This is my thesis at Interactive Technologies Program of NYU Tisch School of Arts:

“In Praise of Practically Nothing” is a kinetic sculpture that I built using collective response data to a musical composition. Specifically, it represents the physical and emotional reactions of eight people to the Brian Israel composition, “In Praise of Practically Nothing" - and my interpretation and artistic approach in turning their reactions into a sculpture to represent a visual dynamic of his music.

I used one of his compositions because his unusual musical style fascinates me. It is full of surprises, and unexpected emotional states that I find exciting. I flow with his rhythm but at the same time it is my rhythm because I dissolve and become part of the rhythm. It is how I observe his musicality and why I basically paint music. I enjoy not knowing where I will end up and what I will do next. It is a journey that I start without certain destinations and expected experiences. I start without any thoughts and react to it intuitively.

This project was an exploration, an adventure that I experienced along few other people. I used Galvanic Skin Response Sensors (GSR) to capture eight individuals' response to the composition, collecting physiological changes such as blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, and sweat as numerical data. These physiological changes define physical reactions linked to changes in emotional states. Then I used this data to create kinetic movement in my sculpture by setting the steps of Stepper Motors, with one motor for each individual’s reaction data. The outcome was a kinetic sculpture that evokes dynamic movements of musical experience of different personalities. It is like watching a visual representation of the same composition created by different people in one sculpture.

View Documentation

10 seconds of the musical composition sculpted and programmed

Galvanic Skin Response: Tracking user's response to the musical composition

SCULPTURE SKETCHES, USER JOURNEY & PROCESS FLOW

 In Praise (10 seconds of the composition)

In Praise (10 seconds of the composition)

 Sculpture (Full composition)

Sculpture (Full composition)

 Process

Process

 User Journey

User Journey