GMU:Spacial Information Lab/Angelica Sohn: Difference between revisions

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Revision as of 15:49, 8 February 2016


For my free project Hic et Nunc, I am exploring the concept of communication and perception between our microcosms and macrocosms. In short, whether it be a human or a dog, each individual lives with two universes: the brain in which a chemical, biological, and electrical activities control our behavior and the surrounding universe in which they constantly receive perceptual (visual and auditory) cues.

This project was a derivative of the aforementioned concept that dealt primarily with physical, body movements. Physical movements are also comprised of big and small movements. Each bodily movement requires a number of smaller movements to work correctly and, more importantly, convey the right message. Nonverbal communication sends a clear message only because each small - and often undetected - movement tells its own story.

In addition to different scales of motions, I focused on the element of breaking points. To clarify, breaking points here do not mean that something has to break or stop working. It was rather meant as the moment between one movement to the next, showing the change in emotions. When I gave directions to the participants, some were asked to stay still as long as possible. We detect an unnatural action like that immediately. So when the participants have to move, even a finger, out of discomfort, we do not need an explanation to know how the person feels. We already know. Body language is so subtle yet unbelievably easy. Even when the signs are minuscule, we still understand the silently expressed stories.

Capturing and Manipulating Physical Motions With Blender

After creating a 3D animation of my movements in the performance space, I substituted a few different 3D models I found from internet. Even though the 3 dimensional model became distorted because of the program's glitch, it was very interesting to substitute in another 3D model, which in this case was a sumo wrestler. When the new model walks in my footstep and goes through the glitch, it begins to look foreign and alien.

Angle 1
Angle 2
Angle 3


My experiment involved groups of two participants who were asked to carry out certain actions, which sometimes came close to dares. Their goal was to push the other person to their breaking point, usually through laughter. Here are some of the actions they had to carry out:

Designated actions

sitting still
standing still
trying not to smile/laugh
trying to make the other person laugh
trust falls


The free project was inspired by Jakob von Uexküll's A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans and the Umwelt theory.

link to online excerpts of the book

Does a robot have an Umwelt?