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By (February 8, 2009) ()

PenField Wave Transmitter: A device that directs some sort of energy wave into a person’s brain, allowing them to experience a chosen (dialed) mood. From Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, By Philip K.Dick, 1968

How amazing will it be if we can have the option to change the way we are feeling, our mood? and how that, when possible, will affect our physical body? does it feel anti – natural? For me it’s a very controversial idea. Something that it’s desired and seems fascinating but so dangerous at the same time. A possible non- lethal weapon, as mention in the website.

This device explores the idea of technology that works by radiation, that is invisible. It’s invisibility reinforces the idea of danger, since it’s not perceptible. A worker can be controlled to work better and faster, since he was induced to feel very energetic and happy or with the sense of duty; A commercial space can give their costumers the sense that they feel very comfortable in that space, so they will return more often. It’s has a big potential as a persuasive technology that can be used in a good and bad way. But it’s invisibility reinforces it’s potential for unethical uses, for controlled environments, for human mind control like in 1984 novel, by George Orwell as a more concrete example. Maybe more coercion than persuasion?

OdorPhonics: A system capable of reproducing selected scents capable of fooling the human nervous system.
From The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury, 1951

The idea of brain manipulation and how to go behind our limits is been explored in fiction as in reality and wanted for a long time. For me what is fascinating in these devices is the idea of playing with the way we perceive the world (senses, perception). The desire of expanding our bodies and having the opportunity to experience the world in a different way.

I think the idea of working with smells is very fascinating and intrigue. Smells are closely related with memory. When reading about it I was wondering and dreaming how wonderful will it be if I could smell the sea in my hometown and how that device could fool me, even if for a little bit, that I was there. Or how I couldĀ  use this device to experience the smells that I don’t even know how to describe because I don’t know them: smells from cities that I never visit or flowers/food that I never saw or ate.

This device is somehow related to a project that I develop last semester with another Itp student, that aimed to be an exploration/research in human perception, specifically in the way that we perceive the sonic environments that surround us on a daily basis, more concrete in the context of the city. How could perception be augmented or translated to offer us a different experience/sense “of reality”? We started thinking and inspired by how animal perceive the world and the idea was to design a device that allows us to experience the city from a (non-human) animal perspective. We worked more in relation with sound since it was something that was easier to prototype but we were very interested in smells!

I’m really interested in exploring/researching about how the brain works and how we perceive reality. This two devices were chosen, in part because of that.

Toll Door: an apartment door that operates on a cash only basis.

This is one I looked for it. This scene influenced my work in the Jealous Furniture project. I read this book sometime ago but last year a teacher mention this scene. Don’t remember the context but it got stuck into my unconscious and really affect my idea.

What seduced me in this device is the idea of negotiation btw humans and machines and the idea of having furniture that is not more a static object but has a character, a personality. It interacts with you and even worst, ask you for money! Reality that is coin-operated. In the book not only the door works by 5 cents but also the coffeemaker and other objects. But this idea that someone has to pay to enter his own apartment is hilarious!

February 8, 2009

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