This module we were told for the last bit that we would have to get into a group of 3-4 and come up with a sensorial experience which would also have to be site specific in and around university at Bower Ashton. My group consisted of Mike McCormick, Joey Goldman and myself. We thought or 2 ideas to write about, one being a journey through the different types of transport through out the history of the campus Bower Ashton. The second was a experience of the senses, we set it almost in a experimental way also. Our experience was to get our audience’s taste buds triggered without the use of taste and by using other senses like sight, smell and hearing. Since there were 3 of us and we were going to use 3 senses we decided to split up to each one. Joey did Sound, Mike did Smell and I did Sight. When we first looked at this we decided how we would do it and the set up of the area. Me and the others a few days later went to present our groups project. One of the best feedbacks we had gotten was the news that there was art our in the world that relied on smell or touch that senses were being mixed in experimental ways. This brought me on to several different articles on the mixture of senses, one of the most interesting was The Blind Art Restaurant that is ran by a Yoo Seung-hoon in Seoul, Korea. Yoo was a man who came to great curiosity on this no sight eating, from as a child growing up with poor eye sight. He to his curiosity and has made a successful restaurant business out of it. Customers come in to be led by waiters then placed on a table where it is pitch black. Apparently even if you are not blind just being “blinded” for the time in the restaurant you still have heightened senses that you are using. Food becomes more powerful, smell becomes keener. The environment of a normal restaurant is even changed by the darkness as people are able to be more open and express them selves further since they cannot see the faces of their partners. Another article I found that helped with our project was from Scientific American (2/04/08, How Does The Way Food Looks Or Smells Influence Taste) In this article they proved and explained that there is an illusion to food and what you would think like smell wouldn’t influence taste it actually does. This was a piece that didn’t transform our experiment but ensured that senses although used for different thing and separate can trick other sensors into reacting. Setting up we had to find a way of separating the current users from the outside world, so no distractions were about. For this we build 2 temporary walls on each side of the table, we decided also to get mike as the waiter in a suit. By using someone as a waiter it enables us to create a area where people can wait to try our experience one by one as well as giving our experiment a stronger connection and feel to a real restaurant.
When going to look around at the other experiences I found that it was clear there were 3 main and great ones to talk about. First of all would be group 15, I am unsure of what they called them selves but from what I heard in the end they named it stair perspective. This was done all using tape and designs on intricate creation. The art from only one perspective looked whole but from all other angles it would break up and be nothing but random tape everywhere. It was very channel 4 advert like. (see below) I unfortunately missed the talking tour where they explained what it represented and so on but had a lot of love and respect for such a good creation.
Secondly there was a group that took the whole urban jungle to a new level where they created a University Safari in which the students were strange animals and the audience wondered around observing as we saw males battle over female territory. This piece was called the zoo. It was my most enjoyable one as there was a huge comedy factor as we watch from the outside onto human antics being narrated by a very close to David Attenborough kind of way.
The last one, which I saved, I thought was the best, mainly because of the huge effort that the group had gone through to get this piece to work. This was called Virtual Bike Ride. What they had done is gone out of university on a bike with 2 cameras. One being on the back and one on the front they recorded what I assumer was a 5 min bike ride. This ride started at at a round a bout in city center and went on through to what seemed to be country lanes. Anyways they had bought in the footage and on projectors put the front camera film on one wall and the back on another. On opposite sides. They then placed a bike in the middle and motion detectors on the wheels. The bike when being worked made the film move and when you stopped pedaling the film would stop. This was a fun creation because it was so different to the others but around 3 minuets into the ride you tire out and need to stop to cause more interest and to stop the ride the film shows you crash. Although I had already enjoyed this sensual experience that crash added to the comedy side of things and gave a great ending to a good time.
If there were to be some things I would have changed it would have only been this. Firstly I would have made either the room have more character maybe put some leaves about or maybe bikes around it, to give it a stronger theme. I would have personally not used the room and gone even further to place the experience out side on the bike racks, this way there is a interesting and see able reason for location. The next thing I would have done is possible have a simple fan on a low number blowing breeze into the users, show more of a realism to the ride.