Project | 01
The Mario Mambo
In this found object project, I decided to hack into an old television set and a video game controller in a way where the viewer could push the buttons on the controller to play 'Super Mario Bros Mambo' by the 8-bit Big Band on the dated television. The soundtrack consists of a remix of the classic video game Mario Bros., and has a tone similar to what you would hear on a television broadcast show.
The objective in this piece is to figure out which order to press the buttons in order to play the song correctly. While addressing the common phrase "It takes two to tango", this work calls attention to the idea that in order to be socially conditioned, there must be people present to condition in the first place. When the viewer is interacting with the object, they are putting themselves directly into this 'game' in a way where the music will only play if a button is continuously held down, thus implicitly demonstrating that this process of conditioning only works if the participant continuously interacts with it (in this case, this represents societal norms, status quo, and lifestyle, for example).
This is to also point out the technological determinism our society has faced over the past years of development of entertainment and broadcast technologies. This work conditions the viewer in a way that could potentially remind them of how fabricated our behaviors as a society are based on the expectations and associations of the objects we live with. In this case, the game controller invites the viewer to play and push the buttons that connect to their own individual conditioning and experiences of either playing games with a controller similar to the one used in this work, their connection to the dated television set, or their associations to the soundtrack and game of Mario Bros. itself.
Project | 02
In this found object project, a LCD screen embedded within a Marlboro cigarette box predicts the participants future like a magic 8-ball. As the cigarettes are 'packed', the tilt switch initiates an output on the LCD screen that predicts a condition one might receive if they have this habit currently, or know someone who does.
This work calls attention to the habits and hazards of smoking cigarettes by explicitly telling the user the possible outcomes they might get if they start and/or continue with the habit. Using a tilt switch as the interactive interface, the user is brought back to memories of packing a box of cigarettes whether it is from past experiences of smoking themselves, or observing others pack their smokes who are around them (friends, relatives, etc.). In a way, every motion of packing and every last cigarette that is consumed plays a part similar to roulette in a way where you never know what is going to happen. The longer someone continues to smoke, the higher risk one has in really contracting one of these conditions if they aren't experienced it already.
Project | 03
This wearable piece is called Aura Antlers. They are made of wire, aluminum foil, and plaster, and can light on fire or become illuminated with purple LEDs. This work symbolized a visual aura where I can draw positivity to myself through the energy of a flame.
They are decorated with pine cones and snow in order to express that no matter what the conditions on the outside may be, there's always a flame of passion burning inside. No matter what I can be going through in life, I will always have the fire within me to keep me going.
Be the light you wish to see in the world.
Project | 04
Serpent Time Trophy
If these beautiful creatures existed, would we kill them and hang them up on our wall too? Probably.
This wood sculpture of a serpent is my take on an assignment to create a trophy hunting animal head. My take on trophy hunting is that when someone kills an animal for this purpose, not only are they taking away the life of another being, but also they are not capturing the essence of the animal, but just merely the shell that once housed the soul. The purpose of this work is to ignite conversations on the dichotomy of presence and absence in trophy hunting.
I also decided to intentionally use simultaneous contrast in the neon colors of his body so that he would essentially glow under UV light and animate through color illusion.