Make yourself comfortable
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.