Back in action

Written by on 18th January 2012 in "Official" Papers, Portals, Thoughts with Leave a comment

The project sort of went on hold over winter break as equipment got returned, I caught up on the rest of my life, and waited for the Kickstarter funding to get deposited. I did manage to send out some Kickstarter backer reward thank you postcards to people. On the left side of the rainbow is me sticking my hand into a portal, while the right side is a drawing of the backer reaching into another portal (if I knew them in person or if they had a photo available online). The cloud in the middle is the internet, some with backers’ favorite animal. I actually really liked making these just cause they were fun but also I feel like it’s a pretty good diagram of the system, especially with the rainbow. So it may appear again in another form later.

Also re-worked the thesis paper, integrating the research and experiments together more and trying to cut out the less important bits. It ended up being about half as long as the original. It also doesn’t have pictures. Maybe I should have put some in, but I sort of feel like it lives in the context of the rest of my work too, so if you’re reading the paper you can see the other stuff online. Plus, a lot of it is video content, so you’d have to see it playing to make sense anyways. So here’s the “final” paper I guess, although it’s not really final if I’m just getting started on the project. But I do feel like it helped me organize my thoughts a bit and sort of make a game plan going forward.


The end of the paper I basically pulled out a few principles to guide my work for the rest of the term:

  1. By leveraging spacial and technical constraints, use play as a tool to disrupt and challenge existing magic circles in the real world. Through this act, instigate more improvisational interactions between both human to human and human to computer.
  2. Embrace alternative “truths” as a tool for sharing ideas and inviting participation from others. By provoking questions about future technological developments, hopefully this technique ensures the project’s core ideas can continue exist beyond its original “actual” form.
  3. Combine the affordances of the virtual world, the physical world, and the human imagination in order to create an experience formerly impossible in the virtual or physical world separately, and therefore more authentic to the hybrid nature of the experience.
  4. Using both the strength and strangeness of network culture, create an uncanny experience in order to disorient users and disrupt our habitual routines as active participants in the network.

So that is sort of the manifesto I guess. Today’s the first day back and it feels a little weird just diving right in. But I at least have that. And today I at least brought in the supplies I got to start building the things. I’ve got my 2 monitors, led lights, web cams, stands and some other stuff to start building.

Game plan

Tomorrow I’m going to start building out a second light box at least. And maybe some new boxes. Just in white foam core for now while I figure things out. I’m thinking the white interior will be better for the lighting than the black, though I don’t know what the outside should be. I was thinking a super shiny reflective mylar so the thing almost blends into the environment. But I think I’ll wait on worrying about that. First I just want to get the basic stuff up and running so I can start playing with the crazy stuff. I also want to finish making backer rewards very soon so I don’t have to worry about those.


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