Abstract V.05

Perceptual Exaptations

How can we manipulate/exploit human sensorial perceptions? The adaptations and exaptations of perception through evolution and the rapid increase in technological developments has greatly expanded long since human learned to apply their senses in a primitive way. If the interaction is intuitive, what type of new functions and controls can be introduced to existing senses? The main tasks of vision is to navigate and identify but a good example of an expatiation of the human eye function is communicating emotions through the scaling of the iris. Vision is important because it directly informs us about our environments with objects and spaces, but sometimes alternative ways to retrieve this information are researched and developed for people with various disabilities. My thesis explorations investigates and promotes new functions of our perception through the ideas of “sensory fusion”, “sensory substitution”, and “sensory hijack”. Many of the projects dealing with sensory substitution are designed for the blind and people with disabilities, when these new affordances are applied to a fully functional person, how can these activities inform new interactions embed the notion of discovery and stimulating imagination? The contents of my experiments are inspired by neurology, cognition, gestalt psychology, with apprehensions through phenomenological and biological factors. The vehicle of communicating these hybrids of ideas are executed through physical animation through tangible parts driven by motors and servos to move electronic devices which are inspired by structural language and techniques used in visual effects and motion graphics. My main focus is around exploiting visual perception, whether it is the understanding of seeing or the physical act of looking, but I am also interested in exploring other sensorial perceptions such as touch, feel, breath, sound. Visual perception isn’t a passive act, rather it’s an active learning experience. Human learns to see and understand the data perceived through active body movement to understand the world around us. My project explorations are initiated through a matrix chart that i have put together. One side of the grid being my ingredients and definition of every visual effects language applied. The other side of the grid includes eye tracking, other sensorial input sensors (breath, heat, proximity, force, bend, touch), gestalt/cognitive psychology, and neurology tests/theories. My investigations will provide informations which will allow me to further develop innovative ideas to promote new functions for existing senses. To retain the value of these devices, they will be speculative tools containing the ideas of manipulation, interpretation, discovery, and stimulating imagination.
My obsession began from studying motion graphics in my undergraduate program at Art Center with a handful of years working in the industry prior to returning to grad school. Through this experience, I have developed an interest in the way visual perception works. With the interest in gestalt and cognitive psychology, I have began to study the neurology of visual perception as well as disorders such as synthesis and various blindness (color, face, object, motion). My hobby while growing up however, revolves around auto mechanics, and craft works using materials such as metal, wood and plastic. With the hybrid of my professional background of motion graphics and my hobby in mechanics, my interests have emerged into building tangible interface, apparatus, and installations inspired by the techniques and languages of visual effects.

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