“Remember” allows you to step inside a story and use your imagination for surprising results. Inspired by classic wooden push toys and the central message of the children’s story “The Little Prince,” this installation responds when adults think like kids again. This project capitalizes on a moment of wonder that’s often lost in adulthood; that what you imagine can form something real.
Walking up to the piece, you see a pile of collapsed letters. The pedestal in front asks you to put on the brain device and picture the rose, a key part of “The Little Prince” story. The device is a mind reader, MindWave from NeuroSky, and measures your attention level. The clearer and more singular the image is in your mind, the more the pieces of letters pull together to form the word 'rose.' As you picture the rose in your mind, it forms in front of you.
The tangible display of what is happening in your mind, makes most people laugh with surprise. Viewers nearby find themselves rooting for the letters because of the charming way the blocks struggle to form letters. The end result is interactive physical typography.
“Remember” is a combination of physical computing, typography, design, engineering, and coding. The Arduino application controls a powerful servo motor that responds to the minute fluctuations of brain activity, as measured by the MindWave device. This grace of the application was in the details. Varying the thresholds of the brain data, the way the servo translated this into string tension, and even the angle of the bevel of each block would affect the way the piece operated and moved.
“Remember” is part of the Red Paper Heart Art Series, where we explore new ideas and techniques. We love interactive stories, characters you can become, and story lines you can become a part of. Which made us a great fit of the curated gallery called the “Story Arcade” which exhibited at the 2013 Future of Storytelling conference in NY.