Relational

Overview

Comprised of an ipad kiosk and an accompanying projection, the installation allows users to define their own "closet maps" by linking together items they associate with the idea of the closet. Then, each map is submitted and projected on top of previous maps, compressing individual associations into a greater representation.

BGSU BFA Show 2011

Interactive Installation

Design & Development

Fall 2010

Artist Statement

Relational explores the concept of defining the identity of a system based on the relationships of its contents. Using the idea of the 'closet' as a structural metaphor, users are asked to define a normally physical space based not on spatial constraints, but instead on how they choose to link together the various artifacts which inhabit it. In the creation of this subjective space, objects transcend their normative relations and come to embody boundaries themselves. The objects take on the defining edges of the closet's ontological coherence, and the spaces which exists between objects, the innate connections which have been substantiated, construct the system's identity.

The schematic for setting up the display and interfaces within the gallery.

The user defined maps are progressively layered, creating a massive reflection of the closet idea.This dynamic visualization comes to represent a collaborative illustration of parts to the whole. We are able to examine closely, seeing the similarity and difference in unique maps, but also experience a vast convergence of relational identity, both physically and graphically, by witnessing the build up of densities. User's closets exhibit variance in connectivity, allowing for the same space to be defined differently based on how objects are made to relate. By compressing the visual information to exemplify a collective closet's singularity of definition, we are able to see how each instance further defines the scope of identity. The combined repetition choice in placement, naming, and connection draw attention to how these characteristics are subsumed into the system's meaning. The user's individualized actions reflect the sense of relational identity that the project sets out to explore; remixing and further refining the base ideal in which the project is founded.

As the installation was used, the individual models people constructed ever overlaid on top of one another, and projected next to the kiosk.

Influences

This artistic endeavor was greatly influenced by the work of modern pioneers of information ideology, including David Weinberger's ideas on the ordering of information, and Lev Manovich's theories of remixability. The comparisons that Re.latio.nl seeks to make are closely tied to the concepts of an orderless dichotomy; navigating towards a composite of information which is inherently free of a structured manifest. This abstraction of reference forces focus onto object-level relationships which arise from interaction. The processes in which we engage are irrevocable in their persuasion to action.

The initial screen of the user interface, offering a brief overview of the purpose of the system, and direct controls for creating one's own model.

The pop-over menu for adding a new item to the model.

The final installation, featuring the kiosk for user interaction, and a projected screen which would show the layered models.

An example node from the Relational system, in this case representing sheets.