MEDA202 Assessment 2 – Prototype Critical Reflection

My project is a screen-in-a-book hybrid with a 360º photographic image shown on the screen. From afar the book shall appear as ordinary and benign as possible, a nod at Marcel Duchamp’s use of random objects in gallery spaces and everyday objects as a medium.

In response to the theme of wonder, I aim to at first, ignite curiosity in a passerby, and then as they open the book and come upon this screen and discover that moving the book around allows you to see a different world around them, they will be left in some sense of awe. Within the image itself, I hope to be able to make it interesting and relevant, hopefully by placing objects of interest in the photo in order to have the audience feel the need to discover the contents of the photo and perhaps the meaning behind them. I aim to also include a sense of wonder in the technology itself, the medium and how it can be used, particularly in the translation of a book. Books and words allow you to imagine a different world around you. With my screen, I instantly transport the audience into a different reality visually. The contrast of  using an old, beaten, hardcover book with the phone screen and 360º photo within, I hope will correlate with the observer and allow for deeper understanding.

Initially in the prototype demonstration I had my book sitting on a stand, although it didn’t seem to be as effective as I wanted. Viewing the rest of the room I noticed that other people had incorporated chairs and tables, inviting the viewer to sit down and actually involve themselves with the work. I thought this would work to my advantage and as soon as I had my new setup the response was instant. I did notice that people would open to a random page in the book, which is not what I want, but in order to rectify this I believe placing a bookmark in the right place will ensure success. As well, some people did not realise that they needed to actually pick up the book in order to gain full advantage of the 360 photography. Perhaps to solve this I could make some sort of note or message, perhaps on the bookmark? It was also suggested to me that I include multiple books, an idea I also agree with but is limited to old phones that people are willing to let me borrow. However I do believe this would increase the effectiveness.

I think thematically, I still have some work to do, however the contrast between old and new, and the further potential my artwork could achieve is one way I could frame it. In some ways it could simply inspire the viewer towards their own views of where this ‘virtual story’ could take them.

Before final showing I still need to make sure the screen can stay in place within the book as well as take the photos I wish to use with the 360 camera. Hopefully I will get more screens and more books to use as well.

Overall the feedback was quite positive, with room for improvement. The audience definitely reacted with the excitement and wonder I wanted when they held the book open and would swing it around to see the entire image.


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