending 26 hours in police custody (2 of them were released after 20 hours) we were released by the judge who basically said: “this is a bullshit charge. chalk is not considered grafitti and therefore the charges pressed against you are unjustified and you should not have been arrested to begin with. stay out of trouble for 6 months and it wont be on your records. get out of my face.

The marshmallow kid’s statement is true. Chalking on the sidewalk is technically not a crime because there is no mention of it in any of New York City’s graffiti laws. However, many police, who either don’t know this or pretend to not know this fact, will arrest and detain you anyway.

For more info on local chalk artists, check out this post about the Ellis G’s chalk shadows.

First photo by cooler1011, second photo by minusbaby.


Sponsored by Danish Arts Council
as part of DaNY Arts Projects
For more information click here

Media Contact
phone: # 45 26701833
email: karolinehlarsen@gmail.com
email: jasmine@jasminezimmerman.com

What would it be like living in cities, where more people did different and creative actions in public space?
Would it change the way people act?
Would it change people's perspective on each other - Would it change yours?

When moving in public space, we normally move directly from A to B, and at the same time a set of unwritten rules direct the way we move. The way we move affects the way we think and act.
When Karoline H. Larsen and Jasmine Zimmerman invite New Yorkers to join the COLLECTIVE STRING-WEBS NYC, new ways of moving, joyful exchange, and new functions evolve. Participants get to string their way with 21.000 meters of colorful string, tracking string across the areas
in a giant collective web marking of public space.

Citizens need opportunities to communicate and collectively generate a positive atmosphere in public city spaces.
This project offers the possibility of doing so through a shared creative experience.

Increasing traumatic tension in public space causes suffering everyday in Copenhagen, New York, and many other western cities. "The problem is not the trauma itself, but not being able to feel pleasure". Creative Actions chooses not to analyze the reasons behind this.
Instead we move to provide opportunities to reconnecting with each other and public space in hopes of creating positive change.

COLLECTIVE STRING-WEBS NYC gives citizens concrete aesthetic involving structures to produce creative energies collectively as an answer to these days of anxiety, aggression, isolation, alienation and high speed stress in public city space.

5) http://concernedcitizensforchange.org/photos/Astor-Place-Cube.jpg

6) The Garrett Documentaries


Question #5
What can you conclude both from your experiments and the ones that you studied? What are open questions remaining to be answered?

Based on our observation, people tend to see the triangle area of Astor place as a waiting spot or simply a place to walk through. The place didn’t have a lot attentions and people tended not to talk to each other. The most attractive activity on the island was some people would play with the huge cube since it can be rotated. Our intention was to maximize the attention and interaction of the island. The installation we created did get more attention and interaction from the pedestrian and made them stay on the island for a longer period of time. We even successfully made strangers talk to each other and created more triangulation at that spot. So we believe that with something for people can interact or play with, the place can be more than a playground than just a “waiting spot”. People prefer to interact with something can reflect part of themselves (thoughts and ideas in our case) more than something simply just has interactive physical features. By participating in the same activity, people can build bonds with others and its more easy to talk to strangers. The question is that because our observation and implementation were under great time constrains, so we don’t know if the piece will still work as it was after a longer period of time. We now know that people get inspired by other people’s activities, but we don’t know the specific preference of different demographic.

Question #6
Can your project be applied to other public spaces? Does it travel well?

Our project was basically a huge cube for people to interact with. It was made of 8 (24x24x24) white cardboard boxes tided together with tape. It is really easy to duplicate the model at anywhere you can get tape and cardboard boxes. Based on our observation, it wasn’t all because of the shape reflected the sculpture (The cube at Astor pl) drew people’s attention and interaction, it was the concept of “something I can write and draw on and read other people’s writings and drawings” attracted people. We think our work can easily apply to other public spaces. Because our installation arouses peoples curiosity, and curiosity is part of human nature, and it’s easy to duplicate or simply unfold, so it can travel well.

Question #7
Would your project make a good exhibition piece? Where would it be seen? If appropriate, submit your project to venues where it can be appreciated by other groups of people.

The cardboard cube project has been designed specifically for the Astor place. It would be less significant if we install it elsewhere. Firstly, the concept of the cardboard cube revolves around with the idea of miniture and imitation of the kinetic sculpture ‘Alamo’. By placing a cardboard cube in front of Alamo, the distinct contrast is defined by the sizes, the colours, the materials, the textures and the functions. If the project is to place somewhere else, the interplay and juxtaposition between 2 artworks would never exist, it surely become trash. Secondly, the project is never intended to be an artwork in the gallery; instead it is purposely created as tool to generate the triangulations on the site. The action and interaction of the passerby and people on the area is the essential key, giving the normal cardboard box an personality. Every words and scribbles on cardboard cube complete the project. Even those who come and spend a few seconds reading others’ writing/drawing, they are all accounted for an additional success. It is somehow important that the public would interpret our project as a silly joke rather than a beautiful gallery artwork. Therefore, they would easily discard all the meanings of an artwork and let themselves lose to have fun with our object.

On the other hand, there are still some rooms for our cardboard cube to be place in an exhibition, perhaps, an exhibition of New York city and their people. If the white cardboard box is fully covered with writing and drawings of Astro place’s visitors, it would become a completed artwork by itself and able to reveal people’s personal expressions in the given period of time. The significant will be shifted from a cardboard cube as the triangulation tool, to the Astor place public notebook; the massages on the cube become more important than the actions that take place. Additional information about Astor place is then required, in order to clarify relationship of the 2 cubes (cardboard and Alamo). As I have motioned before this project is more about site-specific project, if we intend to make the cube work within the exhibition, the modification of the cube to contain some contents within that particular space would help. It might not be a cube at the end.


Example of Triangulation

1) The Crown Fountain, by Jaume Plensa, Millennium Park, Chicago.

Photo by, Phineas X. Jones

The Crown Fountain was designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and inspired by the people of Chicago. The towers project video images from a broad social spectrum of Chicago citizens, a reference to the traditional use of gargoyles in fountains, where faces of mythological beings were sculpted with open mouths to allow water, a symbol of life, to flow out.

2) The Big Shadow project, Shibuya, Japan

The Big shadow project was created for the promotion of Blue Dragon, an X box game title. It focused on the primordial human experience of shadow-play. A person's shadow is projected as a giant shadow image, which can suddenly change into the shape of a dragon. This creates a new and engaging interactive experience.

More information

3) The Tijuana Projection, 2001 by Krzysztof Wodiczko
at the Centro Cultural de Tijuana, Mexico

The purpose of the Tijuana Project was to use progressive technology to give voice and visibility to the women who work in the "maquiladora" industry in Tijuana. The headset was designed to be mounted on a woman head, the image of her face was then projected on the large balloon 60 feet high. The testimonial was then spoken through large speaker, focusing on a variety of issues including work related abuse, sexual abuse, family disintegration, alcoholism, and domestic violence.

Watch VDO at

All images: Courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York

4) Sky Mirror, by Anish Kapoor at Rockefeller Center, Oct 2006

All images by Seong Kwon,

5) Body Movies, by rafael lozano-hemmer

'BODY MOVIES transforms public space with 400 to 1,800 square metres of interactive projections. Thousands of photo portraits taken on the streets of the cities where the project is exhibited are shown using robotically controlled projectors. However, the portraits only appear inside the projected shadows of local passers-by, whose silhouettes measure between 2 to 25 metres high, depending on how far people were from the powerful light sources placed on the floor of the square. A custom-made computer vision tracking system triggers new portraits as old ones are revealed. With the assistance of 6 developers.'

Under scan by rafael lozano-hemmer

'UNDER SCAN is a large-scale public art project commissioned by the East Midlands Development Agency in England. Thousands of "video-portraits" taken in Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Northampton and Nottingham will be projected onto the ground of the main squares and pedestrian thoroughfares of these cities. At first, the portraits will not be visible because the space will be flooded by white light coming from the world’s most powerful projector. As people walk around the area, their shadow will be cast on the floor, revealing the video-portraits. The short video sequences begin with the subjects in a still position turned away from the camera. As they appear within pedestrians' shadows, their bodies move and their heads turn to look straight at the pedestrian, potentially giving rise to an interesting range of interactions.'


Stuyvesants Town Fountain : Site Study

From 6:15 PM to 8:00 PM

Physical Observations

- Time Factors
Different time create different moods and emotion
Day and Night
6:30 - 7:00 - 10 to 12 people on the bench
- A lot of people walking cross the grass from work and school
- Some seniors on the bench
7:00 - 8:00 - Nearby playground close
- More children playing at the fountain, activities around fountain
- Parents whose came back from work, come out to walk babies and kids
- 5 people on bench, no senior as they went home because of darkness

- Weather factors
Lighting, sunlight
Cold Wind
Water from the fountain

Panoramic View of Stuy town fountain at 6:00 pm
Stuy. town fountain at 7:30 pm
Human Activities
General activities in the space;
- On the phone
- Reading
- Talking to neighbor
- exercise
- Playing (children)
- Resting, relax
- Walking kids and dogs
- Walk pass
- Using internet (free wireless internet on the oval)

- Heavy traffic, popular in the afternoon; urban getaway
- People on Stuy. Town love to be on wheels;
- Kids: scooters, skateboard, rollerblade and heelies shoes
- Parents: babies cradles
- Adults : Large roller luggages, Bicycles
- Security Guards: Golf cart, Rav 4 patrol car
- Senior : trolley, Wheelchairs - Manual & Electronics

- People sit on the edge of fountain ( 1 - 3 mins)
- People sit on the bench and watch at fountain
- Runner/Excercise heavy traffic on the street
- At night people always sit near the light

1) People on benches
- Parents with babies and young kids
- Women with baby and cradle
- Passer by sit down for resting
2) Childern
- Running around the fountain, racing
- Play with water in fountain : walking on the edges, climb to contact with water
- On scooters
- Water noise and children screaming make the space more lively + running footsteps on the pavements

3) Young couples & theirs babies
- 80% of visitors to the space after 6:30
- chat on the cell phone
- reading on bench
- resting on bench

- They run around the fountain to play with childern
- They always have to go grab babies to run into fountain (in control)

4) Business man& women
- just came back from work
- passing by
- sit down rest or chat with friends

5) Senior (old people)
- rest for long time 15 - 30 mins
- Therapy from fountain's noise, relaxed

6) Teenager and young adults
- Pass by but slowly
- chilling
- walking slow

7) Neighborhood gathering
- Mostly parents with young kids