The idea that a memory can manifest itself into a physical form is something that has interested me for some time. This idea in collaboration with the fact that, often, when someone is thinking of a memory there is an emotional attachment brought up are the most basic concept of Reverie Field.
Reverie Field is an interactive installation, in collaboration with Jenny Lin, that allows a visitor to store and transform a memory into light in such a way that they must think about, and dive deeper into that memory and the emotions that are connected with it. Each visitor enters into a space containing a semi-circle of hanging incandescent light bulbs. Initially all of the bulbs are off but when the visitor places their hand on the console they are greeted by an audio guide and then invited to begin the experience.
The narrative prompts the visitor to reflect on the memory they are thinking about. When the visitor feels an emotional connection to that memory they are prompted to press a finger against a console interface. As the visitor begins pressing different fingers, they see the lights reacting in different ways. As the experience begins to finish each bulb holds its' current state and at the climax the bulbs slowly dim out and the visitor is left feeling a sense of peace and catharsis.
The incandescent light dimming and lighting up in various patterns are symbolic of the emotions the visitor is feeling at that time. Through letting the visitor see the result of their memory and emotions in the form of a unique lighting pattern, hopefully visitors could appreciate their emotions and gain a deeper personal connection with themselves. The animated light pattern that arises at the end of the experience is meant to help keep the connotation of uniqueness to each experience. If the visitor decides to go through the Reverie Field again then they will have a different visual experience.
Issues and Complications
Problems that persisted throughout the project were dealing with the triac control, making sure that the sensors were responsive enough, and that the whole user experience made sense for the piece. Both Jenny and I feel that in the end everything came together in a way we are happy with.
Thinking of this piece as a first iteration there are a few things we would like to improve upon. The first being the ending interaction with the lights and the next being further improvements on the dimming and state changes of the lights during the main interaction.
Further than that though I am very happy with how the piece turned out in the time given and both Jenny and I could not have come to this point without the help of many people.
Including: David Rios, Daniel Sorano, Yeseul Song, Jenny Lim, Nick Gregg, Maya Pruitt. All of which greatly helped in the accomplishment of this project.
Link to Code.